Guest Post by Jimmy Kane:
Phoenix, Arizona is the fifth largest city in the United States. It’s also one of the hottest, with temperatures exceeding 100 and 110 degrees most of the summer. Naturally, the summer heat waves have a big impact on tourism. But if you find yourself traveling through The Valley of the Sun between May and August, here are a few suggestions for enjoying yourself.
One of the most common things to do in Phoenix is hit up the movies. After all, it’s dark and air conditioned inside. And like fungi, Phoenicians thrive where it’s moist and dim. But you can go to the movies anywhere, so while there are view nifty theaters in Scottsdale and Tempe (Camelview 5 and Madcap Theaters respectively) you should spend your time more wisely.
Not surprisingly, the summer has people shifting their sleep schedules to be more awake during the night, when it’s pleasantly cool. But if you can’t force yourself to be up until three a.m. and sleep until the sun sets, maybe do the opposite. Get up earlier, say six a.m. and take a nice hike up Camelback or The White Tanks. You won’t be too hot yet and you can see the sun rising over this glorious, sprawling city.
Again, if you don’t feel too hot or you go early enough, check out the Desert Botanical Garden where you can see so many desert plants, you’ll be spinning in cactus and creosote bushes.
To keep yourself or the kids entertained, you can go to museums. The Phoenix Art Museum is a fantastic start and it’s free Wednesday evenings (donations encouraged) and also the first Friday of every month. Scottsdale’s Museum of Modern Art is also worth a visit, as is the wonderful little galleries lining Roosevelt Row (between 7th st and 7th ave and Roosevelt Road) such as Eye Lounge, Modified Arts and five15 Arts. Also worth noting are the Arizona Science Museum and Challenger Space Center.
Museums not your thing? Well, the Diamondbacks (who I must remind you won the World Series in 2001) have a giant, air-conditioned stadium known as Chase Field. Tickets are cheap, but if you’d rather see the game from behind the bar, Famous Sam’s, O’Brien’s and Yucca Tap Room always have the games on.
There are also some great dive bars such as Bikini Lounge, Lost Leaf and The Roxy Lounge that provide great drinks at great prices. If you’re into live music, the Crescent Ballroom has live music every night and some of the best bands around stop by regularly.
Most of all, don’t forget the water parks like Wet N’ Wild, Sunsplash and Big Surf. Plenty of pools abound all over the place and with the amount of palm trees planted everywhere, you’ll feel like you’re in an almost tropical place.
See, beating the heat isn’t a difficult task. That’s how people continue to live – and thrive – in the Valley of the Sun.
Jimmy Kane was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona but recently moved to El Paso where he manages the website Time Warner Cable El Paso.
image via Jimmy Kane