11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
Bemoan the sweltering heat, requisite sunburns, and incessantly blazing sunshine all you want. There's plenty to love about Arizona in the summertime. The season officially arrives Friday, June 21, and here are 11 reasons we love it.
Monsoons As the mid-summer clouds begin to form and the winds kick up, Phoenix's signature storm season means some mild relief from the heat. The fantastic lightning shows are a photographer's dream, and we're partial to the random torrential downpours that would be a bummer in most other climates. Leave it to desert dwellers to get psyched about rain. After a couple months of 100-plus temps, monsoon season is nature's cure for summer burnout. So soak it in; you've earned it.
Salt River Tubing Contrary to popular belief, Salt River Tubing isn't just for drunken college kids (but if you're into that, bring marshmallows). Pro tip: If you go on a weekday, right when the park opens at 9 a.m., you'll get to enjoy the natural landscape in relative solitude.
See also: How to Tube the Salt River
Katie Warren/Arizona Diamondbacks
Chase Field's Roof Even when it's smoldering outside, Diamondbacks fans don't have to sweat it out while catching a game, thanks to Chase Field's 9 million pound retractable steel roof. At Chase, hats have become a summer fashion statement rather than a necessity since most 100-plus-degree days mean they've shut that baby and are blasting much-needed air conditioning. For those seated in the upper levels, the blowing air can make it downright cold.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Cheap Staycations With tourist season at its low point, locals reap the benefits of sweet staycation discounts. Low room rates, free gifts, and complimentary wining and dining services are just some of the ways hotels try to woo their summer guests. This summer, take advantage of the opportunity to get away from it all -- without ever stepping through airport security.
See also: 10 Hotels for a Phoenix Staycation
A painted map of Jerome, Arizona
Day Trips You don't have to wait for a long vacation to treat yourself to a trip. Some parts of Arizona are actually quite temperate in the summer. And who doesn't love a good getaway? Check out: Jerome, Bisbee, Sedona, or Prescott.
First Friday As First Friday has gained popularity over the past few years, the crowds on Roosevelt have gotten so big, it can be tempting to stay home and forget about the whole ordeal. But summer is a different story. With the temperatures rising, the crowds start dwindling, increasing the chance that you'll actually get to see some art.
Museums Museums in Arizona cover a huge range of interests. And they have air-conditioning. The Heard Museum, Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix Art Museum, and Arizona Science Center are some of our favorites.
See also: Seven Favorite Museums in Metro Phoenix
Pool Parties Let's be real -- the beach is overrated. Between the seagulls, seaweed, and grits of sand in nearly every crevice of your clothes, car, and body, Phoenix's locals' lust over California's coast is a classic case of "the grass is always greener." Save yourself the time and money and stop by one of the many pool parties happening all over the Valley. From DJs and drink specials to water slides and private cabanas, these pool parties are a welcome alternative to your usual seaside sunburn.
See also: 10 Favorite Pools in Metro Phoenix
Flickr via CEBImagery.com
Night Hiking In the summer, the desert comes alive when the sun goes down. Night hiking is a great way to get some exercise without burning up. All you need is water and a headlamp (and if there's a full moon, you can often go without the later). South Mountain has lots of easier trails to get you started.
Flickr via marcteer
Burton Barr Central Library The answers to all the questions that have ever crossed your mind are hidden somewhere in the pages of a book at the Burton Barr Central Library. Usually we're popping in and out of the sprawling book-opolis, but summer is a perfect time to roam the aisles aimlessly. You'll discover hidden treasures like a selection of cookbooks and classic movies -- plenty of fodder for good, clean indoor fun. And it makes for a great day out of the house thanks to the plentiful seats and reading spots.
Flickr via Michael | Ruiz
Less Traffic Sure, Phoenix traffic doesn't tend to get that bad. But when the snow birds fly back north we always notice a down-tick in the number of cars on the road. Suddenly there are more parking spots to be had and a 30-minute commute shrinks down to 25 or less -- which can be all difference in the world if you happen to drive an AC-less vehicle.
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