Living in the Phoenix area is amazing – it affords us an unparalleled lifestyle in terms of recreational opportunities and the economy is pretty darn good. But even the most adamant fan of the Valley would be hard pressed to argue that in the summer months, the Phoenix heat can become difficult to deal with. It is getting to that time of year again here in the Valley where the temperatures are beginning to rise during the day and not cool off during the night. While it has not reached the point just yet of being unbearable, it is not that far away. Luckily, one does not have to drive very far at all to find a reprieve. Here are five ways to escape the Phoenix heat.
Five Ways to Escape the Phoenix Heat
One of the best parts about living in the Phoenix area is that we are not far from being able to get out the heat and head to higher elevations. Sedona tends to come to mind most often, but if you are looking for a destination where the temperatures are significantly lower, head to Flagstaff. Flagstaff offers many options for entertainment. Home to Northern Arizona University (NAU), the town attracts roughly 5 million visitors per year and is a cultural hub of the area.
And if you enjoy the outdoors, you are really in for a treat with a Flagstaff vacation or weekend. There are several national parks and monuments to choose from, including Walnut Canyon National Monument, Lowell Observatory, Lava River Cave and more. After you have spent the day exploring, head to Mother Road Brewing Company to sample some of their homemade brews in the Tap Room.
If exploring the wilderness above ground is not your thing, take a journey to Kartchner Caverns, just outside of Benson, AZ. There are a couple of different options for tours, each one taking roughly an hour to complete, with a distance of around half of a mile. Much of that time is obviously spent underground, so make sure you are comfortable with that. The chilliness of the caverns is a welcome respite and a fantastic way to escape the Phoenix heat. Along with the caverns themselves, Kartchner Caverns is also a destination for camping. There are cabins for rent on site, or you can throw out a tent or roll your RV in. There is an option for everyone.
Tempe Town Lake
Want to escape the Phoenix heat but also can’t swing a trip out of town? Tempe Town Lake offers a unique opportunity for families to partake in watersports like kayaking, all within an urban environment. As your family paddles through the manmade lake, you can take in breath-taking views of the thriving city’s skyline. The towering office buildings and condominiums are nestled against a mountain backdrop that is truly unique. You can rent kayaks row boats, stand-up paddle boards, pedal boats and electric boats quickly and easily.
Sedona is not only one of the most beautiful places on the entire planet, it is also consistently 10°-20° cooler than the Phoenix area. The charming town is filled with delicious restaurants, world-class spas, and art galleries. Visitors can take in the natural beauty of the area by taking an off-road Jeep tour or a trolley tour. Whatever you do, be sure to take in Chapel of the Holy Cross and Oak Creek Canyon while you are in Sedona; they are among some of the most scenic attractions you will ever encounter. Professional astronomers offer guided stargazing at night. The whole family will enjoy looking through telescopes and learning all about the constellations that fill the night sky – free from the light pollution of Phoenix!
Located in Yavapai County, Prescott’s art scene is surprisingly impressive for a city with fewer than 40,000 people. The attractions that Prescott is perhaps best known for is Frontier Days. Billed as the world’s oldest rodeo, the event has been occurring over 4th of July weekend since 1888. In addition to performances from some of the best rodeo-ers in the world, Frontier Days offers supplemental activities in the way of an arts and crafts show carnivals, fireworks and more.
But Prescott is really a great place to escape the Phoenix heat any time of the year. Its downtown area has frequent live music performances and you will be enthralled with the charm of the city as you walk down tree-lined streets with historic Victorian style homes. Families can check out numerous museums, hiking opportunities, nearby lakes for fishing and boating, as well as the Heritage Park Zoo which serves as a sanctuary for rescued animals.