Oro Valley is a city in Southern Arizona with a culture of its own, as well as the conveniences of a nearby big city. It has a year round hot, but milder climate than the rest of the state, as well as several golf courses and hiking trails. With Tucson only miles away, as well as all the local amenities needed, Oro Valley is a popular destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
A northern suburb of Tucson, Oro Valley lies in the western foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains. The Tortolita Mountains are just north of the town, while the vistas of the Tucson Valley are to the south. Although Oro Valley has a dry desert climate similar to neighboring Tucson, the higher elevation from the mountains cools down temperatures year round and there is less rainfall. Summers are long, dry, and hot, and winters are temperate and mild.
The Cañada del Oro riverbed bisects the town, and is the flatter part of the valley. The eastern banks of the riverbed rise quickly into the mountains, while the western part rises into small plateaus and foothills. Though snowfall does occur in the nearby mountains, residents of the valley itself do not experience snow.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Retirees seeking outdoor recreation can find it in the many trails and golf courses in Oro Valley. Several parks offer dynamic hiking trails for beginners and experts, including Honey Bee Canyon Park, Naranja Park, and Big Walsh Trail. The city has over six golf courses as well, both private and public. The Oro Valley Aquatic Center, another popular outdoor area, is a competition-level facility with a 50-meter lap pool.
Residents can also enjoy the Oro Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays, as well as the Oro Valley Marketplace, which has brand-name stores as well as local boutiques and restaurants. Tucson is only six miles away with even more shopping and dining.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Oro Valley’s cost of living is above average for both Arizona and the U.S. The biggest factor is housing, with utilities and transportation also above average. Groceries and health care are much lower than the U.S. average.
While Arizona does not tax Social Security benefits, it does fully tax other forms of retirement income. Property taxes in the state are lower than average, whereas sales taxes are higher, with Oro Valley having an 8.6 percent sales tax. Groceries and prescription medicine, however, are exempt from this tax.
The Tucson metro area consistently ranks in the top 75 communities across the country in Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
There are no nationally ranked hospitals in Oro Valley, but Oro Valley Hospital is rated by U.S. News as high performing, the No. 2 hospital in the Tucson area, and the No. 10 hospital in Arizona. In nearby Tucson, TMC Healthcare-Tucson and Northwest Medical Center-Tucson are the No. 1 and No. 3 hospitals in Tucson, respectively.