Whether you just bought a home among Phoenix real estate or you plan to visit soon, you’ll have a wealth of day trips at your doorstep that will bring you to some of the state’s most spectacular spots. While many people think of Arizona as just a desert with a lot of cactus, there’s a whole lot more than that, including these incredibly picturesque places.
Sedona is Red Rock Country, and it can be discovered with less than a two-hour drive from Phoenix. It was frequently featured in old Western films with John Wayne and more recent movies, like Russell Crowe’s “310 to Yuma.” The landscape is dotted with towering, fiery red rocks and jagged sandstone buttes that rise up into the nearly always brilliant blue skies, providing endless photo-ops. It’s a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, and Jeep tours, as well as drawing many to experience its vortexes, swirling centers of energy that are believed to be conducive to meditation and spiritual healing.
Grand Canyon National Park
You can be in the Grand Canyon with just over a three-hour drive from Phoenix. One of the most-visited national parks in the country, the South Rim is easy to reach and is renowned for its vistas that will truly take your breath away. The massive canyon has an average width of 10 miles and stretches for 277 miles, with the colorful canyon walls even more awe-inspiring at sunset. You’ll find many trails and lookout points to enjoy various perspectives too. If you want a more closeup look, you can ride a mule down to the bottom.
Havasu Falls, Havasupai Indian Reservation
Hidden in a remote area of the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls isn’t easy to reach, requiring a 10-mile trek in each way, but you’ll be rewarded with one of America’s most stunning views. The cascades have an intense turquoise hue and plunge over red rocks, with serene pools for swimming at the bottom. The thunderous sound the falls make can be heard as far as a half-mile away as they echo off the sheer rock walls surrounding it.
Antelope Canyon, Page
Located close to the Utah border near the city of Page on Navajo Nation territory, Antelope Canyon is one of the world’s most magnificent. A slot style canyon, it’s made up of smooth, brilliant orange rock crevices, and when the sun beams its light through openings between them, it creates an otherworldly-like glow. There are two parts, the Upper and Lower Canyon, both accessible only by visiting with a licensed Navajo guide.
Kartchner Caverns, Benson
Kartchner Caverns is located in the southern part of the state, a little under an hour southeast of Tucson close to the famous old western town of Tombstone. It’s home to the state’s tallest and largest column, Kubla Khan, which soars for 58 feet, and one of the longest soda straw stalactites in the world, stretching for more than 21 feet. Visitors can join an underground tour of the cavern, which has some 2.5 miles of passageways. It sits inside Kartchner State Park, which also includes hiking trails, a hummingbird garden, shaded picnic areas, and a massive Discovery Center.