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Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Chris Curtis / Shutterstock

Plan Your Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Vacation

The Valley of the Sun, otherwise known as metro Phoenix (i.e., Phoenix and all its suburbs, including Tempe and Scottsdale), is named for its 325-plus days of sunshine each year. Although many come to Phoenix for the golf and the weather, the Valley has much to offer by way of shopping, outdoor activities, and nightlife. The best of the latter is in Scottsdale and the East Valley with their

hip dance clubs, old-time saloons, and upscale wine bars.

The Valley marks the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, a prehistoric seabed that extends into northwestern Mexico with a landscape offering much more than just cacti. Palo verde and mesquite trees, creosote bushes, brittle bush, and agave dot the land, which is accustomed to being scorched by temperatures in excess of 100°F for weeks at a time. Late summer brings precious rain as monsoon storms illuminate the sky with lightning shows and the desert exudes the scent of creosote. Spring sets the Valley blooming, and the giant saguaros are crowned in white flowers for a short time in May—in the evening and cool early mornings—and masses of vibrant wildflowers fill desert crevices and span mountain landscapes.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Resort spas With dozens of outstanding desert spas, Phoenix has massaged and wrapped its way to the top of the relaxation destinations list.
  2. Shops and restaurants Retail centers Old Town Scottsdale and Fashion Square are another way to retreat and relax in the Valley of the Sun, as are a melting pot of fine and funky dining establishments.
  3. The Heard Museum This small but world-renowned museum elegantly celebrates Native American people, culture, art, and history.
  4. The great outdoors Sure there's urban sprawl, but Phoenix also has cool and accessible places to get away from it all, like the Desert Botanical Garden, Papago Park, Tempe Town Lake, and mountain and desert preserves.
  5. Golf All year long, links lovers can take their pick of top-rated public and private courses—many with incredibly spectacular views.

When To Go

When to Go

It's a common misconception that Phoenix forever hovers around 100°F. That might hold true from May to October, but the winter months have been...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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