Phoenix Local Life

4 Cool Neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona

From historic neighborhoods to contemporary suburban developments, Phoenix, Arizona offers a diverse range of places to live and explore. People have been flocking to the city to take advantage of its reasonable cost of living, plentiful job opportunities, excellent public transportation, and abundance of bars, entertainment venues, and restaurants.

There’s so much to see and do that it’s entirely possible for a person to live here their whole life and continue to discover new and exciting destinations on a daily basis. If you’re a visitor or a local looking for new spots to explore, here are some of the coolest Phoenix neighborhoods to check out.

Arcadia

Cool Biltmore Fashion Square in Arcadia Phoenix Arizona
The Biltmore Fashion Park is a popular shopping center in Arcadia.

Arcadia is one of the more luxurious neighborhoods in Phoenix, with home prices well into the millions. While this affluent haven might be out of the average person’s price range in terms of real estate, it’s fun to spend an afternoon driving down the tree-lined streets to tour the gorgeous homes in the area.

Arcadia is one of the hippest neighborhoods in the Phoenix area due to its proximity to popular hiking trails, innovative contemporary eateries, and upscale shopping centers like the Biltmore and Scottsdale Fashion Square. There’s also no shortage of natural beauty with Camelback Mountain so close by. Anyone looking for a luxury experience is sure to find it here.

SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

  • David and Gladys Wright House - Arizona is home to many of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural wonders, including the David and Gladys Wright House in Arcadia. It's considered one of Wright’s most innovative and unusual creations.
  • Camelback Mountain - Hike to the top of Camelback Mountain via one of its two trails, Echo Canyon or Cholla, for unbeatable views of the city.
  • The Henry - The Henry is a cool spot with a swanky, laid-back vibe. You'll feel right at home among the cozy decor—a fusion of industrial and classical influences—and you're sure to enjoy their delectable food.

Phoenix Homesteads

The Phoenix Homesteads neighborhood is a hidden gem of the city that not even many of the locals know about. Stepping into this neighborhood feels like being transported to a whimsical forest locale. The streets within the neighborhood are lined with green trees towering over the quaint Adobe homes, creating a backdrop that's unlike any other in the Phoenix area. The lots here were intended to function as individual subsistence farms, and each one is designed to accommodate a small orchard, a vegetable garden, and a chicken coop if desired.

This hip, folksy neighborhood embodies the new-age, urban farm movement that has skyrocketed into popularity in the last few years. Although it’s a primarily residential neighborhood, it’s just a short trip away from the trendy bars, restaurants, cultural centers, and happening nightlife within the heart of Downtown Phoenix.

SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

  • Glai Baan - Glai Baan is one of the best restaurants for authentic Thai food in all of Arizona. Their charming patio is the perfect setting to enjoy their savory pork buns or the flavorful panang curry (but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu).
  • Heard Museum or Phoenix Art Museum - Learn about the rich history and culture of Native American art and lifestyle at the Heard Museum or swing by the Phoenix Art Museum to browse their impressive collection of art spanning from the Renaissance era to the present.

South Mountain Village

Cool Rustler's Rooste in South Mountain Village Phoenix Arizona
A steer greets visitors at Rustler's Rooste.

South Mountain Village hasn’t always carried the best reputation, but this area has tons of potential, and it continues to evolve every year. The diversity of the landscape alone is worth the trip; you can expect to see mountain vistas, lush farmland, and classic desert scenery.

South Mountain Village is one of our top picks for the coolest neighborhoods because of its more authentic look into Phoenix culture. The area encapsulates the charm and more rustic characteristics of the Southwestern lifestyle, and it offers a glimpse of what Phoenix has to offer beyond the more glitzy side of urban living.

SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

  • The Farm at South Mountain - This is one of my personal favorite places in all of Phoenix. With three farm-to-table restaurants, organic gardens, an adorable retail shop, and an impressive pecan tree grove, this destination offers a tranquil escape from the stressors of the big city.
  • Ponderosa Stables - Not much of a hiker? Don’t worry; that’s not the only way to see the beauty of South Mountain. Saddle up and hit the trails on horseback to learn all about the desert, its wildlife, and the "Cowboy Way.”
  • Rustler’s Roost - Legend has it that the butte in the foothills of South Mountain, where this restaurant is now located, was once a hideout for cattle rustlers. Albeit a little cheesy, this place offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. There’s even a live steer outside to greet patrons when they walk in, and those feeling a little adventurous can try their famous fried rattlesnake. 

Roosevelt Row

Cool market on Roosevelt Row in Phoenix Arizona
Roosevelt Row is home to many restaurants and markets in addition to its famous art.

Roosevelt Row Arts District is a vibrant, artsy spot in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. This neighborhood was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and it remains one of the most culturally significant communities in Phoenix.

Almost everything a person could need is within walking distance, earning the neighborhood an 88/100 WalkScore. Strolling down the eclectic sidewalks of Roosevelt Row, you'll encounter bars and restaurants, boutiques and art galleries, and eye-catching murals on almost every corner. For the ultimate Roosevelt Row experience, check out their monthly First Friday Art Walk, which features tons of talented artists, crafters, entertainment, and street food.

SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

  • The Churchill - The Churchill isn’t just one place; it’s a collective of 10 small local businesses. The space holds a large courtyard in the center for dining, drinking, and socializing, bringing patrons of all ten businesses together.
  • Cobra Arcade Bar - Even if you’re not much of a gamer, Cobra’s extensive collection of vintage arcade wonders will captivate almost anyone. This bar offers an entertainment experience that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
  • Margaret T. Hance Park - Margaret T. Hance Park is a peaceful 32-acre stretch, perfect for a quiet stroll or a picnic, and it's a popular spot for community events. Many statues, architectural elements, and other works of art can be seen along the paths, creating an atmosphere that's totally unique.
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