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Visitor Tips to Enjoy Arizona’s Unique Winter Weather

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Desert Survival Guide | Visitor Tips to Enjoy Arizona’s Unique Winter Weather

Survival
Low temps with a 100-percent chance of sunshine—a winter in Arizona like no other.

With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s no surprise that many choose to call Arizona home—even if it’s just for the winter months.

Each year, millions of people flock to the Grand Canyon State to enjoy not only the sunny climate and spectacular desert views but the many winter-time events that call Arizona home, like what former Mayor Drinkwater—a visionary—called the trifecta…Barrett-Jackson car auction, the WM Phoenix Open and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.

If you’re ready to dive into the desert, here are some tips for the newbies to make the most of all the excitement.

H2O BEFORE YOU GO

The “dry-heat” air will require drinking more water than you drink at home. Not only do you want to drink some extra water on your trip–up to 80 ounces per day–but having a water bottle with you consistently will help make that happen. (And, no, a beer at the WM Open doesn’t count as hydration.)

And for goodness sake, don’t even start a hike without at least 16 to 32 ounces of water. It’s embarrassing to be on the news when a rescue helicopter is getting you off a mountain.

Make sure to hydrate your skin and lips so you don’t feel dry and cracked. Lip balm should be a staple item in your handbag or pants pocket.

BLOCK THE SUN

One word—sunscreen. It might feel odd to apply sunscreen when the weather doesn’t seem to call for it, but UVA rays don’t take a vacation! Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any body part that isn’t covered up while you explore the desert, especially your face. You’ll be surprised how quickly it catches up with you.

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Horseshoe

LAYER LIKE A CAKE

While the aforementioned sunshine still makes quite an appearance in the winter months, the temperatures still fluctuate enough to make an East Coaster shiver, which is why layering is crucial! From temperatures around 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning to mid-70s in the afternoon and back again, having an extra jacket or sweater is your ticket to a comfortable visit.

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PLAN YOUR STAY

Unlike most major cities, the Valley of the Sun is spread out and doesn’t have many options for public transportation. And when it comes to getting around, give yourself extra time. 

It’s never a bad idea to have all the ride-share apps loaded onto your phone for the days you want to celebrate. And during the Big Game, several providers are offering helicopter charters from Old Town to get you to the NFL Championship quickly and in style.

CRITTER PATROL

Visitors to our beautiful Valley rave about the beauty of the desert, but don’t understand our flora and fauna. It’s not a major concern if you use common sense. People aren’t the only creatures you can see on a golf course, so keep your eyes open and your hands out of shrubbery otherwise, you may meet the reptile for which our baseball team was named. And if you rent a house, wear some slippers as scorpions are good at hiding in tiny places. And third, we are home to majestic hawks and owls. If you are traveling with a small dog or cat, they should always be supervised outside and better yet, stay inside.

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