Day Trips in Arizona

SedonaBeating the heat in Phoenix and Scottsdale during the dog days of summer is no easy feat.  Sometimes the best way to escape the heat is to escape entirely, even if only for a day.  Here are some popular day trips to consider this summer . . .

Pack up your camera equipment and head north to Sedona for the day.  Sedona is a mecca for hikers, mountain bikers, golfers, art lovers AND shoppers, all of who will enjoy the jaw-dropping vistas of Sedona’s red rock formations.  First-time visitors to Sedona may want to consider signing up for a Jeep tour which is an exciting, off-road way to experience Sedona.   If you time your visit right, you may be able to enjoy one of Sedona’s many festivals.

Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  This gorgeous park is located on Carefree Highway, about 15 miles west of the I-17 freeway.  This 23,000-acre desert park has the beautiful Lake Pleasant as its crown jewel.  There is a fee to enter the park ($6 per vehicle), and there are multiple ways to enjoy this desert oasis.  From fishing, boating and hiking to camping and swimming, there is something for everyone at Lake Pleasant.

Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon is only 4 to 4.5 hours north of metropolitan Phoenix, so it’s entirely possible to make the Grand Canyon a destination for a day trip.  Assuming you don’t want to hike into the canyon or take a mule trip down its depths, you will have a good 4-5 hours to take in the stunning vistas of this national park without having to find overnight accommodations.

Verde Canyon Railroad.  This is a fantastic day trip any time of year, and you’re sure to see abundant wildlife as well as Indian dwellings.  The train leaves from Clarksdale, about 2 hours north of Phoenix, and is ridden 4 hours (out and back) along the Verde River through the gorgeous Verde Canyon.   Consider taking one of the moonlight trips during the summer months, to experience the Sonoran Desert after dark.

Jerome.   This is a must-see for visitors to AND residents of Arizona.  This historic copper mining town is located between Prescott and Flagstaff, at 5,200 feet elevation, and is only 90 miles from Phoenix.  This mountainside town features lots of shopping, dining and art, all within historic buildings.  This fun day trip is suitable for all ages.

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