Scottsdale offers the best of the Arizona desert, with a captivating blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Each season in Scottsdale brings its own unique charm, from blooming desert flowers in spring to a temperate escape in winter. Whenever you decide to visit, Scottsdale has something special for you. This guide covers what to expect in every season, from the weather, to activities, events, and more, to help you decide when to visit Scottsdale.

Winter (December to February)

Scottsdale Waterfront Decorated for Christmas

Winter in Scottsdale is mild and sunny, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-70s (F). With comfortable days and cool evenings, winter offers a welcome escape for visitors from colder climates. Winter is considered the peak season for visitors to Scottsdale, so outdoor activities, attractions, and restaurants can be more crowded, but it is well worth it for that golden desert sun.

Winter in Scottsdale is a great time for outdoor activities. Hiking, mountain biking and golfing are popular activities at this time of year, because it’s not as hot as the spring and summer months. Outdoor adventures like horseback riding and ATV tours are also a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather. The comfortable winter evenings are perfect for al fresco dining on a Scottsdale restaurant patio or indulging in a drink with a view from a rooftop bar.

Scottsdale offers a variety of interesting events throughout winter. The holiday season is a month-long celebration full of exciting signature events like Scottsdazzle and the Enchant holiday lights display. Foodies will rejoice at the Taste of Arizona, celebrating local cuisine at its finest. In February, visitors can step back in time at the Arizona Renaissance Festival or watch the professionals in action at the iconic Waste Management Open golf tournament. The Arabian Horse Show is also held each year in February and features nearly 2,400 arabian horses, along with top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world, all competing for a chance to win.

Spring (March to May)

Hikers in Scottsdale in the spring

As the desert says goodbye to winter, Scottsdale bursts into a riot of colorful wildflowers. Temperatures start to climb from mild to warm, with average daytime highs ranging from the upper 70s to low 90s Fahrenheit. Spring weather offers ideal conditions for outdoor activities and events like baseball spring training, so this time of year is considered a peak season for visitors. If you visit during spring, it’s recommended to book accommodations early.

With ideal weather conditions, spring is a great time for hiking and exploring the desert landscapes, but you’ll likely want to get an early start to avoid the hot temperatures later in the day. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve has a vast network of trails with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and opportunities to spot desert wildlife. The Desert Botanical Garden is in full bloom, showcasing a diverse array of cacti and desert plants.

Scottsdale also hosts a number of spring festivals and events. The Scottsdale Art Festival and The Celebration of Fine Art showcase local talent, while the Scottsdale ArtWalk opens up the galleries of the Historic Arts District. Dish Fest, held annually in March and hosted by Phoenix Magazine, is a vibrant culinary event showcasing a diverse array of dishes from top local restaurants and chefs, all in a fun indoor/outdoor setting. The Scottsdale Jazz Festival brings renowned musicians together for a weekend of incredible music and the AZ Restaurant Week celebrates the local food scene with a week of special menus and fun from dozens of local restaurants.

Summer (June to August)

Scottsdale vacation rental with pool

As temperatures rise, summer in Scottsdale brings both adventure and relaxation. With average highs reaching between 100 – 110°(F), the heat can be intense, but low humidity does make it a bit more bearable for outdoor activities at certain times of the day. Due to the hotter weather, summer is considered the low season for tourism, which means fewer crowds and potentially lower prices on accommodations and activities. 

For those who don’t mind the heat, summer can be a great time for outdoor activities, especially if you avoid mid-day. Sunrise hiking is a popular way to start your day, and tee times can be easier to find when the local golf courses are less crowded. Spending some time in the pool or at a water park can also be a refreshing way to beat the heat with kids, and booking a Scottsdale vacation rental with a pool is an excellent way to enjoy those hot summer days. Indoor attractions like museums or shopping can provide an entertaining break when the heat is too much. After the sun goes down, the warm evenings are perfect for checking out Scottsdale’s nightlife and eating outdoor is a welcome treat in the warmer months.

There is no shortage of events to keep you busy during summer in Scottsdale. Enjoy local bands performing everything from disco to R&B at the Railroad Park Concert Series. For an Independence Day celebration you won’t forget, head to the Tempe 4th of July event to catch fireworks and live music all night long. And of course, don’t miss out on one of Scottsdale’s legendary pool parties happening all summer long.

Fall (September to November)

Mountain Bikers On Desert Trail In Scottsdale, Arizona

Fall in Scottsdale offers a respite from summer heat, as temperatures begin to fall into the low 80s to mid-90s (F), and this is another popular time to visit for those looking to escape the colder fall months up north. The weather at this time of year is great for outdoor adventures, and the city is relatively uncrowded before visitors start to arrive for the winter high season. Fall is considered a shoulder season with fewer crowds and more moderate prices than the peak winter and spring seasons.

Fall is an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploring Scottsdales trails and outdoor activities. The cooler temperatures make it more comfortable to spend time hiking in the nearby mountains or hitting the links on an acclaimed local golf courses. Browse the local farmers market in Old Town Scottsdale for a taste of local food and produce. For a little adventure, a hot air balloon ride provides an exhilarating birds-eye view of the Arizona landscape.

In fall, cultural festivals abound in Scottsdale. Head to the Arizona State Fair for some family fun with rides, fair food and live entertainment. Get into the Bavarian spirit at Oktoberfest or celebrate the rich cultural tradition of Dia de los Muertos. Foodies can get their taco fix at the Arizona Taco Fest or sample the offerings from local breweries and distilleries at Arizona Bottles & Brews.

No matter when you visit Scottsdale, you are sure to fall in love with the desert lanscape and laid back lifestyle. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural events, or simply a relaxing getaway, this city has something to offer year-round. Book your stay at one of our luxurious Scottsdale vacation rentals and immerse yourself in the unique charm and beauty of this desert oasis!