Embarking on an Arizona road trip usually doesn’t come to mind when we think of a vacation. Known for its’ record breaking heat and deserts, this Southwestern state isn’t the #1 vacation spot during the summer.
Yet Arizona offers some of the most beautiful sights and once in a lifetime experiences. If you consider yourself a brave person who loves nature and enjoys the heat, then Arizona is your next vacation destination. So pack your bags, load up your car and go on an Arizona road trip to for unforgettable sights. We also included some road trip essentials to help make this the trip of the year.
Arizona Road Trip Stop #1: Phoenix
Phoenix is the next up and coming city that you should visit on your Arizona road trip. With a 1.6 million population, Phoenix is growing and thriving. People of different ages and backgrounds makeup downtown Phoenix. Spend a couple of days soaking up the heritage and diverse culture of this urban metropolitan.
If you love cacti and succulents, visit the Desert Botanical Garden and experience the desert’s beauty. The Heard Museum holds a vast and growing collection of American Indian Art. The museum is currently hosting a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibit, that features both of the famous artist’s work.
Spend a Friday or Saturday night out at the Mill in downtown Tempe and grab a drink at one of the many bars and night clubs. Energize the next morning with a latte from Lola Coffee Bar. Have your latte served in this Magic Travel Thermos for a discount, and use this cup during the rest of your Arizona road trip to save money and lower paper waste.
Arizona Road Trip Stop #2: Sedona
Sedona is the epitome of Arizona’s beauty. This little town is nestled between the breathtaking Red Rocks and offers yoga retreats, wineries and spas. If you visit Sedona on your Arizona road trip, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Start your morning with a hearty breakfast at the Coffee Pot Restaurant. Known for their menu of 101 omelets, this spot is a Sedona staple and attracts celebrities like Reba. If you love unique architectural landmarks, The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a must see.
See sights similar to Yosemite National Park while driving through the Sedona Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road. Last but not least, cool off and slide off Sedona red rocks at the Slide Rock State Park. Leave early, pack a lunch, pool float and camp out at one of America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes.
Arizona Road Trip Stop #3: Horseshoe Bend
The Horseshoe bend is a natural beauty that every person should visit on their Arizona road trip. The rich, dazzling colors of the Colorado River, curved against the red Arizona mountains is a sight you’ll always remember.
You can visit this spot by yourself at no cost or you can sign up for a tour. There is a little bit of a hike to reach Horseshoe bend, but if you’re in relatively good health you should be fine.
The best suggested time to see Horseshoe Bend is midday to early afternoon. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Arizona during the slow season which is from mid July to early August. Pack some food in a sturdy picnic basket, find a good spot and eat your lunch while soaking in the beauty of nature.
Arizona Road Trip Stop #4: Grand Canyon
You had to know that the Grand Canyon would be on this list. You can’t skip this infamous canyon during your Arizona road trip. One of the 7 Natural World Wonders, this canyon attracts over 5 million people every year.
Viewing different spots of the Grand Canyon will leave you speechless. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Yet if you want something that separates this road trip from the rest, reserve a spot in the North or South Rim and camp in the Grand Canyon National Park.
For an up close experience, sign up for a mule trip and venture into the Grand Canyon. If you don’t have a tight schedule and don’t have much time to spend on your Arizona road trip, eat a meal at the El Tovar Dining Room to specialize this occasion. Make sure to bring a water bottle so you can stay hydrated during your entire visit.
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