Summer Must Do's in

Phoenix, AZ

With its nickname being Valley of the Sun, it’s no surprise that summertime in Phoenix is sunny and hot. Like HOT HOT. 

Phoenix, AZ

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in Phoenix in the summer!  Here are some of the best things to do in Phoenix in the summer sun.

Phoenix, AZ

Best Hot Day Things to do in Phoenix



Like any other major city, and Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United States, there are plenty of world-class, and air-conditioned, museums to check out. 

Best Museums

Phoenix Art Museum Heard Museum Arizona Science Center Musical Instrument Museum  Hall of Flame Fire Museum  Children’s Museum 


Hiking in the summer is not about doing epic trails but rather shorter hikes that allow you to enjoy being outside while ensuring you are back at the trailhead before it gets too hot. You really shouldn’t start any later than 6 a.m., bring lots of water and tell someone where you’ll be.

Best Hikes

South Mountain Trails: easy to difficult North Mountain & Shaw Butte Trails: easy to moderate Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Apache Wash Loop: easy to difficult Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Desert Hills Trailhead:  moderate to difficult Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Desert Vista Trailhead: easy to difficult

Best Night Hikes

Cave Creek Regional Park Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area Usery Mountain Regional Park White Tank Mountain Regional Park.

Visiting Resorts

Summer is the low season for hotels in Phoenix. That means you can score some excellent deals at many of the area’s finest resorts.  And if you are an Arizona resident you can get even deeper discounts for your very own staycation.

Visiting Resorts

The resorts boast many pools and pool activities including temporary beaches, movie nights, etc. along with exceptional dining and spa experiences.  I’m a big fan of off-season experiences and I think this is a great opportunity to stay at a luxury resort on the cheap.

Resorts with Summer Deals

The Camby  Copperwynd Resort & Club  JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa  The Phoenician Point Hilton Squaw Peak Resort  Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Pools for Pool Parties

The OH Pool at the Valley Ho Hotel Maya Day & Nightclub  The Release pool party at the Talking Stick Resort 

Nighttime Visit Taliesin West

Taliesin West is the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. You do not want to visit it in the summer during the day, too many windows, BUT  they do evening tours. The Night Lights Tours is offered 3 times on Friday evenings at 6, 6:30, and 7. It’s 2 hours so you are also supposed to see a great view of the stars on the last tour.

Desert at Dawn at the Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden, located in Papago Park, is worth visiting anytime. They have garden trails and galleries that are perfect for wandering, a butterfly garden to sit and relax, and more rotating exhibits.

Desert at Dawn at the Desert Botanical Garden

But, knowing that the afternoon heat can be a little unbearable, they offer a special during the summer – Desert at Dawn, where you can enter the gardens at 6 am on select days. Not only do you get to see the stunning desert sunrise, but you also get to access the garden while it’s much cooler outside!

Catch a Game at Chase Field

I think there are few things that say “summer in America”  quite like enjoying some popcorn and a hot dog while watching a football game. And luckily, this is something you’ll have no trouble doing in Phoenix. Just visit Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks!

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Check off your bucket list with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert and Deer Valley! There are several companies in the area offering this experience but Rainbow Ryders and Hot Air Expeditions are two of the most well-known. Both companies offer tours beginning at 4:30 am so you’re in the air as the sunrises. What a truly unique experience! Since this is such a popular bucket list adventure, be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

Take a Scenic Drive

Whether you go on an impromptu road trip with no destination or make a true day trip out of it, this can be a great way to take in the desert landscapes – especially if you’re new to the area! Crank up the air conditioning or roll the windows down (but, realistically…you’ll probably want the AC!), turn up the tunes, and drive.

Get on the Water

Here are some of my recommendations for water activities in the Phoenix area. Boating and swimming on Lake Pleasant   Enjoy a morning of tubing down the Salt River  Paddleboat on Tempe Town Lake  Water parks like Big Surf Waterpark 


There’s nothing I like better when it is super hot outside than an ice-cold beer. And in Phoenix, the local favorite is Four Peaks Brewing Company. You can visit, tour, and sip their beer (for free) at their original brewery (and one of the best bars in Phoenix) in Tempe (1340 E 8th St). The tour lasts an hour and you can learn all their brewing secrets, try new flavors they have on tap, and stay to eat and enjoy more if their exceptional on-tap craft beers.

Ice Cream

As you can imagine living in the desert with year-round temperatures that range from mildly warm to fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, ice cream is a big deal around here and there is a huge variety of choices. Here are some of my ice cream recommendations: Sweet Republic  Udder Delights  Pop ‘N Tea Bar