The Best Day Trips to Plan in Arizona

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Things to do

If you live in the old west, you know that there is more than just a desert to explore in the beautiful state of Arizona. If you are getting in the mood to explore some of the most scenic places in Phoenix or planning for events this weekend, you can visit several prime destinations. Whether it is hiking through the desert, cooling off by the lake or exploring a ghost town, you will not run short of things to do in Phoenix. Some of the amazing adventures and things to do include:

Driving through the famous Grand Canyon



things to do in arizona




Listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon needs no introduction. Depending on your time and interests, there are several ways you can explore the Grand Canyon.

The park has several historic landmarks including the Lookout, Hopi House, the Mary Colter designed structures, and Hermit’s Rest. To personalize your experience, you could join free ranger programs that take you through the culture, science, and history of the park with a park ranger as your guide.

Alternatively, you could watch the park documentary, follow the trail of time, ride your bicycle through the South Rim, explore the picturesque Hermit road, visit the desert view, or take part in the Grand Canyon Field Institute Learning Adventure.


Exploring the historic and cultural city of Flagstaff


Situated in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, the largest city in the area acquired its name after a group of travelers passing by the city, stripped a pine tree to raise an American flag to celebrate America’s 100th Independence Day.

The city is the chief location for some of the most amazing desert formations in the country. For your weekend day trip, you could plan to visit the Walnut Canyon National monument, get a closer view of the Sunset Crater Volcano, and walk across wiggly bridges and ropes at Flagstaff Extreme.

Additionally, you can take a guided tour through the Lowell Observatory, explore the depths of the Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, and visit the Lava River Cave, as well as the Grand Falls, Arizona.

Spending the day in America’s largest ghost town, Jerome


A drive through the zigzagging highway to the city perched on Cleopatra Hill will leave you wondering why people ever lived there.

Over 100 years ago, Jerome was a booming mining town, popular for mining gold, silver and copper. After the mines closed, Jerome was becoming a deserted ghost town, until it found new meaning through tourism.

During your trip, you could take a ghost tour through the historic park and learn the mining history of Jerome, walk to the sliding jail park, visit the mine museum, and make your tour complete by visiting the world’s largest Kaleidoscope store. This is without a doubt among the best things to do in Arizona.

Going for an aqua venture at the Lake Pleasant Regional Park


In case you are thinking of driving to the main recreation center of the Phoenix urban area, Lake Pleasant Regional Park located in the northwest is the place for you.

Outdoor activities you can enjoy at the park include boating, fishing, Scuba diving,hiking through the beautiful desert parks, and swimming as you feel the sunshine by the cool waters of the lake.


Taking a tour to the ancient Montezuma Castle


Montezuma Castle National Monument, a centuries-ancient-high-rise, is situated 95 miles north of Phoenix. The monument is one of the longest-conserved cliff houses in the Northern part of America.

The five-story dwelling looks terraced with rooms snuggled into what appears like giant thumb hollows in the cliff. It is held that the original Sinagua people, who were peaceful farmers, built the monument. That was before they abandoned the structure in the early 1400s when they moved from the Verde Valley where they lived.

An adventure to the Montezuma Castle will take you through the history and the legacy of ancient people who lived there 1,000 years ago, as you picnic along the shore of Beaver Creek.


Hiking through the Petrified Forest National Park






You may not realize it, but it is something to interest everybody at the Petrified Forest National Park found in northeastern part of Arizona. You could start by driving through the park while stopping at some of the overlooks.

Then, you could follow the trails that highlight subjects like natural environments, archaeology, as well as the popular petrified logs. If you are an adventurous hiker, you will enjoy going off-trail in the Petrified Forest as you relish colorful sunsets.


Enjoying hikes, lakes, and history in Prescott


Prescott, the city in central Arizona is home to a flourishing art community with new-fangled galleries, live music in Downtown Prescott and festivals all year round.

Does that give you the motivation to visit the city? If you plan to take a trip down to Prescott, be ready to find art shows, and prepare for a community sidewalk art weekend. Additionally, prepare to get into the history of the Native Americans at the local museums, and kayak or canoe at the Watson Lake.

Driving through cacti at the Saguaro National Park


The Saguaro National Park named for the huge saguaro cactus is located to the South of Arizona. The national park is an ideal place to visit, with picturesque drives and short walks among the soaring cacti.

The Western section of the park, the Tucson Mountain District, has dirt roads and trails where you can drive through to get a good view of the valley and see rock art done by the Hohokam people over 800 years ago.


Exploring the natural desert environment in Sedona


In the middle of beautiful buttes, canyons and red rock mountain sits the Sedona desert town that is close to Flagstaff.

There are plenty of things to do in the city with collections of natural marvels in every direction. The attractions at Sedona include phenomenal drives to Native American ruins; sacred sites, galleries and architecture, and you can enjoy hiking and mountain biking through the beautiful landscapes.


Enjoyinga Sunday afternoon at Tortilla Flat


Located in the central part of Arizona and northeast of Apache junction, Tortilla Flat is a great place to stop and walk around, take a hike through the Superstition Mountains, cruise on Dolly the Steamboat, and visit Tonto National Park.

Enjoy seeing some of the best scenery in central Arizona right from your car window as you wind along the Apache Trail.

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Joshua Cruz

Joshua Cruz

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