In the Northwest corner of the Valley lies Surprise, a once small town that has boomed from a population of 31,000 in 2000 to 117,500 in the current day. The influx, aided heavily by the development of Sun City and Sun City West retirement homes, has led to a 280% increase in population and relevance to a city whose namesake arises from the founder stating they “would be surprised if it ever amounted to much”. 80 years later, the community offers a beautiful and serene setting for retirees and those looking to relax in the calmer area of the Valley of the Sun. Springtime brings the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers in to Surprise Stadium for MLB spring training, and year-round sunshine allows for ongoing outdoor activities and hiking in the nearby mountain ranges. The city provides plenty of leisure activities, with dozens of luxury golf courses, pools, recreation centers and spas. The locale may be in the north, but the city has fairly easy access to Phoenix proper, as well as a closer proximity to northern Arizona cities. Residents will enjoy a lax feel amongst such a bustling city, a sure relief to those looking for the quieter side of life. Especially for retirees and those seeking warmer confines, Surprise offers a calm and enjoyable lifestyle in a gorgeous setting that is just close enough to be comfortable.