Arizona is a popular vacation destination year-round, but each season brings something new and exciting. Opt for a spring or fall trip to Arizona when temperatures are warmer in the desert and cooler in the mountains, or bask in the warm summer sun at one of many lakefront Arizona vacation rentals. Save money when traveling during the off-season in late autumn when tourist attractions such as the Grand Canyon see fewer crowds.
Arizona is an exciting getaway spot for family-friendly adventures during any season. Visit the Native American sites in Flagstaff, kayak on Lake Powell, or admire Canyon Rock in Sedona. Determine the best time to visit Arizona by learning more about what each season has to offer.
Arizona in the Winter
Ditch the cold temperatures and snow on the East coast and head to Arizona for the winter where the temperatures rarely dip below 43 degrees from November to January and average at about 65 degrees. The mild temperatures give you an opportunity to join the snowbirds in Phoenix and Tucson or even attend the Arizona State Fair in November. January brings the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl complete with a parade, and Arizona winters are also home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Get in some sights when visiting Canyon de Chelly, which is much-less-crowded during the winter months, or tour the Desert Botanical Garden for Las Noches de las Luminarias and holiday lights galore. Fort Verde State Historic Park is also decked out for the winter holidays so you can hike during the day and view the decorative displays and lights at night when venturing from your Arizona vacation rental. When determining what to pack for a winter vacation in Arizona, plan for a mix of both winter and summer clothes as the temperatures cool down in the evenings.
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Arizona in the Spring
As flowers begin blooming, tourists tend to flock to Arizona to see the natural landscapes and landmarks. Catch a spring training game at the ten spring training stadiums in and around Phoenix or gear up for Cactus League baseball. Take advantage of the warmer temperatures as the amusement parks open, such as Wet n’ Wild and Golfland/Sun Splash in Phoenix.
The spring season is also when you can find the freshest produce. Stop in at The Farm at South Mountain for a farm to table breakfast before walking through Maya’s Garden to see the flowers in bloom. Downtown Scottsdale offers additional dining options, as well as specialty shops and art galleries you can browse for the day. Treat the kids to a sweet treat with a stop at Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor.You can’t visit Arizona without a trip to the Grand Canyon, and springtime harbors some of the best temperatures without the intense heat. Hike or bike the Grand Canyon trails before heading to Sedona to see Slide Rock. In the spring, Northern Arizona is still hosting snowboarding, so you can enjoy the best of winter and spring without the crowds.
Arizona in the Summer
A lakefront vacation rental in the summer provides you and your family with access to kayaking, paddle boating, and jet skiing. Rent a boat from Arizona Boat and Jet Ski Rentals in Mesa or Tempe Boat rentals before exploring the lakes. Arizona is home to Lake Powell and Lake Mead, offering plenty of opportunities to fish and cool off in the water when temperatures rise above 100 degrees. Get wet and wild with a dip in Havasu Falls or while tubing down the Salt River with rentals from Arizona’s Salt River Tubing & Recreation. A hike through the deserts is always a popular choice if you can handle the dry heat.
If you want some seclusion with access to the big city, consider a vacation rental near South Mountain Park or Lost Dutchman State Park. Determining what to pack is easy, as you only need light clothing and swimsuits for your summer vacation in Arizona.
Arizona in the Fall
Fall is the best time to visit Arizona if you are a wine enthusiast. The vineyards offer expansive selections since grape harvesting happens in early September. Attend the Arizona Wine Growers Festival, the Wilcox Wine Country Fall Festival or the Sedona Wine Festival to sample the finest wines. If you prefer a more family-friendly experience, head out to the Oktoberfest celebrations that are celebrated each year in Flagstaff and Tempe.
Temperatures averaging in the 70s and 80s make it possible for Arizona to host multiple festivals in the fall, such as the Red Rocks Music Festival in Sedona or the Antelope Canyon street parties. Take a drive through the state to see the leaves changing colors and step out onto your Arizona vacation rental balcony for some stargazing on those clear nights. When you are looking for a fright as Halloween nears, you’re in luck when visiting the haunted historical Bird Cage Theatre in Thompson.
When is the Best Time to Visit Arizona?
Although the winters are warmer in Arizona than most U.S. cities, the snowbirds often crowd the area, making it a bit more difficult to see all of your favorite attractions. Ideally, the best rates for travel and lodging, as well as the mild temperatures in Arizona, make spring the best time to visit. Beat the heat and the crowds with cooler temperatures when visiting sporting events, amusement parks, and canyons in the spring during your Arizona vacation.
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