5 things to do in Phoenix before summer melts everything


While most of the country looks forward to the slight warmth that spring brings after a cold winter, Phoenix residents begin biting their nails as the countdown to the scorching heat begins. You see, it's a little-known fact that spring lasts approximately one month in Phoenix. We get late March and maybe a few weeks in April before we start strategizing ways to stay inside all day with that sweet, sweet air conditioning blowing on us. So if you plan to visit Phoenix while it's still nice out, I applaud you for your smart thinking and will reward you with this list of cool ways to make the most of this perfect, very fleeting weather.

1. Find a rooftop bar

Phoenix has a few great rooftop bars that you'll probably want to stay away from any time after May, unless they happen to include a pool. But for now, you can enjoy some pleasant 70-80-degree weather while sipping a beer at local hangouts like Lustre Rooftop Bar (which incidentally does have a pool) and The Perch Pub & Brewery, which has more than 50 colorful rescue birds in cages for you to admire.

2. Become one with nature

Now is the time to head to all the fun outdoor attractions that let you see animals and plant life up close, because they are basically off limits in the summer. Some of the local favorites include the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. If you're a big fan of animals, you might as well spend a day at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, too.

3. Get athletic outside...while you still can

Once summer arrives in Phoenix, anything that requires you to move around a lot outside will result in buckets of sweat, except maybe swimming. So if you have the urge to be active outdoors, do it now! Golf is popular here, as you'll quickly figure out when you see a golf course on nearly every corner. If you can't decide on a course, check out Top Golf for a driving range that's one part golf, one part social hangout spot.

4. Check out a spring training game

It turns out you really don't have to be that into baseball to enjoy a spring training game on a nice afternoon in Phoenix. For many people, it's simply an excuse to drink beer outside with friends and pretend you're in-the-know about sports. You'll find a spring training stadium in almost every Phoenix suburb, so take your pick. For example, the Arizona Diamondbacks train at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields, while the Chicago Cubs are at Mesa's Sloan Park and the Los Angeles Dodgers are at Glendale's Camelback Ranch. Check out the schedule before you go.

5. Eat outside

Phoenix has lots of restaurants with great patios that are nice to use from about late October to early May. Head to one of the many locations of Postino Wine Café for Italian food and wine al fresco, or the picturesque Lon's at the Hermosa for gorgeous mountain views from the patio. Either way, you'll be able to bask in the amazing spring weather we have in Phoenix, assuming you visit soon!

Autumn Rivers has lived in the Phoenix area for over 20 years. Autumn's favorite season is spring, oddly enough.