This year marks the 130th year of the World's Oldest Rodeo. (©Miller Photo)
Just a short drive north from Metro Phoenix, find cooler temperatures and a number of summertime festivals. Participate in outdoor pursuits, view the World's Oldest Rodeo, learn to cook with lavender, sample tacos or take a step back in time at the Renaissance Faire.
June 22-25 and June 29-July 2: Lavender Festival
Red Rock Ranch and Farms in Concho is a popular spot during its yearly summer Lavender Festival. Visitors enjoy lavender cooking demonstrations and tastings, wine tastings, lavender growing discussions, plant sales and live music. And of course, who can leave without a U-cut lavender bouquet?
June 24-25: Arizona Get Outdoors Expo
Dozens of outdoor purveyors and activities gather in Flagstaff for this fun-for-the-whole-family exploration of the great outdoors. Activities include a catch-and-release fishing pond, a rock climbing wall and BB gun range. Also find presentations, interactive booths and competitions.
June 28-July 4: 130th Annual World’s Oldest Rodeo
World-class rodeo and family friendly activities are the hallmarks of this famous event in Prescott which draws people from all over the world. Take part in the rodeo dance, attend the fine arts and crafts show, watch rodeo performances, steer wrestling, a parade and more. Held during Prescott Frontier Days, visitors learn about the rich Western culture and history of an event that stems back to July 4, 1888.
July 1: The Taco Festival Flagstaff
This tasty Flagstaff festival, held at Pepsi Aphitheatre at Fort Tuthill, serves up tacos from a variety of restaurants. In addition to the taco samples, attendees can enjoy a tequila tasting expo, desserts, a Chihuahua beauty pageant and Lucha Libre wrestling, among other activities and events.
July 7-9: Medieval Mayhem Renaissance Faire
Celebrate the history of the Dark Ages and the Renaissance periods all rolled into one at this festival in Pinetop-Lakeside at Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex. Fill your time on rides, watch jousting, and enjoy food, dancing and a variety of entertainment.
Aug. 12: 6th Annual Mile High Brewfest
Head to downtown Prescott and sip brews from some of the Southwest's finest craft breweries and local wineries while enjoying the music of Southbound at this yearly event. Pair your drink samples with food from local food trucks.