10 Best Neighborhoods in Metro Phoenix | Phoenix New Times

Architecture and Design

10 Best Neighborhoods in Metro Phoenix

From planned communities to one of the Valley's oldest 'hoods.
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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. From stylish midcentury homes to classic ranch-style abodes, impressive and lush gardens, and the people who make up the community, it takes a lot to make a good neighborhood. Though we don't know if Mr. Rogers ever visited Phoenix, we're sure he'd agree when it comes to the Valley's 10 best neighborhoods. 

F. Q. Story
McDowell Road to Roosevelt Street, Seventh to 16th avenues
Homes for sale starting at $249,000

Driving down the streets of one of Phoenix’s oldest neighborhoods, you’ll notice the wide range of architectural styles. A California craftsman, English Tudor, and a colonial Georgian house with two-story columns along the front could be side by side in F. Q. Story. As people settled in the area back in the 1920s, they brought the architectural styles of wherever they came from, creating one of the most visually varied neighborhoods in the Valley. And thanks to the thriving community within and its proximity to downtown and major freeways, this historic district is one of the most desired in town.

Between First and Seventh avenues, Thomas and McDowell roads
Homes for sale start at about $325,000

The Willo Historic District is consistently ranked as one of the best neighborhoods in downtown Phoenix. Whether you’ve heard people talking about the adorable cottages, attended the annual home tour, or just happened to stumble upon it while trying to navigate your way through downtown, most Phoenicians are familiar with this 'hood. With its proximity to the buzz of downtown, the main freeways, and Sky Harbor International Airport, Willo makes about as much sense logistically as it does aesthetically.

Medlock Place
Located north of Camelback Road and west of Central Avenue
Homes for sale start at about $315,000

When Floyd Medlock first started developing Medlock Place in the 1920s, he aimed to build a community that melded the convenience of the city with the charm of the country. Although Phoenix has boomed around the neighborhood, Medlock's intention still shines through the bungalow, Spanish colonial, pueblo revival, and ranch homes. Plus, all the lush foliage that's matured over the years definitely doesn't hurt the "rural" feel Medlock was going for. 

Woodlea Melrose
Indian School Road to the Grand Canal, Seventh to 15th avenues
Homes for sale starting at $222,200

Just west of the bustling Melrose District along Seventh Avenue lies the quaint and quiet Woodlea Melrose neighborhood. Built mostly in the 1930s and '40s, these houses ooze charm and with wide, tree-shaded streets and sidewalks. And it’s not uncommon to see children racing down the streets on bikes or parents taking their baby out for a stroll. If you’re looking for a 'hood that’s close to everything from great restaurants to some of the best vintage shopping in town, while still being peaceful and seemingly removed from it all, look no further than Woodlea Melrose.

Windsor Square
Between Central Avenue and Seventh Street, Pasadena and Oregon avenues 
Homes for sale start at $475,000

Despite being located right across Central Avenue from Medlock Place, Windsor Square has almost a completely different feel and style than its neighboring historic district. The wider, more open streets curve around larger homes ranging in architectural style from Tudor to Norman. But like Medlock Place, one of the biggest draws of this neighborhood is the location. It's within walking distance to an upscale grocery store, one of the best boutiques in town, and every restaurant concept from Upward Projects.  

Read on for five more gorgeous metro Phoenix communities.
Located at Ray and Higley roads
Homes for sale start around $259,900

Yes, there is an undeniable Stepford feel to this early 2000s neighborhood, as there is with pretty much any modern planned community. But that feeling is more subtle than you would expect and can be easily overlooked when you consider the urban farm Joe Johnston built the community. The idea of Agritopia is intriguing and purposeful, and the execution is beautiful, with hundreds of homes ranging in size and style, the farm, a community garden, two restaurants, a school, and more. Sometimes when we're out at this Gilbert community, we think we'd never like to leave. 

Virginia Avenue to Coronado Road, Eighth to 14th streets
Homes for sale starting at $180,000

From young professionals and families to those who have lived here since before it was cool, the people who reside within the Coronado Historic District are reminders of what it means to be neighbors: welcoming those who move in nearby, offering help when it’s needed, and simply waving or saying hello when passing by on an evening walk. Plus, with a number of restaurants and popular attractions within walking distance, several Grid Bike stations, and parks throughout, who wouldn’t want to live in this cozy hub just outside downtown?

Located southwest of University Drive and Mill Avenue
Homes for sale starting at $215,000

Sure, Maple-Ash is right next to the largest university in the state and filled with young adults experiencing freedom for the very first time, but that's why we like this neighborhood so much. Maple-Ash in Tempe has personality thanks to the people who have built the community around it. Its humble 1920s homes are charming, but the people zooming by on their bikes headed to Cartel or the laughter and clinking of glasses overflowing from Casey Moore's on the weekends makes this neighborhood one of our favorites. Oh, and the peacocks that roam the 'hood score points, too. 

Marlen Grove
Located between Bethany Home Road and Montebello Avenue, 10th and 11th streets
Homes for sale start at about $380,000

We couldn't write a list about our favorite neighborhoods in Phoenix without mentioning Marlen Grove. This small cluster of Ralph Haver homes is basically a drive-thru museum of the Midcentury Modern architecture that the city seems to love so much. Some homes sport low slanted roofs. Some feature wall-sized windows, while others have windowless home fronts. Using wood and metal on the exteriors? We can't get enough. 

Located between Palm Lane and McDowell Road, Seventh and 15th avenues
Homes for sale start around $475,000

If there was going to be a fairytale-esque movie set in Phoenix with a young woman wistfully staring from her second-story balcony over the lights of downtown, we're pretty sure it would be filmed in Encanto-Palmcroft. With most of the homes having been built before World War II and with the lot sizes as large as they are, there's a certain Old World charm about this neighborhood. Well, the French cottage-style homes and the ones that look like they could have housed one of the Founding Fathers certainly don't hurt.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in June 2015.
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