What is the best time to travel to Phoenix?

The best time to travel to Phoenix is in the spring when the weather is great, but if you can handle the heat, Summer is the least crowded and cheapest time.
Written by Lauren Smith
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Sep 27, 2022
Winter is the most popular time to visit
and the most expensive. On the other hand, summer sees triple-digit temperatures and rewards visitors with sweet deals. 
Whether you’re walking down Roosevelt Row, grabbing some fry bread, or watching the red chuparosa bloom in the Sonoran desert, there’s plenty to see and explore in Phoenix. 
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The best times of year to travel to Phoenix

The peak season to visit Phoenix is winter. But, like any popular tourist destination, peak season draws crowds.
If you’re hoping instead to enjoy some peace and avoid the crowds, then head to Phoenix in the summer

Peak Season: December to March 

The good: Sport events and festivals galore
The bad: Tourist crowds and higher prices
The weather: Low 40s to mid-70s.
While many other parts of the USA are buried in snow Phoenix is a wonderful haven of perfect weather and things to do. Many ‘snowbirds’ fly to Phoenix to enjoy the pleasant weather and take advantage of beautiful hiking, scenery, festivals, and sporting events like the
Waste Management Phoenix Open
in late January, early February.
If you are a fan of baseball do not miss the
Cactus League Training
which brings 15 major baseball teams to the city for practice in February or March. NASCAR and College Football also descend upon the city during winter, making it no wonder this is the busiest season for sports fans.
If music festivals are more your thing make sure to catch the
M3F Festival
, a charity music festival that happens every March. Don’t miss the
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
either, where international indigenous athletes compete for the world title in hoop dancing.
Pro Tip To get the best of this popular season book ahead of time, at least two to three months in advance. Don’t forget to include any tickets to popular events or shows.

Off-Season: (June to September)

The good: Fewer tourists and more deals on high-end resorts, hotels, and local year-round attractions
The bad: Summer heat, sunstroke and heat exhaustion, flash floods, bees
The weather: Low 75 to mid-100’s
If you can handle the heat in the Valley of the Sun then you will be rewarded with great deals. Resorts and hotels in Phoenix slash prices in the summer as many tourists don’t want to visit during the potentially sweltering triple-digit temperatures. 
But there are ways to beat the heat, even in the heart of the desert. 
That resort you got a steal on, for instance, probably has a pool and all the ingredients for a chilly daiquiri. 
If you manage to leave the poolside, you might also want to head out on the Salt River for tubing or kayaking. While on the river you might also get to witness a herd of wild horses. If the river isn’t your thing there are still six more beautiful lakes nearby.
If you’re hoping to catch some beautiful desert views, book a
moonlight hiking tour
. These tours are a great way to avoid the summer sun and to see the stars. If you’re not one for hiking in the desert at night (fair), the
Desert Botanical Garden
holds flashlight tours during the summer.
Or beat the heat by visiting local museums like
, an American Indian non-for-profit art museum. If music is more your thing, make sure to check out the interactive
Musical Instrument Museum
and its collection of over 15,000 instruments and summer concert series.
Pro Tip Drink plenty of water and opt for indoor activities during midday in Phoenix.

Shoulder Season: (April to May or October to November) 

The good: Wildflowers are in bloom 
The bad: Pests, sudden heat spikes
The weather: Mid-50s to low 90s
In spring, the Sonoran erupts into color with wildflowers. If you’re into hiking, this is the season for you. There are 239 trails to choose from and the temperatures are far more bearable than the summer heat.
In May, you can catch the start of the Mexican free-tailed bat's migration from the Maricopa County Flood Control Tunnel. Tens of thousands of bats call this tunnel home during their journey. 
Spring and fall are also great times to explore the Salt River Valley. Visit Boyce Gully’s
mystery castle
and explore Roosevelt Row Arts District to enjoy the beautiful murals by local artists. When you need to take a food break, try savory or sweet fry bread at
Fry BreadHouse
and Sonoran machaca, a dried then rehydrated beef, at
El Horseshoe Restaurant

The cheapest time to travel to Phoenix

Summer is the cheapest season to be in Phoenix. Summer stretches from June through October. This gives you a large window to head to Phoenix and save. With luxurious accommodations and resorts on sale (as long as you can safely withstand the heat), summer in Phoenix might be perfect for you. 
With high temperatures common even through the evening, summer is an optimal time for indoor activities, like museums and restaurants. But if you want to go hiking or explore the desert, waiting until the shoulder seasons in the spring or fall might be the best time to plan your travels. 

Find the best month for your visit to Phoenix

There’s plenty to do, see and eat all year long in Phoenix. Check out the table below to see when popular activities fall to help you decide.
Best month to visit
Late December to early January
This annual event is a must for college football fans.
Late January early February
Golf fans tend to have this event on their bucket list, with beautiful views and free admission days before the tournament. Book tickets on Wednesday or Thursday to beat the weekend crowds.
February or March
Baseball fans can watch spring training for 15 major league teams and get tickets for any of the over 200 games.
First weeks of March
This 100% non-profit all for charity music festival has drawn music lovers for over 18 years and has been giving back to the local community.
First weekend day in March
Visit Phoenix’s nicknamed “gayborhood” for this free event with 200 booths from local artists and artisans, local food, music and check out 200 antique cars.
Located outside the Heard museum come to watch international hoop dancers compete for the world champion title and celebrate their Indigenous heritage at this two-day event.
If you love music festivals and french fries this event is for you.
Bat migration
May through October
10,000 to 20,000 Mexican free-tailed bats take a break in their journey in Phoenix during these months.
Flashlight Tours at the Desert Botanical Garden
Saturdays from June through September
The beautiful Desert Botanical Garden is open all year long, but in the summer they offer flashlight tours at night. Stick around for live music and snacks at the night farmer’s market.
While hot air balloon tours are available all year long, only during the fall and winter can you enjoy a sunset trip.
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Finding the best deals for your rental or car insurance

While Phoenix does have public transportation, there’s plenty more in the area to explore that a car will make easier. Whether you’re stopping in the city along your way on a road trip or if Phoenix is your destination, you’ll want to make sure the car you drive is insured. 
The best way to make sure you’re getting the best deal is with the #1 rated car insurance app in the App store,
The average user saves almost $900 a year! With the time and money saved, you can put that money and energy into having fun on your trip to Phoenix. 
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