Spend your winter in Phoenix, Arizona: Is Phoenix a good snowbird location?

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Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, and it is located in the southwestern United States. Phoenix is also called “Valley of Sun”. It a very lively city that is located in the desert, surrounded by mountains, but the city itself is plain. As it is a popular snowbird winter destination and has many permanent residents, you find many activities and lively areas around the city.

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By Melikamp – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Why should people stay in Phoenix during the winter?

Phoenix is one of the most pleasant towns for the winter season and attracts many visitors during that time of the year. There is not a lot of rain and the weather is mostly sunny. You can enjoy the charm of the city without any extreme heat that you will see in the summer. It has many shopping malls, restaurants and things to do. From casual strolls in a park or around the city or mountains, all activities can be performed easily.

Climate

Phoenix is located in a desert so it can get extremely hot in the summer, but winters are very pleasant. It is 1086 meter (3563 feet) above sea level and the winter temperature can go as high as 77 meter (253 feet) and as low as 47 meter (154 feet). So even at the lowest temperature, you can barely feel the cold. There is not a lot of rain throughout the year.

For more climate information visit Meteoblue

Things to see in Phoenix

There are many neighboring towns and places in the surrounding areas that one can visit.

  • The musical instrument museum (MIM):  this museum has the widest range of musical instruments exhibit. Collected from over 200 countries in the world there are 6500 instruments which makes it most interesting.
  • Papago Park: It is a municipal park stretched over a wide area. It contains both historical places, a golf course, a zoo, lakes, and many other things. It is hard to cover all of the areas in just one day.  
  • Botanical Desert Garden: It is Botanical Garden stretched over 50 acres. It contains a huge variety of flora from harsh plants of the desert to delicate blooms. In winters you can experience Las Noches de Las Luminarias.
  • Heard Museum: It is a private museum dedicated to display and appreciate the history and art of native American-Indian tribes. You can also experience the World Championship of Hoop Dance Contest here.
  • Heritage Square: It is a historical site that gives you a tour of the 1800’s Victorian Phoenix. Rosson house museum is the crown site of this tour along with other townhouses. You can also visit the Science park.
  • Hall of Flame Fire Museum: This museum pays tribute to the firefighters and tells the history of firefighting. Here you can see some heroes who died on the line of duty along with the change in the firefighting industry. There are also some exhibits from Europe and Japan.

Things to see not far from Phoenix

Phoenix is an important winter location and has many places that you can visit. A small selection:

  • OdySea Aquarium: Located in Scottsdale (22 meter (72 feet) from Phoenix). It covers an area of 200,000 square feet. It contains over 50 exhibits and 30,000 animals. You can experience marine life up-close.
  • Old Town Farmers Market: Located 13 meter (43 feet) from Phoenix, It is a farmers market that operates on every Saturday. Here you can find fresh produce by local companies that are all chemical-free.
  • Taliesin West: It is located 29 meter (95 feet) from Phoenix. Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home. It is a masterful architecture inspired by its surrounding desert. It was built in 1959 from the local material found in Phoenix.
  • Desert Diamond Casino: It is located 18 meter (59 feet) from Phoenix. You can enjoy the nightlife here, might as well bet your luck there.
  • Superstition Mountain – Lost Dutchman Museum: It is located 40 meter (131 feet) from Phoenix. Superstitious mountains are stretched over an area of 160,000 acres. It has a history dating back to 9000 years.

Activities in Phoenix in the winter

When it comes to finding a good activity to entertain yourself, Phoenix has a number of options available.

  • Art classes: Join one of the many art classes and learn how to paint, draw, or start with pottery.
  • Cooking: Always wanted to improve your cooking? Join one of the cooking classes and learn how to cook something special.
  • Music: There are many small venues where you can enjoy music.
  • Festivals: You can experience a huge variety of events during the winter period. One of the most beautiful experiences is the lantern festival.
  • Walking around the town: There are a lot of places where you can enjoy a nice walk.
  • Fitness and Yoga: You can find some top-class fitness and yoga retreats in phoenix so that you can stay healthy.
  • Golf: you can find some of the top golf courses in and around the city that also have other amusement activities like pools and arcade games. 
  • Day trips to other cities: there are many worth visiting places outside phoenix. It is easy to plan day trips.
  • Shopping: Phoenix has a lot of shopping options around the city. You can visit high-end shopping malls or smaller specialized stores.
  • Hot air balloon: You can take a hot balloon ride during sunset and get to enjoy incredible views of the city.
  • Off-roading: as there is a huge desert area surrounding Phoenix, you can go off-roading to explore the area.
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Visitor7 / CC BY-SA

Shopping + Restaurants. Are they open in the winter?

Being a major city Phoenix has many shopping malls, restaurants, and specialized shops. You will find all major US stores being present. Having many permanent residents and being a major winter destination means that all will be open.

The whole food market is one of the many fresh produce market places that you can find in Phoenix. The whole food market is one of the places that provide both local and imported products along with organic items as well. You can also buy meat and fish from here. It is a large market that also contains housewares and wines.

There is no specific cuisine specifically related to Phoenix but there are some dishes that are very popular and you can find them at several restaurants even in winters. Pork chili verde is one of the most famous and liked dishes in the region. Machaca, Red beef, and Sonoran dog are also on the list of preferred local cuisines. 

Transport

There are 3 airports in Phoenix. The nearest to the center of the city is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. All kinds of transports are available from the airport to the city including train and bus. It cost as low as $14 (approx. €12, £11, $18 CAD, $20 AUD) for a train ride from the airport to the city.

Having a car can be convenient during your stay. You can rent one at the airport easily, but there are also numerous other locations if you do not want to rent one all the time.

Like the rest of the US, the bus system is pretty efficient in Phoenix as well. Several bus stations and terminals are available all over the city. You can use the bus to travel around the city as it is convenient and cheap. An easy way to find the best route is to use Google maps, find the directions from your starting point to the destination and click on transit. It will show you some of the public transport options. If you want to travel to further away destinations you can get a schedule at https://www.greyhound.com/en-us/bus-station-860431?utm_source=google&utm_medium=distrib&utm_campaign=google-distrib

The Phoenix Train station is located in the city itself. There are many stops and terminals in the city. Traveling around the city through the train is pretty convenient and cheap. Connections with other cities are also available. You can check a schedule at https://www.valleymetro.org/

Spend your winter in Phoenix, Arizona: Is Phoenix a good snowbird location? 16
By Eric Brimhall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Health

There are many top-notch medical and health care centers within the city of Phoenix. The city has two general hospitals, private hospitals, and private clinics as well. Private hospitals are preferred over the general hospital. All the hospitals have 24/7 emergency and all departments to treat every kind of illness:

  • Ebrazo Central Campus: General hospital with 24/7 emergency. (https://www.abrazohealth.com/)
  • Oasis Hospital: Hospital  (https://locations.dignityhealth.org/)
  • Sandstone Oral Maxillofacial Surgery: Dental Clinic (https://sandstoneoms.com/)

Accommodation

There are a number of different rental companies present in Phoenix, whether you’re looking for an apartment or a villa. Some of the most popular organizations that are commonly used include:

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RV/Campers/Motorhome

If you are travelling with a Motorhome there are many easy in town options available like:

Covered Wagon RV Park (http://www.coveredwagonaz.com/rates/) has great parking spots to offer. It is one of the most preferred spots with all the facilities available. Prices start from $50 (approx. €44, £39, $67 CAD, $71 AUD) including a few facilities.

Desert Shadow RV Resort: there are 638 spaces available for RV parking. All the facilities are available in this resort. Prices start from $65 (approx. €57, £51, $88 CAD, $93 AUD) including a few facilities.  (https://www.phoenixrvresorts.com/)

There are also many great camping options in the Phoenix area:

  • The Roost: It is a great camping site and is located in the city. Basic facilities like toilets and water are available. It costs $20 (approx. €17, £15, $27 CAD, $28 AUD) per night (https://www.hipcamp.com/arizona/the-roots/the-roost)
  • Pinnacle Farms campsite: It is a grassy campsite located in the city. Basic facilities like toilets and water are available. It costs $24 (approx. €21, £19, $32 CAD, $34 AUD) per night. (https://www.hipcamp.com/arizona/pinnacle-farms-south/pinnacle-farms-tent-campsite)