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Phoenix

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Lookout Mountain Golf Club, Arizona (Photo: Michael Mertz, Pointe Hilton Resorts, Greater Phoenix Convention and Vistors Bureau)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 12, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Antigua and Barbuda, beach, Belize, culinary travel, destination, Jessica Labrencis, low season, New Orleans, Phoenix, Scottsdale, shoulder season, St. Maarten/St. Martin, summer.

Named this year's number-one city for vacation value by Hotwire, Phoenix offers plenty of summertime off-peak discounts. If you don't mind dry, hot weather (think temperatures around 100), you can take advantage of slashed hotel rates.

In my comparisons of spring shoulder-season hotel rates with low-season summer rates, I found savings as high as $150.

Hotel Room type Off-peak rate Shoulder-season rate
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa Classic king room $149 $299
FireSky Resort and Spa Patio guest room with two queen beds $145 $199
Gainey Suites Hotel, Scottsdale Studio suite king $99 $189
Legacy Golf Resort Studio suite $81.75 $105

Prices are per night based on double occupancy and were found on each hotel's website. Off-peak rates are based on stays from August 4 to 7, and shoulder-season rates are based on stays from May 19 to 22.

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Lounging by the hotel pool, enjoying spa treatments, and hitting the links at one of the area's more than 200 golf courses are all good ways to spend time in Phoenix, but there are other reasons to venture outside the hotel grounds. You can beat the heat in the morning by visiting the Downtown Phoenix Public Market when it opens at 8 a.m on Saturdays. The market showcases local products, from produce and flowers to arts and crafts. You can also take advantage of inexpensive ($10 donation requested) yoga lessons and gardening lectures at the market.

If you want a little culture along with your sun time, you might look into the ShowUp NOW pass, which includes admission to 14 Phoenix-area attractions all for one price. Included are the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, the Phoenix Art Musuem, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Phoenix Zoo, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West Panorama Tour. Passes start at $24 for three attractions.

Luxury hotels in the Phoenix and nearby Scottsdale areas cut rates by as much as $300 in summer, so you can stay at a resort that might normally be out of your price range at a fraction of the usual cost. In addition, hotel packages are available at some resorts, and often include discounted rates, resort credits, discounted golf, and/or free upgrades. The Phoenix and Scottsdale CVBs both have summer package information.

You can find trip-planning information in our Phoenix Travel Guide, and on Phoenix's CVB website, VisitPhoenix.com.

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