COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may impact your travel plans. Wherever you're going, you'll find the latest advice here.

Travel News The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip: Stop, Stay, See

All articles

The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip: Stop, Stay, See

Travel Arizona in style by starting your trip with an amazing car rental deal.

Arizona Road Trip Route:

  • Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Tucson
  • Organ Pipe National Monument/Ajo, AZ
  • Flagstaff, AZ/Sedona, AZ
  • Grand Canyon National Park/Page, AZ

Getting to Arizona

A road trip through Arizona is the epitome of the classic American road trip. By flying into the centrally located Phoenix SkyHarbor International Airport, you’ll begin your trip in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. The airport hosts numerous rental car companies, making it easy to immediately start your Arizona road trip. Before beginning, look into buying a National Park Pass. There are enough National Parks and National Monuments in Arizona to fully make up for the cost of the pass. You can pick this pass up at any National Park and it covers the entrance of one car and all of its passengers. Once you arrive, pack your family in the car, grab some snacks and prepare yourself to see one of the most geographically and culturally diverse areas in the United States.

Phoenix/Scottsdale

Phoenix is a notoriously sprawling city. By choosing to stay in the city of Scottsdale, you can avoid the congestion of Phoenix, while also situating yourself close to the best of what Phoenix has to offer. Be sure to choose from one of the many wonderful hotels within walking distance of Old Town Scottsdale. Old Town offers a never-ending assortment of restaurants, cocktail bars, and unique shops. Hikers will love the proximity to Camelback Mountain, which offers panoramic views of Phoenix and the surrounding desert region.

The Desert Botanical Garden, also just minutes away from Scottsdale. Introduce you and your family to the many alien-like plant species of the desert and is the beginning of the never-ending game of “name-that-plant” while driving around the rest of Arizona. 

The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort located on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ

Tucson

The drive down to Tucson, AZ is quick, easy, and well worth the trip. As you get closer to the city, you’ll begin to see the most iconic plant in the southwest: the Saguaro Cactus. The big arms of these cacti immediately invite you in to explore this friendly town.

There are many wonderful hotels to choose from in the Tucson area. One of the most iconic is The Historic Hotel Congress situated right in the heart of downtown. Join the Meet Me at Maynards Monday night walk to explore the neighborhoods that surround downtown and meet a few locals along the way!

The area surrounding Tucson hosts some of the most gorgeous public lands in Arizona and many of them are easily accessible to those with limited mobility. Be sure to explore the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, the Saguaro National Park (East and West), and the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area to get your fix of desert flora and fauna. 

Saguaro cactus
The Saguaro cactus is a sure reminder you are in the southwest.

Organ Pipe National Monument/Ajo, AZ

Drive west out of Tucson and you’ll begin to understand why so many musicians and artists have been influenced been the southwest. Organ Pipe National Monument hosts another extremely unique desert plant, the Organ Pipe Cactus. The monument typically hosts nightly education talks that are extremely captivating. With a breathtaking backdrop of a desert sunset, so be sure to check their schedule. There are plenty of campsites in the area but a stay in the nearby town of Ajo, AZ, will give you a taste of what desert towns are really like. 

Flagstaff, AZ/Sedona, AZ

So you thought Arizona was only desert, didn’t you? A visit to Sedona and Flagstaff will be sure to surprise you! These mountain towns, surrounded by Ponderosa pines, act as a reprieve from the desert climate. The pines provide a cooler area to relax in. Sedona is situated within red rock cliffs and canyons. Home to energy “vortexes”, which some claim to have special healing powers. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is an architectural wonder with amazing views of the red rock region and worth a visit no matter what your religious views are.

Just north of Sedona is the city of Flagstaff, home to Northern Arizona University. A stay in any of the great hotels in Flagstaff will put you near many great restaurants and shops. Book a tour at the Lowell Observatory and explore the endless universe with your friends and family. 

The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ
The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ

Grand Canyon National Park/Page, AZ

No trip to Arizona would be complete without a stop at Grand Canyon National Park. The views of the canyon are literally jaw-dropping. It’s no wonder why this is one of the most popular road-trip destinations in the United States. To really enjoy the Grand Canyon experience, try staying with a camping outfitter that provides all the necessities for camping and even a few amenities to make it a more upscale affair.

The drive to Page, AZ from the Grand Canyon is under two hours and well worth it. There are many activities to do in Page but hiking through the slot canyons, like the world famous Antelope Canyon, is one of the most enjoyable and will give you photos to rival even the best screensavers Apple has to offer. 

Grand Canyon National Park in Page, AZ
Grand Canyon National Park in Page, AZ

The Quintessential American Road-Trip

A road-trip through Arizona allows you to fully experience what the great west has to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to explore cities with top-rated restaurants and museums, deserts with strange plants and animals, forests with gigantic trees and geographical regions that seem foreign to this planet. By driving through these areas you and your family will undoubtedly make memories to last a lifetime. Arizona is one of the most unforgettable states in the United States. Enjoy the drive!