By Rebecca Brown
In all honesty, it is tough to beat winter in Arizona, especially if you prefer the warmer climate and want a place to escape from the northern cold. The Phoenix temperatures are in the 60s so you won’t need your sweater. And as far as activities go, there is something for everyone; Phoenix has a lot to offer its visitors.
In case you are all set on combining the warmth with a bit of winter wonderland, you always have the option to head a bit north for a couple of hours and get to the magical snowy Flagstaff, but that is a story for another article. It is time to explore what is waiting for you in Phoenix.
Going on a nice tour of Phoenix and Scottsdale is a definite must. There is so much to see and visit – starting with the time-honoured Arizona capitol building, Old Town Scottsdale and the historic Biltmore architecture. Touring the Valley of the Sun is a unique experience especially if you have a fun way to get around Phoenix and Scottsdale with family and friends.
First of all, there is the magical architecture, then a collection of modern art to take your breath away, and let’s not forget the dreamy Sonoran Desert views. You don’t want to miss out on the Arizona Biltmore, the only existing luxury hotel with design elements from the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This majestic resort was built in 1929 and was crowned the “Jewel of the Desert”.
Winter in Phoenix is definitely hiking season, and you do not want to miss out on that opportunity. But first, you should definitely consider determining your actual skill level. Not to worry, there is something for everyone, but you don’t want to be a beginner tackling a pro hiking trail.
If it is easy that you want, there is the Double Butte Loop and Hole-in-the-Rock Trail in Papago Park. The Double Butte is a 2.3-mile loop, while the Hole-in-the-Rock part of the trail is a total of 825 feet out and back. It is one of the best hikes to see the red sandstone formations of Papago Park.
In case you are up for a challenge, there is always the Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain. It is just 2.4 miles out and back, but don’t be fooled by how short it is. This is one of the highest hikes in Phoenix, with the height of 2,704 feet, and when we say hard, we mean hard – you’ll need your hands free for 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
In Phoenix, the golf season is approximately 365 days long. So yes, you should definitely check out some of the nearly 200 public golf courses in the area. They are all watered throughout the entire year, meaning you will get to play on the finest grass quality.
It is not a secret that the PGA loves coming to Phoenix. Especially in colder months with the Phoenix open being held from Jan 30 – Feb 2, 2020, so you might get to see the pros play if you come to visit in winter.
This magical event takes place each year in December at the Desert Botanical Garden. Now, this building is home to 21,000 plants and 139 endangered plant species which in itself is amazing. But imagine that every night throughout December the garden’s pathways are lined with more than 8,000 luminaries.
That is definitely a must-attend event. Not only is it breathtaking but you also get to listen to music and try some of the light refreshments on offer. Going there on a date or with friends is the perfect way to create some great memories.
Let’s be honest, even in the warmest of places, winter is not truly winter if there are no sparkling lights to add to the holiday atmosphere. That is why each year, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo present us with the largest and brightest holiday light displays in the Southwest. If you can imagine, there are around 2.5 million lights illuminating the zoo.
It is truly a must-see event. The whole experience is accompanied by camel and wagon rides, a carousel and a stingray touch tank, so there is no lack of fun activities for the entire family. This magical light show runs from late November through early January.
All of the abovementioned should be more than enough to inspire you to visit Phoenix during the winter months. There is something for everyone who comes, whether it is with family or with friends.
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About the Author:
I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveller, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft and Afro Tourism gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.