Arizona, the Grand Canyon state

LHJ Best Cities for Women 2002
The Best Cities for Women here include Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson.
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#14: Big Cities - Tucson

Situated in a desert plain surrounded by mountains, Tucson's dry, sunny, and extremely hot climate has attracted vacationers and health seekers for years. Located a mere 60 miles north of Mexico on Highway 10, Tucson has grown into a modern mini-metropolis of nearly a million people without sacrificing its historic past. Now equal parts college town and retirement community, it's one of the more attractive big cities of the Southwest. The city's many points of interest include the "Old Adobe," built in 1868, Colossal Cave, the museum at Fort Lowell, the beautiful San Xavier mission, erected from 1783-97, "Old Tucson," a movie-set replica to the west of the city; and the adjacent Saguaro National Park. A fiesta and rodeo is held each February, as well as an annual Soapbox Derby.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #136
  • Educational attainment #79
  • Breast cancer #35
  • Divorce rate #152

#18: Big Cities - Mesa

Founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1883 Mesa, the Spanish word for tabletop, was so named because the first settlers built homes on a flat area. From a small settlement of farm families, Mesa has grown to become Arizona's third largest, and one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation. The mild winter climate, beautiful environment, and strong economic conditions attract more residents every year.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #115
  • Educational attainment #70
  • Breast cancer #40
  • Divorce rate #108

#41: Big Cities - Phoenix

Phoenix was founded on the site of ancient Native American canals; hence its name, which signifies a new town rising from the ruins of an old civilization. In 1868, pioneers developed what remained of the Native Americans' irrigation system diverting water from the Salt River and farming began. Today, the expanding metropolitan area includes the suburbs of Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Glendale, all of which are among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Among the area's many outstanding parks are the Desert Botanical Gardens, Camelback Mountain, and the nearby South Mountain Park, which has an active gold mine. Also in the area are a number of Native American communities and reservations, national monuments, and state parks. Among its museums are the Arizona Museum, with ancient and pioneer relics; the Heard Museum, with Native American exhibitions; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Pueblo Grande Museum, containing the excavations of Native American ruins 800 years old; and the State Dept. of Archives Museum. Other attractions are the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, and the Mystery Castle, built of native rock.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #152
  • Educational attainment #93
  • Breast cancer #37
  • Divorce rate #134

#45: Small Cities - Scottsdale

A suburb 15 miles northeast of Phoenix; Scottsdale is perfect for retired baseball fans. A spring-training center, its year-round sun and multitudes of golf courses make it a favorite retirement location. When not golfing or taking in a spring training baseball game, the leisure set can shop for traditional southwestern goods, such as artwork, handicrafts, and clothing. Crops grow in the otherwise arid climate thanks to the water canals of the Salt River project. Frank Lloyd Wright chose the area to establish his Taliesin West School, a school perpetuating his architectural foundations.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #159
  • Educational attainment #13
  • Breast cancer #41
  • Divorce rate #173

#59: Small Cities - Glendale

Three reasons people relocate to Glendale and the Greater Phoenix "Valley of the Sun" include climate, jobs and lifestyle. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Glendale is a great place to work and play. Located in the rapidly growing northwest Phoenix metropolitan area, Glendale is known for its excellent medical and educational institutions, beautiful neighborhoods and easy access to freeways.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #105
  • Educational attainment #103
  • Breast cancer #38
  • Divorce rate #131

#106: Small Cities - Tempe

Tempe, one of Arizona's largest cities and a suburb of Phoenix, has multiple personalities. It is at once a high-tech business center, a resort and spa haven, a peaceful cluster of residential neighborhoods, and a quaint yet spirited college town. Arizona State University occupies 700 acres in the heart of Tempe. ASU elevates Tempe's cultural scene to world-class status. The famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium brings premier artists in every performing field to community audiences. Old Town Tempe is the city's principal business district as well as its cultural, shopping, and entertainment center. Many of its shops, boutiques and restaurants are housed in restored structures built around the turn of the century.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #196
  • Educational attainment #11
  • Breast cancer #39
  • Divorce rate #84

 

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