Day Trips Near Me – 15 Best Things To Do In Phoenix

Day Trips Near Me – Phoenix is more than just a vacation destination. Make the most of each area of the town for what it does best, then go shopping in Scottsdale while you party in Tempe.

Then go hiking in Carefree after visiting the museums in downtown Phoenix. In Mesa, see a major league baseball spring training game before heading to Glendale to watch football and hockey.

A trip up Camelback Mountain and a visit through the Desert Botanical Garden are other must-dos. The city’s outdoor and indoor retail centers are ideal for laid-back travelers.

If you’re feeling lucky, you can try your hands at one of the reserve casinos.

There are many exciting things to do in Phoenix, including visiting world-class museums, experiencing unusual and unique architecture, learning about the desert’s beauty, hiking the numerous mountains in and around the town, and enjoying some quiet time at the resorts and spas.

While winter is one of the busiest seasons for travelers, there is fun to be had all year and some great hotel and resort offers can be enjoyed during the off-season.

Are you looking for a way to have more fun in this state?

Check out the best things to do in Phoenix, Arizona:

Many natural wonders, historical monuments, and parks may be found in the Phoenix area, providing a wealth of outdoor activities.

The Sonoran Desert, Montezuma Castle National Monument, and Saguaro National Park are all worth seeing. Alternatively, visit a nearby city such as Sedona or Flagstaff to explore the fascinating museums while you dine at some of its excellent restaurants.

You can also take scheduled trips to some of the top spots to see around Phoenix if you are flying into the area or simply don’t want to bother with a car. From a full-day Grand Canyon tour to a half-day picturesque drive to a nearby hamlet for lunch, Phoenix offers a wide choice of attractions.

You may easily transform these day outings into weekend getaways if you have more than a day. If you wish to make a half-day excursion into a full-day vacation, some of these locations, particularly those in the north, can be combined.

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With this selection of the best day trips near me in Phoenix, you will definitely have a wonderful time here:

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1. Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that is one of the most visited attractions in the United States of America. It stretches as far as the eye can see and even beyond.

At Mather Point and the Mary Colter Lookout Studio, you’ll get the best views.

Lipon Point is one of the most popular viewpoints in the Grand Canyon, with spectacular views of the Colorado River meandering below.

The Grand Canyon should be visited at sunrise or sunset – ideally both, for the best views.

2. Sunset Crater Volcano

The unique geography of Arizona contains mountains, tundra, deserts, and even a volcano. Guests can drive the 34-mile loop at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, which takes them past enormous views of the volcano and the ancient pueblos at Wupatki Park. 

Interpretive programs and guided hikes are offered through the park’s visitors’ center. Alternatively, visitors can set out on their own on trails of variable lengths, such as the Lennox Crater Trail or Lava Flow Trail.

Monthly star parties are held at the park in the summertime, which takes advantage of the dark skies over this remote area.

3. Sedona

Many people consider Sedona, Arizona, to be one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. This 10,000-person village is full of charm, hospitality, and natural beauty.

Sedona is located at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon and is surrounded by majestic red rock formations, making it an ideal location for hiking, bicycling, and kayaking.

Sedona’s dry, temperate environment ensures that the weather is almost always ideal. There is a range of eateries in the city –  from basic American diners to fancy Italian cuisine.

Cabins, hotels, bed & breakfasts, and gorgeous resort complexes are all accessible for lodging.

4. Mesa

Mesa, Arizona, is a picturesque community just east of Phoenix’s city center that is best known as the gateway to the magnificent Tonto National Forest, the country’s fifth-largest forest and one of the most visited in the National Forest system.

Paddleboarding, kayaking, water skiing, desert and forest hiking are just a few of the year-round outdoor recreational activities available at the forest.

Attractions such as the i.d.e.a. Museum and the Arizona Museum of Natural History offer chances for family-friendly day experiences, while the Mesa Arts Center offers a wide variety of artistic, musical, and theatrical performances all through the year. 

Mesa Grande Cultural Park, situated nearby, houses structures and artifacts associated with the region’s indigenous Hohokam people, including a huge centuries-old ceremonial structure.

5. Sonoran Desert

Most of Arizona’s southern half is part of the Sonoran Desert, a bigger area of territory. Parts of California, Baja, and northern Mexico are included in this 100,000-square-mile region. The Sonora Desert is home to an incredible diversity of landscapes and ecosystems, including tundra, desert, grassland, coniferous and deciduous woodland, as well as all of the world’s biomes.

Hiking and beautiful drives are possible on both paved and unpaved routes. At the nearby Sonora Desert Museum, there are additional man-made attractions such as gardens, an aviary, as well as an aquarium.

6. Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle is a historical remnant. The Sinagua, a Native American tribe who lived in the area more than 600 years ago, carved this apartment-style dwelling into the side of a limestone cliff. President Theodore Roosevelt designated the site as one of the country’s first national monuments in 1906.

Visitors can now walk along trails that take them close to the cliff-side dwelling and view artifacts in the on-site museum. Birds, insects, and Arizona sycamore trees may all be found in the park, as well as a variety of native plants and species.

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7. Meteor Crater

A big spherical dip in the ground is located 2 hours and 45 minutes from Phoenix. Meteor Crater is a nearly mile-wide and 500-foot-deep that formed when a huge meteorite collided with Earth roughly 50,000 years ago.

Meteor Crater now draws tourists from all over the world. 24 interactive exhibits about stars, planets, and meteors are available in the on-site discovery center.

On the premises, there is also a gift shop and a rock shop. Guests can take a guided or self-guided walk of the crater rim, and they are welcome to stay until dark to enjoy the spectacular stargazing.

8. Flagstaff

Flagstaff is a vast metropolis high in the Rockies, at 7,000 feet above sea level. This city, which spans 64 square miles, is a tourism hotspot that attracts over 5 million tourists each year.

Flagstaff takes pride in being a cultural and artistic hub in Northern Arizona. Shopping, museums, restaurants, and art galleries are just a few of the things to see and do in this city.

Guests can ride the historic Grand Canyon Railway, listen to the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra perform classics, or observe the stars up close at the Lowell Observatory.

9. Tucson Mountain Park

Tucson Mountain Park is a fantastic area to spend some time outside. This 20,000-acre park, located 1 hour and 50 minutes from Phoenix, offers a range of outdoor activities, including 62 miles of trails for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders.

For RV campers, the Gilbert Ray Campground offers 130 sites with electric hook-ups. The park has archery and gun shooting facilities, as well as hunting in specific areas with a permit.

The Desert Discovery Center on-site offers lectures and programs to educate visitors about the desert’s scenery and fauna.

10. Saguaro National Park

The huge Saguaro cactus was protected when Saguaro National Park was created. These massive desert plants have become emblems of the American West, and you can see them in their natural habitat here.

The park also has miles of hiking routes that wind through the desert and up into the high mountains. Remote camping is only accessible by foot and is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Special nighttime activities and “Art in the Park” workshops with the park’s resident artists are also available. The park is open 365 days a year, except for Christmas Day when the visitors’ center is closed.

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11. Prescott

Prescott was the Arizona Territory’s first capital. Prescott is now a tiny city of 40,000 residents dedicated to preserving the past while moving towards the future. 

The city’s original historical structures and Victoria-era mansions have been conserved and are open to the public all year. Shopping, dining, housing, and four museums, including a children’s museum and a small zoo, are all available in the city.

There are four golf courses here, and thanks to Prescott’s dry, moderate environment, tourists can enjoy the links all year.

12. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Casa Grande is one of the country’s largest prehistoric constructions. It features ruins from about 600 hundred years ago, including a huge home and a network of interconnecting irrigation tunnels built by native desert people.

The remains are now a national monument honoring the area’s original settlers. Weather permitting, daily guided tours of the remains are available.

Throughout the year, special events such as guest demonstrations and the Native American Arts Festival are held, and children can participate in scouting and junior ranger programs.

13. Saguaro Lake

The Stewart Mountain Dam created Saguaro Lake, a massive man-made body of water. The lake, which is only 50 minutes from Phoenix, is a desert oasis and a perfect spot to cool off in the Arizona heat.

Saguaro Lake has 22 miles of shoreline and is surrounded by mountains. Here you can go boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, skiing, and sailing. The Saguaro Lake Marina offers boat rentals to visitors. The marina is part of the Saguaro del Note Recreation Area, which also includes a beach, picnic tables, and restrooms.

14. Mission of San Xavier Del Bac

The Mission of San Xavier del Bac, often known as “The White Dove of the Desert,” is a Catholic church that has served the spiritual needs of local residents since 1797.

Before becoming a part of the United States in 1854, the mission was part of New Spain and subsequently Mexico. This church was built in Spanish style and is filled with gorgeous murals and statues on the inside.

The church is available to the public and is still used for masses and other events. There is also a museum and a souvenir shop on the property.

15. Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kartchner Caverns is about two and a half hours from Phoenix. This vast cave system is home to beautiful limestone formations that are “living,” meaning they are still growing as water flows down into the cave.

Guests can witness the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave on daily 1.5-hour guided excursions, except on Christmas Day.

A discovery center with exhibits, a gift store, and a theater is also located within the park. The park also has hiking paths, camping spaces, picnic areas, and an amphitheater.

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Final Thoughts

Phoenix, Arizona’s capital and largest city, is at the center of the Valley of the Sun, a sprawling metropolitan area. It is blessed with year-round warm weather due to its location in the sun-drenched Sonoran Desert, making it a perfect site to enjoy outdoor activities.

In addition to the various golf courses in the vicinity, Phoenix offers excellent hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing opportunities amid the breathtaking landscape of its numerous parks and mountains. The huge metropolis, which serves as an economic and cultural center for not only the state but the entire Southwest, is home to a plethora of fine art galleries and magnificent museums.

Aside from that, it has an incredible culinary scene to explore, with a plethora of excellent restaurants and bars. Phoenix has a lot to offer, from beautiful parks and interesting historic tourist destinations to major sports teams and a vibrant nightlife.

If you’re visiting this city, it’ll be difficult to put all of the attractions into a manageable list.

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