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Old 01-01-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
Failo OP
Is it spring yet???
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Location: Buena Vista, CO
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AZ Small Town Info Request

After living 30 years in the craziness of the Front Range in CO the wife and I bought a house in a small non-resort mountain town (pop 2800) , and absolutely love it, for about 8 months of the year. Now we're thinking of doing something really original , and moving to a warmer climate for the winter months.

The thing is, we've spent time in the larger cities in AZ visiting friends, and just don't feel like we want to jump back into the big city life and everything that goes with it; traffic, congestion, blah blah blah........ so we'd like to find a nice, small town where we can spend our winters.

We're retired so we don't have to worry about employment, but we'd like to be within a couple hours of a city so the wife could get her occasional shopping fix and we could go to a show or a nice restaurant, etc. We want somewhere where the riding is good, the crime is low, the people are friendly, and we don't have to bundle up like Eskimos and shovel snow instead of being out hiking or riding, etc.

We'd also like to find a "real" town, not a resort town or a retirement community. We'll be coming to AZ to visit in the next few weeks and would really like to check out some places. I may be asking for too much, but you never know till you ask. Any suggestions or recommendations?
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Location: valley of the sunstroke, AZ
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i have my own ideas, but since your looking for a warmer area than the normal norther AZ suggestions and theres not much reason to drive all the way to southern AZ, (great towns to live in). cottonwood/camp verde would be my top suggestion for you to look at, center of AZ with flagstaff, prescott and phx just an hour away.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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I'm in Florence. Not a particularly attractive small town (prison town), but good access to Phoenix and Tucson, close to good riding and hiking, and weather as good as it gets in central AZ winters. Cost of living is low. You'd have to take a look. I've looked all over AZ and can't find anyplace that I like better, although if I had substantially more money to spend I probably could.
I make every effort to stay out of the PHX metropolis.
If I can help, let me know.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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Just a question. When you say front range, do you mean the east side of the Rockies?
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Maybe try the maricopa area? Oro valley is a nice place, down near Tucson. I suppose crown king would be too cold for you?
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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How about Wickenburg. Nice little town, not to touristy, good eating and a 1/2 hour from shopping. I get to spend a month or so there a year and wish I could make it for 6 months. I'm heading there in a few days for riding.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:01 PM   #7
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is there any decent riding area in Maricopa or is it all reservation ??

I like Sedona /Prescott but it may be a tad colder than their after ?
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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Cave Creek is nice. 30 min. North of PHX Still has a small town feel
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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Might be a bit cold but Bisbee is really a cool town.

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:49 PM   #10
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My vote

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Old 01-01-2014, 08:15 PM   #11
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Location: LOVELY Ignacio, CO
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Black Canyon City. Definitely not a tourist town!!! Close to Phoenix. Riding all around. If you have a horse, you can ride it "downtown".
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #12
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small towns

Look at Queen Valley

If they had slow pitch baseball at the trailor park there that's where I would be

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Escaped 2014-2015 to Arizona
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:47 AM   #13
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I vote Cave Creek too. It is a real town and the natives refer to themselves as 'Creekers'. It is about 1000 feet higher than Phoenix but still low desert and reasonably warm during the coldest part of winter. My ex has her winter place there and I kept a dual sport bike there before I bought my own place in Scottsdale. Another big plus is it is an easy van commute from the airport. I fly back and forth and need convenient airport access. Tucson was out as a result.

Wickenberg is an interesting choice as well. Rio Verde is another, but may not have enough 'town' for you.

Places like Prescott are very nice towns, but they are up around 5000 feet and definitely have a winter season. I get enough wither here in Boston!

I bought my first pickup truck a few weeks ago. It is loaded with two motorcycles as I type. I'll drive it to Arizona tomorrow and leave it. Unfortunately, we are just starting a winter storm here, so it will be a tough drive getting outa' here.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:33 AM   #14
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Camp Verde and assorted small towns are pretty nice in the winter, but pretty bleak in the summer, but you sound like you're keeping you summer place. Ok riding, some big retirement neighborhoods, but some functioning farms. Oro Valley North of Tucson is not bad, but has a heavy retirement feel (my mother in law for instance), and part of the megalopolis of Tucson, its a drive before your out in the desert. There is always Winslow I have always thought Globe would be pretty neat, but that is higher elevation, not as warm as the others mentioned. Superior is on the edge of the Mountains, close to Phx, pretty neat riding around there.

Wickenburg definitely worth a look.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:06 AM   #15
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As long as we're going with quirky towns, let's throw Jerome in, too. But they do get snow sometimes. Usually gone the same or next day, though.
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