You might think that Arizona is a great destination only when we’re in the grip of a cold winter and that the summers are so brutally hot you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the desert life. Think again. Scottsdale in the off-season can actually be your ideal vacation spot. Here are five reasons you should pack your bags and make your next getaway to Arizona, even with the high temps.
1. You’ll Score an Amazing Hotel Stay
Arizona in its prime season pretty much guarantees perfect weather conditions – sun, sun, sun and temperatures that would make any Canadian jump at the chance to experience it in the midst of a brutal winter. But securing a luxe hotel during high season might not only cost your credit card a hefty sum – it can also be difficult to book a room. This means that you can book yourself an extra swanky room at a hotel during the off-season for a lesser price (upgrades, here we come!). The Four Seasons Scottsdale is a perfect spot to indulge, with 210 rooms, amazing views of Pinnacle Peak (not to mention a gorgeous pool, spa and a great restaurant, Proof Canteen), and rates as low as $179 US a night. If the town scene is more your vibe, the Hotel Valley Ho in Old Town is a mix of retro chic with modern touches that will keep you close to the action at rates as low at $116 US per night (at that rate, consider booking a suite with a kitchen, giant balcony and two rooms!).
2. It’s Not As Busy
There’s no doubt about it, Arizona and Scottsdale are hot destinations both in popularity and on the thermostat. If you’re the type to want to experience a cool, laid-back vibe without bumping into tourists every day (and really get to know the locals), off-season is your best time to visit.
3. You’ll Wake Up Earlier
Hot weather means that sunrise is the best time to get outside and explore before the intense heat arrives later in the day. Set your alarm for 5:00 a.m. and hike up one of Scottsdale’s famous mountains: test out Camelback Mountain if you’re looking for an adventurous trek, Tom’s Thumb for a mid-range hike and Pinnacle Peak for something a bit more tame (book with Arizona Outback Adventures for some extra info and a guide along your hike). The best part? By the time you’re done, it’s breakfast time and you still have the full day ahead of you to check out Old Town, spas, shops, museums or squeeze in some pool time.
4. You Can Still Escape The Heat
We do love the heat, but we all need a reprieve from the scorching sun now and then, and thankfully Scottsdale has plenty to do in air-conditioned quarters. One of our favourite items on any travel itinerary is a visit to the spa, and when it’s at a melting point outside, you don’t feel quite so bad being cocooned in cool darkness in a treatment room for half a day. Toss the guilt aside at the spa at the Four Seasons Scottsdale or at The Boulders Resort. You can also hit up one of the many vintage shops in Old Town Scottsdale for a bit of retail therapy that comes with icy cold air conditioning breezes, or spend an afternoon at one of the museums. And once you’re done with the spas, shops and museums, we’re pretty sure some food and a drink will be in order. Scottsdale has no shortage of bars, clubs and restaurants to pick from: Hit up The Mission for a bite of Mexican, Hula’s Modern Tiki for giant bowls of cocktails and vegetarian fare, Bootleggers for barbecued meat lovers, and Kelly’s SouthBridge for a chilled-out spot to grab a drink. Staying inside and ordering another round never seemed like a better idea.
5. The Best Pool Time Excuse … Ever
As if we needed another reason to hit up the pool, pineapple drinks in hand, to chill out under a perfectly positioned umbrella. But the best excuse ever could be that it’s too hot to do anything (and we mean anything) else. Every day is a pool day in Arizona, but on extra hot days it’s a necessity. A dip in a cool pool never felt so refreshing. If everyone else is doing it, why not us too? So park your lounger next to the misters, bring your Kindle and settle in for a day of just lazing by the pool.