Are you looking to visit Phoenix? You should consider when to schedule that trip to make the most of the city and all it offers.
Think about the weather, who will be traveling, and what you want to do. You’ll want to consider your budget as well. Read on to learn about the best time to visit Phoenix!
Why You Should Visit Phoenix
Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States, with more than 1.6 million residents. That also makes it the largest capital city of any state. With all those people, there are plenty of things to see and do. Phoenix is also more laid back than larger cities like LA or NYC.
You can visit the Phoenix Zoo or the Desert Botanical Garden to enjoy animals and plants. The city is also home to an art museum and the one-of-a-kind Musical Instrument Museum. So art and music lovers can spend all day in either venue.
Of course, there’s also a lot of shopping to do, both in Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs. It’s an excellent place to visit with family or on your own. You can stay in a hotel or find another rental, and there are options all over town.
When much of the country experiences sub-freezing temperatures, Phoenix stays warm. If you’re looking for a winter getaway, the city is an excellent choice. And its large population means the airport has direct flights to many small and large airports around the country.
Phoenix is also fairly close to other tourist destinations in Arizona. You can head south to Tucson, another major city with parks, museums, and shops. Head north to leave the desert and visit the Grand Canyon.
Northern Arizona is also home to the Prescott National Forest and multiple Native American nations and reservations. The Grand Canyon is just over three hours away from Phoenix, while Tucson is less than two hours in the opposite direction.
Overall Best Time to Visit Phoenix
Spring is the best time to visit Phoenix. If you’re looking for something more specific, schedule your visit in April to avoid spring break travelers and beat the heat.
On average, Phoenix has a high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit in April. In addition, that month, it gets down to around 59 degrees at night, so it’s not too cold. The entire month sees only one day of rain on average.
Of course, if you want to take day trips outside of Phoenix, the rest of Arizona has great weather. You can travel north and avoid some lingering winter weather you may encounter earlier in the spring.
April is also a fantastic time to visit because schools haven’t let out yet. You can avoid some of the crowds that pop up during school breaks. You may have to deal with Easter pricing, but you can travel on a different week to avoid spikes in flight and hotel costs.
Early May is also a good time in the spring to visit Phoenix. Like in April, you can avoid crowds of students on school break. Unfortunately, it can be hotter in May, with highs reaching the 90s.
But if you’re looking to spend most of your time indoors or in a pool, April and May are both suitable months to schedule a visit. Then, you can still avoid some of the extreme temperatures of the later part of summer.
Cheapest Time to Visit Phoenix
If you’re traveling on a budget, you can still visit Phoenix. However, you may need to be slightly more flexible regarding when you go.
Since the summer can see highs in the 100s, there’s not much of a demand from tourists. That means you can take advantage of travel deals to save money on your trip. In many cases, hotels will drop their nightly rate for the summer to try and fill rooms.
Flights and rental cars can also be more affordable during June, July, and August. You can still see many of the same attractions and do plenty of shopping.
If you’re not an enormous fan of the heat, consider enjoying some nightlife. Summer evening lows are around 80 degrees, which can be much more tolerable than daytime temperatures.
Of course, you can also go for early morning hikes before the temperature reaches its peak. Later in the day, focus on indoor activities or swim in a hotel pool. To save even more money during the summer, avoid visiting around holidays, like Independence Day.
You may also want to wait until the end of August or the beginning of September since school starts back up again. Then, you may find some better deals on travel.
September can still be quite hot, so you can save money as you would earlier in the season. No matter when you visit, look out for travel deals on flights or your hotel and consider using reward points to help save money.
Least Busy Time to Visit Phoenix
It may not surprise you that summer is the least busy time to visit Phoenix. A lot of people don’t want to deal with the extreme heat.
If you are, you can enjoy the dry conditions and explore without worrying about crowds. Your flight may have some openings, so you don’t have to crowd into your seat. You may find it easier to rent a vehicle and book your ideal hotel.
Of course, museums, stores, and parks will all be less overwhelming. In June, you won’t have to worry about rain, so you can explore the outdoors early in the morning and late at night to avoid the heat.
However, July and August see some rain as part of the monsoon season. So even if some would-be travelers enjoy summer, they might not want to visit when during the rainy season.
If you’re willing to pack an umbrella and stay inside, you have plenty of things to do. You’ll also want to be flexible with scheduling your time in case rain delays your drive to the next museum or shop. Of course, Independence Day and Memorial Day can be exceptions.
Holidays tend to be popular travel times, so you may need to deal with crowds. Instead, travel a week or two before or after those holidays to avoid the crowds.
Other less busy times to visit Phoenix include the spring and fall outside of school breaks. You can enjoy a lack of crowds, and the weather will be a bit better than during the summer. January and February can also be decent times to visit to avoid crowds.
Worst Time to Visit Phoenix
The high heat of summer makes June, July, and August some of the worst months to visit Phoenix. July and August are also part of the monsoon season, so you’ll also have to worry about rain, yes, even in the desert.
If you want to do a lot of hiking or other outdoor activities, avoid summer trips to Phoenix. You may just make yourself miserable. And if you’re not drinking enough water, you could develop heat stroke.
Luckily, if you must visit during the summer, you can survive the season. Be sure you carry a water bottle with you. Don’t leave anything or anyone in the car without the air on because interior temperatures can top 150 degrees.
To help stay cool during your summer trip, look for indoor activities. The city has tons of museums that you can visit to view art, musical instruments, and more. You can also go shopping at one of the city’s many malls.
You can also visit earlier in the year to avoid the heat. While spring is a great time to go, avoid the end of March. Many schools and universities have spring break at that time, so you’ll encounter crowds and higher prices for accommodations.
You’ll also want to avoid major holidays, such as Christmas. In December, the high and low are 68 and 44 degrees, respectively. The weather in Phoenix may be amazing during the winter holidays, but the crowds and costs can be overwhelming.
Things to Consider
You have an idea of when you want to visit Phoenix, and you’re ready to book your flight and hotel stay. However, you should keep some other things in mind to ensure your trip is as successful as possible.
Our most helpful tips include:
- Prepare for all seasons. Especially if you plan to visit during the spring or fall, you should prepare for different types of weather and dress in layers. You should also plan for weather changes during the summer when you may experience heavy rain. And if you want to venture north, you may need a coat, especially in March and April when lows can reach freezing or sub-freezing at night.
- Plan a trip within a trip. Phoenix is central to many attractions in Arizona. Schedule a day trip down to Tucson. You can also plan to spend a night in the Grand Canyon or Flagstaff to visit the northern part of the state. If you want to visit other cities, make sure your flights in and out of Phoenix are far enough apart that you have time to see everything you want to see.
- Pay attention to fire watches. When camping in Phoenix, you need to look out for fire watches. The desert makes Arizona prone to wildfires. So before you start a fire at your campsite, look for any signs regarding the risk of a wildfire, and know how to quickly put out a fire to keep yourself and others safe. Better yet, avoid lighting a fire, and use lanterns or other tools to provide lighting and stay warm at night.
- Be sure to rent a car. Unfortunately, Phoenix is about as physically large as it is population-wise, and you won’t find a good public transportation system. If possible, rent a car or take a road trip to Phoenix from where you live. That way, you can get to all the attractions you want without relying on taxis or rideshare drivers.
- Book as early as possible. As soon as you know you want to visit Phoenix, start booking your trip. Planning is particularly crucial for day trips to the Grand Canyon, which can fill up fast. Make sure you get the hotel, flights, and a rental car for the days you want so that you don’t have to visit during a less-ideal time.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still wondering if you should visit Phoenix, you’re not alone. Consider the following popular queries to determine if a Phoenix trip is for you.
What month has the best weather in Arizona?
You’ll experience the best weather in Phoenix between October and May. Phoenix and its suburbs often reach the upper 60s during the day, even in the coldest months. These months also help you avoid the triple-digit highs of summer.
That weather starts near the end of May and can linger through the end of September. Summer is also when Phoenix can experience monsoons, so you can avoid torrential downpours in other months.
When is the rainy season in Phoenix?
The rainy monsoon season starts in mid-June and extends through all of September. You can expect the worst of it to happen between the middle of July and the middle of August.
During the season, you can experience torrential rain for a few minutes or hours at a time. Be sure you know how to drive in the rain if you need to drive. Otherwise, schedule plenty of indoor activities so you still have things to do on your trip.
When is the cheapest time to fly to Arizona?
January is generally the cheapest month to fly to Phoenix. The new year has started, and the holidays are over, so there’s less demand for flights. On the other hand, May and June tend to have some of the highest ticket prices for flights. So keep that in mind when budgeting for your next Phoenix trip.
Is Phoenix expensive to visit?
When you visit Phoenix, plan on spending up to $200 per day on your trip. That number includes everything from food to transportation to activities. If you’re booking a hotel for two, the average cost in Phoenix is $225 per night.
To help save money, look for free activities, such as visiting public parks in the city. If you rent a hotel or house with a kitchen, you can shop for groceries and cook your meals to save money.
How many days should you spend in Arizona?
You should plan to spend at least five days in Phoenix, especially if you want to visit other parts of Arizona as well. Five days gives you plenty of time to visit all the major attractions and to go shopping.
Of course, you can spend more time in the city if you have the time. You can also visit for fewer days, especially if you don’t plan on visiting other parts of the state.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Phoenix?
April is the best time to visit Phoenix, but March (outside of spring break) can also be a great time to take a trip. You can enjoy the nice weather before summer heats up the city and avoid the crowds that flock to Phoenix during major holidays.
However, regardless of the time you choose to visit, you’ll be greeted by amazing brunch, vibrant nightlife, and ample outdoor activities. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Phoenix today!