The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily put a pause on many of the things we enjoy—including social outings and travel. Now is the perfect time to reflect on the past with loved ones and make plans for future trips. We’ve put together a list of 43 getaway favorites located in Arizona and across state lines to inspire your quarantine daydreams.
The Grand Canyon
We had to start with a trip to the landmark that makes us Arizona. Take a walk on the canyon’s Skywalk, a glass bridge with heart-stopping aerial views of the site. Go on a whitewater rafting tour with Hualapai River Runners or even take a helicopter and boat tour of the area. Additional recreational activities include zip lining over cliffs and exploring local history at the Native American Village and Guano Point. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is a special experience that holds a few surprises despite being one of the most visited attractions in the country.
Sedona is known as one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, and when you go check it out for yourself you’ll see why. It’s a treasured spot that is perfect for hiking, biking, kayaking and, more notably, it’s the city’s signature red rocks alone that makes visiting the serene resort town a great getaway. Whether it is a girls trip or a family vacation, Sedona offers visitors a world-class experience.
Flagstaff has it all. Arts and culture, incredible food, outdoor adventure, and access to some of the most famous sites in the United States. Popular attractions include the iconic Route 66, the world’s largest ponderosa forest, and monthly town festivals. The mountain town is a prime location for outdoor recreations and is a welcoming spot for those wanting to escape the Valley heat.
Salt River Lake
Plan a getaway surrounded by nature at the Tonto National Forest. While most opt to tube down the water, you can also go kayaking and horseback riding at the Salt River Lake. The area is native to Salt River wild horses, and you might even be able to spot them right from your tube. Other wildlife that is known to emerge includes deer, bald eagles and river otters.
Travel back in time to the golden age of the Wild West, when Tombstone was known for gambling, booze and the infamous gunfight at O.K. Corral. The town features landmarks including Boothill Cemetery, the Courthouse and, notably, the haunted Birdcage Theater.
Storefronts that line the dirt streets sell things like lassos, cowboy boots and toy guns. Visitors can pan for silver, see the town’s mining exhibit and take nightly ghost tours around the city.
Page is a one-stop city that features three popular landmarks that define the state’s landscape. Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped valley that includes part of the Colorado River. With an overlook of the dramatic 1,000-foot drop, the view is sure to take your breath away.
Stroll through Antelope Canyon. It is well known for the light beams that shine through gaps in the canyon and reflect onto the rock walls and sandy ground. The light beams can only be seen during certain hours, typically around noon in the summer months. Kayaking through Lake Powell is a must-do when you find yourself in the city. Being the second-largest manmade lake in the United States, Lake Powell offers paddling to guests’ content. So, you can spend the day paddling to your heart’s content.
Arizona’s water playground is located just three hours from Phoenix, and some argue that it beats some well-known beaches in SoCal. Visitors can rent ATVs to roam around the desert and reserve a scenic boat tour. Be sure to hit up some of the local restaurants and bars to experience the city’s nightlife. If you have time, learn more about the fascinating history of the famous London Bridge that ended up in this oasis.
699 Old Highway 95, Lake Havasu City
Arizona’s the White Mountains is another great mountain treasure of the state. It’s an adventurist dream, with opportunities like camping, hiking, biking and fishing. Another popular pastime includes golfing on one of 10 courses in the area that can challenge any skilled player. There is always something going on in the area. Past festivities include the annual Show Low Days and the White Mountains Balloon Festival.
Are the harsh temps starting to become unbearable? Drive out to Saguaro Lake. It’s a summer hotspot for families and friends to hang out and have some fun in the sun. From horseback riding to cliff diving, the Saguaro littered oasis makes sure no one is left out of the action.
Sweet and charming, just like its name. Winding roads and painted signs teasing homemade pie are just a taste of what Strawberry has to offer travelers. Outdoor activities include hiking to Fossil Creek and taking a dip in the Verde Hot Springs. After, head over the Ranch at Fossil Creek for delicious ice cream and homemade fudge. Despite the town’s size, your weekend will be anything but small.
“The Billion Dollar Copper Camp” was once known as the richest city in the United States. When the Great Depression hit and sent prices of precious metals and stones to rock bottom, the town was left abandoned. Today, Jerome is one of the largest and “wickedest” ghost towns in the country. Among the saloons and brothels, visitors have said to experience ghost sighting and hauntings.
In the winter, Snowbowl is home to one of the state’s most-popular ski resorts with the longest season. The area receives about 260 inches of snowfall a year and gets a little help with a state-of-the-art snowmaking machine. In the summer, visitors can still have some fun in the San Francisco Peaks. Outdoor activities like summer tubing, hiking, disc golf and a bungee trampoline.
9300 N Snowbowl Road, Flagstaff
Oatman is an old mining town on the old Route 66 highway that has a strange group of inhabitants. Upon entering the quaint streets, the first thing you are bound to notice are roads filled with donkeys. Storefronts even sell “burro feed” so you can hand feed them yourself during your stay. Despite the abundance of the animals, the town will seem like it came from an old black-and-white Western movie. While you’re there, you may even be able to catch a staged gunfight or two.
Slide Rock State Park
Ditch your backyard pool and head to Slide Rock State Park. This nature-made waterpark consists of a system of rockslides that have been smoothed by rushing waters. Algae covers the rocks, making slipping and sliding down the 80-foot-long chutes of waters easy. On the way out, take some time to visit the historical remnants of the Pendley Homestead and stop by the general store for some sweet ice cream.
6871 AZ-89A, Sedona
Emerald Cave (Willow Beach)
The vibrant waters of Emerald Cave have been enchanting adventurous travelers for years. But no matter how many times you visit, the magic remains. Rent kayaks at Willow Beach and paddle through caves of the sparkling gem-colored waterways. The cove makes a great place to picnic and snap some memorable photos that will leave friends as green as the water.
Grand Canyon Caverns
Not everyone can say they’ve had dinner and spent the night in a cave. Now you can with a stay at the Grand Canyon Caverns. Declared the “world’s largest, deepest, darkest motel room,” John F. Kennedy originally intended to use the caverns as a bomb shelter for the public during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The unique hotel is about 220 feet underground, and each cavern includes beds, a bathroom and a living room. Be sure to stop by its restaurant for an intimate dinner, also beneath the ground.
115 Mile Marker AZ-66, Peach Springs
Copper Queen Mine (Bisbee)
Copper Queen Mine is one of the five largest mines in the world. For almost a century, more than 8 billion pounds of copper were hauled out of the mine before mine operations stopped in the 1970s. Guests are provided a bright yellow uniform, hard hat and flashlight before descending into the cool, dark mine. Inside, guides describe the mining methods and tell stories of the days when Bisbee was “Queen of the Mining Camps.”
478 Dart Road, Bisbee
Rock Art Ranch (Winslow)
Rock Art Ranch is a well-kept secret in the town of Winslow. The cattle ranch is home to over 3,000 of the world’s best-preserved and most-extensive petroglyphs. These Anasazi tribe drawings date back over 4,000 years. Archaeologists from several major universities have spent months recording and dating these ancient drawings. In the late 1900s, this site was added to the National Historic Register.
Rock Art Ranch Road, Winslow
Biosphere II (Oracle)
Biosphere II is a scientific laboratory that serves as a center for research, outreach, teaching and learning about Earth, its living systems and its place in the universe. Guided tours take you inside the futuristic building and into simulations of various biomes, like the rainforest, savannah grasslands and even the ocean, complete with a coral reef. Learn about the facility’s two missions that sealed crew members in the biomes and measured survivability.
32540 S Biosphere Road, Oracle
Double R Guest Ranch (Benson)
Horseback riding at the Double R Ranch in historic Benson offers the beauty and rich history of the American West. The ranch has some of the best trail riding available with exceptional scenic views of the desert. Whether you’re an experienced rider or it’s your first time in the saddle, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
440 W. Cimmaron Lane, Benson
Little Painted Desert (Winslow)
At first, you may think there isn’t much to see upon turning into Painted Desert Rim Drive. But as you reach the rim, views of pastel mesas come into focus. Sand and rock ranging from deep lavenders and rich grays to reds, oranges and pinks create bands of color leaving you feeling like you’ve been transported into a painting. The Little Painted is a true hidden gem where you can see art come to life.
Painted Desert Rim Drive, Winslow
Extreme Adventure Course (Flagstaff)
Play in the trees at Flagstaff Extreme. Perfect for large parties of kids and adults, the outdoor adventure will challenge guests to push their limits and reach new heights. Guests zip line from tree to tree, taking in the mountain views. Suspend onto wobbly bridges and shaky swings that will fill adventurers with adrenaline.
Fort Tuthill County Park, Flagstaff
Whether it is full-moon stagecoach rides, lassoing steers or horseback riding through the Sonoran Desert, MacDonald’s Ranch gives visitors a little taste of life in the old Wild West. MacDonald’s Ranch is family friendly and can accommodate even the youngest of “wranglers” with free pony rides, a petting zoo, a gem mine and more.
26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Apple Annie’s Orchard (Willcox)
Apple Annie’s Orchard has been around for more than 40 years and is a local favorite. Bring the entire family to pick a whole wagon full of produce. In the summer, fruits like peaches, pears and apples are available. Come fall, the orchard is a popular place to pick pumpkins, take hayrides across the farm and explore a dizzying corn maze. If you don’t have time to pick them yourself, browse the farm’s assortment of produce, jams, jellies and other great gifts at their storefront.
2081 W. Hardy Road, Willcox
Schnepf Farms (Queen Creek)
A family-owned farm in Queen Creek makes for the cutest glamping getaway. With over 5,000 acres of land and free bikes to get around, guests will find no shortage of things to do. Wake up to room-service breakfast from its cafe right to your door (order the pancakes!), go check out the secluded outdoor “Library,” bike to get some cinnamon rolls from the bakery, check out the community garden and say hi to the deer herd the farm has rescued. To end the night, roast up some s’mores by the fire outside your trailer.
24810 E. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
This unique attraction specializes in plants native to the Colorado Plateau and northern Arizona. The Arboretum is home to 750 species of plants in greenhouses, gardens and natural habitats—located on 200 acres deep within the Coconino National Forest. Once the home of founder and philanthropist Frances McAllister, today it houses horticultural collections and rare plant species among historic buildings in Flagstaff.
4001 S. Woody Mountain Road, Flagstaff
Red Rock Lavender Farms (Concho)
Fields of billowy lavender are enough to enchant anyone to Red Rock Lavender Farms in Concho. Pick your own bouquet of eight different varieties of the herb or learn to make lavender art from experts. The floral farm even has its own vineyard on-site for those who want to enjoy some fine sips. We recommend visiting in the summer, just in time for the annual Lavender Festival.
Country Road 5305, Concho
Meteor Crater National Landmark (Winslow)
Sure, you’ve seen the advertisement signs. But have you actually stopped to see the famous 50,000-year-old meteor site? The otherworldly attraction is east of Flagstaff and is one of the best-preserved meteorite crash sites on Earth. In the past, NASA astronauts have trained at the location before heading off on moon missions. Admission into the site gets you access to the tour of the crater, its 4D theater, space shop, and delicious food and drink from the Blasted Bistro.
Interstate 40, Exit, 233, Winslow
Bearizona Wildlife Park (Williams)
While there aren’t any lions or tigers, the wildlife park Bearizona is known for its bears. The Jurassic-style drive-thru zoo is an experience like no other. It’s an unforgettable experience for kids of all ages. Wild animals roam freely as you drive through the scenic Ponderosa Pine Forest. Even more critters are exhibited at Fort Bearizona, where you can get down and view animals in a traditional zoo setting.
1500 E. Route 66, Williams
Alpacas of the Southwest (Kingman)
Who knew Kingman was the home of an alpaca ranch? The family-owned business cares for 40 alpacas, all of which are named after The Beatles. From Hey Jude to Lady Madonna, each alpaca has a name that fits its unique personality. The family gives personalized tours of their property, so if you have little ones, the guides will typically cater to what interests them. Make sure to check out the on-site shop. Inside, you can purchase apparel and souvenirs made from alpaca fur.
1108 S. Mccarrel Road, Kingman
Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch (Picacho)
Experience this unique petting zoo featuring some unlikely creatures. Visitors take a 45-minute tour of the property, where they can learn about ostrich raising, rattlesnake safety and the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Feed an array of desert critters like goats, deer, rainbow lorikeets and, of course, the mighty ostrich. Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch truly lives up to its slogan of “The Darndest Place You Will Ever Visit.”
17599 E. Peak Lane, Picacho
Area 66 (Yucca)
A giant building resembling a golf ball is what many visitors first see when pulling up to Area 66. Inside is an entire UFO museum that dictates the story of an alleged spaceship crash that occurred in 1953. With multiple amenities like a quirky photo op, a souvenir shop and its own little convenience store, it makes for a fun and educational day trip that is sure to have something for everyone.
12716 Alamo Road, Yucca
Valley of the Moon (Tucson)
Kids can write their own fairytale with a trip to Valley of the Moon, a fantasy theme park in Tucson. The whimsical playground and theater were built in the mid-1920s with a goal to promote kindness, imagination and mental health toward visitors. For years, the wonderland has entertained children with mystical scenes right out of a storybook and even adults as a place of meditation and reflection. Come see what story awaits you.
2544 E. Allen Road, Tucson
The Shady Dell (Bisbee)
In an interview, owner Justin Luria compared a stay at the Shady Dell to a night in a living museum. We couldn’t agree more. The seasonal vacation spot is home to nine vintage trailers, decorated to fit with the year they were most popular. Some of the options include a 1957 El Rey, a 1947 Tiki Bus and 1949 Airstream. Since its opening in 1927, weary travelers and road trip junkies have wandered to the trailer court for good times and a good night’s rest.
1 Old Douglas Road, Bisbee
Wigwam Motel (Holbrook)
There is a lot of history at the Wigwam Motel. The collection of cone-shaped buildings is unmissable as you cruise down the infamous Route 66. The village was designed by architect Frank Redford in Cave City, Kentucky, and was then bought by a developer who transformed the Wigwams into a series of locations across the country. The Holbrook site is only one of three still in existence. These unique rooms are a nod to classic Americana, complete with vintage show cars and a museum full of decades-old memorabilia. This stop is a must if you haven’t already been!
811 W. Hopi Drive, Holbrook
Dos Cabezas Wineworks (Sonoita)
The family-owned winery Dos Cabezas is one of Arizona’s most recognized vineyards. The staple business has been catering to the Sonoita desert for 25 years. Its selection of wines is produced with specialty fruit from Cimarron and Pronghorn Vineyards. The winery’s tasting room is open Thursdays to Sundays and even has an inn for guests to safely stay after sipping their craft blends.
3248 AZ-82, Sonoita
Elgin Winery and Distillery (Elgin)
Elgin Winery and Distillery put the rural Arizona city on the map for its award-winning array of handcrafted spirits. The extra-aged Regalo de Vida Ron Imperial rum won big at the 2018 and 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The secret to its renowned liquor and wine? It might lie in the locally grown grapes and Sonoran sugar cane it uses in its craft.
473 1/2 Elgin Canelo Road, Elgin
Four Corners Monument (Teec Nos Pos)
Ever wish you could be in two places at once? Turns out, you can be in four at the Four Corners Monument. The popular attraction marks the quadripoint where the states Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico meet. The site makes for the perfect photo op, so make sure to bring a travel buddy who can snap some pictures. With numerous souvenir shops and art vendor booths, you are sure to find something unique to commemorate the visit.
597 NM-597, Teec Nos Pos
Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary (Ramah, New Mexico)
Get in touch with your wild side with a visit to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. The haven is dedicated to providing care for more than 60 wolves, wolf dogs and other canines who have been rescued from the exotic pet trade. Visitors can learn more about the animals and the sanctuary with guided tours and meet and greets with some of the rescues. If you are looking for an extended stay, the sanctuary offers its “off the grid” campgrounds and cabins. Campers are in for a treat when the wolves come out at night to sing to the spectacular star show in the sky.
378 Candy Kitchen Road, Ramah, New Mexico
Legend says that an alien spacecraft crashed at Roswell in 1947. Whether you believe in aliens or not, there are plenty of things to do in this unique New Mexico city. A long list of historical and cultural attractions to explore include the Roswell Museum and Art Center and the Roswell Symphony Orchestra. Families with little ones can visit the Spring River Park and Zoo or go fishing, hiking and boating at Bottomless Lake State Park. Who knows? A UFO tour might just be the thing to sway your mind about extraterrestrial lifeforms.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the village of Chimayó is known as a place of miracles. Each year during Holy Week, more than 30,000 people walk miles from the city of Santa Fe to El Santuario de Chimayó. Travelers climb to the small adobe church in hopes to obtain the sanctuary’s “Holy Dirt,” which is said to have healed many sick or injured people. The village is also home to ornate traditional weavings and authentic New Mexican cuisine. Whether you’re a believer or simply curious about the Southwestern culture of the old Spanish Colonial town, Chimayó is worth a trip.
15 Santuario Drive, Chimayo, New Mexico
Celebrities of the Golden Age like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley have helped shape Palm Springs into a playground for pool parties and lux club scenes. The popular weekend retreat is just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, with a thriving LGBTQ+ community, an eclectic food and drink scene, and endless outdoor activities. Palm-lined streets, sunny skies and the mid-century modern architecture play a big role in defining the resort city while still maintaining its old-Hollywood allure.
If you find yourself driving through the Santa Ynez Valley in Central California, you might be surprised to stumble across a Danish village straight out of an old-world history book. The city of Solvang is a love letter to the culture of Denmark complete with working windmills, quaint boutiques and picturesque wineries. Mouth starting to water? It’s probably the aroma of freshly baked goods from one of the many bakeries in town. We recommend ordering a plate of Aebleskiver, a traditional Danish donut/pancake hybrid that is topped with freshly made jam and powdered sugar. Solvang proves you don’t need a passport to travel authentically.