When to Visit Phoenix and Scottsdale (And 12 Things to Know Before You Go!)

Looking to explore Arizona’s capital and the surrounding areas? Well, I’m here to tell you when to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale to make your vacation a success!

You might think this area is the same all year round, since it’s in a desert. Well, you’d be surprised!

This beautiful slice of paradise in Arizona has four seasons!

They might not be as extreme as elsewhere in the country, but they’re enough to impact your vacation!

So let’s get into it!

When to Visit Phoenix & Scottsdale

If you’re wondering generally when to visit Phoenix and when to visit Scottsdale, I’d say the springtime.

But if you want to know the best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale, the answer is April.

Fortunately, regardless of when you go, there is plenty to enjoy in the Phoenix area!

Located in what is known as the Valley of the Sun, the Phoenix area gets over 330 days of sunshine per year on average.

But it does rain sometimes, and each season offers something different! Let’s get into it!

Phoenix and Scottsdale By Season

As you can hopefully tell from my photos, Arizona features incredible cacti that make for great photo props!

Like I mentioned earlier, with over 330 sunny days a year, it’s never a bad time to visit Phoenix or Scottsdale.

Here I’ll break down Phoenix weather by season. I also rank from best to worse season to visit.

Since each season is suitable for different activities, this way you can also determine what the best time to visit Phoenix is for you! 

Spring: The best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale

salt river tubing exit

Many consider spring the best time of year to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale.

With warm days, wildflowers, and light rain, springtime is a dream here!

The spring months of March and April see the mildest weather of the year. It sometimes rains in March, but rarely rains in April.

Also, temperatures typically see an average high of about 80°F and an average low of about 54°F.

With high temperatures reaching the mid 70’s to 80’s, spring is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors in Phoenix and the surrounding area. This season is a great time to go hiking at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve or explore the shops in Old Town Scottsdale.

However, this is also the busy season for tourists. So the spring has plenty of exciting events like concerts and festivals. You definitely won’t have a hard time keeping busy! 

And since this is the busiest season with more tourist events, this increases hotel rates. 

Fall: The next best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale

If you thought you had to visit Phoenix in the spring to enjoy a full calendar of awesome events, you thought wrong!

There are a ton of festivals and outdoor adventures to experience this season.

Plus, temperatures dip back into the 70s in October! As the locals come out of hiding from the hot summer months, you’ll find plenty to do in this mild season. 

One thing to keep in mind is that there’s a chance you’ll randomly get a hot weekend, even in the fall.

We visited at the beginning of October and it was about 106 every day! The good thing was that the mornings and evenings cooled off considerably. It was usually in the low 70’s when we set off on our morning adventures.

Winter: Still a great time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale

Maybe you’re accustomed to shoveling snow, sporting a heavy coat, and sipping hot cocoa in the winter.

Well, it’s safe to say that the Phoenix area does winter differently. While the rest of the country sits by the fire to avoid the cold, Phoenix residents enjoy the sunshine in shorts and sundresses.

Winter in Phoenix can get chilly at times, but temperatures never drop enough to see snow. In fact, the average temperature in the winter is a nice 67 degrees!

So if you’re looking to escape the cold without leaving the US, Phoenix is the place to do it. Just note that it won’t be hot enough to spend time in the pool!

Instead, this is the best season for hiking and adventuring outdoors!

Summer: The worst time to visit Phoenix & Scottsdale

As temperatures rise into the 100’s, the sizzling heat of summer scares off most of the tourists.

Summer in the city lasts from May to September and is divided into a dry summer and a wet summer.

  • The dry summer lasts from May to July and sees very high temperatures and little to no precipitation.
  • The wet summer lasts from July to September and is, as it sounds, the rainy season. In late September, the rainy weather ceases and temperatures begin to drop.

The plus side is, with the temperatures as they are in the summer, hotel rates take a dive.

Plus, the low humidity in Phoenix makes the heat surprisingly bearable. If you’re brave enough to venture to AZ in the summertime, you’ll find cheap accommodations and far less crowded streets! 

You just might want to stick to either the pool or indoor activities.

And if you’re outside, make sure you bring strong sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

My husband uses this Tinted Elta MD sunscreen and swears by it!

If you’re familiar with sunscreen, you know that zinc oxide is apparently the best sunscreen for you, your health, and the health of the earth. But you probably also know that it usually goes on very thick, feels sticky and uncomfortable, and makes you look like a pasty ghost!

This sunscreen goes on so lightly and smoothly that it doesn’t feel like zinc-based sunscreen at all. Plus, its tint prevents that pale ghosty look common for zinc sunscreen users!

Phoenix Weather By Month

If you’re a visual person like me, here’s a chart of Phoenix weater for you:

MonthAvg. HighAvg. LowAvg. Rain
January68°45°.91 in
February72°48°.92 in
March77°52°.99 in
April86°59°.28 in
May94°67°.11 in
June104°76°0.02 in
July106°82°1.05 in
August105°81°1.00 in
September100°75°0.64 in
October89°64°0.58 in
November76°51°0.65 in
December68°44°0.88 in

Off-Season Travel

The intense heat of summer in Arizona usually scares away tourists and drives hotel rates down.

That said, the heat isn’t as bad as you might think due to the lack of humidity.

Dry heat is much more bearable than humid heat, since you don’t feel like you’re walking through a sauna every time you step outside. 

To sum it up, here are a few of the main reasons why you should consider visiting in the summer: 

1. Hotel rates are cheaper.

With peak tourist season over, hotel rates plummet and are much more reasonable during the summertime.

This leaves you with more money to spend on activities and food! 

2. It’s not as crowded.

While there are still plenty of fun events to keep you occupied, Phoenix is far less crowded during the summer. You won’t need reservations at most restaurants and you won’t have to worry about bumping into people every five seconds. 

3. You can stay cool in the pool. 

With all of the hotel pools in the Scottsdale area, you won’t have to worry about finding a good spot to stay cool in the summer. As if you needed an excuse to hit the pool! 

Where should you stay in Phoenix and Scottsdale?

Now that we’ve established what Phoenix is like through the seasons, let’s cover the best places to stay!

If you plan to explore the whole area, I recommend staying in Scottsdale. It’s just 20 minutes away from Phoenix and it is home to a wide range of accommodations.

Here you will find everything from desert hideaways, to luxury resorts, to budget-friendly hotels in the heart of the city. No matter what kind of stay you’re looking for, you can find it in Scottsdale. 

Here are some of the best options in every price category: 

Best Budget Options

  • 3 Palms. This contemporary boutique hotel features a resort-style pool, rooftop sundeck, and fitness center. It’s also centrally located just 2 miles from Old Town Scottsdale. Head here if you’re looking for a hotel that feels more like a resort but with a budget price tag. 
  • Hyatt House Scottsdale/Old Town. This resort-style hotel is located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. It’s surrounded by world-class dining, shopping, and nightlife. From the spacious suites to the heated pool, you’ll be extremely comfortable at Hyatt House. 

Best ‘In the Middle’ Options

  • ADERO Scottsdale. This resort-style hotel offers an escape from city life with a getaway hidden high up in the Sonoran Desert. This hotel features impressive dining options, a world-class fitness club, and a pool with an unbeatable view of the city. 
  • Bespoke Inn Scottsdale.This tranquil boutique inn sits in the Arts District of Old Town Scottsdale. It has stylish guest rooms, an infinity lap pool, gourmet dining, and a gorgeous courtyard for relaxing.

Best Luxury Options

  • The Scott Resort & Spa. With gorgeous interiors, multiple pools, and a delicious restaurant at The Cabana Club, and a good price, this luxury option is a great place to stay! Harrison and I have been invited to stay here twice now. We’ve loved it each time! Use code JASMINE for up to 20% off your stay!
  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. This hotel has Spanish-style architecture, oversized guest rooms, six heated swimming pools, and even a white sand beach! Go here if you want to feel like royalty.
  • Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale. This breathtaking Hilton resort is nestled way up in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert. It has eight tennis courts, six restaurants, a marketplace of boutiques, and a 33,000 square foot spa! So there is no shortage of things to do here. 

12 Things to Know Before You Visit Phoenix

  1. On average, Phoenix and Scottsdale boast 330 days of sunshine each year. It’s supposedly the sunniest major metropolitan area in the United States!
  2. But there is a monsoon season. Chances are you’ll have cloudless skies & sunshine unless you visit during the monsoon season in July and August. Then it’s not uncommon for there to be downpours!
  3. Winter in the desert doesn’t mean you’ll have pool weather!
  4. Three activities make Phoenix particularly busy:
    • The Fiesta Bowl, which is held after Christmas.
    • Baseball spring training, which, though it is spring training, actually occurs at the end of February. Half of MLB teams hold spring training in Phoenix, which makes sense because of the weather!
    • The WM Phoenix Open. Phoenix hosts this golf tournament at the end of January or beginning of February.
  5. The majority of Arizona, including Phoenix and Scottsdale, doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time!
  6. During the shoulder season, hot days are offset by temperate nights.
  7. Scottsdale is very artist-friendly. There are over 70 art museums and galleries in this small town!
  8. Scottsdale’s 70 resorts and hotels have over 130 pools! So if you’re heading to Scottsdale to relax poolside, you’re in good hands.
  9. The Phoenix area sits within the Sonoran Desert. This desert is the only desert where you’ll find the famous Saguaro cactus!
  10. Despite being in a desert, Phoenix’s elevation level is over 1,000 feet above sea level!
  11. There are over 200 golf courses in Phoenix, which is great since rain will hardly ever affect your golf game.
  12. Phoenix only gets about 8 inches of rain over the whole year!

In conclusion…

No matter where you decide to stay or what you decide to do, Phoenix and Scottsdale have plenty to offer.

Also, fun fact: there are more spas in Scottsdale per capita than any other US city. So if you’re looking for relaxation, definitely add Scottsdale to your list! 

I hope this has thoroughly answered the question of when to visit Phoenix! And if you’ve been to Phoenix and Scottsdale and have more to add on this matter, please drop a comment below!

If you’re heading to the Phoenix area, here’s another post you’ll find helpful:

Safe travels!

Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.

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Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I love to create photo-worthy travel content and hope to fill your travel plans with incredible beauty and breathtaking views! Thanks for following along on my adventures!

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