Part of Arizona's Maricopa County, Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix. Housing just over 240,000 people, Chandler is near Tempe and Mesa to the north, and the Gila River Indian Reservation to the south. One of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Chandler boasts near-perfect weather, with approximately 330 days of sun per year and an average temperature of 85 degrees. Named after Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona, Chandler covers about 70 square miles, and was ranked 30th in CNNMoney.com's 2008 list of 100 best places to live.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
A small agricultural town at the turn of the 20th century, Chandler has transformed over the years into the high-tech oasis of the Southwest.
With four locations in the municipal area, including its first environmentally sustainable factory, the computer chip manufacturer Intel has played a large role in Chandler's economic growth. Other major employers in Chandler include Wells Fargo, Verizon, Freescale Semiconductor, Bashas, Motorola, and Countrywide.
Quite a few Chandler-based employees, estimated at 27,000, commute to work in other communities, such as downtown Phoenix.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Historic Downtown Chandler offers art galleries, shops, a microbrewery, a winery, and the city's top restaurants. Restoration of the building facades has brought back the historic backdrop of the early 1900s with modern day commerce. The Chandler Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many of the residential neighborhoods in Chandler are gated communities. Some of the notable subdivisions include:
- Pinelake Estates: Located on the south side of the city, Pinelake Estates is a family-friendly neighborhood features a 10-acre city park.
- Arden Park: This family-friendly neighborhood was built in 2003. Arden Park is in close proximity to lots of area attractions, including 10 different golf courses, a 17-acre city park, Chandler Regional Hospital, Chandler Fashion Center, and Chandler Gilbert Community College.
- Old Stone Ranch: This is a popular lake community located in the Chandler's East Valley.
Chandler is the home of the first Arizona resort, the San Marcos, conceptualized by the city's founder and designed by Arthur Burnett Benton in 1913. Through the years the San Marcos has seen dignitaries, socialites, and movie stars. Today visitors have various options for overnight accommodations, resorts and otherwise.
Some of Chandler's local tourist attractions include:
- State-recognized visitors' center and a museum of Chandler's history, displaying local arts and heritage galleries.
- Arizona Railway Museum: Dedicated to the railroads of Arizona and the southwestern United States, the museum offers an extensive collection of artifacts and railroad rolling stock.
- Kokopelli Winery: Located in Historic Downtown Chandler, the winery provides thirsty visitors with 24 different types of wine, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and riesling. Made from grapes, Kokopelli's Arizona wines have won more than 55 medals.
- Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western and Native American Art: This gallery showcases more than 600 pieces of art, including oil paintings, acrylics, charcoal drawings, watercolors, bronze, wood and stone sculptures, bowls, baskets, pottery, and jewelry.
- Apache Trail: Only 30 miles from Chandler is the Apache Trail, or AZ 88. The trail consists of a scenic, steep, winding road that passes Theodore Roosevelt Lake and continues on through the Superstition Mountains and the Tonto National Forest. The western half of the trail is the most scenic and the best known.
- Downtown Chandler Art Walk: The Art Walk, held on the first Wednesday of every month, features art and artist demonstrations, live music, children's art projects, and face painting. Photographs, pottery, paintings, jewelry, blown glass, sculptures, and more line the sidewalks. More than 50 artists participate in each walk.
- Farmers Market: Held year-round every Thursday in downtown Chandler, the market features fresh local produce, honey, jams, breads, and salsas.
- Annual Ostrich Festival: Chandler celebrates its history as an ostrich ranching town with the Ostrich Festival. Held yearly in Tumbleweed Park, the festival includes ostrich races, live entertainment, midways and rides, and booths of arts, crafts, goods, and services.
- Chandler Jazz Festival: As Arizona's premier jazz weekend, the festival highlights the state's finest jazz bands. All performances are free, excluding Saturday night's special engagement at the Center for the Arts.
- Italian-American Festival: The Kokopelli winery celebrates its Italian heritage with an annual Italian-American Festival, offering live music, Italian food and wine, and bocce ball competitions.
Western International University has a campus in Chandler, serving the specific educational needs of working adults, as does the University of Phoenix. Arizona State University is located 14 miles north of downtown Chandler, in Tempe.
Also in Chandler, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving teaches current or aspiring racers how to drive like the pros. The school houses a 60-acre racing facility.
Chandler Fashion Center opened in 2001 and quickly became one of the most frequented shopping venues in the East Valley. Chandler shoppers can also choose from the Casa Paloma Shopping Center, Chandler Pavilions, and Historic Downtown, which together provide a variety of options, including antique shops, boutiques, and specialty stores.
The East Valley Tribune is Chandler's newspaper.
KMLE 107.9, which plays mostly country music, is the city's only radio station, but Chandler residents also pick up Phoenix radio and television stations.