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 has arrived, and here are 11 reasons we love it.

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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
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.

A painted map of Jerome, Arizona
A painted map of Jerome, Arizona
Claire Lawton

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.

Photos: First Friday in Downtown Phoenix
Jim Louveau

First Friday
As First Friday has gained popularity, 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 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 just a few of our favorites.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
Katie Johnson

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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona
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.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

Heard Museum

2301 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004



Musical Instrument Museum

4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050



Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004



Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004



Burton Barr Central Library

1221 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004



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