Heading to Luke AFB Arizona? We’ve got your PCS, family getaway or retirement inspiration — covered… by sunshine, snow and adventure! Snow… really? In Arizona? Yes! Arizona is not just a desert full of cacti… there are mountains, gorgeous terrain, historic treasures, modern extravagances, and weekend travels awaiting your exploration! We know because we asked Vicki DeLuzio to share more of her insights with us on this great, unique area of the country. She happily obliged with her top 10 reasons why Luke AFB is a great place to live and visit — whether you’re a Military Family making a move or just heading to the area. Enjoy!
10 Things to Love About Living Near Luke Air Force Base
1. Strong Military presence and support. There are, of course, lots of Air Force Families living in the Luke Air Force Base community, as well as families who come from other countries to train with our airmen and women. There are also many recruiters for other branches of the military that live in the area, as well as many Veterans of all service branches who have retired here. That means you’ll find a lot of like-minded individuals around you who have experience and knowledge to share, and who know what the lifestyle is all about.
2. Varying vistas. Need a change of scenery? If you get tired the dry desert landscape, you can simply go three hours north for skiing or sledding! Flagstaff — which began as a settlement in 1876 and derived its name when it honored the nation’s centennial when by raising the American flag up a pine tree — is an easy daytrip. Situated at an elevation of 7,000 feet about sea level in the high country mountains, you can relax among the ponderosa pines and reflect upon the nostalgia of the Old West. It’s a perfect respite for the outdoor enthusiast in you.
3. Seaside adventure. Your choice of breathtaking, pristine beaches are just a five-hour drive away in San Diego. You will also want to check out the local museums, shopping, dining and so much more during your weekend getaway. October is a particularly popular month to visit San Diego because of the city’s “Kids Free in October” events sponsored by the San Diego Museum Council. Since Arizona’s schools are usually out for fall break, this is a win-win trip for parents and kids alike!
4. Trails. Hiking and biking is abundant around the Phoenix Valley. There are all sorts of trails for most laid-back hiker to the more experienced explorer! Climbers will also enjoy the sky-high scenic views. See saguaro cacti in the Sonoran Desert by foot or take in the entire panorama on a hot-air balloon ride. Go rafting on a river melted snow from the White Mountains and explore the Salt River Canyon. There is something for everyone to take in from every angle on hosted tours and sightseeing adventures.
5. Shopping, shopping and more shopping! Because Luke Air Force Base is conveniently situated in Maricopa County, it is only a handful of miles away from malls and outlets, featuring popular department stores and everything from deep discounts to high-end boutiques. No matter what your budget, you will always be able to find something to spend your money on (or just window shop).
6. History. Arizona boasts unbelievable history you won’t find anywhere else. There are 22 federally recognized Native American Tribes in the state, such as the Navajo, Hopi and Apache people. Early missionaries also brought a Spanish influence to the architectural design and culture of the territory. Over time, the land was admired by ranchers, farmers and fortune-seekers. Today, you will find ancient ruins to admire, hiking and camping escapes to slow life down a little, and more.
7. Sports. Spring training “Cactus League” baseball happens here. You can watch MLB baseball games, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, in person for an incredibly affordable $8 on lawn seats and have an amazing time without breaking the bank.
8. And more sports. Minutes away from Glendale, you can head to University of Phoenix Stadium to catch an Arizona Cardinals football game. Or, venture to the Phoenix International Raceway to experience the excitement and energy of NASCAR.
9. Rural life. Or maybe you want to slow down the pace of life a little. You’re in luck, because farms and farmers markets are abundant in Arizona. Get a taste of the good life from fresh farm produce throughout the year at local farms and farm events. If you’re looking for citrus, melon, carrots, potatoes, lettuce or corn… guess what? It all comes from Arizona!
10. Atmosphere. The Arizona climate can’t be beat! If you go swimming at Christmastime, you’ll find there’s only sunshine to shovel. With plenty of pools, splashpads and parks around, you can bask in the sunshine around 296 days out of the year when you’re not heading north to the slopes!
About Vicki DeLuzio:
Vicki is a mom of three kids five and under. After graduating college in Connecticut with a major in Psychology and minors in Early Childhood Education and Communication, she tried her hand at retail management. Then, while working at the Juvenile Court, she met her web designing (and Army Vet) husband through mutual friends. Wanting a change of pace, cheaper taxes and warmer temperatures, they sold their home and relocated across the country in Surprise, Arizona. Vicki now blogs about all the places they go with reviews about the amenities in Surprise. She is also a licensed Real Estate Agent and loves helping people find homes in the area. You can find her at www.surpriseazmom.com.