Moving to Surprise

Imagine living in a sun-drenched haven where outdoor adventure beckons, golf courses abound, and modern amenities are within reach. Welcome to Surprise, AZ - a city that carries an element of whimsy in its very name! Our comprehensive guide lays out the essentials you need to know about moving to Surprise. From exploring its weather to dissecting its cost of living, through to sinking across its rich cultural veins, we've got it all covered. Fasten your seatbelts folks, as we whisk you away on a fascinating narrative journey to your potential new home in vibrant, vivacious Surprise, AZ.

Moving to Surprise, AZ landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Surprise


1. Sunshine, Sunbathing, and Superb Skies

If you\'re moving to Surprise, Arizona, one thing you can certainly count on is a lot of Vitamin D. This remarkable city offers 299 sunny days per year, easily beating the national average. This makes it a perfect place for sun-lovers to sunbathe and relax. And when the sun dips below the horizon, get ready for some spectacular starry desert night skies.

2. A Healthy Living Atmosphere

The city of Surprise places a great emphasis on healthy living. With more than 17 community and neighborhood parks, 4 recreation centers, and a wet-n-wild pool complete with slides for kids, staying active has literally never been easier (or more fun!). There\'s also 2 dog parks for your fur babies to stretch their legs and wag their tails.

3. Ease of Commuting

Overheard complaints about morning rush-hour traffic? In Surprise, AZ, such a phenomenon is virtually unheard of. With an average commute time of around 27 minutes, which is auspiciously less than the national average, bidding adieu to traffic woes just got easier.

4. A Relatively Unknown History

Unlike many cities that boast grand and elaborate histories, Surprise's is much more humble but interesting nonetheless. Originally founded in 1938, it was merely a single square mile of land, originally a real estate development. The city's name came from its founder, Flora Mae Statler, who stunningly said she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much". The city has surely proved her wrong!

5. A Paradise for Sports Lovers

This might come as a big surprise to some, but Surprise is known for its annual spring training games that are an undeniable treat for baseball lovers. Surprise Stadium, the home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, offers an up-close experience to baseball enthusiasts every year. Whether you love participating or watching the sport, Surprise is the place to achieve all your sports dreams!

6. A Surprise Christmas Tradition

Here\'s a fun fact that\'s truly unique and unexpected. Every holiday season, Surprise lights up for its annual Surprise Party. But it\'s not like any other city's Christmas celebration. Rather than traditional snowmen and sleighs, residents are greeted by a 20-foot tall T-Rex and his dinosaur pals, all decked out in Christmas lights! This Quirky Dinosaur Christmas has become a beloved and distinct tradition in the city.

In a nutshell, if you\'re planning to move to Surprise, Arizona, prepare for a lifestyle soaked in sunshine, a myriad of outdoor activities, and a very short daily commute. Savor the rich yet humble history and join in on the sports frenzy and quirky Christmas celebration. So, if you love sunny days, healthy living, less traffic, unique history, sports, and whimsical Christmas traditions, this terrific town seems tailor-made for you. So, get ready to pack your bags and shout \'Surprise!\'

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Pros and Cons of Living in Surprise

Pros of Living in Surprise

Good Infrastructure

Surprise, AZ is a well-developed city with good infrastructure, offering high-quality roads, well-kept public spaces, and an organized waste management system. It's a city designed with a focus on liveability and convenience, making daily commute and upkeep easier for its residents.

A Diverse Range of Activities

Surprise boasts a variety of recreational activities suitable for all ages, ranging from parks and sports facilities to art galleries and theaters. Annual events and festivals add to the city's charm, ensuring residents always have engaging activities to participate in.

Proximity to Phoenix

The city's close proximity to Phoenix allows residents to enjoy all the amenities and opportunities of a big metropolitan city, without the associated hustle and bustle. This combination of urban convenience with suburban serenity is a major advantage of living in Surprise.

Quality of Education

Surprise has a well-regarded education system with a number of good schools. Whether you're looking for quality public schools for your children, or top-notch universities for higher education, Surprise has options to cater to all needs.


Surprise experiences warm, sunny weather most of the year. If you love a warm climate, this city is a great choice. During the cooler months, temperatures are mild, making it a comfortable place to live throughout the year.

Cons of Living in Surprise

Hot Summers

While the sunny weather can be a boon, it also means that Surprise experiences hot summers. Temperatures can reach high levels, which may be uncomfortable for individuals not used to such heat.

Population Growth

As Surprise is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona, it is coping with some growing pains. This includes crowded schools and increased traffic, which might affect the quality of life for some residents.

Cost of Living

Compared to other cities in Arizona, Surprise boasts a slightly higher cost of living. Daily necessities, housing, and certain services may be more expensive here than the state average, which can be a deterrent for some people.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is limited in Surprise. It's considered a car-dependent city, so individuals without vehicles may find it difficult to get around. A lack of public transportation options may also lead to increased traffic and air pollution.

Health Care Facilities

Although Surprise has a number of health care facilities, it does not have a major hospital within its city limits. Residents requiring certain types of specialized care may need to visit hospitals in nearby cities, which could pose an inconvenience.

Modern day picture of Surprise, AZ highlighting pros and cons of living in Surprise, AZ

Is Surprise a Good Place to Live?

Surprise, AZ is a great place to live because of its sunny weather, scenic views, and numerous outdoor recreational activities. Not only does it boast low crime rates and a strong sense of community, its close proximity to Phoenix offers residents easy access to big city amenities. Plus, the thriving local economy, highly rated public schools and colorful cultural events add to its charm, creating a fun and lively living environment.

What Is Surprise Famous For?

Home to the World's Largest Tennis Complex

Surprise holds the record for having the largest tennis complex in the world! The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex has been hosting national and international tennis competitions since 2007. Whether you're a tennis enthusiast or simply a sports lover looking for a unique experience, you just might have a ball here.

Spring Training Site for Major League Baseball

Surprise has established itself as a hub for Major League Baseball's spring training. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers have been coming to Surprise Stadium for preseason conditioning and exhibition games since 2003. Catching a game here can be the perfect mix of sunshine and sports!

Surprise's Unique Name

Much like its namesake, the city of Surprise is filled with charm and uniqueness. Founded by Flora Mae Statler in 1938, she claimed that she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much". Today, the thriving city certainly surpasses her expectations!

The Stunning White Tank Mountain Regional Park

The picturesque beauty of the White Tank Mountain Regional Park is something that the city of Surprise proudly boasts. Spread across 29,572 acres, the park offers adventurous hiking trails, camping spots, and sweeping saguaro-studded views. This park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and it's a pro tip for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Arizona's natural glory!

Capital building of Surprise, AZ in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Surprise, AZ, as of 2023, the effective property tax rate is around 0.631%. This is relatively low when compared to the US average, which is approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Surprise, AZ, as of 2023, is currently 8.5%. This is considered quite high on a national scale, as the average sales tax rate in the US sits at around 7.12%.

Income Tax

As of 2023, Arizona maintains a bracketed income tax system, with rates ranging from 2.59% to 4.5%. This is a relatively low rate compared to the average US income tax rate, which hovers around 4.6% to 9.2% depending on the state and income bracket.

Housing Market

The housing market in Surprise, AZ has appreciated by 10.5% over the last year, considerably outperforming the national average of 7%. Median home prices, at $285,000, remain significantly lower than the US median of $231,200, providing a lucrative opportunity for buyers. For renters, the average rent is $1,433 per month, compared to the national median of $1,470, making Surprise quite affordable. The market's robust growth outlook, paired with its relative affordability, makes it a compelling location for both renters and buyers.

Cost of Living

Surprise, AZ boasts a lower cost of living compared to other cities across the U.S, including those within Arizona. Housing, in particular, is notably less expensive here while groceries and healthcare are in line with average costs. This makes Surprise more affordable than cities like Phoenix or Gilbert. Despite these financial advantages, Surprise doesn't skimp on lifestyle amenities, boasting of an array of recreational opportunities. Hence, if you're seeking affordability without sacrificing quality of life, Surprise, AZ is a viable choice.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Surprise, AZ boasts a hot desert climate, characterized by miniscule humidity and long, sweltering summers with balmier winters. Midsummer temperatures often reach triple digits, while winter temperatures range from the 40s-70s. Surprise receives scant rainfall, averaging only about 8 inches annually. The desert city experiences its highest rainfall during July to mid-September as part of the monsoon season, featuring brief, intense rainstorms that are often accompanied by thunder and lightning. In terms of natural disasters, Surprise is relatively safe. However, summer monsoons can occasionally lead to flash flooding, and the city can experience minor tremblings from distant earthquakes. Dust storms, locally known as "haboobs," do also occur, where high winds stir up a mass of dust that can reduce visibility to nearly zero, creating driving hazards and potentially exacerbating respiratory conditions.

Typical weather in Surprise, AZ

Economy & Job Market

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Retail Trade

Accommodation and Food Services


Educational Services

Surprise, AZ, playfully known as the 'burgeoning gem of the West Valley', teems with a vibrant and evolving economy. Traditionally, agriculture and mining were the economic backbones of the area, but the town's modern growth has seen flourishing in healthcare, retail, and business services industries. These various sectors serve as wonderful pillars supporting Surprise's economy, giving it a dynamic yet stable foundation. The city is particularly known for its robust healthcare and social assistance industry, boasting a plethora of world-class institutions; and please, don't be "surprised" if you stumble upon a bustling retail junction while strolling around the city's sun-kissed, palm-lined streets!

If you are considering packing up your life and migrating to this fun and eclectic desert town, there's a lot to know! Though the name 'Surprise' may suggest otherwise, rest assured that the city's employment rate is solid, with the unemployment rate typically reporting lower than the national average. Also, notably, the job market has been showing a consistent growth rate, which is indeed a sign of good economic health. Packing a bit of insider knowledge, you would be wise to focus your job hunt on education, where a majority of jobs are found. Besides, the thriving construction sector and retail sectors are also great potential avenues for job hunting. So, loosen up that tie, dust off that resume and pack some sunscreen - Surprise, AZ might just be your new home!

Traffic and Transportation

If you're living, working, or just passing through Surprise, AZ, let's talk transportation! The average commute time here in our city is a tad higher than the national average, at around 29.6 minutes. Make sure to buckle in and enjoy some tunes for those extra few minutes! When it comes to public transportation options, Valley Metro Bus does us a solid with its services, ensuring that even if you don't have a car, you'll still be able to explore Surprise with ease. For our adventurous jetsetters (or business travelers who like to pretend!), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - the busiest airport in Arizona - is just about 45 minutes away by car. Pack your bags and set your sights on the skies! Buckle up, folks, because whether by land or air, Surprise, AZ, is all set to take you to places!

What is the traffic like in Surprise, AZ?

Best Neighborhoods in Surprise


1. Surprise Farms

Cultivated with a small-town feel yet brimming with life, Surprise Farms is something of an anomaly in the best possible way. Boasting lots of family-friendly amenities like parks, recreation areas, walking trails, and even a community pool, it's a firm favorite for families. Get ready for lots of weekend little league games, community barbecues, and block parties! While the hustle and bustle may not suit everyone, those who thrive on a lively atmosphere will find themselves right at home here.

2. Marley Park

This master-planned community flawlessly blends modernity with a strong sense of tradition and community. Marley Park houses a blend of classic and contemporary styled homes, ensuring every home buyer's taste is catered to. The neighborhood charms with its beautifully manicured gardens, several parks, and even a community club house where residents frequent for events and programs. The icing on the cake? The neighborhood is enveloped in a rich history, allowing residents to enjoy stories of times gone by.

3. Royal Ranch

This residential hotspot has earned its royal name for a reason. Pristinely kept residential streets, lush green areas, and convenient access to shopping centres make Royal Ranch one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Surprise. This quiet, well-maintained community is a must-see for those who appreciate a touch of suburban peace within a stone's throw of urban conveniences.

4. Sun City Grand

Sun City Grand is not just a neighborhood; it's a community bursting with life and energy. Offering an array of recreational facilities like golf courses, a fitness center, tennis courts, and swimming pools, it's no wonder why Sun City Grand is a favorite among active adults and retirees. Beyond this, the community's passion for volunteerism and civic engagement guarantees a warm welcome to new residents, fostering an environment where neighbors quickly become friends.

5. Sierra Montana

Sierra Montana is a community that offers a unique blend of tranquility and activity. The community is flanked by a beautiful open-air recreation area where residents can soak in the serene Arizona landscape. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the plethora of sports fields and courts, while families will love the network of bike paths and playgrounds available. For all these reasons and more, Sierra Montana truly has something for everyone.

In conclusion, the character and unique appeal of each neighborhood in Surprise, AZ is indicative of the city's overall charm. Whether you crave the kinetic energy of a vibrant community or the calm quiet of suburban life, you're sure to find a neighborhood that fits just right! Welcome to Surprise, a city where you're sure to feel right at home no matter your lifestyle preferences or personal tastes.

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Things to Do

Thinking of making the leap and moving to Surprise, Arizona? Surprise isn't just a quirky town name - it's also a hub of vibrant, engaging outdoor activities, sports, and arts. Get set for an endless adventure in the heart of the Sonoran Desert with these 7 top things to do in Surprise, AZ. You won't be disappointed!

1. Go Outdoors at White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Put on your hiking boots and head to White Tank Mountain Regional Park -- a 30,000-acre outdoor paradise. Nature lovers can hike, bike, or horseback ride along its stunning trails, featuring everything from petroglyphs to the top-of-the-world views. For a unique experience, be sure to check out Waterfall Trail after rainfall. Yes, there's a waterfall in the desert!

2. Embrace Your Inner Sporty Self at Surprise Stadium

Are you a sports aficionado? You're in luck! Every spring, Surprise Stadium becomes the training grounds for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. What's better than watching Major League Baseball in the Arizona sunshine? Bring a blanket and a cooler full of your favorite snacks, cheer on your new home team!

3. Discover Art at WHAM Art Association

Dive into the local art scene at the WHAM Art Association, where local and regional artists showcase their work. There's also a myriad of workshops for all ages to bring out the inner artist in you. An art lover or not, WHAM is the place that will surely color your days in Surprise.

4. Visit Uptown Alley

Unleash your competitive side at Uptown Alley, an entertainment complex packed with fun for everyone. This place has it all: bowling, laser tag, gaming, dining, and a live entertainment venue. It's perfect for meeting up with friends or spending some quality family time.

5. Discovering the Unexpected at the Del E. Webb Center

This desert gem is typically not on the standard tourist map, but it's a local favorite. Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts hosts a range of performances, from broadway shows to concerts. If you love an unexpected mix of global-to-local performances, get ready for some incredibly surprise here. This worthy detour uncovers an under-the-radar treasure of Surprise!

6. Enjoy the Gardens at Surprise Farms Community Park

Surrounded by miles of lush gardens and four fishing lakes, this community park also features a unique surprise - A butterfly garden! It's the perfect place to stroll, relax, and surrender to nature. The tranquility is worth every minute at this community park.

7. Explore Surprise Aquatic Center

The Surprise Aquatic Center is not your ordinary community pool! With a vortex whirlpool, a zero-depth area, and slides, it's the perfect place to have a refreshing retreat from the Arizona sun. Do keep an eye on free-swim hours and dive-in movie nights. Surprise, you're in for a cool adventure here.

Surprise, Arizona is a town of discovery, filled with heart-warming community centers, stunning desert adventures, and cultural jewels that wait to capture your heart. So put on your adventuring shoes, and get ready to be pleasantly surprised in Surprise!

Things to do in Surprise, AZ?

Find Movers for Your Surprise Relocation

This relocation guide should serve as an invaluable resource, making your move to Surprise, AZ a seamless and pleasant experience. Now that you're well-equipped with the knowledge about Surprise, the next step is planning your move. Why not make this step as simple as possible? By using the reputable services of Great Guys Moving, you can quickly and easily obtain a free quote from licensed, insured moving companies equipped to handle your move. Enjoy the ease of getting connected to affordable movers that provide remarkable quality, tailored to your specific needs. Start your exciting new chapter in Surprise on a positive note, request your free moving quote today.

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