They don’t call Phoenix the Valley of the Sun for nothing! If you’ve ever had the pleasure to visit Arizona’s capital, you may have noticed that this place gets hot. Phoenix has more days that reach 100°F than any other major American city. Temperatures routinely top out above 80°F, even during winter! If you’re feeling a little sun shy in Phoenix, don’t worry. Here are some great ways to beat the heat.
1.) Enjoy the nightlife.
Sure, Phoenix’s daytime temperatures are notorious. When the scorching sun sets, though, the evening air is very accommodating to those who want to experience the city’s bustling nightlife. For trendy bars and nightclubs, head to the upscale northeast suburb of Scottsdale. Often called “South Beach in the Desert,” Scottsdale presents several pedestrian-friendly options in Old Town and along the Camelback Corridor. Downtown Phoenix, which is slightly more “hipster,” presents an array of great lounges like Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and The Duce.
2.) Cool off at the museums.
On a sizzling day, air conditioning can be your best friend. Thankfully, Phoenix is home to a diverse range of seriously cool museums. If you find yourself in the college town of Tempe, be sure to explore the ASU Art Museum. There are more than 12,000 pieces packed within its five exhibition spaces, which focus on contemporary and Southwestern art.
Those who have a penchant for music will appreciate the Musical Instrument Museum in northern Phoenix. Opened in 2010, this privately funded institution has collected more than 15,000 instruments from around the globe. This is one museum where the audio guide is truly worthwhile.
3.) Go to a game!
As one of only 12 cities with franchises in all four of America’s major sports leagues, Phoenix features sporting events throughout the year. All of these teams play indoors—a considerable convenience for fans and athletes who want to keep cool.
The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals play in a one-of-a-kind domed football stadium with a retractable roof. Across the street from the Cardinals’ stadium, you’ll find the arena for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Downtown Phoenix is home to the venues for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. Like the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks’ field features a modern retractable roof.
4.) Head a few miles north.
While Phoenix may be scorching hot during the day, some higher-elevated locales just north of the Valley experience temperatures that are 10-20 degrees cooler. Less than two hours north is Sedona, a tourist-friendly destination surrounded by beautiful red sandstone formations. This area is home to several resorts, spas, and hiking trails. While cooler than Phoenix, Sedona can still get hot during the summer. For even more temperate conditions, head a few miles farther north to the mountainous outdoor paradise of Flagstaff.
5.) Add some high quality H2O.
If there’s one surefire remedy for a hot day, it’s water. Naturally, Phoenix is home to many water parks for families looking to cool off. Featuring more than 30 attractions, Wet ‘n’ Wild in North Phoenix is the newest and largest water park in the metro area. On the southeast end of town, there’s Big Surf Waterpark. Opened in 1969, this facility lays claims to being America’s first water park. Another popular local park is Mesa Golfland Sunsplash, which stays open year-round as a joint miniature golf course and water park attraction.
Phoenix’s low-humidity, five-month summers offer a host of benefits to residents and visitors. For those who don’t want to embrace the sunshine, the Valley also presents an array of cooler alternatives.
How do you like to beat the heat when you’re in Phoenix? Splash around in the comments!