Whether you’re looking for a summer getaway, a fall weekend, a spring break destination, or a winter escape, there’s always something new to discover in Arizona. In this story we take a look at all the activities, events, sights, and scenes that make Arizona unique at any time of the year!
Spring: Baseball, Parks, and Car Shows – Oh My!
Whether you’re a baseball lover, car enthusiast, hiker, or traveler, there’s something for you to discover in Arizona during the spring.
If you’re a baseball lover then Arizona in the spring is a must for you. Get your first glimpse of some of the best Major League Baseball teams during these spring training sessions. Fields surround the Phoenix area, so no matter which direction you travel you’ll always be able to catch a game. Of course, baseball isn’t the only sport that Arizona is known for in the spring – if you’d rather hit the links then be sure to check out the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale. Typically the tournament takes place in January or February, and is part of the PGA Tour. This 71 par event is a thrill for golf lovers and people looking to kick back and enjoy the spring weather while being entertained by some of the best golfers in the world.
Do you have a love for cars? If so, you’ll want to stop by the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale. This week long event features classic and antique automobiles, and you don’t need to buy Elvis’ pink Cadillac to soak in the history and love for the automobile during this event.
Arizona is known for their national parks, so while you’re visiting in the spring be sure to put the Sonoran Desert on your to-do list. This 100,000 mile desert covers southwest Arizona and stretches into California and Mexico. The spring is an especially good time to visit with the ephemerals flowering, as well as other local flora blossoming during the spring.
But at the end of the day if you’re just looking for a great time in one of Arizona’s many cities, why not check out the festivals and events going on in Phoenix or Tucson? Get a taste for some of the best regional cuisine during the Devour Culinary Classic in Phoenix, or drop by the 4th Avenue Street Fair in Tucson. There’s no shortage of events in the spring, so stop by and see for yourself!
We Recommend: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, Scottsdale
Why settle for some things when you can get everything you’ll need on vacation at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort? This resort is the perfect place to catch some R&R. Whether you want to hit one of the two golf courses, take a dip in one of the six heated sparkling pools, or chow down at one of the five award winning restaurants, everything you’ll need is on site and waiting for your arrival!
Summer: Cool Things in High (and Hot!) Places
Summer temperatures in Arizona can get as high as 85 degrees, but that pales in comparison to the 12,000 feet of elevation you can climb during these summer months! There are countless beautiful sights to behold during the summer, and the only question you’ll be forced to answer is “how are we going to see all of them?!”
The Grand Canyon is an Arizona staple, and with good reason – this national park is a marvel to behold, and will take your breath away whether you hike, drive, fly, or ride through it. This 277 mile-long canyon is a testament not only to Arizona’s natural beauty, but part of what makes the region so special and unique. One look is all it will take to stun and awe you, and it won’t be something you forget anytime soon. Need we say more?
If you’re looking to get high up, why not visit the highest point in Arizona? Humphrey’s Peak is the highest point in the state at 12,633 feet. Just north of Flagstaff, this is actually one of several mountain points in a volcanic mountain range called the San Francisco Peaks. It’s great for snowboarding in the winter, but in the summer these peaks are perfect for hiking, driving, or even soaking up some history about the cultural significance of these mountains. If you don’t want to get quite that high, skip the San Francisco Peaks and check out White Mountains. There’s plenty of fishing and outdoor recreational activities to take advantage of, not to mention plenty of restaurants to fill your inner foodie!
Want to be close to the mountains but not necessarily up them? Check out one of Arizona’s many mountain towns for a few days and see how life is lived at the foot of some of the highest points in the west. Payson, Prescott, and Flagstaff are all surrounded by mountains and woods, which means the moment you step out of your hotel room you’ll be able to soak up nature no matter which way you look. Get the feel for a close-knit community in any one of these towns!
We Recommend: Thumb Butte Distillery and Whiskey Row, Prescott
Whether you want to try an amazing craft cocktail with local ingredients, enjoy a bite to eat, and rock out to some local music, Whiskey Row in Prescott is a must-stop destination. Make sure to stop by the Thumb Butte Distillery while you’re there so you can sample some locally distilled vodka, rum, gin and more – and even take a bottle home when you’re done! For a full list of events and things to do in Prescott, you can also check out Visit Prescott for their up-to-date calendar of activities and festivals.
Fall: New Englanders Aren’t the Only Ones With Fall Colors!
Sure, in New England you have tens of thousands of leaves changing color and creating a tapestry of beauty. But you don’t need to go to New England to soak up the beauty of color changes – Arizona has a gorgeous fall with leaves changing colors, cooler nights, hunting, fishing, and camping.
The White Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Prescott and Payson are just some of the many places to visit in the fall to see autumn leaves in their beauty. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an oil painting as the reds, oranges, and yellows blend beautifully into the small towns and big national parks of Arizona. Bring your camera because this is something you won’t want to miss!
With the nights cooling down in the fall it’s also the perfect time to set up a campfire under the stars, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy all that nature has to offer. And after a night of sleeping under the stars, why not enjoy some local hunting or fishing? Be sure to get your permit applications in early!
We Recommend: Checking Out Visit Tucson for a Full List of Activities; White Tanks Conservatory; Prescott in the Fall
There’s so much to do and see in the fall that listing it all would be a series of blog posts in itself, so why not check out one of the most popular fall towns and see what it has to offer. Check out Visit Tucson for up-to-date events, festivals, and activities so your visit will have everything you want to do planned out in advance!
One thing we absolutely recommend is the White Tanks Conservatory.
These mountain ranges and natural parks in the fall will be exactly what you need to get the full autumn experience in Arizona, so be sure to make time during your trip to head out here!
In addition to these places, you’ll also want to see Prescott in the fall.
The Prescott forests have some of the best fall sites with plenty of colors , and is considered one of the most scenic drives or hikes you could take this time of year. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Winter: It Isn’t Really Winter!
You may be a little chilly, but you’ll be a far cry from cold when you visit Arizona during the winter! Just chilly enough to get all of your most-wanted winter activities in, just warm enough to be able to enjoy doing them. Don’t let the time of the year fool you – just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s the winter you might be familiar with!
To start, stop by Flagstaff during the winter where this quiet town is transformed into a winter wonderland of skiing and snowboarding. Flagstaff’s Arizona Snowbowl is the perfect destination for the skier or snowboarder in you, with a mix of expert level slopes and beginner and intermediate challenges. And why not stick around and warm yourself up after with a pint at one of the local brew pubs and some live local music?
If you’d rather not hit the slopes but still want to play in the snow, take a trip to the Nordic Center in Flagstaff where you can cross country ski across a stretch of trails going 25 miles long! Soak in the winter wonderland of nature in peace and quiet, or bring some friends and family along for the journey – no matter how you spend your time along these trails it will be time well spent.
Don’t think that the winter entertainment ends at the bottom of a mountain or end of a trail – there’s plenty of cultural and festive events going on throughout the state during the winter! Brighten up your night with the ZooLights in the Phoenix Zoo, or ride the Polar Express on the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams. Put on your ice skates and get ready to do a lap in the CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink in Downtown Phoenix, or get your head in the game for some college football! The Motel 6 Cactus Bowl and the Playstation Fiesta Bowl will be taking place in Phoenix and Glendale this year, and whether your team is in the bowl game or not this will be an event you won’t want to miss!
No matter what time of the year you visit Arizona there’s something here for you to see, something new for you to do, and something exciting for you to explore.
Plan your vacation and be ready because no matter what time of the year you visit, you’ll be making memories that will last a lifetime.