The word Ahwatukee translates to “house of dreams,” an ideal name for this southernmost neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. Situated on the southern side of South Mountain, the lively neighborhood offers easy access to the I-10, 202, and 101. The refreshing neighborhood is home to beautiful parks, great restaurants, tons of family events, and tourist attractions.
Because of Ahwatukee’s convenient location near three of Phoenix’s major highways, it has become a highly sought-after bedroom community. Picturesque Desert Foothills Park serves as a popular Ahwatukee landmark with its football and soccer fields, shaded playground, and outdoor concerts.
With its rapidly growing population, new residential construction is never-ending in Ahwatukee. This highly desirable Phoenix neighborhood is full of luxury apartment complexes such as Carlyle at South Mountain, where residents live resort-lifestyles that include palm-tree lined driveways that unfold into captivating Spanish-style architecture and panoramic views of the city.
Living in southern Arizona, Ahwatukee residents spend large amounts of time outside. Driving down tree-lined streets, it’s not uncommon to see people jogging, biking, or walking year-round. Many activities such as concerts and community markets are held outside. Tempe Town Lake, minutes from Ahwatukee, regularly holds outdoor festivals like the biannual Festival of the Arts and Oktoberfest. The town lake is a recreational hotspot for kayaking, sailing, and fishing. Ahwatukee is packed with fun-filled activities for every age.
Ahwatukee Farmers Market
Rain or shine, each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the northwest corner of 48th Street and Ray Road, Phoenicians gather to enjoy locally made salsa, tacos, empanadas, and mouthwatering breakfast burritos stuffed with cheese, sausage, eggs, and potatoes. Vendors from across the city convene at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, offering everything from candles to fresh produce and Alaskan Salmon. The small venue attracts local artisans from every corner of The Valley.
Ahwatukee Children’s Theater
This non-profit theater is just for kids. Since opening in 1998, the theater has hosted countless plays featuring only children actors. Plays, such as Mary Poppins and A Christmas Carol are favorites of Valley children. In addition to amazing productions, Ahwatukee Children’s Theater offers private vocal and dance lessons and musical theater classes.
Wild Horse Pass
This multidimensional destination in nearby Chandler is an Ahwatukee favorite. Forbes Five-Star Aji Spa combines spa treatments with the sacred beliefs of the Maricopa and Pima tribes who settled in these lands centuries ago. This peaceful oasis recharges and reinvigorates visitors leaving them with a sense of renewed energy.
Gila River Hotel & Casino is a Valley hot spot. Under one roof, visitors have a wide range of choices when it comes to fine dining, like Ling & Louie’s Asian fusion or Shula’s Steakhouse featuring some of the biggest and juiciest steaks in the east valley. With over 1100 interactive slots and a large variety of high-limit games, this casino is unparalleled. The casino regularly hosts big-name concerts such as Charley Pride, Jefferson Starship, and Larry the Cable Guy.
Those looking for a dose of the Wild West need to search no further than Rawhide Western Town located at Wild Horse Pass. Rewind time in this western-themed town as the Arizona Rough Riders captivate crowds with their cowboy stunt shows. Rawhide is a popular spot during the holidays. During the Christmas season, children can meet Santa and families delight in the glittering seasonal lights. The western town hosts events on Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and even Easter with special guest Cowboy Cottontail.
Where to Eat and Drink
There is no shortage of eateries and lounges in the vibrant Ahwatukee neighborhood.
The Living Room
This high-spirited local wine bar & lounge features an extensive international wine list. Sit on lush couches and chairs inside or outside on the enormous patio, order favorite cocktails, and snack on appetizers, soups, salads, paninis, or sushi. The living room is open from brunch to late-night cocktail time.
Ahwatukee is a haven for health-conscious Arizonans, and Pomegranate Cafe is a local favorite. The vegan menu features tasty dishes such as their Gila Monster Nachos consisting of corn chips, walnut chorizo, black beans, cashew queso, salsa Roja, guacamole, and chimichurri. The local diner also serves homemade pastries made with all-organic ingredients.
Cactus Jacks is Ahwatukee’s version of a dive bar. This casual, friendly bar features a variety of live music every Friday through Sunday and regularly hosts events like summer dance parties and neighborhood barbecues. Cactus Jacks is a perfect place for Sunday-Funday or weekday karaoke.
Real Estate Snapshot
Although Ahwatukee is not the most expensive neighborhood in Phoenix, it does near the top. Currently, Ahwatukee’s rent is 13% higher than the Phoenix average and 27% lower than downtown Phoenix. There are hundreds of available elegant apartments in this casually chic neighborhood.
With many major Valley Metro stops running through Ahwatukee, busses are one alternative for those Phoenicians without a car. Car services such as Uber and Lyft are commonly used to get from point A to point B, as well.
Schools & Employment
There are several reasons to move to the friendly Ahwatukee community. However, one of the top reasons is the high caliber of schools. The award-winning Kyrene School District serves the majority of the neighborhood along with Tempe Union High School District serving as Ahwatukee’s leading secondary educational option. Top-ranked BASIS charter school is also a favorable option for Ahwatukee students.
Many mega corporations are located in Ahwatukee. Multinational corporation and technology giant Intel employs over 2,000 Arizonans in its Ahwatukee location. American multinational financial services Wells Fargo employs almost 5,000 residents. Aerospace conglomerate Honeywell employs over 4,400 Phoenicians and is one reason many residents have made Ahwatukee their home.
With affordable luxury living, picturesque views, a surplus of community events, endless job opportunities, and easy access to all of the Phoenix metro area, it is no surprise so many Phoenicians call Ahwatukee home. So, for those looking to move to Phoenix, make sure to check out apartments for rent in Ahwatukee Foothills.