Surprise is suburb in the northwest valley of the Phoenix metro area with a population of just over 100,000 people. With the arrival of the Loop 101, Surprise became instantly more accessible and its population exploded. The city of Surprise guiding principles offer these guidelines to city employees: be perceptive, be proactive, be... Show all »
Surprise is suburb in the northwest valley of the Phoenix metro area with a population of just over 100,000 people. With the arrival of the Loop 101, Surprise became instantly more accessible and its population exploded. The city of Surprise guiding principles offer these guidelines to city employees: be perceptive, be proactive, be positive, be plain, be prompt, and be professional. Adherence to these guidelines earned Surprise the recognition of one of the "Best Small Cities to Live in" by Money Magazine in 2008.
Surprise was founded in 1938 by Homer C. Ludden. Ludden was a state legislator from Nebraska and a real estate developer. He built low cost homes for agricultural workers of the nearby farms and orchards. The new town has 44 original residents and a single gas station. It grew little over the next few years, In World War II, Luke Air Force Base used Surprise as an Auxiliary Training Area for Pilots because of its low population level. Ludden would have been proud to see his little town today. Today, his dream of affordable housing for locals is still alive and well. Thirty-five of the valley's favorite home builders have developed affordable master planned communities.
Surprise is a friendly community with plenty to do. The White Tank Regional Park is a favorite with hikers and mountain bikers. Waterfall Trail will lead you to a rare desert waterfall. Speaking of water, cooling off in the summer is as easy as a trip the Aquatics Center, which is a whopping 10,562 square feet. It includes a 4,700-square foot water play area with zero depth entry, eight-lane competitive pool, diving well with two one-meter boards, two slides, vortex whirlpool, classroom, and concessions. It is literally an oasis in this desert community.
If you have a need for speed, check out the Speedworld Dragstrip, where you can race or if you prefer can sit in the stands and watch a race. If you prefer more strenuous activity you can play tennis at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex or you can hit the greens and play 18 holes at one of Surprise's eight championship courses. Looking for something more refined then you can peruse the exhibits at the West Valley Art Museum.
Of course choosing when a community, one should consider employment opportunities, schools and shopping. Surprise schools are part of the Dysart School District, which are rated an average of 7 by Great Schools. Over the years, Surprise worked hard to attract and retain great employers such as manufacturers, pharmaceutical, biotech, computing, and information technologies companies.
Shopping in Surprise for essential items such as groceries, home goods, home improvement products, clothing, automobiles, and gasoline is as easy and convenient as one would expect from a city of its size. Because the majority of the stores arrived as the population exploded they are new stores in nice shopping centers. Dining out in Surprise also provides a multitude of local choices from quaint independently owned restaurants to large chain favorites like Applebees, Chilis, and Black Angus to name a few.
The average sales price for a single family home or condo in February 2010 was $158,676. This information is gleaned from MLS data, and while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed. « Show less