We all love living in Phoenix, Arizona, but every city is not without its flaws. In this instance, we’re talking about… the heat. This year the summer heat came late but has made its presence known recently and sent many scrambling away for the weekend to find relief. Luckily there are numerous spots that are just a quick road trip away from the Valley that provide much more than just cooler weather.

Flagstaff – This list would not be complete without mentioning the most popular mountain town in Arizona, Flagstaff. Home to Snowbowl and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff has been growing steadily over the years and is now home to over 75,000 residents. Summer temperatures tend to be 20-25 degrees cooler than Phoenix, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. There are also many great restaurants and local breweries in town as well. Flagstaff has maintained its small town feel while also offering plenty to do. 

Aspen Trees in Fall

Jerome – Jerome tends to be overshadowed by being sandwiched in between Sedona and Prescott, but there is still much going on in this old mining town. In the 1920’s, Jerome was the fourth-largest city in Arizona thanks to its abundance of copper, but once the need for copper largely disappeared, so did the people in Jerome. Now it provides tourists with a great day or weekend trip with plenty of great shops, restaurants, and museums to educate about Jerome’s past. If you’re feeling bold, there is no shortage of ghost stories in the town, roam around and talk to the right people and you might just have your own paranormal encounter.

Sedona – You could argue that Sedona literally draws people to the town, as it is claimed to have some of the strongest vortexes (the proper grammatical form 'vortices' is rarely used) in the country. Vortexes are claimed to be swirling centers of energy that can bring joy and energy to those around them. The entire town of Sedona is a vortex, but there are certain areas where the energy is stronger around town. Whether you are a vortex believer or not, the cooler weather and beautiful scenery is certainly enough to draw anyone in. 

Family Hiking a Canyon

Prescott – The average temperature in Prescott (year-round) is 70 degrees, need we say more? Prescott has maintained some of the old western town feel that used to be prevalent around the state. The town square is straight out of a movie, with bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors surrounding the central courthouse. Watson Lake provides hiking, boating and other water activities to further cool off in the summer. While the population is just shy of 50,000, it certainly feels much bigger when the summer crowds roll in, so just be prepared to wait a little at some of the more popular spots. 

Couple Kayaking

These are just a few of the great places a short drive away from Phoenix, if you’re looking for a new home base in the Valley, check out all the great homes Shea has to offer.

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