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Ultimate Guide to Summer & Fall Activities in Phoenix

When you need an escape from everyday life, or a warm, sunny environment this summer or fall, consider Phoenix. There are plenty of fun things to do in Phoenix in the summer and fall to make your Phoenix escape as fun and exciting or as serene and relaxing as you’re looking for, from world-class shopping and dining to fun and exciting activities like hiking, shopping, golf, restaurants, and more. No matter if your trip comes in summer or fall, or you decide to do while you’re here, you’ll enjoy every moment of your Phoenix summer or fall getaway.

Restaurants

When you’re out and about enjoying your Phoenix vacation, you’re bound to hear your stomach rumble. You’re in luck, no matter where you happen to be in town and no matter what you’re in the mood for. There are restaurants serving your favorites for any meal of the day. Your menu options are as diverse as the city’s population, from Mexican or Thai to American and Italian and more. Enjoy your favorite BBQ dishes at Little Miss BBQ, fill up for the day to come at Matt’s Big Breakfast, or grab some pizza at any of the local pizza shops scattered around the city. There’s something for every appetite and budget.

Shopping

When you’re on vacation in Phoenix, you’ll want to bring home some souvenirs to remember the good times you had. There is plenty of world-class shopping throughout the city any time of year. Stop at Desert Ridge for a sweet treat from It’s Sugar to some Phoenix styles of national brands like H&M and American Eagle Outfitters. High Street, located just moments from Desert Ridge, has a myriad of local and national brand stores, and its urban layout of shops and restaurants at street level with condo and apartment housing above is a unique experience not to be missed. If you’re looking for something else, ask the locals about their favorite off-the-beaten-path places. Shopping is one of our favorite summer and fall activities in Phoenix!

Golf

Phoenix is home to many world-class golf courses. Since the year-round warm temperatures are ideal for some time on the links, golfers will want to make sure their clubs make the packing list. Schedule some tee times at courses like Cave Creek Golf Course, Papago Golf Course, and many other public and private courses throughout the city. Make your summer tee times early in the morning to beat the heat, but no matter what time of year you’re visiting make sure to pack plenty of water and sun protection. Keep in mind rates fluctuate with the season, and summer rates are lower than fall and winter rates. A morning on the links is one of the top summer activities in Phoenix!

Hiking

Phoenix has some of the best hiking trails in the area. Trek through the Sonoran Desert on its many trails to stretch your legs and discover the hidden secrets of the desert. Hike to the top of Piestewa Peak or set out on the Dreamy Draw Loop Trail. Trails vary in difficulty and length so you can find a family-friendly hike the kids will enjoy, as well as harder climbs for hikers who want a challenge. No matter what time of year, you’ll want to make sure to pack plenty of sun protection, trail snacks, and water to keep you hydrated. If you’re here in the summer, you’ll want to rise with the sun or shortly after to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures or save the hike for the evening when the sizzling temperatures of the day begin to cool when the sun sinks below the mountains. If you’re here in the fall, you can sleep in a bit, but still make sure to pack the sunscreen, trail snacks, and water. With the more mellow temperatures, hiking is sure to be one of the more scenic and fun Phoenix fall activities you experience!

Sea Life Aquarium

Marvel at the many wonders of the deep at Sea Life Aquarium. Watch as sharks, turtles, stingrays, seahorses and more swim through the waters. Pass through the 360-degree ocean tunnel where you’ll get up close with the aquarium’s residents. Make sure to check out the “Shipwreck” exhibit for a glimpse of various poisonous species like boxfish and porcupine fish, or startle at venomous sea creatures like turkey fish, rabbitfish, and lionfish, to name a few.

Spa Day

If the goal for your Phoenix vacation is “relaxation” or “rejuvenation”, there are several local day spas that can help you achieve that goal. Choose a spa and a number of services from massages and facials to mani/pedis, body wraps, and other refreshing services for your mind, body, and spirit. Some spas even offer a salon so you can add a new ‘do to your agenda, or yoga and Pilates classes to refresh your whole body.

Arizona Science Center

Bring science to life with a trip to a place where science is so much fun the kids won’t know they’re learning. Take in a science-related show at the Irene P. Flinn theater or ooh and ahh about our vast solar system in the Dorrance Planetarium. Visit permanent exhibits like “All About Me” – which details all things interesting about the human body or explore the science of bubbles with “Pop! The Science of Bubbles” where you’ll learn about elasticity, surface tension, evaporation, and more. Explore building, bugs, sound, and other exhibits for plenty of scientific fun.

Music Instrument Museum

Walk through hundreds of years of music history. Take a tour of the museum and its many special exhibits, geographic themed galleries, mechanical music galleries, and learn about music conservation. There are group tours, VIP tours, and other interesting ways to explore the museum. Summer education programs, as well as programs for Scouts who want to earn merit badges may be available during your trip.

Desert Botanical Gardens

Take in the beauty of the Southwest and its many and varied plants at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Explore garden trails and galleries for an up-close look at the various plants that thrive in the hot and dry atmosphere of the desert. Walk the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, Center for Desert Living Trail, Desert Discovery Loop Trail, and others for an immersive experience of the area’s beautiful desert trees, cacti, and grasses. There is even a nighttime “flashlight tour” you can participate in once the sun goes down.

Phoenix Zoo

After you’ve seen the animals that live below the water, spend some time with the animals that live on land. Stroll around the zoo and see African lions, ringtail lemurs, giraffes, zebras, and other residents. See animals that call the Arizona desert home, like coyotes and Komodo dragons, too. The Phoenix Zoo participates in conservation programs that help conserve and rehabilitate endangered species, and the zoo’s caretakers give talks and presentations about the animals in the program and the work they do to make sure the animals are cared for properly. The zoo is open year-round, but hours vary by season, so make sure you check before heading out, and make sure you bring sun protection as most of the zoo’s exhibits are outdoors.

Chase Field/Arizona Diamondbacks

Baseball fans visiting during the summer months can take in a game of their favorite sport. Chase Field is a unique venue for America’s Favorite Pastime, featuring a retractable roof, air conditioning, and even a swimming pool! The Arizona Diamondbacks have a full schedule of games each summer, and you’ll want to make sure to include a home game in your summer plans. If you cheer for a team other than the Diamondbacks, you’ll want to check the schedule to see if your team will be in town during your scheduled vacation. You can even check the “roof status,” which is posted between each home series, to see whether the roof will be open or closed during your visit.

Phoenix Puzzle Room

Over the last several years, escape rooms have become a big attraction, and nearly every major city has one. That’s no different for the Phoenix area. The Phoenix Puzzle Room features multiple escape rooms with various themes. Locate the clues to solve the puzzle and break out before the 60-minute time period ends to win. Puzzle rooms are for 4-8 players and range in difficulty. Players ages 8 to 14 must be accompanied by an adult, and those 15 and older may be admitted alone. The company recommends children be no younger than 8, as the rooms are not set up to handle younger children. Please call in advance to make arrangements for younger children to join you.

Lakes

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, yes, there is water in Phoenix to sate your thirst. Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant are just an hour away and both are “all-sports” lakes with designated swimming areas to keep you cool as the temperature starts to rise in the summer.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Cool off right in town when you head to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. Take a relaxing float down Adventure River, the park’s lazy river attraction, or take in the many other attractions from kids’ rides like the Coconut Bay play area to family rides like the Big Kahuna slide and Hurricane Bay wave pool. Up the thrills with slides like Bahama Blaster, the country’s first dueling H2O coaster, or the Bonzai Pipelines, a set of three separate slides with multiple twists and turns, as well as a four-story drop!

Heard Museum

While museums may not be high on the list of activities for the kids of the group, Phoenix features some fun and interesting museums people of any age will enjoy. The museum pays homage to the area’s Native American peoples, including their art, culture, and other aspects of Native American life in the area. Stories are told in an exciting first-person perspective that grabs your attention. Enjoy the world-class exhibitions and educational programming there, and make sure your plans include one of the museum’s festivals so you can immerse yourself in Native American culture during your trip.

Dave & Buster’s

Located in the Desert Ridge Marketplace shopping area, Dave and Buster’s offers a good time to young and old alike. Enjoy arcade games, bowling, billiards, and much more. An extensive food menu from salads and burgers to pasta and BBQ favorites will keep you fueled to continue the fun. Arcade games use tokens, and you can earn tickets to cash in at the prize counter for fun prizes and even delicious candies! There’s so much fun to be had you can forget your cares and worries of the day and stay and play as long as you like.

Salt River Tubing

Float down the Salt River on a tubing adventure. The Salt River Tubing company offers two to five-hour trips down the river. Pack your cooler full of snacks and drinks and set out to float down the river and enjoy the water and sunshine. Be prepared to follow all the rules of the river, including no glass containers and picking up your own litter. Keep in mind trips may be canceled or postponed due to water flow in the river or weather conditions that prevent safe travel.

Why Book with Us?

When you stay in a Phoenix area vacation rental provided by Scottsdale Rentals, you’ll enjoy easy access to the town’s many amazing attractions, shopping, dining, and all the fun and excitement you’re looking for during your stay. No matter what your vacation needs or style, we have a Phoenix vacation rental for you. From a cozy two-bedroom for a sweethearts’ getaway to a six-bedroom home great for a family or group reunion, there’s something to fit everyone. Our Phoenix units come with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable furnishings, and everything you’ll need for your Phoenix respite. Indulge in a premium unit and enjoy upgrades like luxury master suites, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and more.

Contact us today to book your trip and enjoy all of these things to do in Phoenix in the summer and fall!

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Fort McDowell Adventures

This unique company offers a wide range of activities from kayaking, land and river tours, desert Segway adventures and so many more. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush or something more serene, you’ll find it with Fort McDowell Adventures. You can schedule corporate, special event, retreats, and even wedding parties at Fort McDowell.
14803 N. Hiawatha Hood Road, Scottsdale
480-816-6465.

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland, in the heart of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community houses a tropical rainforest that is home to thousands of butterflies from around the world. In addition to the butterflies, there are several galleries with interactive exhibits, a modern theater, and even educational laboratory spaces. This is a perfect place for a family adventure or even a romantic stroll through the gardens. 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, 480-800-3000

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a unique railroad park offering a look at the history of the railroad. The park is home to a one-of-a-kind Model Railroad Building, housing a model railroad, four model railroad clubs, and a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive. This interactive railroad museum offers a variety of objects and artifacts related to the railroad industry including the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, the Merci Train, and the Model Railroad. The park also has several playgrounds, picnic areas, and a charming antique carousel, making it perfect for visitors of all ages.
7301 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale
480-312-2312

Octane Raceway

Octane Raceway is an indoor/outdoor racing venue offering a casual and competitive kart racing for all ages. Octane Raceway features a third-mile track, which winds indoors and outdoors, with European electric race karts that travel up to 45 mph. Visitors can come in, register and race, and their race is scored in a Fastest Lap format. Octane Raceway also caters private and special events such as corporate and team building events and birthday parties. The Raceway also has a Trackside Bar & Grill, and several other entertainment facilities, including a Pit Crew Challenge, bowling alley, a games arcade, and billiards.
9119 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale
602-302-7223

Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale

Those with a sweet tooth will love exploring the sweet side of Scottsdale on a guided walking tour that visits all the town’s best chocolate destinations. You’ll visit a variety of chocolatiers and local shops where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the history of this confectionery and how the products are made and sample varieties of the world’s most popular treat, including truffles, hot chocolate, ice-cream, cupcakes, and other baked goods made with or from chocolate and meet the owners and chocolate-makers of some of Scottsdale’s best chocolate stores, while at the same time soaking up the wonderful ambiance of this vibrant town.
4225 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale
408-421-8868

Desert Splash Adventures

Desert Splash Adventures is your go-to source for scenic flights over some of Arizona’s most dramatic, breathtaking landscapes, ending in an exhilarating water landing on Roosevelt Lake or Lake Powell. Operated by Island Air Express, Desert Splash Adventures provides an exclusive and unique desert adventure experience from the comfort of a Cessna Caravan Amphibious Seaplane. Highly experienced commercial bush pilots, (who are based in Alaska in the off season), fly the planes, and they guarantee absolute safety throughout the journey. Start your adventure conveniently located near the Scottsdale Airport, in an executive lounge that is a luxurious space to relax before the flight. Desert Splash Adventures also offers a range of other adventures ranging from gourmet brunches on a private island to canyoneering in the magnificent rock formations of the Sonoran wilderness.
15115 N Airport Drive, Landmark Aviation (FBO), Scottsdale
877-588-8819