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dec 21

Why You Should Consider an Arizona Vacation Now

Welcome to Arizona (Courtesy Wing-Chi Poon/Wikipedia Commons)

No one heads to Phoenix looking for a cold winter. This is America’s sunniest metropolis, with 211 rain–free days a year and an identity so tied to the heat that even the basketball team is called the Suns. While snow is extremely rare in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, the Sonoran Desert offers its own sort of winter wonderland. Each December, the Christmas cactus and desert mistletoe burst to life with succulent flowers and crimson berries fit for any wreath. At night, visitors can grab a hot spiced cider and a churro at the Desert Botanical Garden’s annual Las Noches de las Luminarias. Set in rustic Papago Park—a hilly red–rock expanse bordering Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe—the gardens glow with over 8,000 luminarias (paper bags lit from within by candles). “We don’t get snow, and we don’t wear big winter coats,” says Event Director Marcia Flynn. “So we all need an event like this to get us into holiday mode.” 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, dbg.org, admission $25, Dec. 1–30, select nights from 5:30–9:30 p.m.

Average High/Low Temperatures

Nov.: 75°/50°

Dec.: 70°/44°

Jan.: 67°/45°

Average Rainfall

Nov.: .79"

Dec.: .92"

Jan.: .83"

Hotel Savings

27% cheaper, compared to February high season (daily rates of $88.21 in December for the Phoenix metro area)

Hotel Occupancy

Nov.: 60.7%

Dec.: 49.7%

Jan.: 62.7%

Feb.: 73%

(for the Phoenix metro area)

MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL

Rediscovering Arizona

America's 10 Best Winter Beach Retreats

Beat the Crowds in November and December

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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