Take your exploring outside the Valley to nearby destinations just a short drive away where you’ll find beautiful landscapes and unique adventures.
Known for its stunning Red Rocks, spiritual energy and outdoor adventures, Sedona is the most breathtaking escape from Phoenix. Just 90 minutes away, the small town is home to great hiking, biking, wellness and arts. Popular things to see and do include Jeep tours to take visitors through backroads; hiking and biking to popular landmarks like Devil’s Bridge, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock; experiencing the famous vortex meditation sites; and enjoying great stargazing. Make sure to try the famous Elote Cafe for modern southwestern cuisine and Sedona Fudge Company for the best sweets in town.
Known for its four distinct seasons, Flagstaff is one of the more popular Northern Arizona destinations. It’s home to Northern Arizona University, great skiing and outdoor adventure, and it’s primely located to even more places to go. Flagstaff is a great jumping off point for the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, The San Francisco Peaks and other breathtaking locales. With a small-town feel and fresh mountain air, the friendly vibe of Flagstaff makes it easy to linger longer. Explore downtown for plenty of great dining and bar options. History buffs will delight in the fact that the town also played an important role in the Apollo moon missions, serving as the training ground for the astronauts and site of lunar mapping, instrument development and more.
Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson is situated at the center of the Sonoran Desert, offering some of the best desert scenery, Mexican food and southwestern culture. Just under a two hour drive from Phoenix, it’s an easy getaway from the Valley. Explore the Saguaro National Forest to see some of the most beautiful giant saguaros and desert fauna, hike beautiful Sabino Canyon, check out the historic Spanish Mission San Xavier del Bac or cruise along the 60-mile round trip Mount Lemmon scenic byway, one of the most beautiful drives in Southern Arizona. Stop into Mi Nidito Restaurant to enjoy award-winning Mexican food and dine where past presidents and celebrities have frequented.
A historic copper mining town, Jerome today is a popular town for tourists and artists. In fact, it’s known today as being one of the largest ghost towns in America. It’s located on the side of Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley with stunning views of Sedona’s Red Rocks. Get a glimpse into the city’s history by visiting The Douglas Mansion or the Mine Museum. For more modern-day fun, the town offers a wide variety of wine tasting rooms, specialty shops, art studios and great dining. Haunted Hamburger serves up juicy burgers in an allegedly haunted setting.
For outdoor adventure to cool you down on a warm summer day, visit Lake Pleasant just under an hour northwest of Phoenix. The 23,000-acre water playground is surrounded by the beautiful desert landscape and perfect for any type of water activity. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, boating, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, camping, stargazing and more. Other fun things to do include sunset dinner cruises, moonlight scorpion hunting, stand-up paddle boarding yoga and plenty more. For those without their own gear, Scorpion Bay Marina offers hourly and daily rentals plus an on-site restaurant for all-day fun.