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A woman in her mid thirties hiking the Cholla Trail above Scottsdale Arizona.
Hiking the Cholla Trail above Scottsdale Arizona.
Matt Mawson—Getty Images
Population 235,213
Median Home Price $370,000
Property Tax $2,509
Unemployment rate 5.3%
Commute time 23 minutes

Before you move here, be sure you love golf, spas and a hot, sunny desert climate. Scottsdale boasts more destination spas per capita than any other city in the U.S.; among them are The Phoenician, The Canyon Suites, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, and the Fairmont Princess Resort and Spa, all AAA Five-Diamond award-winners. These days, high-end restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops are plentiful around town. And let’s not forget golf: More than 200 courses enough for you?

Not surprisingly, tourism is Scottsdale’s most important employer and economic driver. (Scottsdale is also teeming with wealthy “snowbirds” who winter here and often buy second homes.) Loads of companies have chosen Scottsdale for their headquarters, including Discovery Land Company, Fender, Go Daddy, Kona Grill, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro. The Mayo Clinic operates one of its three major U.S. centers here and employs 1,851 people.

The annual Scottsdale Arts Festival (there are 125 professional galleries and studios here) and the Barrett-Jackson Auto Show draw huge crowds to the city. Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school, sprawls at the foot of the McDowell Mountains and is now a popular tourist attraction. A lesser-known Scottsdale claim to fame? The city developed the first robot-arm-operated garbage truck.

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