Moving to Arizona from California isn’t quite such a big leap as, say, moving to Arizona from Illinois. The two states are, after all, neighbors. It’s very common to see California license plates when driving around in Arizona. If you want a cure for your homesickness, it’s easy to jump in the car and pay a visit. Phoenix to San Diego, for example, is only a six-hour drive. For those who want to be closer, Bullhead City is just over four hours from Los Angeles.
However, it’s not always convenient to hop in the car when you’re feeling a little homesick for California. In Arizona, there are a few other cures, especially if you’re a sports fan from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Oakland. You can also enjoy some California fast-food chains or go shopping at your favorite California grocery store.
Here are some places in Arizona that can help cure your California homesickness.
California Food in Arizona
If you’re a fan of the grocery chain Trader Joe’s, which started in California, you needn’t worry. There are branches all over Arizona, with major cities having several stores. There are Trader Joe’s stores in Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe, and Tucson.
In-N-Out Burger began life in California in 1948, but Arizona has plenty of them too. Tucson, for example, has five locations, and there are outlets in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Surprise, Peoria, Prescott, and elsewhere.
California Pizza Kitchen
There might be more branches of the California Pizza Kitchen in California itself, but you won’t starve in Arizona. You’ll find five of them in Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Desert Ridge, and Phoenix.
California Sports in Arizona
Los Angeles Angels
If you’re a fan of the Angels, then you might want to find yourself a community within easy reach of the Tempe Diablo Stadium as that’s where the team does its spring training. You might be able to take in a match against the San Francisco Giants, too.
There are no active adult or lifestyle communities in Tempe itself, but nowhere is very far in the Phoenix urban area (depending on the traffic, of course). Ahwatukee Retirement Village is an easy ten-minute drive along Interstate-10, which passes by the stadium. Mesa is another option, which puts communities like Las Alegres and Verde Groves within a 25-minute drive of the stadium, while Greenfield Glen in Gilbert is only a 30-minute drive away.
If you hate the thought of giving up watching the A’s, find yourself a home near the Hohokam Stadium in Mesa so you can at least watch them during spring training. It’s been their home since 2014, and you can catch a dozen or so matches there each year.
Fortunately, Mesa has lots of active adult and lifestyle communities. Verde Groves is about a 15-minute drive from the stadium, while Las Alegres is an easy 20-minute drive away. Greenfield Glen is in the neighboring city of Gilbert, and it’s about a 35-minute drive from the action.
San Francisco Giants
Fans of the Giants should base themselves in or near Scottsdale because the team does their spring training at the Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Shadows isn’t quite in the shadow of the stadium, but it’s only a five-minute drive away. In fact, you could even walk there in about 25 minutes. It’s a similar distance from Villa Monterey, which is located close to Scottsdale Shadows. Golden Keys is in a different part of the city, but again, it’s only a five-minute drive from Scottsdale Stadium.
The AZ-Cali Connection
Many active adult communities have clubs based on where people are from, though it’s mostly from more distant places like the Midwest, East Coast, or New England. California doesn’t feature prominently because it’s so close, but there’s a private club based in Scottsdale. The AZ-Cali Connection covers the whole of the Phoenix area and has regular meet-ups and events to bring together Californians who have moved to Arizona and might be feeling a little homesick.