Summertime in Arizona is a great time to experience the cooler cities and towns of the Grand Canyon State and also a chance to enjoy its resort lifestyle at a great value.
While summer in some parts of the state, including metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson, can be warm, there are many destinations where daytime temperatures struggle to reach 80 degrees. So, if you are considering a summer trip to Arizona, you might want to check out some of these travel options.
Flagstaff: Located just two hours north of Phoenix, Flagstaff is situated in the middle of the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest. At an elevation of approximately 7,000 feet near the base of the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff typically enjoys summer daytime temperatures near 80 degrees and nighttime temperatures in the 50s. Visitors love this cool mountain town for its hiking, craft beers, art galleries, terrific restaurants and great natural beauty.
Sedona: Towering pinnacles and sheer canyon walls create a magical setting for the Red Rock country of Sedona. It’s no wonder Sedona was just recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one the of Best Summer Trips 2015. Oak Creek, which carved this landscape, glides gracefully through Sedona, located 30 miles south of Flagstaff along a stretch of State Route 89A, which has been designated a Scenic Highway. At an elevation of 4,300 ft., Sedona is surrounded by red rock formations of spectacular beauty. Hiking, Jeep tours, a wonderful selection of art, award-winning spas and beautiful resorts are just part of the offerings to be found in Sedona.
Page/Lake Powell: Northern Arizona also boasts Lake Powell, the second-largest man-made lake in the U.S. lake with more than 2,000 miles of shoreline that meld into red rock formations created through centuries of wind erosion. Here, families enjoy sunny days of water-skiing, boating, and exploring the sapphire waters and sandy coves from the comfort of their rented houseboat. Lake Powel has 96 major canyons, each holding the ingredients for a great outdoor vacation memory.
Grand Canyon: Topping the list of must-see attractions for visitors is the Grand Canyon, which is about a 3.5-hour drive north of the greater Phoenix area. At a mile deep, 277 miles long and as much as 18 miles wide, many of history’s writers and photographers have found its splendor impossible to capture. In addition to hiking its trails, visitors may fly over the canyon in helicopter or plane tours or venture down its winding paths on the back of a sure-footed mule. From May to September, rafting companies take thrill-seekers through the canyon’s walls on the Colorado River on 18-day outings. One-day river trips are available mid-March to mid-October. Summer is peak travel season at the canyon, so plan ahead.
Southeastern Arizona geologically is referred to as a “Sky Island” region for its green and relatively wet mountain ranges. It ranks as one of the richest regions in wildlife diversity and with six different eco-systems, its spectacular scenery is equally diverse. The majestic Chiricahua Mountains rise to elevations of 10,000 feet, with thick oak-juniper and pine forests enveloped by towering volcanic rock sculptures and massive stone columns. Summer visitors can enjoy camping, hiking or just a cool place for a picnic.
Bisbee: During its late 19th-century mining heyday, Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco and was known for such bawdy locales as Brewery Gulch, then a stretch of rowdy saloons. Today, Bisbee is known for its stunning Victorian architecture, mild year-round climate and abundance of galleries and one-of-a-kind shops. At an elevation of 5,300 feet, this mile-high city enjoys warm summer days in the 80s with cool nights near 60 degrees.
Visitors can enjoy the Queen Mine Tour of one of the oldest copper mines in Arizona and also one of the most-productive copper mines of the 20th century. The mine is a cool 47 degrees year around, so dress warmly.
For Value Shoppers
For those who looking for a luxury vacation experience, summer in Arizona is the perfect time to stay at a world-class resort in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area or in Tucson. Arizona is home to many of the best resorts and spas in the world and if you are willing to tolerate triple-digit temperatures, the savings will be cool. Resorts that command upwards of $400 a night in peak-season can be had for about one-third of that amount. And, the experience is no less spectacular.
Award-winning resorts, restaurants and golf courses are plentiful in Phoenix and Tucson and summer in the Sonoran Desert is a great value.
Among the deals to be found?
- “Say Aloha Summer” at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale ($169 a night)
- Summer Suite Sale at the Wyndham Green Valley Canoa Ranch Resort near Tucson ($109 a night)
- “Kid-Free Staycation” at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix (from $89 a night, Sunday-Thursday)
- The Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau offers an array of internet coupons for many hotels and resorts, including summer specials
- “The Great American Summer” at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix (from $109 a night)
The Arizona Office of Tourism has a listing of seasonal specials posted on its website throughout the year. For more information on seasonal specials, visit http://visitarizona.com/travel-deals-packages/seasonal-specials.
For more information on this topic and others see the official Arizona travel and vacation guide from the Arizona Office of Tourism at www.visitarizona.com or on your Smartphone at mobi.arizonaguide.com.