“You don’t have to shovel sunshine!” is a refrain used to describe the attraction of the dry heat and ample sunlight for which the Grand Canyon State is famous: it’s no wonder that the Phoenix area is known as The Valley of the Sun.
Many companies have significant operations in the region—from Discover Card to Boeing—and the climate makes it a prime location for many baseball teams’ spring training operations. There are plenty of reasons for saying that Phoenix is simply a great place to live.
According to Yardi Matrix, rent in the city of Phoenix averages $780 for a 1-bedroom apartment. However, if you don’t mind the commute, and prefer to get more space, more amenities and more value for your money, check out what these four locations have to offer within a half-hour drive time:
Commute time to downtown Phoenix: 22 minutes (15.5 mi)
Best find: Villetta, from $605 for a 1-bed, 1-bath unit with 413 sq.ft. to $798 for a 2-bed, 2-bath unit with 969 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: ample fitness options, including two pools and a soccer field; bark park; fire pit and BBQ areas.
Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona and is a popular place to call home for those who want the amenities of city life outside of Phoenix city limits. Catch a concert at the Mesa Arts Center, or experience the beauty of the desert in neighboring Tonto National Forest.
The apartment homes at Villetta are minutes away from the Arts Center and the Mesa Amphitheater, with easy access to Phoenix and the rest of the Valley via I-60 and Loop 202.
Commute time to downtown Phoenix: 28 minutes (23.7 mi)
Best find: Visions Energy, from $705 for a 474 sq.ft. studio to $905 for a 2-bed, 2-bath with 829 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: free breakfast for residents on weekdays; flexible lease terms from 6-12 months; furnished units available; in-unit washer/dryer
Small town living does not have to equal boring. Located on the northwest side of Maricopa County, Peoria may be familiar to you if you’re a fan of baseball: one of the most famous spring training facilities in the nation, P83, is here. The town has year-round entertainment, great dining, and shopping options as well.
The apartments at Visions Energy are less than thirty minutes from the heart of Phoenix, leaving you plenty of time to relax by the pool or fit in a workout after a long day at work.
Commute time to downtown Phoenix: 30 minutes (21.7 miles)
Best find: Heritage Pointe, starting at $760 for a 1-bed, 1-bath, 608 sq.ft. unit and at $740 for a 2-bed, 1-bath, 672 sq.ft. unit (check availability)
Perks: freshly renovated in 2015; dog park; short-term leases available; tennis court, fitness center, pool and hot tub
Gilbert is a lively town, southeast of Phoenix, also on the edge of Maricopa County. Residents enjoy a wide array of citywide events each year, such as the Gilbert Global Village Festival and Riparian After Dark.
Heritage Point Apartments are conveniently located just blocks from I-60, making it an easy commute to downtown Phoenix.
Commute time to downtown Phoenix: 28 minutes (22 mi)
Best find: Broadstone Canyon Trails, from $630 for a 1-bed, 1-bath with 741 sq.ft. to $1,005 for a 3-bed, 2-bath with 1,315 sq.ft. (check availability)
Perks: kitchens with islands and granite countertops; in-unit washer/dryer; garage and covered parking available; theater room with stadium seating
Directly west of Phoenix on I-10, Goodyear is home to Luke Air Force Base and Franklin Pierce University. Goodyear is also a baseball town — its annual Christmas festival is known as Home Plate for the Holidays!
For people looking to work in Phoenix and retreat to a quiet area at the end of the day, Broadstone Canyon Trails in Goodyear offers the relaxation of mountain views just a few blocks from I-10.