Talk to anyone in Seattle and chances are they know someone who goes to Arizona during the winter to take advantage of their warmer weather. While it’s nice to take a break then, I think spring in Arizona is one of the best times to visit.
The weather tends to be in the 70s, which is pleasant but not too hot for outdoor activities. Here are a few travel tips to keep in mind and 10 reasons to visit Arizona in the spring.
Travel Tips for Arizona in the Spring
Here are a few recommendations to consider before booking your trip to Arizona in the spring.
Rent a Car
When you get to the Phoenix International Airport, you’ll head outside to take a bus to the rental car center. This is a giant center about 15 minutes away from where all the rental cars are, so you don’t have to worry about looking for your specific car company on a shuttle.
Everyone will get off at the same place and then head inside to find the appropriate rental company. This is a bit confusing for me when I first rented a car. Having a car is especially helpful if you’ll be taking any Phoenix day trips during your visit.
Book a Hotel With a Pool
While there are many budget hotels in Arizona, I recommend spending a little more money on a nicer one for your Arizona spring break trip. You’ll appreciate this on the mornings you want a slower start, and this is one of the best things to do in Phoenix. The weather is warm enough that you can even go to the pool after dinner as well.
Here are a few Arizona hotels I recommend:
- Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River – This mid-range hotel has a decent-sized outdoor pool, restaurant, and fitness center. Book your room on Booking.com
- The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa – This is the ultimate place to relax during your trip to Arizona in the spring. The hotel has multiple pools, including adults-only and kid-specific ones, a golf course, restaurants, and more. Book your room on Booking.com
12 Things to Do in Spring in Arizona
Here are some ideas of what to do when visiting Arizona in the spring.
1. Attend a Spring Training Game
There’s nothing I love more than a baseball game when it gets warm out, so I was excited to attend spring training for the first time I visited Arizona in spring. I saw the Chicago Cubs play at Sloan Park and my Seattle Mariners play at Peoria Sports Complex.
People come from all over to attend this and are in generally happy moods to be here. Spring training in Arizona is fun to attend even if you’re not the biggest baseball fan.
They have beer gardens around the stadiums as well as a variety of food to choose from. For example, Sloan Park has deep-dish pizza as a nod to the dish that Chicago has made famous.
2. Head to the Mountains to Hike
The weather is perfect in the morning to go on one of many hikes in the area. Wind Cave Trail is a good one not far out of Phoenix that gives you an amazing view of the city.
I was in love with the landscape in Arizona and being able to walk right past a cactus while you’re hiking. There is no shortage of hiking trails in the area, and spring in Arizona is the perfect temperature to go on a morning hike.
Did you know there are three national parks in Arizona? You can get in some longer hikes by visiting these during your Arizona spring break.
These include Saguaro, Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon. If you don’t feel like driving all the way out to the Grand Canyon, there are many day tours you can book to get on a bus to see it.
Sedona is another stunning place to go hiking. Make sure to check out some of the best hikes in Sedona while you’re there.
3. Relax at the Pool
The weather is absolutely perfect in the spring in Arizona for relaxing at the pool. You’ll have no trouble finding a hotel that has at least one pool, if not more.
You can even make a day out of it at some hotels by ordering breakfast by the pool, heading to the spa late morning, and coming back to the pool later.
Many pools also have cabanas available to rent for half a day or the full day. This is a good choice if you want to guarantee you’ll have a spot and shade when you want it.
4. Experience Goat Yoga
When you’re exploring Arizona, head over to Gilbert to take a goat yoga class. This is guaranteed to be the best yoga class of your life, although you’ll probably be distracted by the goats to practice yoga.
Two friends have trained a few dozen goats to be people-friendly, and the goats will actually jump on your back while you’re doing yoga! Just make sure to wear a t-shirt (not a tank top) so you don’t get scratched by their hooves.
Other than that, the goats are very well behaved and this is a blast to attend, even if you don’t like yoga.
5. Try Local Food
There are so many places to get fresh, local food in Arizona. I recommend stopping at Jalapeno Bucks to try out all their variations of salsa (including barbeque and several spicy ones).
They also have unique eats, such as peanut butter and jelly brisket sandwich. For a healthier option with plenty of vegan and gluten-free dishes, head over to True Food Kitchen.
Want to have a local show you around? Book a spot on a downtown Phoenix food tour.
6. Have Dinner in the Desert
Speaking of food, you have to spend one evening eating dinner in the Sonoran Desert during an Arizona spring. Cloth & Flame puts on a beautiful evening where each night they set up tables like the one below, string up lights, and bring in a portable kitchen and bar.
I don’t think there’s a better place to be during the spring in Arizona when the sun goes down at night. Just make sure to dress warmly, as it does get cold when it’s dark. I wore jeans and a sweatshirt and was warm enough sitting next to the heater.
7. Buy Everything Olive Oil
If you love olive oil, you’ll want to stop at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Not only do they sell dozens of different olive oils, but they also sell body scrubs, body lotion, chapsticks, and more.
I wanted to buy everything here because the samplers made my skin so soft. Just take one look at the beautiful skin of the friendly family who runs this and you’ll be convinced to start using olive oil in your daily routine.
There’s also a cafe to order coffee or food from if you get hungry. You may be here a while based on how much there is to buy!
8. Go Horseback Riding
Starting a cool morning riding through the desert on a horse isn’t a bad way to start the day. There are so many places to explore around Arizona, so spend at least one day taking a horse out.
It’s a relaxing experience to slowly go through the beautiful landscape. If you’re not experienced or 100% comfortable like I was, just let them know so they can give you advice.
9. Treat Yourself to Glamping
If camping isn’t your thing, check out these glampers at Schnepf Farms. They’ve taken a variety of Airstream trailers and made them into comfy places to spend a night or two.
There is a bed, bathroom, kitchen, and lounging area in each one, and the outside has a barbeque to cook your food on.
10. Segway Through the Desert
Head out to FortMcDowell to explore the desert via Segway. For those who have never been on one before, they have a small training course to try out before you head out on the trails.
They’re easy to learn, and you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground while exploring the desert. We even had a chance to hop off and try the inside of a cactus (after burning the thorns of course!).
11. Take a Hot Air Balloon Tour
While I was having dinner in the desert, I saw tons of hot air balloon tours go up in the air at sunset. While I didn’t do one this trip, I can imagine it’d be a great way to spend the evening.
The Arizona landscape is so unique with the different colors and cacti that dot the land, so you’ll want to bring your camera. Some tours even provide an early breakfast and champagne after you get back to celebrate your morning trip.
12. Go White Water Rafting
The weather can get a bit hot at times during the spring, so white water rafting is a great way to cool off. You can book an all-day tour that will take you out to the Salt River to experience the rapids.
This trip includes class III and IV rapids as well as lunch, so you’ll be set for the day. If you rent a car, you can also drive to a location that offers rafting to meet them on your own.