20 Things You Need To Know when Moving To Arizona From Chicago

Are you considering moving to the beautiful state of Arizona? Whether you’re relocating from another state or just curious about life in the Grand Canyon State, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll dive into 20 things I’ve learned during my three years of living in Arizona, and I’m here to share the good, the not-so-good, and the unique aspects of life in this southwestern gem.


Fewer Police Officers and Polite Drivers

One of the first things you’ll notice when you move to Arizona is the fewer police officers on the roads. While this might sound surprising, it’s actually a pleasant change from other places. People tend to speed a bit, so be prepared to see some fast drivers. But with great weather, fewer tickets, and friendly drivers, it’s a win-win!


Expressways and No “Bad” Areas

One unique feature of Arizona is the well-planned expressway system. Even when you exit the expressways, you won’t find yourself in sketchy neighborhoods. This is particularly reassuring for newcomers who might be anxious about navigating unfamiliar streets.


Clean and Pothole-Free Roads

Say goodbye to dodging potholes during your commute. With no salt used in winter and minimal road destruction, Arizona roads are incredibly well-maintained. So, enjoy a smooth ride with far less wear and tear on your vehicle.


Reasonable Vehicle Registration Costs

The cost to register your vehicle in Arizona depends on its age and value, which typically decreases over time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how the fees decrease significantly over seven years, making Arizona’s vehicle registration costs quite reasonable.


Light-Colored Vehicles Rule

Arizona’s scorching summers are no joke. To avoid cooking inside your car, consider getting a light-colored vehicle. Dark colors absorb heat, making your car unbearably hot during the summer months.


Embrace the Heat and Stay Cool

Arizona summers can be brutal, but the good news is that it’s a dry heat. While it’s essential to stay hydrated and avoid being outdoors during peak heat hours, you can still enjoy the great outdoors with water activities and shade.

No Taxes on Groceries

One significant advantage of living in Arizona is the absence of taxes on groceries. This tax-friendly state also boasts a lower sales tax rate compared to many other places.


Lower Property Taxes

You’ll love the property tax situation in Arizona. You can easily estimate your property tax based on the purchase price, and it’s significantly lower than what you might find in other states.


Savor Chicago-Style Pizza

If you’re a pizza lover, you’re in luck. You’ll find excellent Chicago-style pizza joints like Salerno’s, New York Pizza Department, and Buddy’z. So, you can enjoy a taste of home right here in Arizona.


Mexican Food Paradise

Arizona’s proximity to the Mexican border means you can indulge in some of the best Mexican food in the country. From street tacos to mouthwatering enchiladas, you’ll find it all.

Landscaping Maintenance

Arizona’s arid climate means less lawn mowing but more landscaping maintenance. Desert plants require occasional trimming, and having a good blower to clear dust and leaves is a must.


Haboobs, Not Your Average Dust Storm

Get ready for haboobs, massive dust storms that can be quite impressive to witness. Just be cautious when driving during these events, especially if they coincide with monsoons.


Gyms Galore

Arizona is fitness-oriented, with an abundance of gyms within a short radius. Whether you prefer a traditional gym or CrossFit, you’ll find an ideal place to stay active.


A Diverse Population

Everyone is from somewhere else in Arizona, which creates a melting pot of cultures. You’ll rarely meet someone who grew up here, but the welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to integrate.

Young Families Everywhere

Arizona boasts a younger demographic, which means you’ll encounter many young families. Expect to see kids running around and parents embracing an active lifestyle.


Plenty of Churches

With numerous non-denominational Christian mega-churches, you’ll find a welcoming community if you’re looking for spiritual connections. It’s an excellent place to explore your faith.


A Strong LDS Presence

The Mormon population is significant in Arizona, and the Latter-day Saints community is active and engaged in various aspects of life in the state.


Happy and Polite Residents

Arizona residents are known for their politeness and positive attitudes. Road rage is rare, and even when someone is distracted at a green light, it’s usually met with patience, not honking.

Open Carry State

Arizona allows open carry, and while you may see people with holstered guns occasionally, it’s not a common sight. It can actually enhance your sense of security knowing that law-abiding citizens are armed.


School Choice and Quality

Arizona offers school choice, which means you have options to choose the best school for your child. The education system is robust, and charter schools provide rigorous academic programs for those looking for more.



Living in Arizona offers a unique blend of landscapes, cultural diversity, and a friendly community. While it’s not without its challenges, the state’s benefits, including beautiful weather and excellent food, far outweigh the drawbacks. So, if you’re contemplating a move to the Grand Canyon State, these 20 insights should give you a good idea of what to expect. Welcome to Arizona!