Arizona Vacation Guide

February 2021 Farmer Seth and I spent 7 much-needed days traipsing around Arizona and I’m about to share all the details with you.

** everything that is underlined is a clickable link **

 

Day 01 – Arrive at PHX and drive to Scottsdale

We got into Phoenix around 1:00pm, picked up our rental car, and made our way to Scottsdale. This was a pretty chill, uneventful night as we wanted to just enjoy the warm weather and gear up for a busy next few days on the road.

Where we stayed: Home2 Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Salt River
We knew we would only be at this hotel for a quick night so we wanted something inexpensive and conveniently located. It is a very short drive to the aquarium and the mall which were two places I wanted to hit up right away. It’s clean, comfy, and gets the job done.

Where we ate/drank:
Frozen Penguin Ice Cream – get one to share because portions are big!
Khao Thai & Sushi – get the pad thai and the khao thai roll

What we did: 
Scottsdale Fashion Square – AMAZING shopping
OdySea Aquarium – reserve tickets online ahead of time and if you go after 5:00pm tickets are half price!

Tips or recommendations:
– Make sure to get to the aquarium a bit early as they have an entire boardwalk full of shops, restaurants, and other activities to do before or after your aquarium visit.

 

Day 02 – Sedona

We hit the road early for our two hour drive from Scottsdale to Sedona. You don’t even feel like you’re driving that far because the scenery along the way is absolutely breathtaking. Our day consisted of hiking, exploring, and enjoying our wonderful bed and breakfast.

Where we stayed: The Suites at Sedona
Talk about the cutest bed and breakfast EVER. This luxury stay was so adorable and accommodating. Think western meets posh, in-suite jacuzzi, fresh bread, and chef-prepared breakfast delivered right to your room. Amazing.

Where we ate/drank:
Local Juicery – grabbed a pre hike smoothie and it was delicious
Sedona Beer Company – a post hike pint and a quick app (get the deviled eggs)
Tortas de Fuego

What we did:
Hiked Devils Bridge Trail – a 5 mile moderate hike that is so worth the view
Oak Creek Country Club – 18 holes of golf with beautiful views
Chapel of the Holy Cross – just type that into Google Maps

Tips or recommendations:
– We heard amazing things about Elote Cafe but unfortunately they were closed when we were there.
– It seemed that food prices were higher here than in Scottsdale.
– Hotels seemed less popular here and small, quirky b&b’s were more common.
– Don’t miss walking through downtown Sedona – tons of cute shops and resturaunts.
– Download the AllTrails app before leaving for your hike
– Devils Bridge Trail was extremely busy by the afternoon, so if you want to avoid the crowds I suggest hitting the trail earlyyy.
– Get onto the Devils Bridge Trail via the Chuckwagon trailhead. It’s much prettier and has a lot less foot and Jeep traffic.
– Pull off for a brief stop at Sunset Point for a beautiful overlook!

 

 

Day 03 – Grand Canyon + Williams

We hit the road after an incredible breakfast at our b&b for the two hour drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. Again, the views along the way are worth the drive itself! We cannot say enough good things about our helicopter tour with Maverick Helicopter. It was a 45 minute tour that brought you INTO the canyon and shows you the North, South, and East rims as well as awesome views of the Colorado River. This tour was so breathtaking that we didn’t even go into the actual National Park because there’s no way that a view from the ground could beat what we experienced in that helicopter. It is so worth the money, trust me!

Where we stayed: Desert Dome Stargazer
This was our favorite stay of the trip. A one of a kind, absolutely stunning and secluded stay in the desert under the stars with incredible mountain views.

Where we ate/drank:
Historic Barrel + Bottle House
The Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery

What we did:
Grand Canyon Helicopter tour with Maverick Helicopter – EVERYONE MUST DO THIS!
Bearizona – A super cool drive-thru wildlife park with a walk thru zoo at the end.

Tips or recommendations: 
– If you plan on eating, drinking, or filling up your tank in Grand Canyon Village be prepared to pay double or triple the normal price.
– Aside from a few roadside tourist attractions there’s not much to actually do (in my opinion) in Grand Canyon village. One full day there would be plenty of time.
– Bring your own food to the Stargazer Dome and use their on site grill and sit around the campfire under the stars.

 

Day 04 – Flagstaff + Scottsdale

After soaking up every last minute at our desert oasis we decided to take a stop in Flagstaff for breakfast on our way back to Scottsdale. The views from Williams to Flagstaff were BY FAR the most amazing.

Where we stayed: Canopy by Hilton
Talk about a prime location! This modern, lux hotel has all of the amenities and is located right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale which means it is in the perfect spot for walking wherever your heart desires.

Where we ate/drank:
Tourist Home Cafe – aaamazing farm to table breakfast (and make sure to get a latte and homemade doughnut)
Brat Haus – get the Goose on the Loose cocktail
Beverly on Main – boujee cocktails in the heart of Old Town
Cornish Pasty Co. – yummy british pastys with a huge selection

What we did:
Phoenix Zoo

Tips or recommendations: 
– Make sure to visit Beverly on Main during their happy hour to get $4 off a ton of cocktails!
– Plan about 2-4 hours for the zoo in order to see everything.

 

Day 05 + 06 – Scottsdale

Day 05 and 06 blended together as we spent time enjoying the rooftop at our hotel, exploring Old Town, and visiting random shops, bars, and restaurants. A couple of calm, relaxing days in Scottsdale was the perfect way to end our vacation!

Where we stayed: Canopy at Hilton

Where we ate/drank: 
Hash Kitchen – a fun, upbeat, music blaring, drinks flowing brunch joint
AZ/88 – best cocktails we’ve ever had, hands down, and the bartenders were so friendly and knowledgeable
Sip Coffee & Beer – perfect stop for an iced chai
Barrio Queen – upscale mexican with a super chic atmosphere, tacos and elote are to die for
Unbaked – edible cookie dough that was just the right amount of sweet
Karsen’s Grill – the best spot for takeout after a few too many martinis at AZ/88 😉

What we did:
Walked around Old Town
Golfed 18 holes at Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club
Took a leisurely hike at Papago Park Golf Course Loop

Tips or recommendations: 
– We looked into hiking Camelback Mountain but it was consistently packed, and we just didn’t feel like fighting the crowds.
– Make sure to walk allll of Old Town, there’s tons to see and do!

 

 

All in all, Arizona was INCREDIBLE. This was my first visit and I will absolutely be back. To be honest, I didn’t quite get the appeal of Arizona until I had seen it for myself. The only thing I wish we would have done differently is spent more time in northern AZ (the Sedona/Flagstaff area). We are rural people. So while the city of Scottsdale was a fun, boujee time – we couldn’t stop thinking about hiking in the red rocks.

Don’t be afraid to rent a car! Car rentals are very affordable and all of the driving that we did was very visitor friendly. You will be able to see and accomplish so much more by renting a vehicle during your time in Arizona.

 

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