Pros and cons of living in Prescott AZ

So what are the Pros and cons of living in Prescott AZ? For me, there are far more advantages than there are disadvantages. Truth be told, I’m a bit prejudiced when it comes to residing in Prescott. I truly love it here. After all, it’s home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo.

It’s just big enough to feel like you have great options for shopping and dining and just small enough to feel like you are living in a charming little town with that warm and friendly Mayberry feel.

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of central Arizona, Prescott is loaded with an array of amenities that cater to various lifestyles and preferences. If there isn’t enough for you in the town of Prescott to explore, you will find many more exciting adventures in a short drive in any direction.

Wildlife abounds here, so you will want to be sure you are okay with deer, javelina, bobcat, mountain lions, and bear paying visits. Lately, there has been a spate of mountain lion attacks on domestic animals.

In this blog post, we will delve into several aspects that make Prescott a great place to live while addressing some potential drawbacks.

From scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking trails in Prescott National Forest and fishing spots to unique downtown attractions like Whiskey Row – there is much for residents and tourists alike to enjoy.

Additionally, we’ll explore the excellent schools and education system characterized by high private school enrollment rates and notable math proficiency scores.

However, not everything about living in Prescott may be ideal for everyone. We’ll discuss some challenges related to limited job market options coupled with a higher cost of living expenses. Furthermore, given its predominantly conservative atmosphere stemming from the majority Republican voting base might pose particular difficulties for liberal-minded individuals seeking a more progressive environment.

In weighing these pros and cons of living in Prescott, Arizona, one must ultimately determine if this quaint city aligns with their values while offering desired quality-of-life factors such as climate conditions at 5000 feet elevation or proximity to major cities like Phoenix metro area or attractions like Grand Canyon.

Scenic Beauty and Outdoor Recreation

Prescott, Arizona, is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Prescott National Forest, this charming town offers an abundance of recreational activities that cater to all interests. Whether you prefer hiking through lush forests, casting your line in serene fishing spots, or teeing off at one of the area’s golf courses, there’s something for everyone in Prescott.

Hiking trails in Prescott National Forest

The surrounding Prescott National Forest boasts over 450 miles of scenic hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. From strolls along creekside paths to challenging treks up mountain peaks, hikers can immerse themselves in this region’s natural beauty.

Golf courses within proximity

  • Antelope Hills Golf Course: This public facility features two championship 18-hole courses set against stunning views of Granite Mountain.
  • The Club at Prescott Lakes: This is a private course for residents, but I know many who have found a way to golf on this beautiful course.
  • Stone Ridge Golf Course: With dramatic elevation changes and panoramic vistas, Stone Ridge is one of Prescott Valley’s most picturesque courses.
  • Talking Rock Ranch Club: This private club features an award-winning championship course designed by Jay Morrish that weaves through the natural terrain of Williamson Valley.

In addition to its wealth of outdoor activities, Prescott’s proximity to other Arizona attractions, such as the Grand Canyon and Sedona, makes it an excellent place for those who enjoy living amidst nature while still having access to urban amenities when desired. With its pleasant climate and diverse recreational offerings, there’s no doubt that life in Prescott is truly an adventure waiting to be explored.

Unique Downtown Area and Lower Taxes

Prescott, Arizona, boasts a charming downtown area filled with locally owned boutiques, stores, and restaurants catering to diverse tastes. The historic Whiskey Row, once known for its saloons during the Wild West era, now offers modern-day attractions such as art galleries, antique shops, and lively bars. This quaint mix of modern-day amenities and classic allure makes Prescott desirable for locals and visitors.

Pros and cons of living in Prescott AZ
Pros and cons of living in Prescott AZ
  • Hiking trails in Prescott National Forest: Outdoor enthusiasts can explore miles of picturesque trails within the nearby Prescott National Forest.
  • Fishing spots: Anglers will enjoy fishing at scenic locations like Lynx Lake and Watson Lake.
  • Golf courses within proximity: Golfers can access four local golf courses, including Antelope Hills Golf Course, which features two championship courses amidst beautiful natural landscapes.

In addition to its vibrant downtown scene, another benefit of living in Prescott is the lower state sales tax rate compared to other parts of Arizona. With a combined state and city sales tax rate of only 8.35%, residents can save on everyday purchases compared to cities like Phoenix or Tucson, with higher rates. This financial advantage further appeals to those considering making their home in this delightful town.

Local Shopping and Dining Options in Downtown Prescott

Downtown Prescott offers various shopping and dining options that cater to different tastes. Visitors can find everything from trendy clothing boutiques to unique gift shops, art galleries, and antique stores lining the picturesque streets.

If you want something tasty, numerous restaurants offer diverse cuisine choices such as Mexican, Italian, and Asian fusion. In addition to these eateries, you’ll also find coffee shops with cozy atmospheres like the Plaza or Court House Square, perfect for relaxing afternoons.

Overall, the combination of its charming downtown area filled with local businesses and lower taxes makes Prescott a great place to live in Arizona.

Its residents enjoy living in a town that has managed to preserve its historic charm while providing modern amenities essential for daily life.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby Prescott National Forest, and anglers can enjoy fishing at scenic locations like Goldwater Lake, where picnicking is a favorite.

Golfers can access four local golf courses, including Antelope Hills Golf Course, which features two championship courses amidst beautiful natural landscapes. Prescott is also near the Grand Canyon and has a pleasant climate. However, like any place, there are cons to living in Prescott, such as limited job opportunities and a lack of diversity.

Excellent Schools and Education System

Prescott, Arizona, is a great place to live for its scenic beauty and pleasant climate and boasts an impressive education system. The city’s commitment to providing quality education is evident in the high private school enrollment rates and notable math proficiency scores among students.

High Private School Enrollment Rates

In Prescott, families have access to various excellent private schools, contributing to the overall high enrollment levels for middle- and secondary-level students. These institutions offer personalized attention, smaller classes, and specialized programs catering to individual learning needs.

Emphasis on quality education has led many parents to choose private schooling options for their children.

Notable Math Proficiency Scores

Beyond just offering exceptional private schools, Prescott’s public schools are also known for producing impressive results when it comes to student performance in mathematics. According to the recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), local public schools consistently report higher-than-average math proficiency scores compared with other Arizona cities. This intense focus on academic achievement helps prepare students for future success in college or career pursuits.

The dedication towards fostering educational excellence within the community makes Prescott an attractive destination for families seeking top-notch schooling opportunities alongside outdoor recreation possibilities provided by its proximity to the Prescott National Forest.

Prescott National Forest at Wolf Creek. ©2023PrescottVoice

Additionally, residents can take advantage of cultural experiences through various events held at venues like Yavapai College Performing Arts Center or explore the rich history of the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Overall, Prescott’s commitment to providing a high-quality education system, its picturesque surroundings, and its pleasant climate make it an ideal place for families looking to settle down in Arizona. Prescott’s varied educational opportunities make it a perfect destination for those looking to provide their children with a top-notch education.

Mild Climate at 5,000 Feet Elevation

One of the most appealing aspects of living in Prescott is its pleasant climate, which can be attributed to its elevation.

Prescott’s mild climate at 5,000 feet above sea level provides a respite from the extreme heat of other parts of Arizona during summer months. The dry, temperate climate makes Prescott an excellent destination for those who like to spend time outdoors without the oppressive heat of other parts of Arizona.

Dry Weather Conditions Providing Respite from Extreme Heat

In contrast to many Arizona cities located at lower elevations like Phoenix or Tucson, Prescott experiences significantly milder summers with average high temperatures rarely exceeding 90°F (32°C). This makes it a good place for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take advantage of hiking trails in Prescott National Forest, fishing spots, or golf courses within proximity without being exposed to unbearable heat.

Cooler Winter Months Due To Higher Elevation

Besides offering relief from scorching summer temperatures, Prescott’s higher elevation also results in cooler winter months than other regions across Arizona territory.

While snowfall does occasionally occur due to its location near the Grand Canyon State’s central mountain range, accumulation levels are generally minimal and manageable. This allows residents and visitors alike to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year while experiencing distinct seasons – something not always found in desert climates.

Prescott National Forest at Wolf Creek. ©2023PrescottVoice
  • Average Summer High Temperature: 89°F (32°C)
  • Average Winter Low Temperature: 22°F (-6°C)
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm)

Prescott’s mild climate at a higher elevation makes it an attractive destination for those seeking to escape the extreme heat that characterizes many other parts of Arizona. Offering a comfortable atmosphere and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities, Prescott is an ideal place to experience the best of Arizona.

Low Crime Rates Compared to Larger Cities

One of the many benefits of living in Prescott, Arizona, is its small-town atmosphere, which contributes to lower crime rates compared to larger metropolitan areas like Phoenix. Residents of Prescott can enjoy a greater sense of security, with its lower crime rates compared to bigger cities providing peace of mind.

Safer Neighborhoods and Community-Oriented Policing

Residents of Prescott take pride in their area, feeling that it is generally safe and well-maintained. The local police department employs a community-oriented policing approach, working closely with citizens to address concerns proactively. This collaborative effort between law enforcement and the public helps create an environment where people feel secure at home and enjoy all these charming town offers.

Comparing Crime Rates: Prescott vs. Phoenix

  • Violent Crimes: According to recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, violent crimes per 1000 residents were significantly lower in Prescott (1.71) than in Phoenix (7.28).
  • Property Crimes: Property crimes per 1000 residents were also much lower in Prescott (20.89) than in Phoenix (37). You can review these statistics on websites such as NeighborhoodScout.

A Sense of Community That Fosters Safety

Residents of Prescott often look out for each other, and many participate in Neighborhood Watch programs to help maintain a secure atmosphere.

Neighbors often know one another, and many participate in Neighborhood Watch programs to help keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

This level of engagement among residents helps prevent crime and fosters strong relationships that make a living in Prescott even more enjoyable.

Suppose you’re considering moving to Prescott or are already enjoying living here. In that case, it’s reassuring that this beautiful town offers lower crime rates than larger Arizona cities like Phoenix.

With its small-town charm, community-oriented policing approach, and engaged citizenry working together toward safety and security, there’s no doubt that Prescott is an excellent place to call home.

Limited Job Market and Higher Cost of Living

Despite its charm, Prescott’s job market primarily consists of lower-paying industries such as healthcare, which might limit career growth prospects. Moreover, the cost of living, mainly monthly rental rates, is higher than the national average, making it less attractive for younger working professionals seeking affordable housing.

Predominance of Lower-Paying Industries

While Prescott offers a great place to live with its pleasant climate and scenic beauty, finding high-paying jobs can be challenging.

The city’s economy mainly revolves around sectors like healthcare and retail trade that offer lower wages than other industries. This may pose difficulties for those looking to advance their careers or earn a higher income in Prescott Valley.

However, this limitation could be mitigated if you’re willing to commute or work remotely from one of Arizona’s larger cities, like Phoenix or Tucson, where more diverse job opportunities are available.

Expensive Rental Market

The cost of living in Prescott is another factor worth considering before deciding whether it’s a good place for you. Although some aspects, such as groceries and utilities, are on par with the national average, housing costs – especially rentals – can be significantly higher.

According to RentCafe data, the average rent in Prescott is around $1,200 per month, which is above the US median rate.

  • Affordable Housing Options: If you’re determined to enjoy living in this charming town but are concerned about housing expenses, consider exploring nearby areas like Chino Valley or Prescott Valley, where rental rates are more affordable.
  • Homeownership: Another option is purchasing a home in the area. Buying a home might be more challenging with mortgage rates in the 6%+ range.

In conclusion, although Prescott offers many attractive qualities, such as its proximity to the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders like the Prescott National Forest, potential residents should carefully weigh their career goals and financial situation before moving.

Before committing to a move, it is wise to evaluate the job prospects and cost of living in Prescott to decide whether relocating there will be beneficial.

Political Leanings and Conservative Atmosphere

Prescott, Arizona, is known for its conservative political atmosphere, with most of the population leaning towards the Republican party, though this seems to be changing.

When determining if Prescott is a suitable place to live or start up a business, its inhabitants’ political leanings should be considered.

Dickel Whiskey Tasting at the Court House Plaza

This environment may feel welcoming and supportive for those with similar political beliefs. However, more liberal-minded individuals might find it challenging to integrate into the community and could prefer living in areas that align better with their values.

Majority Republican Voting Base

  • Election Results: In recent years, local and national election results have consistently favored Republican candidates over Democrats in Prescott Valley.
  • Civic Engagement: Many residents actively participate in local politics by attending city council meetings or joining politically affiliated organizations such as the Yavapai County Republicans.
  • Policies: The policies implemented at city and county levels often reflect conservative ideologies on taxation, regulation, and social services.

Potential Challenges for Liberal-Minded Residents

If you identify as a politically liberal or progressive-leaning individual considering moving to Prescott, there are some potential challenges you may face:

  1. Finding like-minded friends: While not impossible, finding social circles that share your political beliefs might require additional effort.
  2. Political representation: With a majority Republican voting base, it can be difficult for liberal candidates and policies to gain traction in local elections.
  3. Cultural fit: Prescott’s conservative atmosphere may extend beyond politics into the overall culture of the city, which could make some residents feel out of place or unwelcome. However, there are organizations such as Prescott Area Democrats working towards fostering inclusivity and promoting progressive values within the community.

While Prescott offers many advantages, like its pleasant climate and proximity to natural attractions like the Grand Canyon or Prescott National Forest, the political landscape might not suit everyone’s preferences. It is essential to weigh these factors when considering whether this Arizona city would be an enjoyable living experience for you or your family.

Proximity to Major Cities and Attractions

One of the many advantages of living in Prescott, Arizona, is its strategic location, which perfectly balances small-town charm and access to urban amenities. Situated just an hour from Phoenix, the state’s capital city, as well as Scottsdale and beautiful Lake Pleasant, Prescott allows you to enjoy nature excursions and city life whenever desired.

Easy Access to Phoenix Metro Area

The proximity of Prescott to the bustling Phoenix metro area provides numerous benefits for those who reside in this charming town. Residents can easily commute for work or leisure activities while enjoying a peaceful lifestyle away from the noise and congestion typically associated with larger cities.

Moreover, being near Phoenix means having access to world-class dining options, shopping centers like Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, cultural attractions such as Heard Museum, sports events at venues like State Farm Stadium, and much more.

Nearby Attractions Such As Lake Pleasant

  • Pleasant Climate: With its pleasant climate year-round, Lake Pleasant Regional Park attracts visitors looking for outdoor recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, camping, or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.
  • Hiking Trails: The park also boasts over 15 miles of multi-use trails suitable for hiking enthusiasts who want to explore the beautiful desert landscape and enjoy breathtaking lake views.
  • Wildlife Watching: Lake Pleasant is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching or observing other native animals in their natural habitat.

In addition to Phoenix and Lake Pleasant, Prescott’s location also offers convenient access to other popular Arizona attractions, such as the majestic Grand Canyon National Park, the historic mining town of Jerome, and the scenic red rocks of Sedona.

All these destinations are within a few hours’ drive from Prescott, allowing residents and visitors alike to experience some of the best Arizona offers without venturing too far from home.

Conclusion: Pros and cons of living in Prescott AZ

Prescott, Arizona, is a great place to live with its pleasant climate, scenic beauty, and small-town charm.

The city is located near the Prescott National Forest and Lake Pleasant, making it an ideal location for nature enthusiasts. Its downtown area is also home to locally owned shops and eateries that provide urban amenities without sacrificing small-town charm.

However, potential residents should also be aware of the cons of living in Prescott, such as the high cost of housing and the limited job market in the area. Additionally, the city boasts low crime rates and a mild climate with dry weather at 5,000 feet elevation year-round.

If you’re considering living in Prescott or want more information on Arizona cities, visit Prescott Voice, where you can contact us and learn about life in this beautiful city. You can also learn more about nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and the town of Dewey.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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