Best time to visit Phoenix

Cloudless skies, warm temperatures and over 300 annual days of bright sunshine – the weather in Phoenix is ​​pretty perfect year round. And even when it’s hot, the low humidity lends itself to activities like strolling among the downtown murals and exploring the desert ecosystem. So when is the best time to visit Phoenix?

Winter is peak season in Phoenix, with many so called “snowbirds” in the United States and Canada seeking out the warmer surroundings of the Valley of the Sun. Hotel prices are often at their highest. Spring and fall are equally appealing, with mild weather complemented by cooler mornings and evenings. Summer is unmistakably hot, but it’s not a dealbreaker. The monsoon season brings much needed short bursts of rain, refreshing the barren landscape. It’s also a great time to visit a myriad of museums and relax in hotel pools as well as on the refreshing beaches of Phoenix lakes and rivers.

Read on for a monthly breakdown of the weather, accommodation costs, and activities to make the most of your time in the Arizona capital.

Admire mesmerizing sunsets over Phoenix year round © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

High season: October to May

Great for outdoor activities and seeing desert flowers

You will rarely need more than a light jacket or sweater during these months, when life outside is idyllic. It’s easy to occupy your days playing one of Phoenix’s eight golf courses (five are championships) and seeing the iconic saguaro cacti in places like the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

Low season: June to September

Ideal for watching professional sports

Sure, it’s already hot in Phoenix in late spring and scorching in summer, but that gives you free rein to relax indoors, whether that’s watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play (in an air-conditioned stadium). ), shopping or finding solitude in the city’s museums. and galleries. This is also the best time to find great deals on accommodation and activities, especially golf.

Beautiful wild desert pink cactus flowers in bloom
See magnificent wild cactus flowers blooming in the desert in March © supitchamcsdam / Getty Images

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When much of the country is freezing cold, Phoenix is ​​perfectly pleasant in January. Temperatures average highs of 67 and lows of 44, but don’t expect to freeze. The only thing heating up are the hotel rates, so book early to get the best deal. Events have yet to escalate for the year, but cooler days draw runners to Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona, a series of 5k marathon races, with the longest routes crossing the red rocks surrounding the Great Phoenix.


One of Arizona’s biggest draws is golf, and enthusiasts are flocking to the fairways for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. February is also the best month to experience the city’s local cuisine and breweries at monthly events and learn about Indigenous culture at the Heard Museum, which hosts the World Hoop Dancing Championship.


Major League Baseball’s spring training season is in full swing in Phoenix, with Cactus League teams playing at stadiums and stadiums across the city. Keep this in mind when booking accommodation, which may be more affordable outside of town. Temperatures warm up until the mid-1970s, making March a great month for desert treks in places like the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, when wildflowers and cacti start to bloom.


An eclectic array of festivals and events held in April exemplifies the diversity of Phoenix. Fans of racing cars and motorcycles arrive for Nascar, and the Arizona Bike Week rally and music festival, while other events celebrate the humble taco and all things Renaissance (including jousting tournaments) complete the mix. Hotel prices can still be quite high.


While it’s technically still spring in May, average highs hit the mid-90s. Travelers tend to clear up towards the end of the month. Now is the time to make the most of the time by eating al fresco; find one of the city’s green spaces for a picnic, like Encanto Park, where you can also fish or row a boat in the lagoon. Evenings are in the mid-60s, but still warm enough to sip a cocktail on a rooftop patio and watch the sun set over the Sonoran Desert.

People take mouth selfies in Hole-in-the-Rock, Phoenix, Arizona
Hole-in-the-Rock, a natural rock formation, is a popular photo spot © Shutterstock / Gregory E. Clifford


As temperatures rise steadily, hitting the 100’s, hotel prices begin to drop, making the dream of staying at a luxury resort in Phoenix more achievable. Large-scale festivals are long gone, but there is still a lot of celebration for professional sports. Teams like the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury play in indoor venues all summer.


July is generally the hottest month in Phoenix, but it’s also quieter here with locals heading north to cooler climates or on water trips for camping and fishing. It also means it’s easier to book lazy afternoon spa days at glamorous resorts or book secure dinners at Phoenix’s best restaurants.


The heat recedes a little and it is fortunately (almost) dry in the desert. Phoenicians enjoy cooler mornings and evenings when the temperature hits the 80s. You can do the same by participating in evening activities like Flashlight Nights, a self-guided desert botanical garden adventure. Look for night-flowering plants and keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal desert animals. Or take a day trip to higher, cooler terrain, like the Tonto National Forest, a wilderness area ranging in elevation from 1,300 feet to 7,900 feet, with tons of trails from around the world. hinterland surrounded by streams and pine forests.

Hot air balloon flying over Sonoran dessert with blue sky
Take a hot air balloon flight over the Sonoran Desert at dawn © Joerg Reichel / Getty Images


Triple-digit temperatures are almost a distant memory in September, and festivals and events are picking up again. Sample Southwestern and international cuisine during Arizona Restaurant Week, which is also a fundraiser for families in need. Tourism is also making a resurgence, but reasonable room rates can still be found.


Harvest season in the desert also marks the first cool autumn afternoons, with temperatures dropping down to the mid-1960s. October days are somewhat suitable for outdoor fairs and festivals that celebrate the arts, craft beer culture and the carnival atmosphere at the faithful Arizona State Fair.


In November, celebrations intensify, as does tourism, causing hotel prices to skyrocket as sun seekers begin their Phoenix getaway for reliable heat and abundant activity. Arizona’s booming trio of wine regions are pictured at the annual wine festival, and the party is on at Phoenix Pride, a two-day celebration of the LGBTIQ + community and its allies.


Winter chill is finally coming as daytime temperatures drop in the mid-1960s. It’s not cold enough to freeze, and Phoenix is ​​celebrating the holiday season in true desert style. A Southwestern tradition is Holidays at the Heard; the museum’s annual showcase, which features exhibits of art, authentic Indigenous crafts, and live music. If you are planning to visit Phoenix in December, book early. An influx of tourists can drive up costs, especially on weekends and during winter holidays.

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