Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Surprise, Arizona, is a city that continually lives up to its name, offering a host of surprises that delight both residents and visitors. Despite being the tenth-largest city in Arizona, Surprise has maintained a small-town charm that resonates through its friendly neighborhoods, robust community spirit, and scenic surroundings. Whether you’re considering a day trip, a vacation, or a permanent move to Arizona, Surprise is a city that should be high on your list. Let’s dive into the details that make this city a gem of the Southwest.
With a robust and diversified economy, Surprise is a vibrant place for both business and pleasure. The city is home to several key industries, including healthcare, retail, and education. Pronghorn Ranch, one of the largest industrial parks in the area, attracts businesses in advanced manufacturing and distribution.
The city’s commitment to fostering a friendly business environment has paid off, with recent years seeing considerable growth in both local businesses and big-name corporations. This, coupled with the city’s strategic location within the Greater Phoenix area, makes Surprise an attractive prospect for investors and entrepreneurs.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Surprise is slightly below the national average, making it an attractive option for those considering a move to the area. Housing is the largest factor in the cost of living difference. Despite the city’s growth and the increasing demand for homes, it has managed to keep housing prices relatively affordable compared to other parts of the state.
While the cost of goods, services, and transportation is on par with national averages, you’ll find the dollar stretches further when it comes to dining out or enjoying recreational activities.
Weather & Climate
Surprise enjoys a subtropical desert climate, which means you’ll get more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Winters are mild, with average temperatures hovering around the mid-60s, making it the perfect escape from colder climates.
Summers, on the other hand, can get hot, with temperatures occasionally reaching into the triple digits. But don’t worry—locals swear by the mantra “it’s a dry heat,” and the lack of humidity makes the heat more tolerable. Besides, the warm summer evenings offer spectacular sunsets, making it a great time to explore the local landscape or enjoy outdoor dining.
With a population approaching 150,000, Surprise has experienced a significant growth spurt over the past decade. The city is known for its diverse population, encompassing a mix of families, professionals, and retirees. Despite its growth, Surprise has maintained a strong sense of community, with regular events and initiatives fostering a neighborly spirit.
Surprise is well-connected with a network of major highways and thoroughfares, making it easy to commute within the city and the wider Phoenix area. Public transportation is provided by Valley Metro, with bus routes connecting Surprise to key destinations throughout the region.
For those who prefer to drive, you’ll find that traffic is generally more manageable than in larger metropolitan areas. And for out-of-state travels or welcoming visitors, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is just a short drive away.
Surprise’s real estate market is thriving. With a range of property types available—from condos and townhouses to single-family homes and luxury estates—there’s something to suit every lifestyle and budget. The city’s newer developments offer modern amenities, while older neighborhoods charm with their unique character.
The average home price in Surprise is more affordable compared to other cities in the Greater Phoenix area, making it a popular choice among first-time homebuyers and retirees. And for those not ready to buy, the rental market offers plenty of options.
Education is a top priority in Surprise, with a variety of high-quality schools serving the community. The Dysart Unified School District oversees most of the public schools in the city, and there are also several excellent charter and private schools to choose from.
Surprise is also home to higher education institutions, including the West-MEC Northwest Campus and the Ottawa University campus, providing opportunities for lifelong learning and career advancement.
In conclusion, Surprise, Arizona, is more than just a city with a quirky name. Its strong economy, affordable living, sunny climate, vibrant community, and quality education make it a destination well worth considering, whether for a visit or a permanent move. Who knows? Surprise might just be the ‘pleasant surprise’ you’ve been searching for!
Things to Do & Attractions in Surprise
When it comes to fun and entertainment, Surprise, Arizona, truly lives up to its name. With a range of indoor and outdoor attractions, arts and culture venues, and delicious dining spots, there’s always something to do.
Surprise Community Park
One of the city’s key attractions is Surprise Community Park, a sprawling 100-acre space that caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The park features a five-acre fishing lake, sports courts, a playground, and a dog park. It’s also home to the Surprise Aquatic Center, which boasts two water slides, a vortex whirlpool, and a competition pool.
Spring Training Baseball
For sports fans, Surprise is a top hotspot in Arizona. It’s the spring training home for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Surprise Stadium, with its beautiful grassy berm and comfortable seats, has been rated as one of the best spring training facilities in the country by USA Today.
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Nature lovers will be drawn to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, a few miles west of Surprise. This sprawling desert park is known for its rich wildlife, rugged mountain trails, and ancient petroglyphs. It’s the perfect spot for hiking, mountain biking, camping, or picnicking.
Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex
If you’re a tennis enthusiast, you can’t miss the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex. This award-winning facility has hosted several national and international tennis events. It features 25 courts, including a tennis stadium that can seat over 2,500 spectators. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newbie, there’s something for you here.
Arts and Culture
Cultural connoisseurs aren’t left out either. The West Valley Art Museum, located nearby, hosts a variety of rotating exhibitions featuring local and international artists. The museum’s permanent collection includes a unique assemblage of ethnic dress from over 60 countries.
The city also boasts a vibrant performing arts scene. The Valley Vista Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from concerts and ballets to Broadway-style productions.
Local Dining and Shopping
Surprise boasts an array of local dining options. From cozy cafes and authentic Mexican restaurants to gourmet burger joints and sushi bars, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
And when it’s time for retail therapy, you’ll find an array of options. The Surprise Towne Center and the adjacent Marketplace offer a mix of national retail chains and local boutiques.
In essence, the city of Surprise, Arizona, is a veritable playground with something for everyone. Regardless of age, interest, or lifestyle, Surprise is sure to have something up its sleeve that will, well, surprise you!