summer feature
By Lauren Wong

The summer months are approaching and we all know what that means for those in the valley. It’s time to buckle down inside with the AC blasting. I haven’t experienced a summer here yet, I moved from Chicago in November, but everytime I tell someone that, I get the same reaction, “oh no! You’re in store for a great few months, good luck.” 

So, I decided to do some research. I know hiking in the area is an awful idea and that’s what I usually do on my weekends, so I looked up some alternatives. Things to do, where to go, ways to still get outside without burning to a crisp.

Address: 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd, Morristown, AZ

There’s tons of activities to do at Lake Pleasant, but what sounds to me like a perfect summer day is going to Paqua Park. It’s an inflatable, on-water obstacle course located at Scorpion Bay Marina, 10970 Peninsula Blvd. The 5,000 square-foot park floats in Lake Pleasant’s 23,000 acres of water. Anyone seven and older is able to reserve one of their 45 minute sessions. All sessions are available on the weekends; Friday begins at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday sessions begin at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. After Memorial Day weekend, they’ll be open Thursday thru Monday while school is out, and then go back to weekends only once schools resume. The season will go through the end of September! Each session costs $25 and tickets can be purchased on their website!

photo credit Paqua Park

Also located in Lake Pleasant is the H2-WHOA!, a floating water slide. An hour pass for the slide starts at $25 and is located in Pleasant Harbor Marina at 40202 N 87th Ave, Peoria.

Address: Colorado River in Utah and Arizona

There’s an endless amount of activities to do at Lake Powell! You can rent a boat, rent a kayak, go fishing, cliff jumping, and more. Stretching across both Arizona and Utah, the lake covers over 200 miles and features over 80 side canyons. (Plenty to explore). If you’re looking for something to do away from the crowds, checking out the Labyrinth Slot Canyon is on my list of places to check out. (It’s known for being a hidden gem). If you want to make a full trip out of your visit to Lake Powell, you can rent a houseboat, go camping, rent an RV, or book a hotel in the area. There’s plenty of scenic drives you can do as well if you’d rather stay in the AC.


Pool Parties:

photo credit Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale: Every Saturday and Sunday from March through October you can expect a popping party at the OH Pool. From 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. they always have DJ’s playing for anyone with a guest room, cabana, or daybed reservation. Starting in May, every Friday they’ll be bringing in some local musicians for entertainment. You can find their schedule of performers on their website, as well as book your cabana, daybed, or room!

photo credit Hotel Valley Ho

Maya Day and Nightclub, Scottsdale: From Float Fridays to Soaked Saturdays, MAYA After Dark, and appearances from world renowned DJs on Sundays, Maya is always bustling. They’ve got multiple bars, cornhole, life size beer pong, and of course the lively pool. Check out their events schedule, see if there’s any upcoming DJs you want to see. Get your favorite suit on and get ready to party!

The Pool at Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale: With their stage just steps away from their Main Pool, and a calendar filled with upcoming shows, the Pool at Talking Stick Resort has the perfect venue for the best pool parties. Their Release After Dark pool party series will begin May 7, with the concert starting at 5 p.m. If you’re an EDM lover, this is the place to go! They feature some of the biggest names in EDM.

WET Deck at W Scottsdale Hotel: Their resident DJ takes the stage every Friday through Sunday at 11 a.m. If you’re not staying at the hotel you can reserve tables and cabanas on their website to join in on the party.

Address: 9200 N Bush Hwy, Mesa

Opening day is right around the corner! Starting Saturday, April 30, Salt River Tubing will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Keep in mind that their latest tube rental goes out at 1 p.m. For $21 you’ll get your tube rental, shuttle bus service, and free parking at the SRTR Terminal Building. If you’re wanting to float the entire river, expect to be out on the water for about four hours so make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Address: 6871 N. Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ

This is one of my absolute favorite places in Arizona! Slide Rock gets crowded but it is 100% worth the wait. Located in Oak Creek Canyon, it’s known as one of “America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes.” It’s a natural rock water slide nestled in between the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona. The water is freezing, but once you get in, it feels so nice against the summer sun. Also, personally I’ve never experienced a natural water slide so I wasn’t expecting it to be so slippery (it’s from the algae that covers the rocks surfaces). The water will knock you off your feet and send you flying down its 80 foot long slide carved through the canyons. The width ranges from 2.5 to 4 feet and has a 7% decline from the top to the bottom. There’s also places to go cliff jumping, swim around in the clear waters, or go hiking (if it’s not too hot).