Tell me about Payson, Arizona

In our continuing search for the perfect place to retire (last month we were looking in Southern Oregon) my wife and I have now come across Payson, Arizona. I’m not a huge fan of Arizona, as I don’t really like deserts, high, low or otherwise, but I’ve been told that Payson might be pretty close to what we are looking for. I can’t say anything nice about Phoenix, and my in laws live in Prescott which is too dry and sparse for my liking. (We like the Western US so don’t suggest we look at Mississippi or North Carolina). Here’s our wishlist…

  1. Nice Climate - Some snow is okay, but no more than 2 feet per year please. Four distinct seasons and a warm but not baking summer is preferred. Little or no humdity suits us best. Payson is at 5,000 feet so the climate seems right.

  2. Resort Atmosphere - Not a working class town or giant metropolis like Phoenix. Payson is a relatively small upscale town (I think).

  3. Recreation Potential - We have a speed boat so we like to be within 30 minutes of a large lake. Being close to rivers that have fish in them is a plus. Roosevelt Lake is about 30 minutes away.

  4. Mountains over beaches - We live in Northern California now so I have lived near the ocean my entire life. I have never lived in the mountains. Payson is at 5,000 feet.

So tell me what it’s like to live there…

Well, I don’t live there, but my uncle does, and he runs a website/magazine about the town and real estate in the general area.

Here’s the site. If you’re seriously looking for info on the area, I can’t think of anyone better to ask. If you want me to put you in touch with him, just shoot me an email (address is in my profile); I’m sure he’d love to hear from anyone interested in moving to Payson.