There’s so much to see in the Grand Canyon State. Hit the road for a fun and easy day trip to one of the great spots.
1. Sedona and Montezuma Castle
Sedona’s red rock buttes are home to some of Arizona’s best — and most beautiful — hikes, spread out across 1.8 million acres of national forest land. Relax on Elote Café’s patio for a flavorful Mexican lunch, then stop by Montezuma’s Castle on your way back in town. Peer into the windows of a 20-room, cliff-side Sinaguan ruin dating back to the 12th century.
Distance: 112 miles from the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
Arizona’s oldest intact European structure sits just 9 miles south of downtown Tucson. The San Xavier Mission was founded in 1692, serving the Tohono O'odham tribe then and now. Visit the Spanish colonial church that draws more than 200,000 visitors a year for mass, or simply to admire one of the Southwest’s most precious buildings.
Distance: 123 miles from The Phoenician.
Discovered in 1974, this limestone cave showcases some of the world’s most intricate calcite formations, dating back tens of thousands of years. Guided tours wind half a mile through the cavern seven days a week, starting at $23 for adults and $13 for kids.
Distance: 166 miles from The Westin Phoenix Downtown.
Escape just three hours north to Flagstaff’s ponderosa pine forests for cooler temperatures and laid-back vibes. Ready to eat after hiking Humphreys Peak? Cruise into Pizzicletta, a downtown Flag staple just off Route 66, then throw back some brews at one of the town’s many craft breweries.
Distance: 152 miles from the W Scottsdale.
5. Cottonwood and Jerome
Old mining towns dot the Arizonan landscape, but one of its most precious is Jerome. The Black Hills copper town, which overlooks Verde Valley, hosts a surprisingly large artistic community and historic haunts. Only a 15-minute drive east, Cottonwood is the epicenter of the state’s burgeoning wine industry.
Distance: 103 miles from the Sheraton Grand Phoenix.