Regional Guide Series: Moving to the Southwest United States

February 12, 2019

The Southwest is a beautiful area full of rich history, year round sunshine, and plenty of places to explore. From living in Arizona to making your way all the way over to Texas, there’s a lot to love about this desert paradise. Let’s learn more about living in the Southwest, including Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when making your move:

Southwest Regional Guide Micrographic by Lincoln Military Housing

Culture

The Southwest culture is largely derived from the Spanish missions that used to be in the area. You’ll find many homages to the local Native American tribes and European conquerors. Think: bright colors, a lot of stucco homes and art, giant cacti, and plenty of places to roam. Adobe, a compound made out of sand, clay, and water, can be found nearly everywhere as its a hardy building material that’s been used for thousands of years.

Because the Southwestern US is surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers, and deserts, the residents of this region love to be outside. But, you have to watch out for the rising temperatures. Some parts of the region see temperatures of over 100 degrees (while some mountainous areas enjoy snow in the winter!). Exploring the natural wonders of the Southwest is a common pastime.

Weather

As we mentioned, the weather in this region varies drastically. In Yuma, Arizona, for example, summer temperatures can reach 107 degrees or higher, but can then drop more than 20 degrees in the evening. But as residents say, it’s a dry heat. 100 degrees in Arizona feels much different than 100 degrees in a humid climate like Florida or the East Coast.

In the winter, the weather is usually a beautiful 65 or so degrees, but the nights can get chilly. Expect low-40s because of the flat, desert landscape. But, you’ll likely see more than 300 days of sunshine. There’s a reason why so many older adults, or Snowbirds, come to the area during the beautiful winters and seek colder temperatures in the summer.

Shopping & Errands

In many Southwestern cities, like Phoenix, San Antonio, and even Las Vegas, you can feel the tight-knit community even though they are large, metropolitan areas. When shopping or running errands, you’ll find countless farmers markets to buy fresh produce and because the Southwest is such a huge agricultural mecca, you’re sure to get some crops that are just picked from the field. Look for fresh peppers, lettuce, some melons (such as cantaloupe), and potatoes. New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona are all major beef producers as well, so keep your eye out for locally grown meats.

Transportation

Unless you live right in the heart of the city, you’ll need a car to get around your Southwestern home. Most of the developed areas are more suburban, so expect a 10-15 minute drive to almost all of your needs. But, one nice thing is that there’s sure to be a lot less traffic than the area’s neighbor to the west, California. Most of the driving in these areas is done on the highway, rather than backstreets, and “rush hour” should only add a few more minutes to your commute. Public transportation in these states is growing and, making bus routes a great way to get you where you need to go.

Things to Do

There are many things to do in this beautiful area of the United States. As we mentioned, there are so many outdoor paradises right near your home that it would be hard to see it all. For example, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is just a short 20-minute drive away from our 16th Street Installment in Yuma, Arizona. The Kofa Mountains rise abruptly from the plains of the Sonoran Desert and provide awesome hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities for visitors.

If staying inside is more your speed, you’ll find countless museums, art exhibits, and delicious restaurants near your Southwest home. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Check out oddities like the International UFO Museum in New Mexico, the Toilet Seat Museum in Texas, and the Flintstones Bedrock City in Arizona. Plus, there’s always Las Vegas a short drive away!

Education

Every area is going to have a different education system, but unfortunately, Arizona is one of the states with the lowest education funding. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great school for your children, though! Catalina Unified in Tucson is the best school district in Arizona, followed by Chandler Unified. Plus, there are always private schools that over plenty of scholarships for military families. For older children, you’ll enjoy having in-state tuition at many of the state’s public universities. This goes for Texas residents, as well. The University of Texas - Austin continues to top charts as the state’s best public university.

Health & Fitness

Residents of the Southwest enjoy staying active with countless outdoor sports. There are also countless gyms, both big and small, to choose from. It’s no doubt that those who live in the Southwest love to eat, but they also don’t mind staying active to make up for it.

Speaking of fitness, there are many professional sports teams that the Southwest enjoys cheering on. Phoenix is home to teams of all four major league sports: the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Cardinals, the Phoenix Suns, and the Arizona Coyotes. Texas residents love cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, and the Houston Texans, just to name a few. Add those to the many major collegiate teams and you have yourself quite the roster.

Food

Many of the foods in the Southwest take inspiration from the region’s Native American and Mexican roots. Cooking with cactus is a delicious way to get your vegetables in, and you’ll often see veggies served in a fajita with warm tortillas and meat. Speaking of meat, carne asada, pollo asado, and adobada (marinated pork) are some of the locals’ favorites. If you make your way east into Texas, you’re sure to hit some delicious BBQ. West Texas is known for its sweet, molasses-style BBQ sauce and slow-smoked meats. Pair that with some homemade cornbread or beans and you’ll never want to leave the Southwest.

Lincoln Military in the Southwest

Lincoln Military Housing proudly offers military service members and their families premier off- and on-base military housing across the Southwest, including Fallon, Nevada, San Antonio, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona. If you are about to call the Southwest your new home, apply for military housing today and become part of the Lincoln Military family!

The Southwest United States is such a beautiful region rooted in deep history, rich culture, and community values. The area honors its roots through its dress, food, and sports and is extremely welcoming to newcomers. If you’re looking to call Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, or Texas your home, congratulations are in order.

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At Lincoln Military Housing, Every Mission Begins at Home®

Our mission is to provide premier homes and outstanding management and maintenance services to military families, who deserve nothing less. We strive to understand the changing needs of military families and consider it our duty to improve the quality of life for those who live in our communities.

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