Recommendations from a Local: When to Visit Phoenix

I often forget that my home state is a popular tourist destination. With warm weather and beautiful views, Arizona is hard to resist. For this reason, I want to discuss some of my recommendations for those traveling to the Metro-Phoenix area. Locals always have the best suggestions, right? 😉

Hiking with Sedona in March

When to Go

When is the best time to visit Phoenix? The answer to this question: it depends.

A lot of travelers like to come here during the winter months, because our temperatures average from the high 40’s to the low 70’s. While that’s pretty chilly for us locals, guests–from areas with colder climates–really love it. Another plus? We don’t have to deal with snow here in the Valley. No shoveling for us. 🙂

March and April are also popular travel months, because Arizona is a huge Spring Training hub. In addition, the weather tends to be a little warmer, as temperatures range from the high 50’s to the low 80’s during this time. Unfortunately, due to all of the baseball fans and spring breakers visiting, airfare and hotel rooms are usually more expensive.

Even though many people travel during the summertime, I really wouldn’t recommend visiting Phoenix then (without a specific reason of course). Everyone says it’s a “dry heat” here; however, being outside is still brutal when the thermometer hits 110 degrees or higher. It’s important to mention that in July and August, the air becomes more humid, and we have occasional dust/rain storms. They can be very powerful and overwhelming if you’ve never experienced them before.

Overall, I’d say that fall and spring are my favorite seasons here. I like to be able to lay by the pool and enjoy outdoor activities without sweating bullets. In addition, there are several more events, such as festivals and fairs, held when the weather is cooler. Despite the fact that they are our peak seasons, I still think that fall and spring are the best times to come.

Gorgeous Sunset in April

Sedona with Kids Itinerary

Last month, my nieces were in town from out of state. While brainstorming activities for us, Justin and I thought it would be fun to take the girls on an adventure to Sedona! The beautiful city of red rocks is only about 2 hours from us in the Valley. While it is possible to have a decent day trip up there, we decided to stay overnight for a better experience.

We arrived in Sedona around noon. Luckily, our hotel–the Arabella–had our room ready, and we were able to check-in early. Justin and I stayed at the Arabella two years ago, and we enjoyed it. The rooms are comfortable and budget friendly. They have a pool, fire pits, and even a hiking area with a beautiful view of the sunset. Sometimes they have unique activities or events on the weekends. The best part? This hotel provides its guests with free breakfast in the mornings. Sweet!

After we settled in to the room and ironed out our plans for the afternoon, we headed out to Sedona-Off Road Center to rent our side by side. Once we completed our paperwork, the company provided us with a map of trail options. Before we knew it, we were off!

off-road selfie
Off Roadin’

We decided to do the Schnebly Hill Road Trail as well as the Devil’s Bridge Trail. They were both relatively easy to do with an off-roading vehicle. Schnebly Hill provided us with beautiful views of Sedona as well as a nice place to stop for a snack. The Devil’s Bridge Trail was my favorite, though. Once we couldn’t drive any further, we parked our side by side and hiked up to the spectacular rock formation. While the hike was a little rough in the afternoon, the view was well worth the work! I was a little nervous about taking the girls off-roading at first, but they ended up having a blast.

devils bridge

After we returned our vehicle, we ventured back to the hotel and hopped in the pool to cool down. The water was so refreshing after being out in the heat all day. We then washed up and headed to Oregano’s for some dinner and a pizza cookie. While we have the Italian restaurant here in Phoenix, we love to visit this one in particular for the stunning red rock views. We even spotted Snoopy while we were there. 😉

Once we returned back to our room for the night, we discovered that the hotel was offering a star gazing event. We can’t see many stars here in the Metro-Phoenix area, so we decided to check it out. At the meeting spot, there was a nice gentleman discussing the planets and constellations above. He had a telescope that we were able to use. We were even able to see the Milky Way!

night sky
Some Stars Visible with My Camera

The next morning we drove out to Slide Rock State Park before heading home. This area of the Oak Creek is blast, because the rock formations act as natural water slides. There are even areas where the creek is deep enough to swim or cliff jump. We all had such a great time! I will mention, though, that the water is extremely cold and the rocks are VERY slippery. So, next time, I will definitely bring water shoes and wear board shorts.

Overall, our trip with the girls to Sedona was amazing! I think they were a little hesitant about our plans at first, but we all had such a great time. I’ve been to Sedona before, and I’d definitely say that this trip/itinerary was my favorite by far.