Trying to decide the best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale? This post will take you through which seasons and months are ideal for weather, crowds, and prices.
It didn't take long for Phoenix and Scottsdale to become a regular weekend getaway for Jake and me. Endless sunshine, desert hikes, decently priced hotels and restaurants, and a centrally located airport makes this an easy trip.
This sunny region has been gaining popularity over the years because it appeases pretty much every type of traveler. Whether you're looking for a getaway filled with hikes and activities, a bachelorette party centered around shopping and fun bars, or a luxury vacation sipping cocktails by the pool between spa treatments, this region makes for a wonderful vacation.
It's important you pick the right time of year to visit this desert destination before booking flights. Baseball spring training, sizzling summer heat, and “snowbird season" are just a few things to be aware of when planning your trip.
Also, understand that Scottsdale and Phoenix are pretty much one and the same when it comes to weather as they are right next to each other. This post will focus on Scottsdale but can also be used to learn the best time to visit Phoenix as well.
Keep reading to learn the best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale.
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Short and sweet: the best time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix is early spring and late fall
Late September through November and March through early May are the best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale. These months bring ideal weather for pool time and outdoor activities.
Spring in Scottsdale/Phoenix - March through May
The best time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix for pool weather, events, and spring training
April is the best month to visit Scottsdale. It brings the perfect combination of ideal weather, ranging from the mid-50s to mid-80s, without having to overpay for hotels.
April is a pretty quiet time for the Phoenix/Scottsdale region with only a handful of festivals and events. The main events to look out for are the Phoenix Pride Festival, Nirvana Food and Wine Festival, and the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
March will bring temperatures in the high-40s at night and mid-70s during the day...perfect for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, this is also a peak travel time with high hotel rates because of baseball spring training and a calendar filled with events.
March festivals and events to note include the NASCAR FanSheild 500 Race, LPGA Tour's Founders Cup, Phoenix Film Festival (usually continuing into early April), and M3F Music Festival.
If you're visiting during these events, make your restaurant reservations in advance and start any activities or hikes first thing in the morning to avoid crowds.
May is a wonderful time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix for those that don't mind warmer temperatures (mid-90s). I’ve been able to find decent hotel rates this time of year; excluding Memorial Day weekend.
Be sure to start any activities in the sun, like hiking, first thing in the morning and spend the rest of the day cooling off by the pool. May is also a great time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale if you're a foodie since Restaurant Week takes place mid to late-May.
I would also say spring is the best time to visit Arizona in general if you're planning on visiting other areas like Sedona or Tucson.
*the sun is quite strong in this region. 70 degrees is plenty warm to sunbathe and go swimming.
Fall in Scottsdale/Phoenix - Late September through November
The best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale for weather similar to spring, but with fewer events and crowds
Fall, specifically late fall, is also the best time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix. October and early November bring ideal temperatures with highs in the 80s. Very similar to April. If you visit in October or November you will have perfect weather for hiking, lounging by the pool, and patio dining.
Fall is also a great time of year to snag some great hotel prices. In general, fall sees fewer events than spring. The Arizona State Fair starts in October, the Rainbows Festival is in November, and the only notable event in September is Restaurant Week.
These events typically don't bring many outside tourists to Arizona, which means you'll have a better chance of finding a hotel deal. Keep in mind that you will start to see hotel prices increase towards the end of November as northerners and visitors from cooler states make their way down for a sunny getaway.
September is nice, but on the hotter end and with a chance of the intense summer heat continuing. Highs are typically in the 90s and it's not uncommon to see a few days with temperatures in the triple digits.
If finding a hotel deal is a priority, September is the best month to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix during the fall. The hot temperatures, kids going back to school, and lack of events means fewer crowds.
Winter IN Phoenix/Scottsdale - December through February
The best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale for a winter escape, active pursuits, and fewer crowds
Winter in Phoenix and Scottsdale feels more like a warm fall. The weather is sunny and perfect for hiking but not quite warm enough for the pool.
Temperatures range from the low-40s to high-60s during the winter season with December seeing the highest chance of rain. If you're looking for a more active vacation, this is the best time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Try to avoid late December as hotel prices are the highest with winter break travelers and those attending the Fiesta Bowl after Christmas. Baseball spring training starts at the end of February (see the dates here) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open typically falls around the end of January. Both these events mean steep hotel prices.
Summer in Phoenix/Scottsdale - June through August
The worst time to visit Scottsdale and Phoenix is summer with unbearable heat
Unless you enjoy melting in the sun, avoid summer. Summers in Phoenix and Scottsdale can get hot enough to shut down airport runways. Highs soar above 110 degrees and there is little respite from the heat in the evening.
Arizona does have a dry heat, so it’s not quite as miserable as it sounds. Hotels slash their prices and offer incredible deals to lure tourists during their slow season.
If you plan to stay in the pool or relaxing at the spa the majority of the time, enduring the heat might be worth the hotel deals you will find. Also note that late summer is monsoon season, which can bring unpredictable storms and heavy rainfall.
Keep in mind that summer is NOT the best time to visit Arizona in general. Even Sedona sees temperatures in the high-90s. Residents of Scottsdale and Phoenix will generally try to escape to the cooler areas during summer. Which means, you'll have a hard time finding decent hotel rates in the cooler cities of Arizona.
I hope this helps in planning your trip to Arizona. My personal favorite and the best time to visit Scottsdale is early spring and late fall. It isn't too crowded and the weather is perfect for morning hikes and afternoons by the pool.
Winter is a wonderful time if you're looking for a winter escape and are more focused on outdoor activities (hiking, bike rides, golf) instead of spending all day in the pool.
Summer is the absolute worst time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale as temperatures stay in the triple digits and monsoon season brings unpredictable downpours.
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Now that you've learned the best time to visit Phoenix and Scottsdale it's time to start booking your tours and activities!
“You always seem to know how to put these things into words. It’s quite a respectable talent if you ask me.
Me and my fiance are planning to have our honeymoon in Phoenix and Scottsdale. And this article really helped us a lot on when is the best time to go there.
What is your favorite thing or place that you can suggest for honeymoon?
I promise, whenever you’re going to publish your first book, I will be the first one to buy it.”
Ashley Friemel says
Thank you so much for your kind words…made my day 🙂 For a honeymoon, I would recommend spa treatments at Joya Spa (Omni Montelucia), dinner at Virtu, and if you’re into hiking either Piestewa Peak or Camelback (challenging). Definitely wander around Old Town Scottsdale in the morning when it’s quiet. If you have extra time, I would consider adding a night in Sedona (gorgeous views and amazing hikes).