Phoenix, Arizona, the fifth largest city in the U.S. in terms of population, is located in the middle of the desert. And it’s incredibly hot! Summertime temperatures are the hottest in the country, and can easily exceed 100 degrees for weeks at a time.
Phoenix residents have learned to deal with the heat, in a similar fashion that someone in upstate New York learns to deal with the cold during winter. Many homes in Phoenix have outdoor pools, so residents can relax and cool off without going anywhere, but if you are tired of sitting home, there are plenty of activities in Phoenix to keep you busy.
The city offers a diverse mix of both urban luxury and natural beauty, so there is plenty of opportunity for the city lover as well as the back-to-nature type.
Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona
Check out the numerous rock-climbing opportunities for the athletic and adventurous types! Phoenix has a number of indoor climbing facilities, such as the Solid Rock Gym and Rocks and Ropes. You can climb indoors when the weather is too hot for outside, and then head outside during cooler days to the many canyons and mountains surrounding the city, to popular spots like Echo Canyon and Praying Monk. More experienced climbers can tackle some of the off-the-beaten-path trails anywhere they want!
For family fun and a fantastic retreat from the scorching summer temperatures, be sure to spend a day or two at one of the area waterparks. You can try Falls Water Village or the Oasis at Pointe South Mountain. With over 35 acres of water-filled activities, try Wet N Wild Phoenix, the largest theme park in Arizona. If you dare, take a ride on Maximum Velocity, the world’s first gravity-defying dueling Master Blaster water rollercoaster. There are 30 other rides and attractions, including Wet N Wild Junior for the smaller children, the Monsoon Bay wave pool, and a whitewater rafting trip for the entire family down Raging River.
Parks and Hiking
Phoenix, Arizona features thousands of acres of nature trails and parks, ranging from desert walks to mountain hikes. Many of the parks offer outdoor programs and educational activities for both adults and children, taught by rangers, including such activities as sports or arts and crafts. Several parks worth visiting are the South Mountain Park, Papago Park or the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area.
Museums and Culture
If you truly want to escape the heat, you will have to go indoors, so why not try a museum? Because of its unique placement in the country, next to Mexico and south of the Plains states, Arizona has a rich history of indigenous peoples. There are several museums which cover the lifestyles, art and heritage of some of the Mexican and Native American people who lived in the area. One of the best is the Heard Museum, which has an expansive collection of over 40,000 objects spotlighting Native American art, history and cultural expression.
For more information about Phoenix, Arizona and other major U.S. cities in the summer, you can read the article, Escape to America, by Scott Grajeda, freelance writer and travel enthusiast.