Many people just can't handle the desert in the summer. But then there are others who say that summer is the best time to visit Phoenix. If summertime finds you in or planning to visit the Valley of the Sun, the best way to survive the summer is to just adapt. Here are some things to do in summer to cope with Phoenix's triple-digit temperatures.
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Get Wet to Cool Off
When summer comes, head to the water. Phoenix doesn't have any real beaches, but here are some places and ways you can beat the heat with some wet fun:
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Take in Some Air-Conditioned Entertainment
Splashing around is fun, but the time comes when we just need to get out of the sun. Here are some indoor activities in Greater Phoenix to consider in summer.
- Find a movie theater or attend a summer movie program for kids
- See a concert or show
- Bowl at Uptown Alley or another local bowling alley
- Hit the casinos
- Check out one of these museums:
- Sea Life Arizona Aquarium
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Butterfly Wonderland
- Octane Raceway Indoor Kart Racing
- Arizona Science Center
- Go shopping
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Visit an Indoor Activity Center
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Limit Outdoor Activities to the Early Morning or Evening
A few summer activities are worth considering even though they are outside. It's probably best to do these either early in the morning or in the evening. Typically, places that offer summertime activities will provide shade or another respite from the sun. First ask yourself if you think the heat might get to you, and go prepared with sunscreen, a hat, and water.
- Summer golf specials
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
- Maricopa County Parks (early morning or evening)
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
- Apache Trail scenic drive
- Chandler Art Walk
- Scottsdale ArtWalk
- First Friday
- Glendale Summer Band Concert Series
- Dolly Steamboat Cruise
- Desert Belle Tour Boat
- Phoenix Zoo's Starry Safari Friday Nights
- Desert Botanical Garden
- May events and free concerts
- June events and free concerts
- July events and free concerts
- August events and free concerts
- September events and free concerts
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Check Out a Summer Spectator Sport
Phoenix has professional and college sporting events all year long. Many tickets are reasonably priced, and some are even free. Why not go to a game this summer?
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Go Out of Town
No matter what you do, sometimes you just need to escape the incessant heat. Here are some ideas for places within a two-hour drive of Phoenix that are probably 10 to 20 degrees cooler. And if you don't want to drive, you could always just check into a local resort.
- Summer specials at Phoenix resorts
- Summer specials at Scottsdale resorts
- Local resorts with waterpark features
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
- Grand Canyon
- Canyon de Chelly and Walnut Canyon
- Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot
- Arizona State Parks
- Arizona's National Parks
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Hit the Beach
These spots are a bit farther than a couple of hours, but Phoenicians are known for packing up and heading to the nearest coast during the summer.
If you can't go out of town but still need to get your beach fix, check out the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. It doesn't offer the sun and surf of the ocean, but it does have a sandy beach at its pool.
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Celebrate a Summer Holiday
From May through September, you just can't hide at home in the air conditioning and wait for the temperatures to drop. There are some special days that require your attention.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Learn Summer Safety Tips
Phoenix-area residents need to find ways to adapt to everyday living when the temperatures soar. Whether it be shopping, driving, or taking care of pets, it's essential to take safety precautions in the summer.
- Buying a car: Does color matter?
- Summer car safety
- Your dog and desert heat
- Tips for living in triple-digit heat
- Prevent heat exhaustion
- Prevent heat stroke
- Prevent skin cancer
- Protect your skin
- Treat Valley Fever
- Beware of rattlesnakes
- Beware of scorpions
- Beware of mosquitos and West Nile Virus
- Arizona wildfires
- Monsoon safety
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How to Care for Yards and Gardens During the Summer
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Conserve Energy and Save Water
Although Phoenix residents might not use a lot of heat or water in the winter, energy consumption in the summer soars. It is important to conserve—for both the planet and your wallet.
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Know What to Expect About Summer Heat
Yes, let's begin with the obvious: It's hot in the desert. It's not so much the individual hot days that can wear you down as it is the duration of the summer season. Summertime in the Phoenix area lasts about five months— sometimes longer—despite what a standard calendar indicates.