Peoria is one of the oldest cities in the Valley, having been first settled in 1886. The first settlers were from Peoria, Illinois, and named the new town after their hometown. Many of the early settlers worked on the Arizona Canal and lived in tents until they could build adobe mud homes.
By 1895, the railroad came to town, and Peoria blossomed into a busy shipping hub for the local ranchers and farmers. For over 100-years, Peoria was known as a farm town, with vast citrus orchards and fields of grain, squash, melon, beans, and potatoes. However, Peoria was best known for its production of long-staple cotton.
It wasn't until the 1980s that Peoria outgrew its rural beginnings, to become a thriving suburb of Phoenix. Orchards and farm fields gave way to development, and Peoria AZ real estate was hot.
In the early 1990s, the Peoria Sports Complex came into being; it was the first spring training facility in the country shared by two Major League Baseball teams, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres.
From its humble beginnings to one of the most desirable places in the Valley, Peoria has come a long way. If you're curious about what living in Peoria is like today, keep reading.
With the cotton fields and citrus orchards long gone, the Peoria Sports Complex now is the focus of the city. Spring training attracts thousands of baseball fans to Peoria every February and March, where up to 12,000 people can watch the games.
But, the Sports Complex is not just about baseball; there is also a playground and splash park for kids, and grownups can partake in the “Craft Courtyard” with microbrews from Arizona, as well as California and Washington State.
Surrounding the Sports Complex is the P83 entertainment district with dozens of family-friendly entertainment options. There are dozens of restaurants, an ice skating rink, and two theaters.
Canyon Speedway will thrill motorsports fans with car racing throughout the year. The track is north of town off Lake Pleasant Parkway.
Peoria also is home to five great golf courses, Peoria Pines, Quintero, Westbrook Village, Trilogy, and the Blackstone Country Club.
Finally, the Park West Mall is a nice place to spend an afternoon window shopping, catch a movie, or grab a bite to eat.
No longer a sleepy, little farming town, Peoria is now a sports and entertainment destination for the entire Valley of the Sun.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park has long been a favorite getaway from the summer heat in the Valley. The 10,000-acre park features not only the 7,500-acre lake but also spectacular desert scenery. Valley residents have been flocking to Lake Pleasant for decades, to fish, swim, camp, and boat. If you don't have a boat of your own, you can rent one at the marina. You can even catch a luxury cruise boat that features a full-service bar, and an open-air top deck.
West Wing Mountain Preserve is also a nearby getaway for nature lovers. There are several trails through the spectacular Sonoran desert landscape. You'll also love the Sunrise Mountain Preserve, with its moderately challenging trails.
But that's not all; you can also get away west of town at the expansive White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Here, you can lose yourself in 30,000 pristine acres of beautiful mountain and desert scenery.
However, keep in mind, that summer temperatures in the Arizona desert get well over 100 degrees in the summer. The best time to go hiking during the summer anywhere in Southern Arizona is early in the morning.
But, you don't even need to leave Peoria to enjoy nature; the paved New River Trail stretches 18-miles along the dry river bed. The New River Trail also runs parallel to the city's shopping district, making it convenient.
By now, you should be getting a picture of what it's like to live in Peoria AZ. There are plentiful recreation opportunities, as well as shopping. In addition to the Park West Shopping Mall, there are half a dozen grocery stores, hardware stores, and boutique shops.
There are also medical services nearby, including St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center, Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, Boswell Memorial Hospital, and Peoria Regional Hospital.
No matter what you need, you'll be able to find it close by in or around Peoria, AZ.
Unfortunately, many of the historic buildings in Peoria were razed to make way for new development. But, the city is now making plans to revitalize the Old Town area. Old Town Peoria features many historic buildings such as the Peoria Presbyterian Church, built in 1899. Peoria Central School, built in 1906, the Peoria Women's Club, built in 1919, and the Mabel Hood Building, built in 1920.
The old firehouse has already been renovated as a craft brewery. Surprisingly, the Quick Stop at 8484 Madison Street is listed in the Peoria Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1940. The Peoria Jailhouse was built in 1939 and currently serves as the museum of the Peoria Arizona Historical Society.
Osuna Park forms the center of Old Town Peoria; it marks the spot where the first town well was drilled back in 1889. The park hosts the annual Peoria Old Town Holiday Festival, as well as other community events.
There are pieces of historic Peoria AZ real estate dotted around Old Town, including a few homes from the 1880s. There are also a number of craftsman-style homes from the 1920s and post-war modern homes from the late 1940s. But, new single-family homes in Peoria AZ have been built at a record pace since the mid-2000s.
The exponential growth of Peoria has been fueled by a good economy and job market throughout the Valley. The West Valley is home to several high-tech firms, such as Microsoft and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. There is no sign that the trend is slowing down, and West Valley cities such as Peoria are places to live, work, and play.
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