The town of Surprise is just a short drive from the conveniences and entertainment of Phoenix.

It's no wonder that the city of Surprise is a hot retirement destination. Set in Arizona's Maricopa County, the city is just 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix and within easy access of nearby retail centers, restaurants and local attractions. Surprise also boasts some impressive age-restricted communities for active adults who dream of a resort-style retirement.


With its tranquil Arizona location, Surprise offers breathtaking scenery and plenty of sunny days. In fact, the area averages 312 sunny days each year, about 7 inches of rainfall, and no chance of snow. Summers are the hottest time of year, with average days in the low to mid-90s and peak temperatures climbing over 100 degrees. Winters are mild and comfortable with daytime averages in the mid-50s.


Retirees often flock to Surprise for its sunny weather, affordable homes and close proximity to Phoenix. While the urban attractions in downtown Phoenix are only 45 minutes away, Surprise has several retail centers and restaurants throughout the area as well. Outdoor enthusiasts may prefer nearby attractions like White Tanks Mountain Regional Park and Dream Catcher Park. Golf courses are found in abundance throughout the area and locals can also enjoy fishing and other favorite pastimes at the Surprise Community Park.

Additional attractions include the Surprise Women's Heritage Trail and Surprise Stadium, which is the Spring Training grounds for both the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. While Surprise is set just outside of Phoenix, its tranquil setting lets residents enjoy retirement in a small-town setting which still offers exciting attractions and plenty of hot, sunny days.

Active Adult Communities

During its early years, Surprise started out as a very small town with just a few residents. However, the area has experienced rapid growth since the 1990s. This is largely said to be due in part to the development of Sun City Grand, a sprawling Del Webb community which was built between 1996 and 2004. Today, Sun City Grand contains 9,802 homes, including condos, attached homes, and single-family designs. The community also boasts impressive amenities including three 18-hole golf courses, three clubhouses, three restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hobby and game rooms, sports courts, and much more.

Surprise is also home to smaller age-restricted communities, which typically contain 1,000 to 2,000 homes. At Arizona Traditions, a D.R. Horton community, residents enjoy a more intimate, small-town atmosphere. Yet they also have access to many on-site amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, spacious clubhouse, swimming pools, and sports courts.

While Sun City Grand is often credited with turning Surprise into a retirement hot spot, it was not the first age-restricted community in the area. Sun Village opened in 1985 and was completed in 1995-one year before Sun City Grand opened its doors. The community features low-maintenance homes, as well as a 47,000 square-foot clubhouse with a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities.