A row of homes along a road in Sun City Festival in Buckeye, Arizona

There's a lot to love about Sun City Festival in the small town of Buckeye, Arizona.

There are many reasons why residents love Sun City Festival, some of which set it apart from other active adult communities in the Phoenix area. With a 55+ age restriction, Sun City Festival has 7,200 single-family homes that range from 1,099 to 3,343 square feet and in price from the mid $200s to the high $700s. It’s located on the edge of the small town of Buckeye in Phoenix’s Northwest Valley.

Here are 10 reasons why residents love Sun City Festival.

1. Vacation Villas

Some residents appreciate the fact that before committing to buying, they were able to stay for a few days in one of the community’s Vacation Villas. A stay here means enjoying full use of all the facilities, meeting your potential neighbors, and getting a feel for whether Sun City Festival is right for you. Once you're a resident, the Vacation Villas make it easier to have family or friends visit.

2. Copper Canyon Golf Club

The main reason golfing residents love Sun City Festival is the 27-hole Copper Canyon Golf Club. This was designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley, two of the country’s leading golf architects who have also designed several golf courses in both China and Thailand. 

The scenic course, which has 11 lakes, is surrounded by desert and the White Tank Mountains. The course has up to four sets of tees which range in length from 5,000 to over 7,000 yards. The practice facilities are on two tiers and have over 70 yards in tee length, and there’s a pro shop too. The club is also where you’ll find Sun City Festival’s dining options: the Indigo Grille and the Festival Snack Bar.

3. Sage Recreation Center

The Sage Recreation Center is a 31,000-square-foot clubhouse around which most of the other community activities take place. Inside the clubhouse, there’s a ballroom, a library, a fitness center, an aerobics and dance studio, a computer lab, billiards, a spin bike studio, and a base for the Arizona State University’s Lifelong Learning Academy, offering numerous talks, classes, and other events throughout the year. 

Outside amenities include an amphitheater, a lap pool, a resort pool, a spa, a softball stadium, and courts for tennis, pickleball, bocce, basketball, and volleyball. There are also hiking and biking trails throughout the community’s grounds.

4. Arts and Crafts

In addition to the amenities at the main recreation center, there's a separate Wood Shop and Craft Studio. This provides residents with a woodworking shop, a ceramics studio, and an arts and crafts studio.

5. Active Lifestyle

Another reason residents love Sun City Festival: It provides numerous lifestyle choices. There are lots of clubs, classes, groups, and activities to choose from, with something happening almost every day no matter what your interests are. If you’re keen on arts and crafts, there’s a scrapbook group, a digital photography club, a beading group, a fine arts club, a glass arts group, paper crafts, knitting, crochet, quilting, pottery, ceramics, and a woodcrafters group. For those who enjoy food and drink, Sun City Festival has a brewing club and a gourmet club.

For residents who like to be active, there are clubs and groups for bowling, hiking, pickleball, social dancing, gardening, and tennis. Other shared pastimes include a car club, genealogy, and an RV club.

6. Ideal Climate

Sun City Festival is about 15 miles due west of the original Sun City, the nation’s first active adult community. That location near Phoenix was chosen in large part because of the almost ideal year-round climate that exists in this part of Central Arizona.

Golfers can be on the greens in the middle of winter with very little rain to worry about, rarely snow, and the biggest decision is whether it’s cool enough to warrant wearing a sweater. The pool and other sports facilities also get far more use than they would in many parts of the country. Admittedly in the summer, the temperatures soar into well over 100 for lengthy periods. Golfers get used to booking early tee times, but it’s a small price to pay for that otherwise magical climate.

7. Stars and Sunsets

Those who are new to Arizona may not be aware that the state has some spectacular sunsets. A saying that’s common in active adult communities in Arizona is: ‘When the sky turns pink, it’s time to drink.’ Residents pour a glass of wine or grab a beer and sit on their patios watching the sky put on some outstanding displays. Once the sun has gone completely, it’s then time to watch the stars. The clear desert skies inspire some to take up astronomy as a hobby, and there are observatories all over Arizona. 

8. White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Although there’s plenty within the Sun City Festival community to keep people busy, residents also love the fact that the vast White Tank Mountain Regional Park is just a few miles away. This park of dramatic desert and mountain landscapes covers almost 30,000 acres and has 26 miles of hiking trails, many of which can also be used for cycling or horseback riding. There are also organized hikes, stargazing events, and other activities. 

9. Surprise Nearby

Surprise is the nearest large city, roughly a 20- to 25-minute drive away and with a population of over 140,000. This is where the closest major facilities are, including hospitals, sports stadiums, cinemas, theaters, shopping, and a safari park. Golfers wanting a change from Sun City Festival’s own golf course can choose from numerous courses in and around Surprise, while tennis players can make use of the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex. This has 25 tennis courts, 17 of them illuminated. There are plenty of other things to do in Surprise as well.

10. Proximity to Phoenix

Residents wanting even more amenities than Surprise offers can be in downtown Phoenix in less than an hour. Here, you find world-class museums, historic districts, sophisticated cocktail bars, art galleries, stadiums holding major sporting and music events, and everything you would expect from the fifth-biggest city in the United States. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport can also be reached in 50 minutes. It’s one more reason residents love Sun City Festival.

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