With its captivating landscape, resort-like temperatures, booming business sector and growing art community Arizona is a prime location for a fresh start.  Boasting wide open spaces, majestic mountain ranges and sunsets that can’t be beat,  Arizona is truly an oasis in the southwest.  Mountains  and plateaus  comprise more than half the  state, and is home to to the largest ponderosa  pine forest in the country.   There  is  something  for everyone  here, world  class  resorts, backpacking  or  hiking  in  remote  areas.  This is Arizona Living – WELCOME Home.

The  cactus  orange  blossoms  and  Palo  Verde  trees  provide a  unique  backdrop  for  new  adventures  and experiences.  Bordering on California Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada, the Grand Canyon state encompasses a wide range of influences geographically culturally and politically.  Formerly a mining and cattle territory, Arizona is now a contemporary industrial state with modern farms large cities and emerging technologies.


Arizona, which  translates  to “place  of  the  small spring”,  was declared the 48th  state of the United States on February 14th, 1912.     As a result, Arizona earned the nickname of “The Nation’s Valentine”.  With a history that dates back to 1539,  when Friar Marcos de Niza explored the state on a quest to find the mythical seven cities of gold.  Christianity was introduce to the region in 1690.  Arizona was once part of New Mexico before The Arizona Organic Act was signed in 1863.


In the 1700’s prospectors flocked to Arizona to stake their claims on the state’s precious metals.  Copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold have all been mined here. Mining continues to be a substantial player in Arizona’s economy. When gold was discovered in California in 1849, Arizona’s Gila Trail became a main route to the west coast.  This brought an influx of gold seekers who were unable to cope with the desert environment.  Fortunately, the Tohono O’odham Tribe assisted the prospectors in surviving the unfamiliar climate.

In  1930  former  planet  Pluto  was  discovered  by  an  astronomer  at Lowell  Observatory  in  Flagstaff.    Sandra  Day  O’Connor  who  is  the  first  woman  appointed  to  the  US  Supreme Court  was  born  in  the  small  town  of  Duncan.    Other major political players such as John McCain, Janet Napolitano Barry Goldwater and G. Gordon Liddy hail from the nation’s Valentine State.


Home  to  The  Sonoran  Desert,  Coconino  Forest  and  The  Kaibab  National  Forest,  Arizona  offers  a  wide spectrum  of things  to  do.    Residents  can  ski in  Flagstaff,  boat  on  Lake  Powell,  visit  caverns  in Benson,  hike  in  Scottsdale,  kayak  on  Tempe  Town  Lake,  wine  taste  in  Sonoita  and  visit a mine  in  Bisbee.   Arizona  is  rich in  natural  wonders  such  as  The  Petrified  Forest,  Monument  Valley,  Saguaro  National  Park,  The Painted Desert,  Sunset Crater and Havasu Canyon.  Arizona’s wildlife population is another draw for new residents.  A variety of species such as coyotes, javelina, bob-cats and roadrunners can be found roaming the desert.  The Grand Canyon State is also home to more parks and national monuments than any other state.


Temperatures  range  widely  from  North  to  South  but  Arizona  averages  306  sunny  days  per  year.  The state observes Mountain Standard Time year round, so no need to worry about changing clocks twice a year.  Most of Arizona’s rain occurs in the summer months but there is sometimes a short rainy season mid-winter.  Summer monsoon storms are often followed by dust storms.    Although  unpleasant  sounding,  dust  storms  are  generally  harmless  and  visually  stunning.  The rainy seasons are vital to recharge the riparian areas like the Upper San Pedro River Basin.


Surprisingly, Arizona  has  3928  summits  and mountain  peaks  which make it  a great  location for  hiking,  biking and other outdoor sports.  Moderate winters allow for an exceptionally long period of time residents can engage in outdoor activities.  Of course,  golf is immensely popular in Arizona and ample courses provide for a variety of playing options. Perhaps the best things about Arizona weather are the things it’s missing  humidity, blizzards, frozen windshields and tornadoes.


Although Arizona covers 113998 square miles, roughly the size of Italy,  there are a several options to plan a day trip.  From Phoenix you can easily visit the red rocks in Sedona, hike the Superstition Mountains, take in the vastness  of  The  Grand  Canyon  or  enjoy  Whiskey  Row  in  Prescott.    From Tucson you can visit Tombstone (Arizona’s most famous ghost town), check out the art galleries in Bisbee or take a guided hike of the Charleston Ruins.   Drive the Apache Trail and visit a ghost town, tour a mine and take a nature cruise on the Dolly Steamboat.  Stop in Tortilla Flat for lunch and prickly pear ice cream.


Although  Arizona  is  not  considered  wine  country,  it  is  home  to  a  number  of  local  vineyards.    Have a glass of Zinfandel and relax on the patio at Alcantara Vineyards in Camp Verde.  Stop in at Pillsbury Wine in Cottonwood for a tasty wine and chocolate pairing.  Visit Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards in Cornville owned by Tool front man Maynard James Keenan.   See over 3200 desert plants and 250 species of birds on a 1.5 mile trail at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.   Take the Verde Canyon Railroad to see beautiful landscapes in Central Arizona.  Discover pine country in Payson and see the Shoofly Indian Ruins or Rim Country Museum.


A  number  of  celebrities  hail  from  Arizona  including  folk  singer  Michelle  Branch,  baseball  star  Curt  Shilling,  musicians  Alice  Cooper  and  Chester  Bennington,  comedian  David  Spade,  actress  Emma  Stone,  television  star Lynda Carter and music maven Stevie Nicks.   Acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived in Arizona and his influence is seen in real estate throughout the state.  Taliesin West was built on 600 acres of Sonoran Desert and still houses an architectural studio and school.

Another  famous  architect  Paolo  Soleri  spent  time  with  Frank  Lloyd  Wright  at  Taliesin  West  and  went  on  to create Arcosanti which is based on his concept of “arcology” (combining architecture and ecology).   Best-selling  author  and  first  lady  of  household  humor  Erma  Bombeck  made  her  home  in  Arizona  until  her passing in 1996. Pioneers  of  the  old  west  era  Cochise,  The  Apache  Kid and Geronimo  were  all  born  in  Arizona.    The infamous Gunfight at The O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone Arizona.


Arizona’s two largest cities Phoenix and Tucson each have their own charm.  Phoenix is home to over 20 Native American tribes communities and nations.  Public art reflects the history of the city and it’s clear that its roots haven’t been forgotten.    Tucson  lies  an  hour  north  of  the  Mexico  border  and  as  expected  there  is  a  strong Hispanic influence in this smaller but vibrant desert oasis.   Phoenix is quickly becoming a foodie destination.  Up-and-coming chefs are pleasing the palettes of Phoenicians in a wide array of culinary genres.    A  James  Beard  finalist  two  years  in  a  row,  Kevin  Binkley  has restaurants in Cave Creek Carefree and Central Phoenix.


Residents can enjoy inventive menus and cocktails at Lon’s At the Hermosa located in scenic Paradise Valley.    James  Beard  winner  chef -owner  Chris  Bianco,  offers three  locations  for  diners  to  delight  in  his  Italian  influenced fare.   Phoenix is also home to many family owned restaurants featuring cuisine from El Salvador,  Peru, India, Greece, Cuba, Germany and Japan.   Phoenix is also a mecca for public art.  Because it’s a relatively new city urban developers understand the value of art in everyday places.  Highways, overpasses, bus stops and parks feature art work sculpture and design.  It adds beauty and also effortlessly blends this fair city into its natural environment.


The  feel  of the  old  west is  more  palpable  in  Tucson  than  anywhere  else.    Day or night summer or winter Tucson is casual.  Jeans and sandals are appropriate attire almost anywhere.  It operates at a slower pace than Phoenix and has the feel of a small town.  Residents can visit the San Xavier Mission which is thought to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.

Tucson also offers the very unique but interesting The Mini Time Machine of Miniatures Museum.  Visitors  can take a self-guided tour  through an interactive experience.   Experience Old Tucson Studios, a set for countless Western movies as well as a theme park.  Built in 1938 it was revamped in 2011 with new sets streets and buildings.  While it’s still a must-see for any western die hard it also  features living  history presentations  that  feature  educational  programs  about  Hispanic  Chinese  and Native American culture.