Hot and Cold in Arizona
Over the past few decades, Arizona has become a magnet for snowbirds: people who spend the summer months in cooler locales like the Upper Midwest or Canada and winter months in Arizona. Seems like a lot of effort to “climate hop,” considering you can be a snowbird without leaving Arizona.
Winter in the desert
Arizona cities like Phoenix, Tucson and Lake Havasu City are known for their warm winter temperatures. Snowbirds flock here every year in October and November to escape the cold and snow back home. Then, when things get cooking in the desert around May or June, they pack up and migrate north.
A downside to Arizona’s reputation for being a hot spot in the United States is that few snowbirds realize they can escape the blistering summers of the desert without leaving the state.
Summer in the high country
When triple-digit temps become too much to bear in the Phoenix Valley, you can escape the heat by jumping in the car and driving a couple hours into the high country or “rim country” – the part of the state situated on the Mogollon Rim. Flagstaff, Prescott and Payson are some of the more popular high country destinations in summer months. However, dozens of charming small towns are dotted around the higher terrain.
Advantages to living in Arizona full time
A few reasons why living full-time in Arizona beats snowbirding in another state:
- Enjoyable climate year round
- Lower travel expenses
- Simpler tax filing
- More consistent medical care
- Easier access to your stuff
Arizona snowbird housing options
With so many housing options available to you in Arizona, your living choices are virtually unlimited. Consider owning a winter home in the Valley and a summer home in the high country, if your budget allows. If that is out of reach for you financially, you might buy a winter home and rent a summer home – or vice versa.
If you happen to own a timeshare with exchange privileges, you have a number of great Arizona resorts to choose from, in both the desert regions and the high country. This is a great option if you can handle the climate at your primary residence most of the year, and just need a reprieve for a few weeks. A variation of the timeshare option is RV living – year-round, or a few weeks at a time. Imagine summers nestled creek side beneath the shade of towering pine trees and winter basking in the sun adjacent to your favorite trailhead.