To some, Arizona evokes visions of cowboys and cactus withering in the heat. The Valley of the Sun may have seen some gun-slinging duels in the old West, but today, Arizona is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States.1 Don’t believe everything you hear as you consider making a move to the desert.
Here are the top 5 myths about living in Arizona:
It’s Still the Wild West
Arizona’s history is steeped in Western tradition. From the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, there are plenty of reasons to associate the Valley with cowboys boots and dusty roads — so long as you don’t visit.
Other than small pockets throughout the valley, Arizona has moved past its Wild West persona and transformed into a modern metropolitan community. As of mid-2011, Maricopa was the fourth largest county in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.2 With a thorough freeway system and side-by-side cities, you can get almost anywhere in Maricopa county within 30 minutes.
Your Home is Indestructible
Violent winds and pouring rains may be uncommon in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean inclement weather can’t take a toll on your home. Excessive heat and UV rays compromises a roof’s stability throughout the summer3, and monsoon season brings dust storms, microbursts and heavy rain.
Check your roof and the structure of your home regularly, and if water or heat damages the structure, replace the worn parts immediately. If finances get in the way of a structural home repair, consider applying for a cash advance. Structural damage usually leads compounding issues, so it’s best to get repair the problem-area immediately.
There’s Nothing to Do
Maybe Arizona isn’t still the Wild West, but that doesn’t mean it has developed vibrant culture overflowing with potential activities. Well, it has. Outdoor enthusiasts can fill their weekends with warm- and cold-weather activities throughout the state. Hike across dozens of accessible mountains, bike on endless paths and when winter hits, head North for some snow-filled fun.
Arizona is home to four major sports franchises and frequently hosts the world’s best entertainment at US Airways Center, Jobing.com arena4 and many other venues.
It’s Hot All the Time
If you’re considering a move to Arizona, be warned. Scalding temperatures stifle the summer air. Evenings can feel just as unbearable as the afternoon, and most residents flock to air-conditioned buildings and pools. Mother nature repays Arizona residents for their summer suffering by providing eight months of beautiful weather, however.
When much of the country is getting pounded with snowstorms, Arizona maintains sometimes balmy conditions through the cold-weather months. Keep your AC running and hop in the pool during summer — you’ll realize why you moved to AZ soon enough.
All of Cuisine is Mexican
You may come for the authentic Mexican cuisine, but you’ll stay for the variety. Sunset Magazine named the Phoenix-Scottsdale area one of the West’s best food towns, citing Italian, Japanese and Mexican restaurants as some of the notable contributors.5 Arizona makes no apologies for its Mexican-food industry, but there’s more to this state’s cuisine then burritos and horchata.