Architecture and Design

10 Best Neighborhoods in Metro Phoenix

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Agritopia
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. 

Coronado
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?


Maple-Ash 
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. 

Encanto-Palmcroft
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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Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter