9 Day Trips from Phoenix that are Unforgettable

The sixth largest city in the U.S, known for its intense sun, desert cacti, and beautiful scenery, you are sure to be impressed. Also, the day trips from Phoenix are unmatched.


I have been fortunate enough to have visited Phoenix twice and travel all around each time! It has grown to be one of my favorite cities in the U.S because of its beautiful surroundings and amazing day trips. Adorable cities, national and state parks galore, and even a castle built into a cliff?! Let’s get into the top 9-day trips from Phoenix, Arizona!

Table of Contents

9 Day Trips from Phoenix

Day trips from Phoenix

Sedona, AZ: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

1 hr 50 min Drive

Undoubtedly, my absolute favorite place on this list has to be Sedona, Arizona. Famous for its beautiful red rocks, Sedona is a town nestled between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. Although it is touristy and can be quite expensive, it is definitely worth the splurge and is one of the best day trips from Phoenix.


Additionally, if you are able to travel with camping equipment, I would highly recommend bringing it because this will save you money while in Sedona, and traveling all around Arizona!


Things to do in Sedona:

Cathedral Rock Hike

Pink Jeep Tours

Devil’s Bridge Trail

Day trips from Phoenix, slide rock state park

Slide Rock State Park, AZ: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

2 hours Drive

Next, located just north of Sedona you can find one of the most unique state parks in the country, Slide Rock State Park! Red rocks line this beautiful canyon creating a natural water slide and cliff-jumping locations!


In addition, the gorgeous scenic drive through the Coconino National Forest just north is totally worth the drive alone!


Importantly, It’s good to note that in the summers and on weekends, this spot can get VERY crowded, so be prepared. Despite the crowds, it is still well worth the drive.


This state park has a paid park entrance fee of $20 per vehicle most days, on weekends in the summer it is $30, and in the off-season winter, it is $10.


Furthermore, bring your own towels, sunscreen, and activities to hang out at this beautiful oasis for the day!

Things to do in Slide Rock State Park:

Swim and slide around!

Go Camping

Relax with a picnic

Flagstaff, AZ: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

2 hr 10 min Drive

Did you know you can ski just 2 hours away from the Phoenix Desert?! 


At almost 7,000 feet elevation, Flagstaff, Arizona is undoubtedly a fun day trip from Phoenix to escape the heat! Additionally, this charming town sits at the halfway point between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, making it a popular spot for tourists.


In addition, the weather can be unpredictable at such a high elevation, so be sure to check in advance! Surprisingly, I visited in late May and I was greeted with hail and snow! Not exactly what I pictured, but the charm of Flagstaff lives fondly in my memories and I would happily visit again.


Things to do in Flagstaff:

Route 66 Diner

Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort

Shop Downtown

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

2 hr 30 min Drive

Situated west of Phoenix, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was established for the protection of the desert bighorn sheep.


Particularly, its beautiful desert terrain attracts wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, hikers, and more!


Things to do in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge:

Scenic Drive

Off Trail Hiking

Stay for the Sunset

Day trips from Phoenix

Tucson, AZ: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

1 hr 40 min Drive

With a population of over half a million, Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona behind Phoenix! With a short drive of under 2 hours, Tucson offers a fun-filled day trip.


Also home to the interesting airplane graveyard, this has always been on my bucket list!


No surprisingly, Tucson has so much to do that a day trip will barely scratch the surface. Not only are its surrounding areas of national parks and scenic drives packed full of options, but the downtown is also worth a stroll.


Things to do in Tucson:

Historic Downtown

Saguaro National Park

Gaslight Theater

Day trips from Phoenix

Prescott, AZ: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

1 hr 40 mins Drive

About halfway between Phoenix and Flagstaff sits the town of Prescott. Additionally, Prescott is also home to the Prescott National Forest. In fact, this 1.25 million-acre is home to many wildlife including elk, pronghorn, bear, mountain lion,  turkeys, bobcats, king snakes, bald eagles, ospreys, and more!


With a population of just over 40,000 people, Prescott without a doubt offers a historic charm in the heart of the Arizona mountains.


Things to do in Prescott:

Prescott National Forest Sunset Lookout

Watson Lake

Historic Downtown


Day trips from Phoenix, grand canyon

Grand Canyon South Rim: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

3 hr 20 min Drive

Without a doubt, the Grand Canyon South Rim is the most popular spot at the Grand Canyon, with good reason. Widely known for undoubtedly the best views of the Grand Canyon, the south rim has the visitors center, hiking trails, and the most beautiful sunsets!


I know this is a long day trip, but it is worth it for all the beauty the Grand Canyon offers. Additionally, if you have more time to spend than a day trip, I would highly recommend a weekend trip. Undoubtedly, a visit to the Grand Canyon South Rim has rightfully earned its spot as one of the best day trips from Phoenix.

Planning this road trip? Read my Phoenix to Grand Canyon Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Coronado National Forest: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

2 hr 40 min Drive

Located near Tuscan, this national forest is worth its own day trip! Particularly, you’ll find saguaro cacti, breathtaking landscapes, and forests making this an impressive day trip for a nature lover!


Things to do in Coronado National Forest:

Mt. Lemmon Scenic Drive

Tanque Verde Falls Trail


Day trips from Phoenix, montezuma castle

Montezuma Castle National Monument: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

1 hr 30 mins Drive

This 12th-century cliff dwelling town displays how life was thousands of years ago. Not to mention, this Incredible castle is well-preserved and offers signage to teach you more about the history of the area and the castle.

The Sinagua people built their homes inside of a cliff in an attempt to keep cool in the Arizona desert heat.

Definitely, this day trip from Phoenix is a unique attraction and is totally worth the stop!


Things to do at Montezuma Castle:

Roam the trails

Visitors Center

Ranger demonstrations


In conclusion, there are so many incredible places to visit near Phoenix, Arizona. With undoubtedly some of the most beautiful nature in America and interesting cities, there is so much to do! Make sure to take a stop at one of these day trips from Phoenix on your next trip out west!

I’m Danika! A travel obsessed, Disney adult, with a knack for budgeting.

In 2020 I was furlough from my “dream” job at Disney and have pursued my first love of travel ever since. I have traveled to 33 states and 28 countries spanning 5 continents.

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