Posted on 19 Mar
From otherworldly national parks to Instagram-worthy ghost towns, charming arts and craft villages to awe-inspiring natural wonders, Arizona offers an incredible array of outdoor adventure, culture, cuisine and history. Below is our list of five day trips to enjoy from Scottsdale and Phoenix.
SEDONA - Recognized for its glowing red rocks and soaring canyons; vibrant art scene and energy-emitting vortexes, Sedona is equal parts an outdoor enthusiast’s delight and culture-vulture’s paradise. An easy day trip from Phoenix, you can hike the red-rock buttes of Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Bear Mountain (and seek out their healing energy vortexes), browse the art galleries sprinkled along Highway 89A, or stroll the charming, cobblestoned streets of the beloved arts and crafts village Tlaquepaque.
KARTCHNER CAVERNS - Situated deep beneath the desert floor, this “living” cave in southeastern Arizona is millions of years in the making—and still taking shape. Discovered in 1974, dripping water created a breathtaking array of mineral formations, including multi-story stalactites and stalagmites. A cave tour will put you face-to-face with gravity defying helictites and waving sandstone formations as you learn about the bats who call the underground world home.
LAKE SAGUARO - Located in Tonto National Forest, about 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix, this 1,200-acre lake features 22 miles of stunning shoreline, from rocky crags and canyon walls to forests of Saguaro and desert shrubland. Averaging 90 feet deep, the lake is teeming with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and more, making for a fabulous day on the water. For a trip back in time, hop on the Desert Belle Paddleboat Tour for a narrated cruise past dramatic desert vistas and exotic wildlife.
OLD TOWN COTTONWOOD - Just an hour and a half from Phoenix, Old Town Cottonwood has emerged as a top destination for wine lovers in Arizona. Charming tasting rooms, boutique hotels and art galleries, housed in Prohibition-era buildings, line its historic Main Street. Our perfect day in Cottonwood? Stop by the old-timey Bing’s Burger Station for lunch and a healthy serving of nostalgia, then stroll over to Main Street for some wine tasting at Arizona Stronghold and Burning Tree Cellars. If it happens to be the second Saturday of the month, stay for dinner and Art Walk, when local galleries stay open late and visitors are invited to browse and imbibe.
JEROME - This historic, former mining town is now a haven for hipsters and history buffs all over the world. Start your day at The Douglas Mansion, a former mansion-turned-National Museum that features awesome mining artifacts and old photos of the town during its gold rush days. Saunter over to Cleopatra Hill Lookout for epic, panoramic views of the Verde Valley and city of Jerome before heading into town for a good old walking tour. Be sure to pay a visit to Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum for a quick glimpse into the lives of miners during Jerome’s heyday. End your day with a celebratory cocktail at Spirit Room, a western saloon inside the vintage Connor Hotel. Might we suggest a whiskey?