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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Spring Sedona Getaways


Spring Sedona Getaways

Doesn’t that sound great? When doesn’t Sedona sound like a good idea?

This weekend, head up North to check out the Sedona International Film Festival. This festival celebrates the best independent films from around the world. Whether your interest lies in features, shorts, documentaries, animation or foreign film, there is something for the cinephile in all of us.

Already recognized by filmmakers and audiences as one of the top festivals in the nation, this year’s event will continue a tradition of honoring those driven by a passion for making films. You can join filmmakers, celebrities, industry guests and film buffs from all around the world to take in films or attend a workshop. As Sedona takes center stage with its celebration of film, you’ll want to want to be there.

If you’re more into moving than movies, your Spring Sedona getaway might be better saved for next weekend: The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival. Or, if you’re like me and you love both movie going and biking, you might consider a weeklong Sedona getaway.

The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, a three day celebration, runs March 6-8. The event includes a main expo at Tlaquepaque Village, bike demos, shuttled rides, a beer garden, live bands and singletrack if you’re ready to ride the red! Mountain biking in Sedona is world class, with over 200 miles of singletrack and breathtaking scenery surrounding the terrain. If you mountain bike, this is a bucket list destination. The trail system is shared with hikers and equestrians and the goal of the festival is to celebrate it appropriately by respecting the resource and other trail users and leave a great impression of the mountain bike community.

If the Mountain Bike Festival is the ideal Spring Sedona getaway for you, consider booking the event camping package. The package, priced at $250/pp includes a festival pass, camping, breakfasts, shuttle services and some swag. Whether you’re looking to register just for one day, the whole event or the camping package, you can book online.

Another fun event scheduled in March that might make for your perfect Spring Sedona getaway is the 45th annual Sedona St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival on Saturday March 14. The parade begins at 10:30am at Jordan Historical Park with the festival immediately following. Features of the event include children’s and family activities, food vendors and music.

No matter what kind of trip you’re looking for, Sedona surely has something fun to offer in the coming weeks. One of these events paired with the beautiful red rocks, variety of lodging accommodations, shopping and restaurants, will make for the perfect Spring Sedona getaway!