12 Cities Near Phoenix to Buy or Rent in this Year


The city of Phoenix is renowned for its stunning desert landscapes, excellent hiking, and luxurious hotel resorts. With a population of 1.7 million, it is also the largest city in Arizona and the fifth largest in the United States.

Even with all that Phoenix offers, the city’s cost of living, traffic, and hustle and bustle may have you considering alternative areas to live in. So if you’re not sold on the idea of living in the center of The Valley, we’re here to help. Here are 12 cities near Phoenix that may interest you instead. 

piestewa peak in phoenix arizona

#1: Glendale, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 10
Population: 250,500
Median home sale price: $440,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,374 
Walk Score: 40
Bike Score: 34
Transit Score: 57

Glendale is the sixth-largest city in the state and is home to several professional sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. Glendale is also home to the University of Phoenix Stadium, which hosts several major sporting events, including the upcoming 2023 Super Bowl.

There’s no shortage of things to do while living in Glendale. From exploring museums and parks to dining at delicious restaurants, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. The Deer Valley Rock Art Center, Westgate Entertainment District, and Saguaro Ranch Park are just a few of the many attractions the city offers. 

Homes for sale in Glendale, AZ
Apartments for rent in Glendale, AZ

#2: Tempe, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 11
Population: 192,000
Median home sale price: $500,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,527 
Walk Score: 54
Bike Score: 45
Transit Score: 75

Tempe is home to Arizona State University and is adjacent to the city of Phoenix. The city is known for its warm weather, diverse population, and lively downtown scene.

If you decide to move to Tempe, there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy. You can check out the ASU campus and Mill Ave, go shopping at Tempe Marketplace, spend the afternoon jogging or biking around Tempe Town Lake, or take a walk through Papago Park. There’s something for everyone in this vibrant and welcoming city. 

Homes for sale in Tempe, AZ
Apartments for rent in Tempe, AZ

night shot of a bridge in tempe arizona a city near phoenix

#3: Scottsdale, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 13
Population: 255,000
Median home sale price: $810,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,044 
Walk Score: 32
Bike Score: 23
Transit Score: 56

Scottsdale is a beautiful city located in the Sonoran Desert at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, and it is home to many celebrities, retirees, and snowbirds (people who winter in Arizona). The cost of living in Scottsdale is high, but the city offers many amenities and activities, including luxury resorts and spas, golf courses, and vibrant nightlife. 

Homes for sale in Scottsdale, AZ
Apartments for rent in Scottsdale, AZ

#4: Peoria, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 14
Population: 172,000
Median home sale price: $512,500 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,520 
Walk Score: 30
Bike Score: 19
Transit Score: 47

Peoria is a great city to call home. The cost of living is relatively affordable, and the city has a wide variety of different housing options available. Plus, the area is known for being home to spring training baseball facilities for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres – so you can easily spend the afternoon enjoying a spring training game. 

Peoria is also home to several museums, including the Peoria Central School Museum, the West Valley Art Museum, and the Peoria Arizona Historical Society, which are all popular tourist destinations. Other attractions in Peoria include the Arizona Broadway Theatre and the Theater Works, as well as several parks and green spaces, such as the Rio Vista Community Park and the Pioneer Community Park. There’s something for everyone living in Peoria

Homes for sale in Peoria, AZ
Apartments for rent in Peoria, AZ

peoria sports complex baseball field on sunny clear day

#5: Avondale, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 18
Population: 86,000
Median home sale price: $430,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,547 
Walk Score: 26
Transit Score: 52

The 1990s brought massive growth to Avondale, AZ, transforming it from farmland into a great place to live. With its location on the banks of the lovely Agua Fria River (which means “Cold Water River” in Spanish), Avondale is a town with something for everyone. Once known as Coldwater, Avondale is a place where you can enjoy the great outdoors, appreciate the arts, and more. 

From dining and parks to local history and arts, there’s much to love about this city. Car racing enthusiasts can take advantage of the Phoenix International Raceway, while outdoor enthusiasts can go mountain biking or hike in The Estrella Mountains. If you’re considering moving to Avondale, you won’t regret it. 

Homes for sale in Avondale, AZ
Apartments for rent in Avondale, AZ

#6: Mesa, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 19
Population: 509,000
Median home sale price: $460,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,375 
Walk Score: 38
Bike Score: 27

Transit Score: 60

Known for its famous for its canals and stunning views of the Superstition Mountains, Mesa is one of the largest cities in Arizona. Even though the city is large, it offers its residents a quiet, suburban lifestyle. With an affordable cost of living as well as top-rated schools and amazing outdoor recreation – it’s no wonder so many people call this city home.

There’s also a lot to do in the Mesa area. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to take advantage of. For those who enjoy the arts, Mesa is home to the Mesa Arts Center, which hosts a variety of performances and exhibitions. 

Homes for sale in Mesa, AZ
Apartments for rent in Mesa, AZ

Phoenix pool

#7: Chandler, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 22
Population: 257,000
Median home sale price: $535,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,657 
Walk Score: 35
Bike Score: 24
Transit Score: 55

Chandler is one of the fastest growing suburbs of the Phoenix area and has countless amenities to offer, everything from affordable housing and great schools to delicious and diverse dining and entertainment options.

Downtown Chandler’s historic district is a great place to stroll, shop, and eat. The district has modern cafes and eateries, as well as the Center for the Arts and iconic shops like Saba’s Western Wear. The district also hosts annual events, from farmers’ markets to yoga in the park. In addition to spending time in the downtown historic center, residents can visit the Arizona Railway Museum, play at the Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center, and spend a family-friendly day climbing throughout the tropical-themed play center at Makutu’s Island. Chandler is also home to an annual Ostrich Festival – which is extremely popular among locals and visitors.

Homes for sale in Chandler, AZ
Apartments for rent in Chandler, AZ

#8: Gilbert, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 22
Population: 248,500
Median home sale price: $587,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,641 
Walk Score: 29
Bike Score: 15
Transit Score: 53

Gilbert is known for its wide open spaces and rural feel, despite being adjacent to the large metropolitan area of Phoenix. The town has several key landmarks and attractions, including the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, the Gilbert Historical Museum, the Hale Centre Theatre, and the Gilbert Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There are many great ways to spend your time if you’re living in Gilbert. You can enjoy local art at Hale Centre Theatre and Higley Center for the Performing Arts. Or you can spend time at a park, like Freestone Park, Cosmo Dog Park, or Islands Community Park. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and charming cafes throughout the city, like Salerno’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Farm House Restaurant, and Great Wall Chinese Restaurant.

Homes for sale in Gilbert, AZ
Apartments for rent in Gilbert, AZ

#9: Surprise, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 29
Population: 139,000
Median home sale price: $460,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,625 
Walk Score: 21
Transit Score: 46

Surprise began its life as a collection of homes and a single gas station in 1938. Today Surprise is known for hosting one of the largest retirement communities in the southwestern United States. 

A fun fact about the city’s original owner and founder, Flora Mae Statler, famously said she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to anything.” We can assume she would be proud to see how the city has grown. Some of the best things to do in Surprise range from visiting local parks, dining at some of the best restaurants in town, and enjoying local art. 

Homes for sale in Surprise, AZ
Apartments for rent in Surprise, AZ

#10: Maricopa, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 35
Population: 50,500
Median home sale price: $415,000 
Walk Score: 13
Transit Score: 38

Situated in the Gila River Valley, Maricopa is the southernmost city of the Phoenix metropolis. The community of Maricopa is one of the oldest and most historic in the state of Arizona. Maricopa is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, including the Sierra Estrellas, Palo Verde, Saddleback Mountains, and Haley Hills.

There are many things to do while living in Maricopa. Some of the most popular attractions include the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, the Rawhide Western Town, and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

Homes for sale in Maricopa, AZ
Apartments for rent in Maricopa, AZ

desert sunset in arizona

#11: Queen Creek, AZ

Miles from Phoenix: 38
Population: 52,000
Median home sale price: $640,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,415 
Walk Score: 17
Transit Score: 44

The city of Queen Creek, located at the foot of the San Tan Mountains, is known for its rich agricultural roots. The city was once a sleepy, little farming community well into the 20th Century. However, today, the population of Queen Creek stands at around 50,000 people.

There are many things for residents to do in the area, including touring the Queen Creek Olive Mill, picking fruits and vegetables at Schnepf Farms, exploring the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, hiking or biking in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, visiting the Queen Creek Wetlands Park, and stargazing at the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. There’s something for everyone living in Queen Creek

Homes for sale in Queen Creek, AZ
Apartments for rent in Queen Creek, AZ


Methodology: All cities must have a population of more than 50,000 and be less than 50 miles away from Phoenix. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during August 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during August 2022. Walk Score, Bike Score, and Transit Score from Walkscore.com during August 2022. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau.


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