By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
There are almost too many places to visit in Arizona if you’ve got adventure in your heart and a couple days of free time. With national and state parks, historic cities, and fine dining all across the state, there is something for everyone. Weekend trips can be fun, so grab a travel companion and set off to explore all the wonders Arizona has to offer.
Heading Up North
The Grand Canyon:
How long does it take to get there? From Phoenix, the drive to the Grand Canyon is a four-and-a-half to five hour drive.
Where can I stay overnight? The Grand Canyon has many hotels and lodges within the park including: The Yavapai Lodge, Maswik South Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge, and Thunderbird Lodge. If you want to stay outside the park, surrounding towns also offer overnight amenities. About 10 minutes south of the park entrance you can stay at the Best Western Grand Canyon, the Red Feather Lodge, the Holiday Inn Grand Canyon, the Grand Hotel, or the Canyon Plaza Resort. Some of these hotels can book up well in advance, so try to make your reservation as soon as possible. Other options include staying in Williams or Flagstaff.
What can I do at the Grand Canyon?
- Take a South Rim mule trip
- Visit the Grand Canyon Village
- Walk along the Trail of Time
- Attend a ranger program
- Walk the Rim Trail
- Visit the scenic Hermit Road or Desert View Drive
- Visit the watch tower at Desert View Point
- Travel to the canyon on the Grand Canyon Railway
- Take a rafting trip down the Colorado River
How long does it take to get there? Flagstaff is a two to two-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix.
Where can I stay overnight? Flagstaff is a destination town for visitors of Arizona, so it has tons of options for an overnight stay. Stay at: The Springhill Suites, the Hampton Inn Flagstaff, Embassy Suites Flagstaff, Hotel Monte Vista, the Holiday Inn Flagstaff, or the Drury Inn and Suites Flagstaff, among many others.
What can I do in Flagstaff?
- Visit the Lowell Observatory
- Check out Arizona Snowbowl
- Hike, learn about Arizona’s history, and view Native American dwellings at Walnut Canyon
- Visit the historic Riordan Mansion
- Learn about Northern Arizona’s native inhabitants and history at the Museum of Northern Arizona
- Visit the beautiful Wupatki National Monument to see preserved ruins of Ancient Pueblos.
- Be adventurous at the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
- Take a hike on one of Flagstaff’s beautiful trails
How long does it take to get there? Sedona is a two hour drive from Phoenix.
Where can I stay overnight? Sedona, like Flagstaff, is a destination town full of hotels and inns! Lodge at the Las Posadas of Sedona, the Inn Above Oak Creek, Enchantment Resort, the Courtyard Sedona, Sky Ranch Lodge, or the Baby Quail Inn. These are just a few of the many overnight options in Sedona.
What can I do in Sedona?
- Visit Oak Creek Canyon for hiking, fishing, and camping
- Tour beautiful Red Rock State Park
- View the amazing architecture at the Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Visit the cliff dwellings of Ancient Native Americans at Honanki
- Play golf at one of Sedona’s many golf courses
- Take a Pink Jeep Tour through Sedona and the surrounding wilderness
- Visit the Sedona Heritage Museum
- Enjoy fine dining in one of Sedona’s many restaurants
- Visit a winery in or around Sedona and enjoy tasting Arizona grown wine
The view from Jerome, AZ
The Verde Valley
How long does it take to get there? The Verde Valley is about a two hour drive from Phoenix.
Where can I stay overnight? Because the Verde Valley encompasses a few different towns, there are many places to choose from for an overnight stay. Sedona is considered part of the Verde Valley, so staying there is always an option. Also, you can stay in the town of Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, or Jerome.
What can I do in the Verde Valley?
- Visit Montezuma’s Castle, an 800-year-old cliff dwelling
- Take a wine-tasting trip on the Verde Valley Wine Trail
- Visit Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum
- Have the animal experience of a lifetime at Out of Africa Wildlife Park (If it’s your birthday, you can get in free your entire birthday month with an ID)
- Learn some of the history behind the town of Jerome at Jerome State Historical Park
- Stay at or visit the Jerome Grand Hotel
- Take a normal, or haunted tour of Jerome
- Visit Blazin’ M Ranch for a taste of the Old West
- Take a stroll through the downtown area of any of the Verde Valley towns for great food, shops, and entertainment.
Heading down South
How long does it take to get there? The drive from Phoenix to Tucson is one-and-a-half to two hours.
Where can I stay overnight? Stay at: the Residence Inn Tucson Williams Centre, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Best Western Plus Tucson, Omni Tucson National Resort, Country Inn and Suites, or The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, among many other hotels and resorts.
What can I do in Tucson?
- Visit the Reid Park Zoo
- Visit and tour the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac
- Take a trip to Kitt Peak National Observatory
- Visit Old Tucson Studios where over 300 movies and television shows were filmed
- If you like aeronautics, head to the Pima Air and Space Museum
- Learn about Arizona’s flora and fauna at the Tucson Botanical Garden
- Drive up, hike, and camp at Mount Lemmon
- Visit the University of Arizona campus
- Dine at one of Tucson’s many renown restaurants
- Visit Saguaro National Park to see beautiful cacti, and take guided tours of the desert
How long does it take to get there? The drive from Phoenix to Tombstone is almost three hours.
What can I do in Tombstone?
- Visit the historic Tombstone Courthouse to learn about the history of the town
- Take a self-guided tour of the Birdcage Theater and see actual artifacts from the Old West days of Tombstone
- Take a walk through the Boothill Graveyard and see where Tombstone’s most notorious historical figures are buried
- Visit the K. Corral and see the site where the infamous gunfight took place
- Walk down Allen Street and visit the shops and dining establishments along the way
- Take a tour down into the Good Enough Mine, if you’re brave enough
- Go on a ghost hunt and tour of Tombstone’s 10 most haunted places
How long does it take to get there? Bisbee is a little over three hours away from Phoenix.
What can I do in Bisbee?
- Head underground and take a tour of the Copper Queen Mine
- Visit the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum
- Have a drink at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company
- Hunt ghosts with Old Bisbee Ghost Tour
- Have dinner at one of Bisbee’s most known restaurants, Café Roka
- Take a Lavender Jeep Tour of Bisbee
- Walk amongst Bisbee’s many shops and boutiques to find trinkets to remind you of your time spent there