During my 3 days exploring Arizona, I fell in love with the State. I will definitely be making a 2 week trip back to Arizona in the near future!! Throughout my very short visit to this stunning state, I was lucky enough to visit Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon National Park. There were so many areas that I wanted to add to the trip, but it would have been nearly impossible. I will make sure to visit these places on my next trip! If you are planning a trip to Arizona, I would try to include as many of these options as possible – Havasupai Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and spend at least 3 days in the Grand Canyon.
Stay: I chose to stay a little bit outside of the downtown area and boy am I happy that I did! The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass located in Chandler was beautiful! Not only is the hotel located next to the Chandler Golf Course, but the hotel grounds offer so many activities. I probably could have spent a week at the pool alone – there are several different pools and areas for children and adults to enjoy the sun and relax. There are a few different restaurants on property, a serene spa and an impressive recreation of the Gila River that runs throughout the resort. The resort offers plenty of activities that do not involve laying by the pool or at the spa – you can rent pedal boats, stand up paddle boards and kayaks to cruise down the river on your own or take a water taxi to the golf course. Lastly, what kind of vacation would this be if you didn’t get to visit an old Western Town. Take a tour to the Wild Western Town of Rawhide! If you are interested in staying in Downtown Phoenix, I suggest the Sheraton Grand Phoenix which I was also able to check out during my visit. Great location, walking distance to restaurants, bars and the Diamondbacks stadium.
Eat: Besides the great choices at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, I was able to visit a delicious restaurant in downtown Phoenix. Located walking distance from the Sheraton Grand Phoenix and Diamondbacks Stadium, The Arrogant Butcher is world famous for their tasty food. The options were endless and we definitely ordered way more than we could eat, but we just couldn’t decide between all of the mouthwatering dishes. Definitely try the – Goat Brie, Roasted Beets, House Soft Pretzels & Provolone Fondue (these were amazing!!!) and Roasted Beet Salad. That will be more than enough to fill you up but if you’re looking for some more, try the Sweet Potato Tortelli!
What to see in Phoenix: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see all of these sights while I was in Phoenix, but someday I will!
- Heard Museum
- Phoenix Zoo
- Sports Stadiums: Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals
- Desert Botanical Garden
- Arizona Science Center
- Hike: Camelback Mountain
Sedona: I was able to rent a car from the Enterprise Office in Chandler, AZ. Not only did I receive a free upgrade to a SUV but they were able to pick me up at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass and bring me to their office. This made my travel plans much easier and they were very friendly! The drive to Sedona is about 2.5 hours and the sunset that I witnessed was mesmerizing!
Stay: The Inn Above Oak Creek – this hotel is adorable!! Perfectly located on a main road of Sedona, but not right where all the touristy shops are. It is also obviously located on the creek and with beautiful landscapes in every direction. The hotel has a few different types of rooms and they are all lovely. When you wake up, head down to the lobby to grab some complimentary breakfast (bagels, pastries, coffee etc.) and chat with the very friendly staff. They are happy to provide tips and advice for sightseeing in Sedona!
Eat and Drink: Don’t miss breakfast or lunch at Indian Gardens – well known for the wide selection of tasty plates! Definitely try the IG Smoothie Bowl, Egg Sammie and Green Chile Mac & Cheese! If you are in the mood for some Mexican inspired cuisine, be sure to check out Elote for a great dinner – don’t forget the tequila! After you are full and read for a fun night out, stop by Mooney’s Irish Pub (you can’t ever go wrong with an Irish pub!)
What to see in Sedona:
- Don’t miss the sunset from Sedona Airport Overlook! (Be aware that there is a ton of traffic in the town at this time, aka why I missed!)
- Red Rocks
- Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Devil’s Bridge Trail
- Oak Creek Canyon
- Hike: Fossil Creek
Flagstaff: Although, we departed Sedona around 10am, you should really try to leave at 6am if you are planning to see the Grand Canyon in one day! It is about a 5o minute drive from Sedona to Flagstaff and the scenery is simply breathtaking! There are a few viewpoints to stop at and take pictures which I suggest you do as you will most likely drive back after dark.
Eat & Drink: Stop by RP’s Stage Stop for your one stop shop. Grab a sandwich and some snacks, coffee and souvenirs to remember your trip! They have a great selection of breakfast and lunch options and just about any coffee drink you can think of! Before you head up to the Grand Canyon, be sure to check out the local brewery – Flagstaff Brewing Company (try the Bubbaganouj IPA!)
Grand Canyon National Park: The drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is about an hour to the south entrance. The entrance fee is $30.00 and be sure to keep your receipt as credit if you plan to visit any other National Parks and purchase an annual pass ($80!) Check out Crater Lake National Park and Yosemite National Park for some ideas!
What you should do at the Grand Canyon:
After entering the park, follow the signs for the visitors center. Parking fills up quickly here so try to get there as early as possible, especially on a weekend. If parking fills up, check for spots in the RV parking – we were parked there for several hours and did not receive a ticket or warning. Tour around the visitors center and check out the awesome exhibits they have. Take the red shuttle 70 minutes to Hermits Rest. Hike along the rim trail (about 4 miles) to Hopi Point for sunset. You should plan to bring a lunch (and some beer) on this trip. This hike will be worth it for one of the most gorgeous sunsets you will ever see! You will be able to grab the shuttle from Hopi Point back to the Visitor’s Cener
What I did at the Grand Canyon:
Parked at the Visitors Center and took the Orange line to Mather Point. This route is definitely the easiest to see the Grand Canyon from so expect hundreds of tourists and their selfie sticks. Walk .6 miles to the Yavapai Geology Museum and take hundreds of pictures along the way. Spend some time in the museum, it was so cool to learn about how the Grand Canyon was formed! Walk back to the Visitors Center or hop on the Orange Line back to the parking lot.
***Can’t wait to update you all after my next visit!!!