by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 18, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Cayman Islands, destination, Jessica Labrencis, New Zealand, Phoenix, Sao Paulo, Thailand, vacation package.


Phoenix is sweltering in the summer, but remember, as the saying goes, "it's a dry heat." Temperatures in Phoenix can reach triple digits in the summertime, but as temperatures rise, prices fall. In fact, you save as much as 50 percent on accommodations, or take advantage of off-peak rates for vacation packages.

Phoenix and neighboring Scottsdale feature unique summer arts events. First Fridays Artwalk in Phoenix takes place on the first Friday of every month this summer, and is the country's largest artwalk. More than 80 galleries and "art-friendly" businesses participate, and there are five shuttle routes that bring art enthusiasts between sites. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation offers Thursday and Friday "Night Lights on the Desert" twilight tours of the architect's unique Taliesin West complex of buildings (including his personal residence and architectural studio). In addition, there are more than 10 concerts in Phoenix this summer, including Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Clarkson, Santana, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.


Spas in Phoenix and Scottsdale are increasingly popular, and can offer much-needed respite from the summer heat. Three spas in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area are 2006 Mobil Travel Guide four-star properties, and Travel + Leisure named two Phoenix spas in its "World's Best Hotel Spa" category. One of those spas, the Arizona Biltmore, is offering special summer rates on from $129.

Phoenix is easily accessible from most major U.S. cities, and is served by low-fare carriers Southwest and JetBlue. In fact, JetBlue recently ramped up its service to Phoenix, adding flights from Boston in early May. You can find discounted hotel rates and summer packages, including AAA, family, spa, and golf specials, on

We compared vacation packages from Travelocity, and found savings of as much as $132.

Package Off-peak rate Peak rate
Airfare from Boston and five nights in Scottsdale $730 $862
Airfare from Chicago (O'Hare) and five nights in Phoenix $429 $503
Airfare from Oakland and five nights in Phoenix $379 $464

Off-peak rates are based on travel from July 15 through 20, 2006, and peak rates are based on travel from January 13 through 18, 2007. Prices include taxes and fees.

For additional details on summer travel specials and events, check or's Phoenix Travel Guide.

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