Updated: Apr 28
You May Need More Time
Arizona will forever be on our vacation destination list! From northern Arizona to Southern Arizona, there’s so much to do. A week will only get you to the tip of the iceberg.
Arizona is full of canyons and mountains; with some rivers and lakes sprinkled in between. There’s amazing cities and towns, too! While northern Arizona is great for anyone who loves the great outdoors, southern Arizona offers some city life that you don’t want to miss.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a win anytime of year! Jaw dropping views are available all year long; however, due to weather, the North Rim is typically closed during winter months. The Grand Canyon is certainly a geological wonder. Gaze out over the many vistas and overlooks to view the layers of multicolored rock. The Grand Canyon National Park is fairly easy to navigate; however, it is regularly on the list of top US National Parks so it can get busy. Save time, the wait to get in, or heavy traffic inside the park by parking at one of their many parking lots and hopping on the free shuttle bus to get around the park.
The National Park Service offers mule rides down into the Grand Canyon through Xanterra Travel Collection. These rides can be booked up to 15 months in advance and they book quickly so plan ahead! Two hour and overnight options are available. There are several jeep tours that go into the canyons. Try the sunset tour. Watching the sunset over the canyon is a once in a lifetime experience. Grand Canyon Bike Rentals and Bike Tours are provided by Bright Angel Bicycles. They offer 2 ½ hour to 3 ½ hour group bicycle tours or you can rent a bike and venture out on your own. For those looking for adventure, check out a Colorado River tour or try a rim to rim hike.
The Grand Canyon has several family focused Ranger Programs. These programs are great for adults and kids. They include North Rim, South Rim and Desert View which provide cultural information about the native people in the area.
A quick day trip from the Grand Canyon is Antelope Canyon. It’s a beautiful 2 ½ hour drive north through the canyon with scenic overlooks along the way. Antelope Canyon is on protected Navajo land and only authorized tour companies can take visitors into the canyon.
Pro Tip: Make the stop at Horseshoe Bend, approximately 20 minutes away from Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend is social media famous. Photos can be found on probably every social media platform. Once you arrive, there is a short, but steep uphill & downhill walk from the parking lot. From the top of this overlook, you get a beautiful view down into the Glen Canyon from high above the Colorado River.
Sedona is central to so many landmarks and sights in northern Arizona. In less than an hour, you can drive from Sedona to Flagstaff, Cottonwood or Jerome, AZ. In a little more than an hour, you can drive to Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, or Williams, AZ. If you’re traveling to northern Arizona, choosing accommodations in Sedona or Flagstaff would be the best locations to be central to everything.
In addition to the spa life that you may have heard about in Sedona, there’s a variety of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Take in the beauty of the unique, rich red rock landscape in this area. According to the visitor’s center, there’s over 400 miles of hiking trails in the Sedona area. They range from easy to strenuous. The Pink Jeep tour is a can’t miss. You can choose the traditional tour that shows you the general Sedona area or a more adventurous tour like the Diamond Gulch Tour which takes you through rough terrain into the rugged wilderness. Visit Lowell Observatory (in Flagstaff) to study the stars and night skies. Don’t forget to drive to Williams, AZ and take a car ride through Bearizona, a wildlife park and mini zoo.
Be sure to visit one of the four Sedona visitor’s centers to get a Sedona Recreation Guide. It will point out hiking trails (including levels of difficulty), information about camping, protecting the environment, wildlife, and other things to do in the area.
Located in southern Arizona, the weather in Phoenix is amazing in the spring and fall. However, summer can get hot because after all, Arizona is in the Sonoran desert. One great thing about Phoenix is that it’s not that difficult to navigate. It’s very easy to find your way from downtown to Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, South Mountain and other neighborhoods.
Activities that you can enjoy in Phoenix include hot air ballooning, horseback riding, ax throwing, hiking or taking a class at one of the local gun ranges. The Desert Botanical Garden is an amazing display of the many cactus varieties that grow in the area. And Roosevelt Row is a must do for art lovers.
A quick and adventurous day trip from Phoenix is to Tucson. Here you’ll find Saguaro National Park where you’ll find miles of cactus growing in the wild. There’s two sides of this park - Saguaro East and Saguaro West. Both have a one-way driving loop to view the cactus. Saguaro East has a larger loop and easier hiking trails. Saguaro West is more scenic, but the loop is a bit more rugged and the hiking trails are more strenuous.
Pro Tip: On the drive from Phoenix to Tucson, take a quick detour to Coolridge where you can visit Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This landmark was a gathering place for the desert people that lived in the area.
Lake Havasu is home of the original London Bridge. It was purchased, shipped to America and reconstructed over Lake Havasu. To complement the bridge, there’s a replica of the famous red phone booths you find in London.
This is a lake so there’s tons of water activities in the area. Take a Tiki boat cruise, rent a water jetpack or ride the ferry or take a drive to Havasu Landing Casino, just across the lake in California. There are several beaches as well as 27 replica lighthouses in the area surrounding Lake Havasu.
What’s to eat?
You’ll love the food options in Arizona. The menu selections are plentiful and the food in each of these destinations is so flavorful! Below is a list of some great dining in Arizona.
Shugrue's Restaurant and Bakery, Lake Havasu
The Red Onion, Lake Havasu
Honey Bee’s Barbeque, Phoenix
Lo Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Phoenix
Luci’s at the Orchard, Phoenix
Salt Cellar, Phoenix
Tutti Santi, Phoenix
Trapp Kitchen, Phoenix
Italian - Scottsdale
Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, Sedona
Sedona Beer Company, Sedona
Eegee’s Restaurants, Tucson
Be sure to share your travel pics with Eternal. Tag us in your photos using #EternalTravel. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for posts of more travel inspiration, photos and travel essentials.
DISCLOSURE: Some of the below products contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission.