For the past ten years, I have had the pleasure to grow up in Chandler, Arizona. Although it may seem like the cliche "suburban hell" that everyone loathes, it has truly treated me well this past decade. Here are some of the most iconic places/events I've had seen or been a part of since moving to this amazing city.
1. San Tan Soccer Club
If you've never had a child that has played for this league, then you'll at least know someone who does. Growing up, it was never strange to run around town and see kids everywhere with Legacy and San Tan Soccer shirts.
2. In-N-Out on Friday nights
Avoid at all costs during the Fall on Friday nights (or any night really). After football games, the high school crowds love to all head here and enjoy a victory meal.
3. Starbucks vs. Dutch Bros
The never ending fight: whose coffee is truly better? Starbucks has been around Chandler for a while, so it is both reliable and popular. But now, Dutch Bros has entered the scene and is giving Starbucks a run for their money with their superior customer service and a different selection of coffee drinks.
4. Hamilton vs. Chandler
A rivalry that will truly never. Every year, this game is hyped up and it's honestly quite difficult to walk around town without hearing people murmur "who runs Arizona avenue" during rivalry week.
5. Road Construction
The question is, when will it end? Just as they are finishing up a project, it seems as though new begins right away. What makes it worse is that they always choose to work on streets that were perfectly fine in the first place.
6. Ostrich Festival
Everyone's favorite part of March! Every year, Tumbleweed Park hosts a festival/carnival that is fun enough for the whole family. From Ostrich burgers to funnel cake, this event will leave you in a food coma.
7. The Village
The hot spot "stay-cation" of Chandler, Arizona. If you're not in the mood to hop in a car and travel a long distance, this small get-a-way will surely suffice.
8. Paseo Vista Park
Also known as the "dump park" (because it was built on top of a landfill). This is a great place to be after a long day, enjoying the playground and some fresh air. There is also a mile long path that is perfect for running, a disc golf area, and a park to entertain the little ones with.
9. Chandler Fashion Center
As a local, we all know not to be here during the holidays (especially on Black Friday); however, sometimes it is nice to have a place to blow your paycheck with some close friends. From Macy's to Barnes N' Noble, this mall has a large variety of stores that will please the entire family. Then once you're done shopping, there is a Harkins theater right next door where you can catch the latest flick.
10. Ocotillo Friends
For those of you who aren't tech-savvy, this is an online group where people are able to sell and buy items. Along with business, it's also a page where locals talk about the city. Conversation can vary from traffic to crime, to food reviews, to where to find the latest and greatest items. This group is located on Facebook titled, "Ocotillo Friends".
11. Close-knit community
No matter how big you think Chandler is, somehow everybody knows everybody. It's great because this town is full of friendly people who are always willing to help each other out.