Notorious golf resorts, fine dining, lively nightlife, beautiful hiking trails, and upscale shopping — what’s not to love about Scottsdale? One of the most visited cities in the Valley of the Sun, Scottsdale boasts a sprawling desert landscape full of fun to-dos for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to experience everything the city has to offer, fully delve into the southwest, relax, or go on an affordable vacation –we got you! We’re about to share the best time of the year to visit Scottsdale to ensure you get the most out of your vacation.
While Scottsdale is often considered a year-round destination, we’ll help you steer clear of the less ideal times to visit, as well. Keep reading for everything there is to know before booking your trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.
Why You Should Visit Scottsdale
There truly is something for everyone in Scottsdale. The city boasts 330 days of sunlight each year, ensuring a joyous, serotonin-filled vacation. Infamous for multiple pro-level golf courses, Scottsdale is every golfer’s dream getaway.
Not a golfer, but enjoy the outdoors? National Geographic called Scottsdale the perfect desert destination. You can enjoy countless hiking trails that wind through the Sonoran Desert for breathtaking views of the southwest.
Scottsdale is also home to multiple celebrity chefs, an energetic nightlife, notorious luxury resorts, and much more! Trust us when we say that you won’t regret a trip to this beloved Arizona city.
Overall Best Time to Visit Scottsdale
If you want to experience as much of Scottsdale as possible, visit between March and May.
Springtime flaunts ideal temperatures comfortable enough to enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities Scottsdale hosts during this time. It is sunny and 75 in March, with lows reaching approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the night and early morning.
April warms up a bit, with highs in the mid-80s. May is slightly warmer, reaching the 90s during the day but cooling off to the high 50s at night.
Spring is the perfect time for hiking, swimming, or floating down the Salt River through the Sonoran Desert. The river typically opens in April and is just 30 minutes east of downtown Scottsdale.
Perhaps the most common reason people visit Scottsdale during spring is baseball. The Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Francisco Giants play at the Scottsdale Stadium and Salt River Fields the entire month of March.
Eight other spring training stadiums in the nearby Greater Phoenix area also host spring training games during this time. The Scottsdale/Phoenix area hosts NASCAR, the LPGA tour, Phoenix Film Festival, and Parada Del Sol Rodeo in March, too.
A combination of perfect weather and popular events attracts the masses and increases hotel prices during March. April sees fewer crowds, but it’s still a great time to visit. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival takes place in April, allowing guests to taste the region’s best cuisine.
May is less crowded due to higher temperatures. Tourists and locals enjoy Restaurant Week during this time. A foodie’s fantasy, Restaurant Week is a ticketed event that invites you to experience and indulge in Scottsdale/Phoenix’s best-rated restaurants.
Cheapest Time to Visit Scottsdale
If you’re looking for a low-key vacation that is also affordable, visit Scottsdale in September.
September is cooler than June, July, or August but still echoes the harsh Arizona summer, with an average high of 99 degrees Fahrenheit that occasionally sneaks into triple digits. By this time, most of the region’s snowbirds are long gone.
School is also back in around the country. For this reason, the city has fewer vacationers and locals to accommodate. Many airlines and local hotels lower their prices as an incentive. Research shows that flights drop in price by 10 to 15 percent in August and September due to lower travel.
You can take advantage of the low air fair by booking your flight in August or a few weeks before your trip in September. Aside from the Arizona State Fair, there are not as many outings in September as it is too hot.
However, early morning weather typically drops to the 60s, giving visitors plenty of time to explore the outdoors or peruse Old Town Scottsdale — a historic western-feel neighborhood with sites dating back to the late 1800s. Enjoy Scottsdale’s resorts, restaurants, and various shopping centers during the day.
Least Busy Time to Visit Scottsdale
Summertime (from June to August) is the least busy time to visit Scottsdale.
Temperatures are high, and there are little to no events scheduled. Local resorts acknowledge the summer as their low season and drop prices significantly below their spring and fall rates.
So, while a Scottsdale summer trip won’t be full of fun to-dos, it will be full of rest, making it the perfect time to visit for anyone needing a recharge. The city’s luxury resorts have one-of-a-kind pools to wade in all day. Most of the resorts are complete with full-service spas as well.
Unwind with a massage, facial, or pedicure. Despite the heat, there are plenty of indoor activities to partake in. Head to a celebrity chef’s restaurant for dinner, grab a drink in Old Town.
Or, you can visit Scottsdale Fashion Square for upscale shopping. Flights to Phoenix during the summer aren’t as inexpensive as they are during fall, but there are still tactics to maximizing your savings.
Book your flight at the beginning of June or at the end of August. During this time, families are recovering from or preparing for school. For this reason, prices are slightly lower than in mid-summer.
Worst Time to Visit Scottsdale
During the summer, Scottsdale regularly hits triple digits and rarely falls below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Monsoons accompany the latter end of the season. Thunderstorms, rainfall, lighting, aggressive winds, dust storms, and hail take over Scottsdale some days.
To some visitors, monsoons are a joy to experience, but others classify them as a buzzkill! Many locals will advise you to avoid the Greater Phoenix Area from June to August due to harsh weather.
However, if you’re dead set on a summer getaway, consider arriving early in the season to avoid storms and enjoy time by the pool.
As mentioned above, resorts offer much lower rates than in the spring or fall, making Scottsdale an affordable place to relax. For some, this is the ideal getaway!
Things to Consider
Scottsdale is the perfect getaway — beautiful, easy to navigate, and full of opportunities to have fun or relax! Still, there are things to consider during your trip. Find a few tips below that will help you explore Scottsdale with ease.
- Pay attention to heat advisories. Don’t panic if you receive a heat advisory notification sometime during your visit. It happens often. During heat advisories, avoid being outdoors for extended periods. Heat advisories typically call for closed hiking trails and canceled events.It may wreck your plans, but it’s for your own safety. If you proceed with your outdoor plans, ensure you stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun with proper clothing, and keep pets indoors.
- Be cautious of dust storm warnings. If you visit during the summer and don’t receive a heat advisory notification, you’ll likely receive a dust storm warning. No need to worry—they’re mostly harmless as long as you stay off the roads.Arizona’s notorious dust storms cause low visibility and spew lightning, so staying indoors is best. Although, we encourage enjoying the view from your window. Arizona’s monsoon season lights up the sky, painting views unique to the Sonoran Desert.
- Find ways to explore the desert. Most people visit Arizona because they want to experience the desert. Scottsdale boasts grandiose views of the Sonoran. Neglecting to explore it will surely leave you with regrets.Luckily, the city offers plenty of ways to delve into the landscape. Take a guided UTV, hot air balloon, or horseback tour to see the best of Scottsdale. Alternatively, you can choose from over 400 miles of hiking.
- Prepare for sunny days. If you do (and you should) plan for a day outdoors, prepare properly. The Arizona sun is stronger than most people suspect. Sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water are a must. If you think you have enough water—bring more!Watch for rattlesnakes while hiking, as well. If you see one, simply wait for them to pass the trail. Do not try to pass them unless you can do so at a safe distance.
- Rent a car. Ask a local what their favorite things are about the Greater Phoenix Area, and they’re sure to list the amount of space as one. Scottsdale isn’t like other cities. Its sprawling landscape hardly allows walking to and from destinations.Unless you’re planning on Ubering or Lyfting to your outings or staying at your resort for the entirety of your trip, consider renting a car.
There isn’t much else to it. Keep the above tips at the forefront of your mind during your Scottsdale vacation, and it’ll be smooth sailing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still unsure about a trip to Scottsdale? Keep reading. We’re about to answer all of your burning questions.
How many days do you need in Scottsdale?
Four to five days is enough time to explore the best Scottsdale, and the neighboring cities have to offer. During this time, you can attend a spring training game, indulge in upscale dining, spend a day relaxing at the pool, venture into Phoenix, and dedicate time to exploring the great outdoors.
If you have more time, even better! We recommend using the additional days to head north toward Sedona and Flagstaff or down south into Tucson.
What is the hottest month in Scottsdale?
July is the hottest month in Scottsdale. The month has an average high of 106 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. June and August are only one to two degrees cooler than July. These temperatures can be startling if you’re unacclimated to the dry heat.
Hence the reason many vacationers avoid the Greater Phoenix area during these months. If you can bare the high heat like a local, you can enjoy a mostly empty city as there are few vacationers and near-to-none snowbirds.
Is it better to visit Phoenix or Scottsdale?
There are several reasons why it’s better to visit Scottsdale than Phoenix. As one of the largest cities in the United States, navigating and finding things to do in Phoenix can feel overwhelming.
The city also has a much higher crime rate than Scottsdale, as it is larger geographically and population-wise. Furthermore, there’s a reason Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s most popular tourist destinations — it caters to vacationers.
The city has resources that point toward must-dos. Scottsdale also has a multitude of guided tours through the Sonoran Desert for guests to enjoy. Not to mention, the city has some of the best resorts in the state, and, many would argue, in the country.
Where do you fly in for Scottsdale?
Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The airport is approximately eight miles west of downtown Scottsdale. It is only a 15 to 20-minute drive from most stays in Scottsdale, making for an easy commute to and from your hotel.
To get to your hotel, hop on one of the airport’s many shuttles, call for a rideshare or head to one of the nearby car rental places. If you have questions about accessing transportation to Scottsdale, head to the airport’s information counter.
What is peak season in Scottsdale?
November through early May is peak season in Scottsdale. During this time, the weather is perfect, and the city puts on various events that attract Arizona natives and tourists alike.
Not to mention, Scottsdale is brimming with golf courses clear for use during the colder months. This isn’t the case in other states. For this reason, hotel prices are the most expensive during these months.
From November to December, Scottsdale hosts unmatched holiday events, such as Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort and Scottsdazzle in Old Town. January and February tend to be a bit slower, but the city still sees plenty of visitors that are interested in exploring the outdoors due to the nice weather.
March is perhaps the busiest month in Scottsdale as spring training is in full swing, and it’s finally warm enough to unwind next to a luxury resort-style pool.
So, What Is the Best Time to Visit Scottsdale?
There are various things to consider when choosing the optimal time of the year to visit Scottsdale, so let’s recap. Springtime is the best time to visit Scottsdale.
The weather is nice enough to enjoy the outdoors, and there’s no lack of things to do — from spring training games to music and culinary fests, there’s something for everyone. September is the least expensive time to visit.
The temperatures are slightly higher but not unbearable as long as you come prepared. Unfortunately, this time of year does not offer much to do.
If you’re coming for outdoor adventures, you’ll have to rise early to beat the heat. The summertime is the least desirable time to visit as Arizona’s heat and monsoon season are in full swing.
However, if you’re seeking a quiet getaway where you mostly unwind at a luxury resort, this may be the best time to get a good deal while beating the crowds. Scottsdale is a city worth seeing, and we hope that you have a blast on your trip there. Happy travels!