Arizona is a beautiful state characterized by wide, open blue skies, empty landscapes, distant rock formations, and prickly cacti standing silhouette along mountainous ridgelines. Nothing compares to the beauty of Arizona's wild and wonderful landscapes, and of course, our state has a lot of excellent vacation spots as well. If you're itching to take a road trip and wondering what to do in Arizona this spring, here's what we suggest.
Arizona Road Trip Planner
Whether you're hoping to get away for a day or for a weekend, there's much to do and see when taking a road trip in Arizona. Below are some of our favorite itineraries for people in Phoenix and the surrounding area.
Best Day Trips from Phoenix
- Grand Canyon. If you haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet, then of course this is the time to do so. This can be a day trip or a weekend trip, depending on whether you plan to spend a lot of time at the Grand Canyon or not. It takes a little under four hours to get to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix, so if you're making the whole trip in one day, leave early and plan to get home late.
- Jerome. About two hours outside Phoenix is Jerome, a "ghost town" with only a few hundred residents who run businesses that cater to Jerome's tourism industry. Just 100 years ago, Jerome was a thriving mining town with a population of 10,000. The result is that the buildings in Jerome are relatively modern and the infrastructure in Jerome is in better condition than you might think.
- Saguaro National Park. Located two hours outside Phoenix is Saguaro National Park, which is bisected by Tuscon. Both sides of the park are open to visitors, though the paved loop road on the east side of the park makes viewing the saguaro easy and rewarding. While you're in Tuscon, visit the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum, where you'll learn the most interesting things about the plants and succulents native to the Senora Desert.
Best Weekend Trips from Phoenix
These weekend destinations are best enjoyed over a long weekend, so you can experience the culture, see the sights, and enjoy yourself.
- Sedona. Though it's only two hours away from Phoenix, Sedona is a place where you'll want to spend the night. As a community, Sedona is said to have healing energy. Even if it doesn't affect you this way, you'll still want to spend time capturing Sedona's beauty on your camera. This is also a great place to enjoy a ride in a hot air balloon!
- Tuscon. Tuscon has a fun, energetic vibe. We've already talked about Saguaro National Park, which is located in Tuscon, but there's so much more to enjoy in this hopping college town.
Best Scenic Drive in Arizona
You don't have to go far to enjoy the wild beauty of Arizona's desert landscape. Just get in the car and drive.
South Rim Grand Canyon
This 57-mile road trip to Grand Canyon starts in Cameron and runs through Grand Canyon National Park, where there are multiple overlooks where you can stop and see some of the most incredible scenery of your life. The best time to visit is in spring or fall, when there's less traffic and the temperatures are mild.
Winding through canyons and mountains, the Apache trail starts at the Goldfield Ghost Town and finishes at the Roosevelt Dam at Roosevelt Lake. The Apache trail winds for 44 miles through some of the most beautiful and treacherous stretches of road found in all of Arizona.
Parts of the Apache trail are paved while other parts are not. Much of the drive is only 15 miles per hour. It's said that Apache trail can be very challenging in places. Use caution, and don't attempt the drive in a larger vehicle, as some parts of this road are very narrow.
Kayenta to Monument Valley
The 22-mile stretch of road that runs between Kayenta and Monument Valley is possibly the most well-recognized highway in all the desert southwest. You'll recognize the mesas when you see them: they've appeared in movies, posters and in famous photography.
Sedona to Oak Creek Canyon
The Flagstaff to Sedona drive includes over 27 miles of scenic road, following the Oak Creek Canyon. This scenic road is Interstate 89A. Stop at Oak Creek Vista Point for a gorgeous view of Oak Creek Canyon, or take a break at the campgrounds with day-use picnic tables.
Road Trip Alternatives
Road trips aside, there are many ways to experience the beauty of our state. Put these items on your Arizona bucket list. You can either choose one of these activities while you're on a road trip, or make this a separate adventure altogether.
- Fly in a hot air balloon. Go on an adventure in a hot air balloon over the Arizona desert.
- Horseback riding. Saddle up on a horse to experience Arizona like a cowboy.
- Take a helicopter tour. See Arizona from the air in a stunning helicopter ride.
Setting Down Roots in Arizona? Remodel Your Home
If you're new to the Phoenix area, you're going to be happy here. Our beautiful neighborhoods are a good place to set down roots. There's so much to see and so much natural beauty close by. If you're a new homeowner, it's important to ensure that your new home will continue to meet your needs as your family grows and your interests evolve. Make your house your palace. Work with myself, my wife Lorrie and the Hochuli Design and Remodeling Team to make your home everything you want it to be and more. Call today to make an appointment and discuss your hopes for your beautiful Arizona home.