Rancho del Lago

Rancho del Lago is the neighborhood that sits in the heart of Vail, AZ, making it a perfect fit to kick off a new series of posts: Your neighborhood guides.

The Demographics

Rancho del Lago is also one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the area. Here you’ll find families that bought homes back in the early 2000’s when the neighborhood was starting to come to life, and families that recently moved to this area. There are snowbirds (an affectionate name for the people who live here during the winter months), military, law enforcement, Raytheon employees, teachers, doctors, and work-at-homers (like myself).

The Housing

The locations of the homes throughout Rancho del Lago are as diverse as the population. There are homes in a gated community, homes along the golf course, and homes closer to the Pantano wash.

But that’s where the diversity ends. Homes in Rancho del Lago vary in size, acreage, and layout but for the most part they are manufactured, newer homes. That’s a plus for people looking for move-in ready, modern homes. However, if you’re interested in a fixer upper or want to make major changes to the look of your house, you will have the Homeowner’s Association to contend with.

The Schools

This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons families move to Vail – the school district is amazing!

Vail Unified School District has plenty of high-performing schools throughout the 85641 and 85747 area codes. Near Rancho del Lago, there is the Vail Inclusive Preschool, Acacia Elementary School, Ocotillo Ridge Elementary SchoolOld Vail Middle School, and Cienega High School.

The community rallies around these schools promoting a positive environment for kids to thrive. Living in Rancho del Lago, you’ll be close enough to attend the Cienega Bobcats sports events and fairs held at the elementary and middle schools.

The Perks

Because Rancho del Lago is so central to everything in Vail, there are plenty of perks to living in this neighborhood.

Restaurants. At first glance, it might seem as if the amenities in Rancho del Lago are lacking. You have the restaurant at the golf course, Montgomery’s, Valeria’s, and Arizona Pizza Company within a couple of miles from the neighborhood. That’s about it. There are plenty of restaurants that can easily be accessed by driving just a few more miles. For example, Gary Ray’s Barbecue and Saguaro Corners are both located just off of Old Spanish Trail, which isn’t too far from the Vail area. There are also a handful of restaurants on Houghton, which is about six miles away from Vail.

Shopping. Shopping is a little tougher. Many residents resort to shopping at Walgreen’s for their essentials. Walmart is the first major retailer you’ll reach when you venture to the outskirts of Vail. The closest mall is a 25 to 30 minute drive away. For many people, that’s a nice luxury. For others, Amazon Prime is essential for fast shipping on must-have items that arrive without the drive.

Living the Rancho del Lago Life

People are active around Rancho del Lago. The golf course, Hacienda del Lago, is one of the most popular courses in Southeast Tucson. Alongside the course is a pathway that lets bikers, runners, and walkers safely get their daily dose of activity. The closest pool is located in Purple Heart Park, which is about 15 minutes away by car.

Vail is a haven for bikers. Roads out here are used for training by amateur and professional cyclists alike. If mountain biking is your preference, the Arizona Trail is just a short ride up Camino Loma Alta. Fantasy Island is also close by.

You can also be a tourist in your own backyard. Colossal Cave Mountain Park is an attraction that people come to see from all over the world. Living in Rancho del Lago, it’s in your backyard.

If you’re looking for a house that’ll keep your family happy, safe, and active, Rancho del Lago is a great neighborhood to start your search.

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Lucretia Free