Traditionally, peak season in Scottsdale has been defined as January through March, though lately the “busy” season has stretched through April and, occasionally, into early May. There are two things that make this time of year popular for visitors: Seventy-degree temperatures and event season. Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Waste Management Phoenix Open and Cactus League Spring Training—three of Scottsdale’s biggest events—all happen within this time frame. Prices are high and restaurants are crowded but, if you can swing it, it's still hands-down the best time to visit. The events, weather and big-city buzz brought on by the droves of visitors make it so.
While summer brings 100+ degree temperatures that can be overwhelming, it’s the best time to visit if you’re looking for a deal. Many resorts and hotels discount their rates up to 60% and even throw in added values like spa treatments, morning/evening rounds of golf and meals. The invention of air conditioning made resort summer shutdowns a thing of the past. Drink lots of water, pack light, and enjoy morning/evening activities to beat the heat … and live large. Or, heck, just enjoy a cold one by the pool. It’s what the locals do.
Fall through early winter (December) is the in-between season in Scottsdale, when temperatures finally fall below 100 degrees but aren’t quite as blissful as the winter/spring. Room rates begin to crawl upward but are not through the roof, and lines at the bars and restaurants are mostly made up of locals. Fall is probably the most unpredictable season in Scottsdale, when highs can be in the 90s one day and close to the 60s the next. No need to load up on the long sleeves, though. A light sweater and jeans will do.