My Top 3 Favorite Things About Arcadia & Camelback Corridor

Someone asked me the other day what my top 3 favorite things about Arcadia are. If you’ve stumbled across my blog you find yourself wondering “Are Arcadia and Camelback Corridor really so cool they deserve their own blog?” Absolutely! And residents agree. Without further ado my top 3 absolute favorite things about Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor:

Best Community Arcadia and Camelback Corridor

1. The community.

Arcadia is such a hidden little gem! Many people familiar with Arcadia and Camelback Corridor comment that it feels like a city within a city – and it really does! When people move in to the neighborhood they fall in love with the area and don’t want to leave, so there isn’t the typical real estate churn found in most communities. There is a close-knit community feeling, and everybody knows everybody (not in a scary “The Truman Show” kind of way, but rather a place where block parties still happen and you’re genuine friends with your neighbors).

You really have the best of both worlds with this little city within a city. You get the wonderful smaller town community feeling, but you’re pretty much 10 minutes away from everything.

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2. The homes.

Yep, I love the homes in Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor. And no, that isn’t just the realtor in me talking. The ranch style homes are quintessential Arizona. The large, grassy lots have a little bit of an east coast feel for me.

There are many neighborhood homes I’ve had the opportunity to view the inside of, and the external charm is only surpassed by the charm on the interior. Homes in the neighborhood make such an impression that years later I can still walk by a home and remember the layout. Every aspect of the neighborhood is home to me. I know it like the back of my hand.

Arcadia and Camelback Corridor Favorites

3. The vibe.

Arcadia and all of Camelback Corridor have a consistent, cool vibe that never changes with times. The vibe really ties back in to the community. The independent businesses in the area are a big part of the cool community vibe as well. My grocer, coffee shop, and more are all right at 32nd St & Camelback. When you live in the neighborhood you not only run in to your neighbors at these area businesses, but you’re also supporting your neighbors – many of the area’s independent business owners also live in the neighborhood.

Arcadia and Camelback Corrior residents are proud to call this home. What are your favorite things about living in the neighborhood? What area businesses do you frequent? You’ve read my favorite things about Arcadia and the Camelback Corridor – share yours with me!

Look out, world! In addition to talking about Arcadia and Camelback Corridor here on my blog I’m also doing it on video. Check it out here.

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Arcadia & Arcadia Lite Named Hottest Neighborhoods To Live In

That’s right, in this month’s Phoenix Magazine both Arcadia and Arcadia Lite were named among the hottest neighborhoods to live in the Valley. And this isn’t the first time our beloved Arcadia has been recognized among the very best neighborhoods.

Arcadia Lite NeighborhoodIf you’re new to Arcadia, you might be thrown by the name “Arcadia Lite.” Is it Aracadia with less calories? Well, in a way, yes (if calories were the price of homes compared to those in full calorie Arcadia). Arcadia Lite lies within Campbell to Indian School and 32nd St. to 40th St. (give or take). Want to live near La Grande Orange? Love The Vig? Arcadia Lite is also home to the widely acclaimed Beckett’s Table. Are you hungry? I’m making myself hungry listing all these great restaurants (ha!).

In their article, Phoenix Magazine named Arcadia Lite a hot neighborhood for “trendsetters” wanting to “move up” (i.e. you did the starter home, now you’re ready to “move up”). Many small families and couples (trendsetters or otherwise) enjoy calling Arcadia Lite home.

The sense of community in Arcadia Lite is strong, and the area has a reputation (rightly so) for being very safe. Luxury homes exist in Arcadia Lite, but the area is better known for its variety of median priced homes. The neighborhood lets you take advantage of living between Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale’s nightlife at a fraction of the cost it would be if you lived in either of those.

If you know me (or you’ve been reading my blog) you know the Camelback Corridor and Arcadia always rank #1 to me as the best neighborhoods to live in.

In the Phoenix Magazine August issue, Arcadia is named one of the hottest luxury neighborhoods to live in, and the article states (correctly) that Arcadia has long been a coveted place to live. They even likened Arcadia to having “your own private island in the city” (what a great image!).

While the article points out the home prices are higher than those in Arcadia Lite, there are still some great deals to be had in Arcadia if you know the right realtor (one that is, say, real estate agent for all things Arcadia? *wink*).

I love seeing Arcadia and Arcadia Lite getting the accolades both these unique communities deserve. If you live in Arcadia or Arcadia Lite what do you love about your neighborhood? Would you give it the same rating Phoenix Magazine did?

Want to know even more about these hot communities? I love Arcadia and Camelback areas so much, I made a video about it! View the video here.

Arcadia Area Schools – Part 2

By and large, families looking to move into the Arcadia area want to do so their kids can attend Hopi Elementary School. Hopi has a following unlike any I’ve seen before.  The teachers are exceptional and they teach towards each individual child’s natural learning style. The parent involvement at this Arcadia elementary school is phenomenal (seriously!). Administration, teachers and parents work together for the good of the students.  I’ve also heard parents talk about the close-knit community fostered at Hopi, and the wonderful atmosphere that allows for.

Arcadia High School is consistently ranked among the top schools in Arizona, and even ranked in the top 20 high schools nationally by US New and World Report. And did you know Steven Spielberg attended Arcadia High School? (It’s true! Don’t believe me? Google it.) Several years ago the school got a makeover and the buildings are beautiful (sorry, that’s the architect coming out in me).

Back to info about the school – from the school’s website: “Arcadia offers unique opportunities for students in graphic arts, media communications, bio technology and AVID.” I’ll admit it – I didn’t know what AVID stood for either. Turns out it stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination (which doesn’t really explain it either) and it is a rigorous curriculum program for students in the “academic middle” to help prepare them for college.

While it can be harder for parents to be an active part of their children’s high school experience (lets face it, volunteering to be in the classroom was great in elementary but not so much in high school), AHS does have a PTO (here is the link to their website).

I’m proud to say that the Arcadia public schools are consistently rated an “A”. What do you think of the schools? Let me know how you like the Arcadia school your children attend. If you want to move to Arcadia to take advantage of the great schools, click here. Enjoy the remainder of your summer!

Want to know more about the Arcadia and Camelback Corridor communities? Check out this video.

Arcadia Neighborhood Schools

Arcadia Area Schools

I admit I still feel like the 4th of July was just yesterday, but as we reach the end of July we have to switch back to thinking about school. So I figured, what better time to talk about Arcadia neighborhood schools?

For children ages 18 months – 6 years old, Arcadia Montessori School offers an innovative and interactive environment. In addition to core Montessori curriculum, students can take part in cooking classes (each classroom has its own growing garden), zumba, yoga, swimming lessons, and more! There is also tuition assistance for families who qualify.

Arcadia area public schools fall under the Scottsdale United School District (or simply SUSD). The Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center is a public school for grades K – 8. Parents and students alike have high praise for the school. Using a teaching model similar to those used in gifted programs, ANLC teaches children to ask questions and think critically. The multi-grade classrooms seem to have some Montessori influence, and are considered “progressive” by some. I have to admit one of the most important things to me is how happy kids are at school, and you certainly see many kids coming out of this school with beaming grins. Every student’s abilities are accessed, and curriculum can be customized accordingly.

The Arcadia charter school VERITAS Prep Academy has its own loyal following, and currently it is the RAVE of the neighborhood! In addition to having some of the best scores in the state, VPA has been recognized as being in the top tier of schools nationally as well. VPA’s challenging courses are taught “Socratically, emphasizing the essential dialogue between student and teacher.” Veritas goes beyond teaching basic knowledge and teachers strive to develop an “uncompromising integrity, creative imagination, and a lifelong quest for learning” in every student.

There are more great things about the Arcadia schools than I could fit into just one blog, so “stay tuned” for part 2 of Arcadia schools – I’ll share the school that is the reason most families want to move to Arcadia.

It isn’t just the great schools – there are so many reasons people move to Camelback Corridor and Arcadia. Want to know some of them? I run through them in a video I made – view it here.

Camelback Corridor Farmers Markets

If you know me then you know I’m all about supporting our local community, and I love great food so Camelback Corridor Farmers Markets are the perfect pairing of both!

farmersHeld year round, the Town & Country Farmers’ Market takes place every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Town & Country shopping center (20th Street & Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016). In addition to locally grown produce (many of it organic) you’ll find locally sourced olive oils, chocolates, artisan breads, cheeses, and even hand-crafted jewelry.

All vendors at the Farmers’ Market at Camelback Esplanade (2425 East Camelback Rd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85016) are required to be the direct producers, or family members of the direct producers so you know you’re buying straight from the source. Most of the vendors farm organically or pesticide free. You’ll enjoy local produce and arts and crafts. This market reopens in the Fall, at which time it will take place each Friday, 9:30 am to 2 pm.

If you’ve been anywhere other than under a rock (ha!) then you’ve heard of Vincent’s Camelback Market – it is AWESOME! The hugely popular Saturday Camelback Market is held every Saturday, 9 am to 1 pm, October through May. If you’re traveled internationally you’ll appreciate the European feel to this market. Vincent himself, an iconic Valley chef, often presides over the Market, where you can taste a variety of mouth-watering creations (everything from made-to-order crepes to wood fired pizzas). I realize it is a little unfair to tempt you with this description when the Market isn’t open, but now you’ll have something to look forward throughout the hottest months – the return of Vincent’s Camelback Market!

Now, this next farmers’ market not only gives back to the Arcadia community, it was started by three Arcadia natives! Lovely ladies Gena, Sarah, and Katrina were raised in Arcadia, and went to Arcadia High School together. Now grown with children of their own, they started the Arcadia Farmers’ Market to “give back to the neighborhood and the Arcadia schools.” This market is held year round on Sundays, 8 am to 12 pm, at the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) parking lot (3811 North 44Th St. Phoenix, Arizona 85018).

Phoenix’s year round warm climate means we’re part of a select few places in the entire country who benefit from year round farmer’s markets! On one hand, in the summer it is so hot here heading outside to shop is probably not be on the top of your “to do” list. On the other hand, summer brings all those delicious summer fruits. Take advantage of these amazing Camelback Corridor Farmers’ Markets by shopping early – before it gets too hot and before everything is picked over (a win-win!).

I made a short video to go over more of what makes Arcadia and Camelback Corridor so awesome. You can view the video here.

Celebrate 4th Of July In Arcadia and Camelback Corridor

fireworksTime flies when you’re having fun and 4th of July is upon us – there are great ways to spend Independence Day right here in Arcadia!

Arcadia’s infamous Arcadia 4th of July parade is returning this year. The parade began when Arcadia local Johanna Boslin and her family members put flags in their neighbors’ front yards for Independence Day. One neighbor, Bud Katz, commented to Johanna that the flags were so beautiful that all that was missing was a parade. And with those words, the Arcadia 4th of July parade was born!

Whether you’re a spectator or participant the parade is worth it! Everyone is invited to let their creative side out, and you’ll enjoy seeing everything from pets to trikes to “parade floats.” The whole parade is super cute.

For fireworks, the Arizona Country Club has an AWESOME fireworks show every year! Non-members, don’t despair. Non-members gather in the street around the Club (56th & Thomas) to watch the show.

If you’re looking for an entire weekend of Independence Day activities for the whole family, you may want to consider a staycation at the nearby Arizona Biltmore. Activities start on 4th of July and extend throughout the next few days (July 4 – 7, 2013) – everything from outdoor movies next to the pool to cigar rolling classes, wine tastings to water balloon games are on the agenda.

If Independence Day finds you outside of Arcadia, each city in the Valley has their own fireworks display – you can find details on the official website for each city (but why leave Arcadia when everything you need for a great 4th of July is already right here?!).

Many Camelback Corridor restaurants and bars have 4th of July events and specials. On Independence Day at Chelsea’s Kitchen you buy one entrée and get the 2nd one for only $4. At La Grande Orange, enjoy 4 cent sangria! Last year Fox Concepts restaurants offered 25% off all day – so be on the lookout for that possibility.

Do you know of Arcadia and Camelback Corridor 4th of July activities/events that didn’t make it in to this blog? What Independence Day traditions do you and your family love? Please share by leaving me a comment. Wishing a happy and safe 4th of July to everyone – special thanks to veterans for your service.

Camelback Corridor Yoga Studios

Whether you’re a beginner or full-fledged yogi, there are several yoga studios in the Camelback Corridor to enjoy. If you’re new to living in the Corridor and are looking for a new yoga studio, the places below are great places to start.

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If you know me then you know my love of charming homes, and the Mariposa Longhouse is a truly charming, restored home turned into a community center that hosts yoga classes, artists, and even pop-up shops (since I’m supposed to be focusing on yoga I’ll save the pop-up shops for another blog – stay tuned!). Class options include everything from Vinyasa to restorative yoga.

Not sure about sharing your yoga sanctuary with pop-up shops? No worries – there are still options galore. If you’re new to yoga and want to try out different types of classes or you are an advanced yogi that likes to vary your yoga workouts, CoreBalance Studio in Camelback Corridor offers a variety of yoga classes. The instructors here are very welcoming to new students, and the warm atmosphere is almost as relaxing as the Yin yoga. One of the things I really like about CoreBalance is that as well as yoga classes, they also have barre and spin classes (they even bring in a live DJ for spin classes on Monday and Wednesday nights!). When friends are looking for a great yoga studio but don’t want to give up cardio class options available from a gym, I recommend they check this place out.

One of my absolute favorite yoga studios is Madison Improvement Club (known as “Madison” or just “the Club” to most). What’s not to love about a place with the tag line “Let The Party Begin”?! Madison is right in the heart of Arcadia with yoga, spin classes, AND a café (with yet another fabulous tag line – “Get Ready To Be Addicted” – so true)! I could go on and on about the things I love about this place, but you’ll have your own reasons for falling in love with it when you go (psst – come back and let me know).

Not for the faint of heart is the ever popular Bikram yoga (a.k.a. “hot yoga”). This is where I head when I want to be a wet duck (ha!). At this time of year you may wonder if you could just do yoga outside and get the same results, but I would still recommend trying out Sumits Yoga Biltmore. Enthusiastic instructors help you move through the classes, and allow everyone to move at their own pace (definitely important in the challenging hot yoga experience). I also find this space beautiful – the wood floors are lovely (which you’ll especially enjoy if you need to take a break from the heat and catch your breath in “child’s pose” for a while).

The Village (Camelback location, of course) has some awesome yoga classes! When I’m not at Madison, or sweating it out at Sumits I’m enjoying the yoga here J. For those that want the convenience of a gym and yoga studio all at one place, you need to head here! In addition to the great gym facilities, extensive list of classes (not just yoga – think spin, zumba, pilates, etc.), the amenities abound here (that sounds like a hotel ad, but if you’ve been to the Village you know what I’m talking about).

As usual, this isn’t an all-inclusive list – there are many great Camelback Corridor yoga studios. These are some I recommend to friends for the same reasons I listed above. Where do you practice yoga? Have a favorite yoga teacher? Let me know! I always love hearing about other yoga studios to check out in Camelback Corridor – its one of the many reasons I love living in the Corridor!