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4 Reasons to Embrace the Heat in Phoenix This Summer

Get out of the blazing sun and check out museums, enclosed gardens and other indoor attractions.

U.S. News & World Report

4 Reasons to Embrace the Heat in Phoenix This Summer

Phoenix Arizona skyline framed by saguaro cactus and mountainous desert

Whether you want to unwind in a private cabana at a high-end resort, soak in art and architecture or explore enclosed gardens, there are myriad ways to beat the smoldering temperatures in Phoenix.(Getty Images)

With Phoenix's average summer temperatures often soaring into the triple digits, the summer months might not seem like an ideal time to plan a trip and check out the surrounding Arizonan communities of Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. However, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat, from hanging out by the pool to heading indoors and exploring some of the city's impressive museums and galleries. On your next getaway to Phoenix, consider these fun experiences to get out of the sweltering sunshine and embrace the area's top-notch resorts, cultural sites and indoor attractions.

You Can Lounge by the Pool at World-Class Resorts

Phoenix is home to some outstanding resorts, many of which offer great pools. Whether you prefer relaxing in a private cabana or enjoying exhilarating water slides with the kids, you're bound to find a retreat that's right for you. If you're traveling with youngsters, stay out of the smoldering sunshine at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa's pool and lazy river. And if you're looking for a little more action, try "flowboarding" on the Flowrider, which simulates surfing and boogie boarding.

Meanwhile, travelers looking for a romantic getaway can stay at the historic Royal Palms Resort and Spa. The peaceful grounds, sparkling pool and award-winning Alvadora Spa make this a perfect place to relax on a hot summer day.

You Can Enjoy Kid-Friendly Fun Indoors

Phoenix is home to a wide variety of indoor attractions that are great for families. Explore the tropical Butterfly Wonderland, where you'll have a chance to wander through an enclosed greenhouse that houses thousands of beautiful butterflies (making it the largest butterfly conservatory in the United States) and plenty of lush plants.

Next, check out one of the Phoenix area's unique, family-friendly museums. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes explores the history of firefighting and honors those who help keep us safe. In addition to historic equipment and fire engines, the museum also features a hands-on exhibit for kids that focuses on fire safety.

Other kid-friendly attractions to explore include the Children's Museum of Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center and the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium.

You Can Broaden Your Horizons With Art, Culture and History

Sure, you want to have fun and catch up on some rest and relaxation during your vacation, but it's also a good idea to set aside some time to learn something new along the way. As the country's sixth-largest city, Phoenix is home to a variety of museums and cultural institutions that offer an excellent respite when you need to escape the midday sun.

Those with an interest in history, architecture and good food will want to carve out some time for a trip to Wrigley Mansion, a private club that serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, and offers tours of the historic property, which was built in 1932 for chewing-gum entrepreneur William Wrigley, Jr. Club memberships start at $5 for a one-month trial. Those who travel to Phoenix regularly can opt for the $15 per year Social Membership or the $50 per year Wine Membership, which grants access to special wine events and offers additional savings.

If you're a modern art, architecture and design enthusiast, visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, located in downtown Scottsdale. Escape the heat by visiting the museum's indoor exhibits, but be sure to venture outdoors to explore the sculpture garden. Here, you'll have a chance to see artist James Turrell's "Knight Rise," a skyspace that combines architecture, design, light and the Arizona sky into a unique, meditative experience.

You Can Check Out Evening Events in Downtown Scottsdale

Make the most of the cooler evening hours by exploring downtown Scottsdale, particularly the charming and eclectic Old Town area. Dig into a steak at the legendary Pink Pony steakhouse before heading to Salty Senorita for a fresh margarita and people-watching. You can also explore downtown's many art galleries, shops and local crafts. And whatever you do, don't forget to take a picture in front of the iconic cowboy sign that welcomes visitors to Old Town.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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