Scottsdale’s Summer Top 10

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

It’s true – summers in Scottsdale are triple-digit, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot from early May through mid-September. But don’t let that deter you from visiting! You’ll enjoy resort rates up to 60 percent off, as well as these activities and events that won’t make you break a sweat. Here's our list of the best things to do in the summer in Scottsdale.


Make a Splash

Water sports in the desert? Absolutely! There are eight lakes and rivers, including Salt River, within a 60-minute drive of Old Town Scottsdale, which means you’re never far from fishing, kayaking, river rafting, tubing, paddle boarding and paddleboat tours. And thanks to Scottsdale’s adventure outfitters, access to wet and wild adventure is just a call or click away!



The Musical Instrument Museum’s VIP Tour takes you behind the scenes to see how exhibits are created, how the museum’s 5,000+ instruments are stored and cared for, what goes on backstage at the MIM Music Theater and more.


Grab a Frosty Treat

Cool off with an ice cream treat at the Sugar Bowl or Super Chunk Sweets & Treats. The Sugar Bowl is a 1950s-style soda fountain that’s been serving up classic American fare and ice cream sundaes for more than 50 years. Nearby, Super Chunk will sweeten up your day with house-made ice cream, sherbets, sorbets and semifreddos in a variety of seasonal flavors.


Relax with a Summer Spa Soother

When the summer heat threatens to harsh your Zen, it’s time for a trip to the spa. Every summer, Scottsdale’s resort and day spas unveil cooling treatments that pamper sun-kissed skin and soothe the mind, body and soul. They’ll leave you feeling, cool, comfy and oh-so-relaxed in no time at all!


Interact with Art at Wonderspaces

Located inside Scottsdale Fashion Square, Wonderspaces Arizona is a fascinating exploration of the idea that art is for everyone. Cool, interactive exhibitions allow you to experience art through sight, touch, sound, movement and even virtual reality. Exhibitions change frequently, so there’s always something new to explore.


Fly with iFly

Experience the thrill of skydiving in air-conditioned comfort at iFly! With the help of certified flight instructors, you’ll learn how control your body in the air and experience true human flight on a smooth cushion of air. And the best part? There’s no need to jump out of a perfectly fine airplane!


See Sea Life at OdySea Aquarium

The Southwest’s largest aquarium takes you on a one-of-a-kind voyage through the rivers and oceans of the world. You’ll see thousands of sea creatures, including sharks, penguins, sea turtles and exotic fish. This state-of-the-art aquarium includes a 3D movie, SeaTrek™ underwater ocean walking, and interactive experiences for the whole family!


Explore the Garden After Dark

Summer Saturday nights take on a whole new glow during Flashlight Tours at the Desert Botanical Garden! This self-guided tour for all ages introduces guests to the desert’s fascinating night-blooming plants and nocturnal creatures.


Take in a Concert at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

When the sun goes down, summer Sunday nights heat up with free concerts at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Take a ride on the miniature railroad or carousel, and explore the onsite railroad museum. Then spread out a blanket and enjoy family-friendly concerts by the Valley’s hottest bands.


Chill Out at the Summer Spectacular ArtWalk

July’s “Summer Spectacular” Gold Palette ArtWalk is a longtime tradition in the Scottsdale Arts District. Galleries feature exhibits by various national and international artists while visitors are treated to live music, refreshing beverages and plenty of “cool” entertainment and festivities.

Check out our Weather page for current conditions, average monthly temperatures and top 10 lists for all the seasons!