The stark and arid beauty of the desert is often underrated, especially by those who imagine green and verdant as their idea of the perfect landscape, but we at Porter can tell you are a discerning traveler, and as you turn your attention to the Valley of the Sun for your summer or fall vacation, your anticipation levels are rapidly rising. You may be already starting to imagine the stunning portrait the desert sun makes as it rises over the mountains in the morning and dips below their majestic peaks each evening, but even as you have dreamed of this getaway your entire life, you may still not know all that Phoenix and the surrounding towns have to offer, but that is ok! We have created this guide to summer and fall in the Southwest to ensure your stay is as perfect as it can be, and since you are beginning this vacation in the best way, by choosing a Porter vacation home for fall or summer in Phoenix, we can promise that this trip will be the one that leaves an indelible imprint on your heart!

Welcome Home

No, you can not bring your own piece of paradise with you while traveling, but our mission is to make all our guests to FEEL at home even when they are thousands of miles away. We create spaces that welcome weary travelers, and as you take your first steps inside, you will feel your troubles melt away. Finding your way to the heart of the home is easy, as many of our properties offer that open concept that makes everyone feel included. As you follow floors made of Saltillo tile (not available in all homes, but this particular rustic looking tile is a Southwest favorite!), you may already be imagining the meals you can prepare inside that space. If you have hung up your apron for the duration of this getaway, at the very least you may find yourself imagining the beverages you are going to enjoy for all the hours of your stay. The luxury of choice is just one of many you will discover in our bright, spacious, and airy homes that are designed to be an integral part of your vacation escape!

The dining rooms, however, offer multiple purposes, even if you choose not to use them as they are generally used. Gathering around the dining room tables and playing board games is guaranteed to be a memory maker, especially as you do not have a lot of time to do so at home! Funkatronic Rex Games & More, located at 1343 E. Northern Avenue, has a huge selection of board games old and new, and many of our homeowners provide a few to play if you do not have your own. In addition to enjoying family meals and playing games, the tables that will easily seat all the members of your traveling party can serve as temporary work stations, school desks, or planning stations as you sit down to discuss which of the fabulously fun activities you are going to participate in each day!

living room with sectional

Living rooms that are open to the dining and kitchen areas may not share the same design sense, but we can promise you this: The state-of-the-art televisions will show your favorite sporting events, and the comfy furnishings will be your second favorite place to sleep as you forego the days activities to work on your couch potato skills! Keeping our guests entertained is one of our missions and our homes offer more than a few ways to do just that. Spend some of your spare minutes hanging out in game rooms filled with ping pong or foosball tables or take the good times outside for a day of fun in the sun! As you might expect, our favorite hobby in sunny Phoenix is frolicking in the pool, and many of our properties offer an oasis in the backyard that includes hot tubs, sport courts, fire pits, and blessedly cool and refreshing pools that are clear and blue. Gather round the fire pit telling ghost stories under the stars or float in the pool with the latest summer or fall bestseller and try to remember why you waited so long to make this particular vacation dream come true!

When the sun sinks behind the mountains and you can’t put off sleep another minute, sliding between the super soft linens that top our super comfortable beds offers another luxury that comes standard in all our homes: a sleep so deep and uninterrupted, you will wake up the next morning not needing those extra 10 minutes you often require in real life!

Summer in the City

The Phoenix Metropolitan area stretches out over 500 square miles and is populated with over 1.5 million residents, making it the 5th largest city in the nation, but along with the big city vibes, you will discover a small-town friendliness no matter where you choose to explore. Enjoy early mornings spent walking around the Phoenix Zoo, being amazed at the quantity of animals you find here and feeling a simple satisfaction in knowing our zoo features one of the most successful wildlife conservation programs in the world. You will see, lions, tigers, bears, and friendly giraffes munching on greens, as well as a host of other mammals, insects, and reptiles!

front of the arizona science center building

When the sun rises high and the heat gets to be a little intense, you will not have to leave and head home to the pool—unless you want to, of course! Instead, you can partake in a variety of summer in Phoenix indoor activities where the air conditioning is always working strong! Explore the art of master artisans at the Phoenix Art Museum, the history of Phoenix and the world at the Heard Museum, and musical instruments from all over the world at the Musical Instrument Museum. Families traveling with children will NEED to put aside some time to visit the Arizona Science Center, where hands-on exhibits make learning science fun for visitors of ALL ages! Offering over 350 permanent exhibits and an additional ever-changing list of traveling exhibits, we promise that you will want to spend at least an afternoon exploring all the fun that can be found here!

Phoenix is a big sports town and is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, World Series winners in 2001. Chase Field is their home base, located in the middle of downtown Phoenix. It offers a truly awesome baseball experience played under a retractable roof that stays open on cooler days but closes on the hottest days, allowing the air-conditioning system that is always on to create a more comfortable day at the stadium. If you are still too warm, the air-conditioned theater of Stand-Up Live, also located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, offers big-name comics and a chill place to laugh and relax!

Falling for Phoenix in the Fall

Also known as second swimming season, fall in Phoenix comes in a waves. First there is the “Is it still summer?” phase, where nights and mornings are cool, and the humidity of monsoon season has totally dissipated. If you are visiting during this part of the season, you may want to limit your outdoor adventures to mornings and night, but you will still find plenty to do!

Take a drive to Camelback Mountain (so named for its resemblance to a kneeling camel) and discover if you have what it takes to get to the top. The journey is a difficult one, but the reward of expansive views of the valley is well worth the effort! This is an activity best planned for early morning during early fall, but if you visit later in the season, it is an experience that can be enjoyed pretty much any time of the day.

The second part of fall generally takes place in late October through mid-November and can still be a tad warm, but the cooler nights will keep you out of the pool and have you spending more time playing—at the Arizona State Fair, for example! 2020’s fair was cancelled due to the pandemic, but the people have spoken, and it will be back again for 2021 and beyond, taking place in October but moving to a new location at Wild Horse Pass on the reservation.

white bloom on cactus

In any case, fall is the season that will make you fall in love with the beauty of our desert town, and as you explore the natural beauty of the Desert Botanical Gardens, located just down the street from the Phoenix Zoo, rent kayaks or pedal boats and explore nearby Tempe Town Lake, or stroll through the peaceful green-scape that is the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, you may find yourself contemplating a move to our desert paradise! Everybody loves a mystery, and a tour of Mystery Castle, located in the foothills of South Mountain Park, may not be a mystery to locals anymore, but visitors love hearing the story of a man with tuberculosis moving to Phoenix and deciding to build a castle for his daughter, using only recycled or found materials! Built in the 1930s, the owner didn’t die until 1945, which was when the daughter (and her mother) discovered that she had inherited this creative piece of construction! Closed during the summer months, tours begin again the first week of October, making it the perfect fall in Phoenix adventure.

As the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer, and the streets of Phoenix slowly start to come back to life after a brief hiatus due to the summer heat, First Fridays begin to become a popular way to spend the first Friday of each month. This traveling art show offers live music, delicious snacks, and a quick peek at some of the areas most talented artists, and if you can’t get enough of the beautiful masterpieces in one shot, the 70 galleries that participate in the walk are open for business daily as well. The Alwun House, a vibrant and colorfully painted bungalow located on Roosevelt Street is a local favorite, offering a variety of exhibits of some of the best artists in the valley and special events throughout the year. The entire month of October, for example, is dedicated to the Monster’s Menagerie, in which you can expect to discover a museum filled with the macabre, the menacing, and the stuff from which nightmares are created, much to the delight of Arizona patrons!

Time to Dine

The multicultural landscape of the Phoenix area leads to an international forum of fine dining, and if there is something you crave in particular, we are pretty sure you will be able to find it here, no matter what season you are visiting! From haute cuisine served in a romantic revolving restaurant high above the city of Phoenix (Compass Arizona Grille, 122 N. 2nd Street) to the spicy heat of authentic Mexican food found at Ladera Taverna y Cocina (8729 N Central Avenue) to the savory delights discovered at the Welcome Diner (929 E Pierce Street), there is no limit to the delicious meals you can have during your fabulous Phoenix getaway. When it is time to stop savoring and begin sipping, Melinda’s Alley, located at 50 E Adams, offers a speakeasy feel and some of the best handmade cocktails in town!

Make Your Escape to Phoenix

Spending your summer and fall days exploring the wonders of our favorite Western town is guaranteed to be taken to the next level when you spend your summer and fall nights in the comfort and luxury of our Porter Phoenix sanctuaries—reserve your today!