How to Beat the Summer Heat in Tucson

When people visit Southern Arizona in the summer, they often wonder just how it can be that people could live in this heat year-round. The question is often answered with a colloquial desert saying: It’s a dry heat.

Yes, it is indeed a dry heat here in Tucson and Southern Arizona. We get just enough rainfall to keep our deserts packed with greenery, and not much more. Having a moderate amount of rain keeps the humidity way, way down in the desert. That means that even though the temps may go over 100°, you will be far more comfortable in a desert climate than in a humid one, where a 100° day can feel like 120° with relative humidity.

Still, 100° is a 100°, and even those who are native to Arizona look high and low for relief from the heat.

So, how exactly is it that we suntanned Southern Arizonans manage to stay cool during the summer months without staying indoors with our air conditioners running full-blast around the clock?

When temps outdoors make it too difficult to enjoy the high-sun hours of the day, you quickly find that the answer to the problem is a simple one. Tucson and the rest of Southern Arizona know how to beat the summer heat because we have mastered the art of getting out and about at night.

Meet Me at Maynard’s

Meet Me at Maynard’s, a year-round nightly event, is just as popular in July and August as it is at any other time of year. The free weekly social run/walk begins at the famous Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson at 5:15, and travels a four-mile route through the beautiful and historic downtown area. The run/walk is non-competitive, and commences at 7pm, just in time to take advantage of some killer drink and dinner specials.

Hundreds of people gather with their running clothes on, strollers, dogs, best friends, and colleagues to traverse the streets and check out the bustling and always eventful downtown restaurants and bars and grab a few hours of fresh air when the sun goes down.

Summer Safari Nights at Reid Park Zoo

We’ve all been to the zoo, but have you ever taken a nighttime stroll through one of the coolest zoos around with a glass of wine in your hand while listening to a band perform? If you haven’t, you need to check out Reid Park Zoo’s Summer Safari Nights.

What could be dreamier than packing up a blanket and picnicking amongst your favorite wild beasts? Just like us humans, many animals prefer to kick it indoors during the long summer days and come out and play at night.

The zoo has plenty of keepers on hand to answer your questions as you wander through the zoo at your leisure and see exactly what those animals get up to at night.

Summer Safari Nights are great for the whole family, and children of all ages can experience the zoo like never before. It is definitely not to be missed!

Broadway in Tucson

Don’t have the time to jet on over to New York City to catch your favorite Broadway shows? No worries—they come to us here in Southern Arizona!

UA Presents and Broadway in Tucson have teamed up to bring Southern Arizona bigger-than-life theatrical productions from touring Broadway shows that many have only dreamed of seeing in their lifetime.

Broadway super shows like Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, Annie, Riverdance, and Chicago are just a few of the shows which have come through University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall just this last year, and there are many more to come!

Since you will already be walking around the picturesque and sprawling University of Arizona campus, why not stop in at one of the dozens of shops in and around the UA campus and end (or begin) the night with dinner, drinks, or a frozen yogurt.

Tucson and Southern Arizona are never shy on activities that allow visitors and residents alike to beat the heat in style and get to know the magic of the desert under the stars.

Not a nighttime person? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to beat the summer heat during the day too. Breakers Water Park, tubing down the Salt River, touring Colossal Cave (which remains a remarkably perfect 70° year-round), brunch under the misters at Ghini’s French Caffe, or grab a fruity mimosa with breakfast at Prep and Pastry are just some of the ways natives cool off.

Whatever way you want to beat the heat, Tucson and Southern Arizona have got you covered.

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