Arizona is an amazing state, and Scottsdale is centrally located so you can easily get to destinations that people travel from around the world to see.
Here are three day trips from Scottsdale that you won’t want to miss:
Grand Canyon National Park
If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon yet, you need to go. It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world, after all, and it’s only four hours from Scottsdale. You can make it to the park before lunch, spend a few hours at the rim, and get home in time for an episode of your favorite Netflix show in the evening.
Highlights at the Grand Canyon include walking the Rim Trail between the Yavapai Museum of Geology and Verkamps Visitor Center, visiting the Kolb Studio, and hiking a short way below the rim on the Bright Angel Trail. You can also rent bicycles from Bright Angel Bicycle Rentals to pedal your way along Scenic Hermit Road.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to ride mules into the canyon as there’s a waiting list of up to a year in advance. Same goes for the Skywalk, as the glass cantilever bridge is located outside the park at Grand Canyon West, more than five hours away from the South Rim. You also won’t be able to raft the Colorado River since it’s roughly a mile below the rim. Rafting trips usually begin near Hoover Dam, at Lee’s Ferry, or on the Hualapai Reservation.
With its unique red rock formations, Sedona is easily one of the most beautiful spots in the state, and from Scottsdale, it’s just over a 2-hour drive. Make your first stop the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a beautiful chapel jutting out of the red rocks just before you enter the city. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is a Spanish-style shopping center and Sedona tradition filled with galleries and boutiques. It’s definitely worth a visit before you park to walk the downtown area.
Many visitors are content to browse Sedona’s galleries and gift shops, but if you crave a little more adventure, consider taking a Pink Jeep Tour. The original Sedona jeep company offers tours throughout the area, but their most popular excursion is the Broken Arrow Tour that will have you climbing huge boulders to scenic overlooks.
Sedona is also known for its hiking. You can find information about area hiking online before you go or stop in at The Hike House, where you can purchase gear and get recommendations for hikes geared to your fitness level, the amount of time you have, and your expectations.
On October 26, 1881, Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday faced off against several of the Cowboys, a loosely associated group of ranchers and cattle rustlers, at the OK Corral in Tombstone, just three hours south of Scottsdale. The battle lasted only seconds but earned the mining community a place in history. If you haven’t visited, it’s definitely worth the drive.
Depending on your level of interest, you could spend anywhere from an hour to a full day in Tombstone. Plan to at least walk the historic streets and visit the OK Corral. Your $10 admission includes a reenactment of the events as well as a self-guided tour through the alley where the actual gunfight occurred. Also worth visiting is the Bird Cage Theater where you’ll see historic photographs, antique gaming tables, and an authentic hearse.
A visit to Tombstone can easily be combined with a trip to Bisbee, located just a half hour further south. There, you can take a mine tour, visit the Smithsonian-affiliated Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, or browse the quirky shops in town.
Or, stop in Tucson on your way back north to Scottsdale. Mission San Xavier del Bac, considered one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the United States, is just off I-10 at exit 92. If you have enough time, consider stopping at the Pima Air & Space Museum or the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum west of Tucson.
We are lucky to live in a state full of so many natural wonders and historic towns. If you’re ready to live near these attractions, give us a call to start searching for Scottsdale and other Valley homes for sale. This could all soon be in your backyard, too!
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
602-899-5602 or 888-987-0706