South Mountain in Phoenix is one of the city's fifteen urban villages. Phoenix itself is one of the largest cities in the country, with a population of over four million people, and South Mountain alone has over 100,000 residents. Since the city's neighborhoods are so spread out, South Mountain, like most other parts of Phoenix, feels more suburban than urban.
Situated between the vast South Mountain Park and downtown, this neighborhood offers easy access to both natural and urban areas. Some parts of the area are underdeveloped, while others have been seeing an increase in extravagant apartments and real estate.
Apartments in South Mountain Phoenix can rent for less than $500 to more than $1,000, depending on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities. A studio apartment with under 400 square feet can rent for a little more than $400 per month, while a four-bedroom unit with two baths and nearly 1500 square feet can rent for almost $1,200. Due to the hot weather, most apartments have swimming pools, outdoor activity areas, and grills. Other amenities can include covered parking, gated access, playgrounds, and fitness centers.
South Mountain and Phoenix are renowned, of course, for Mexican food, and the city is replete with independently owned cantinas and home-cooked Mexican meals. South Mountain is also known for all-American restaurants, such as Rustler's Roost, a popular steakhouse, and Quiessence, an organic farm-to-table restaurant.
The greater Phoenix area offers pretty much anything one could ask for in the way of activities, from concerts to hiking and biking groups to art festivals. The South Mountain neighborhood does not have a bustling nightlife, but busier areas such as Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale are close by.
Pet-friendly apartments in South Mountain Phoenix are common. Animal lovers will be happy to discover a wide variety of facilities aimed at the conscientious pet owner, from veterinary services to grooming services. There is one official dog park in South Mountain, at Hance Park, and perhaps more than two dozen throughout the city. City and state parks abound, and usually allow dogs on leashes. South Mountain Park, at over 16,000 acres, offers a natural escape for dogs and their owners.
Despite its population, Phoenix ranks very low in terms of congestion. It has also been ranked as one of the safest cities for commuters, based on the number of car crashes per capita. The city itself is sprawling and webbed by highways, including a loop that surrounds the city and offers quick access to most of the urban areas. South Mountain and Phoenix proper are close, which makes this location ideal for anyone working in the city.
The city's large size does make public transportation rather problematic, however. What takes thirty minutes by car may take four times as long by bus, simply because the buses stop frequently and do not take advantage of highways the same way cars do. A very useful light rail system connects northern Phoenix to Tempe and Mesa, but does not serve South Mountain. Cyclists may favor the area, since Phoenix is one of the flatter, more biker-friendly cities.
South Mountain has over a dozen public elementary schools and two high schools. It also has a campus for Northern Arizona University and a community college. Other nearby universities include Arizona State University, the University of Phoenix, and a campus for the University of Arizona. Phoenix has dozens of other community colleges, technical colleges, vocational schools, and specialized educational institutions.