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Living a Outdoor Oriented Lifestyle in Surprise, Arizona

Surprise is a relatively new town in the desert mountains northwest of Phoenix, Glendale, and even Sun City. Previous to 1938 the area was nothing here but desert or ranches, but now it is filled with active adult developments (principally Sun City Grand, the newest of the Sun City developments in the Phoenix area). From here one can experience a lot of outstanding outdoor recreation that seems far from civilization. The 2007-2008 real estate crunch has taken a bigger toll here than in areas closer to Phoenix and on the other side of town, such as Mesa or Gilbert.  Surprise is the spring training home of 2 major league baseball teams, the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex hosts several professional events.

Where to Retire in Surprise and Home Prices

You can choose from some large active adult communities (see link at left). For example Sun City Grand is here; the original Sun City and Sun City West are nearby. According to Zillow, the median home value was $473,693 in mid-2022.

What Is Special about Surprise

Surprise is a new community and located in a formerly unspoiled area of Arizona.  The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers both have their spring training at Surprise Stadium. As part of the city's Recreation Campus, Surprise is also home to the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex. The town is about 24 miles from Phoenix,  where you can find any kind of big city cultural or sports event.

What Is Not Special about Surprise

It is a community where you generally need your car to go anywhere, and summers are hot.

Climate and Physical Environment

Surprise is in the great Sonoran Desert, northwest of Phoenix in south central Arizona. It is dry and small mountains are prevalent.  Very hot summers, most rain comes in the spring, winter temperatures in the 40's-60's.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The city has a 10,562-square-foot Aquatics Center as well as Maricopa County's  $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot northwest regional library. For culture one would do best to go to Phoenix - unless you live in one of the Sun Cities, with communities that have non-stop cultural events.


Crime in Surprise hovers lower than the national average.

Medical Facilities

Other than Phoenix and its suburbs, the closest medical facilities are in Sun City.


Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is about 30 miles and a major international airport

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