Arizona is the ultimate destination for adventure and natural beauty. From the vibrant city of Scottsdale to the red rock formations in Sedona, this road trip is one you’ll never forget. Not to mention all the amazing food and hotels along the way. Trust me, you’ll be planning your next trip back before you even leave!
In this blog I’ll be sharing the exact route I took through Arizona, the hotels I stayed at, as well as restaurants, bar and sightseeing along the way. There will be additional links to my other blog post all about visiting the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
Flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) and picked up rental car
Drove to Sedona, stayed overnight (approx. 1 hr 45 min – 2 hr Drive)
Morning: Drove from Sedona to Grand Canyon (approx. 2 hr Drive)
Evening: Grand Canyon to Page, stayed overnight (approx. 2 hr Drive (as long as no roads are closed due to weather)) The northern road (Desert View Dr, 64), out of the Grand Canyon was closed due to snow and we had to go all the way south through Flagstaff adding 2 hours to our drive. 4 hours total!
Morning / Afternoon: Page – Visited Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon (approx. 12 min Drive Apart)
Evening: Drove to Flagstaff, stayed overnight (approx. 1 hr 35 min Drive)
Morning: Drove to Phoenix and stayed for 3 nights (approx. 3 hr Drive)
Also visited Scottsdale since it’s right next to Phoenix (20ish min apart depending where you are in each city)
Fly out of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX)
Why I chose these cities
Sedona is a must-visit destination on this road trip. The red rock formations are truly breathtaking and make for the perfect photo op or hikes. It’s also just such a charming town due to all it’s natural beauty surrounding it. There are tons of hiking trails to choose from so you won’t be bored! I really wish we had more time here. We only booked one night and ended up missing the whole day due to our extremely delayed flight. I would suggest at least 2 full days here! But keep in mind it is pricey. This is my accommodation suggestion.
Page is a must for all the adventure lovers. Located all the way North of Arizona, offering many hiking opportunities and natural wonders to be explored.
Flagstaff, the perfect pitstop to or from the Grand Canyon or Page. Flagstaff is a charming and cozy city nestled in the mountains. It will be one of the colder destinations on your road trip due to the elevation of the city, but it’s worth a visit after a long day of exploring and driving.
Finally, end your trip in Phoenix or Scottsdale and explore the vibrant and bustling cities. You can continue exploring nature with tons of adjacent hikes including Camelback Mountain or hit the city for endless choices of delicious restaurants, unique bars, rooftops or even shopping.
We spent 7 days in Arizona, but you can definitely spend up to 9 and still never run out of things to do!
This is just the route we decided to choose. You can obviously do the same route reversed or flip Sedona and Flagstaff. If I had to change anything about our timeline, I would have extended our time in Sedona. It’s absolutely beautiful and there are so many trails to explore! I’d even consider staying another day in Page. There are a lot of beautiful trails there too.
Next up I’ll be sharing where we stayed at each stop. I like to think we chose a lot of affordable but nice properties.
Where to Stay
Affordable, small kitchenette (no stove), beautiful pool, hot tub, bbq outdoor area, laundry room, and includes an extensive breakfast.
Here are also some Airbnbs I was considering:
Serene Studio/Vortex locale by Loop Trail
Chic Condo, Ideal Sedona Spot: Hike, Swim, Relax!
*Tip: If you search in the ‘Village of Oak Creek’ area you’ll find more affordable options like the ones I linked above. It’s a super short drive to the more popular, main town area.
Super affordable and spacious. Includes a big kitchen (no stove), laundry room, and ample desk space if needed, to work remotely. Includes a pool, hot tub and breakfast. Located minutes away from both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
Honestly, all hotels in Page are super affordable, this is just where we decided to stay.
Flagstaff: High Country Motor Lodge Hotel
Affordable, charming, cozy and unique. I loved the boutique feel and decor with its warm and inviting colors. The rooms have a motel set up with doors on the outside. They are clean, modern/retro and masculine with everything you need. I loved that they included Malin+Goetz products in the room, as well as a tape player. So nostalgic! There’s also a pool, hot tub and sauna. Perfect after a long day of driving or hiking. Also a game room, bar / lounge, a little shop where you can order food, coffee and buy swag from. They even have cottages available if you want a more private experience. It’s a small hotel but they did a great job in offering so much!
Phoenix: Rise Uptown Hotel
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Phoenix, the Rise Hotel is the perfect choice. What drew me in was the unique boutique style decor and all the onsite amenities. The rooms are spacious and modern/retro with concrete floors and fun wallpaper. The hotel has literally everything you need, you won’t have to leave if you don’t want to. Including everything from a pool, pool adjacent outdoor bar, food, rooftop bar, coffee shop and even a boozy popsicle shop! I was serious when I said you don’t have to leave. To top it all off the staff is incredibly accommodating and friendly, adding to your experience.
Next, I’ll be sharing what to do and where to eat and drink at each stop (and some in between).
Our day got cut short here, so I don’t have as much personal suggests.
What to do
Hikes: Devil’s Bridge, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Fay Canyon, MORE HERE
Red Rock Scenic Byway Stop to take a photo with the sign and drive through the beautiful scenery.
Where to Eat / Drink
Firecreek Coffee Small town feel coffee shop with amazing, homemade flavors. I suggest trying a ‘Dream Latte.’ So good!
Shorebird American (Brunch, Dinner, Views)
The Vault American (Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Views)
Fry Bread Stand Technically not in Sedona but we stopped here on our way down to Phoenix. Stop here if you want to try some AUTHENTIC Fry Bread (a dish of the indigenous people of North America that’s flat dough bread, fried or deep-fried. You can order this slaty or sweet).
Grand Canyon National Park
My husband and I had a not so typical experience at the Grand Canyon. Ok, so technically we can check off the Grand Canyon from our bucket list, but did we actually see it… NO! It was COVERED in snow with zero visibility. The photo above is what we saw. We visited in late March which is hit or miss with weather. Do yourself a favor and check their live cams before visiting so you’re not disappointed like we were.
*Click here to read all the need to know info on visiting the Grand Canyon*
*Random tip about Page is that your phone / car will jump between 2 different timezones randomly so just remember they follow Phoenix Timezone not Tuba City.
What to do
Horseshoe Bend *Click to read all the need to know info on visiting*
Antelope Canyon *Click to read all the need to know info on visiting*
Where to Eat
You’re not going to really find a lot of fine dinning here. You’ll get more of a small town feel in Page. Below are some of my suggestions.
Sunset 89 Asian Fusion
Slackers Quality Grub Comfort Food (Burgers, Sandwiches)
LP Espresso (Lake Powell Espresso) Cafe (Breakfast and Lunch)
Hot N Sweet Coffee And Donut Shop
If you need to stop and stretch your legs to or from Page, stop by and checkout The Painted Desert Project. We stopped here not knowing what it was, but it caught our eye! I also have a weird attraction to abandoned places and it makes for cool photos.
We spent less than 24 hours here. It’s a small town, so not too much going on.
What to Do
If you’re into skiing you can do that here.
Where to Eat
Shift Kitchen & Bar (American) If you’re only eating one meal in Flagstaff, go here and order the burger.
What to do
Visit Desert Botanical Garden
Hike Camelback Mountain, Hole-in-the-Rock, Hidden Valley. More Here
We drove around the rich neighborhood on the mountain side of Camelback during sunset. It was beautiful! Just don’t linger if you visit.
Eat / Drink
Fà-me Caffe (Breakfast)
First Watch (Breakfast / Brunch)
The Beach House (Tacos, Casual) We didn’t get to go here but every time we passed by was busy.
Windsor (American) Also has an ice cream shop attached to it that’s very popular! Churn
Wren and Wolf (Dinner) *need reservation
Trophy Room (Speakeasy located within Wren and Wolf) *need reservation
Undertow (Nautical Themed Cocktail Bar) *need reservation
Platform 18 (Themed Cocktail Bar in an old train) *need reservation
Upstairs at Flint (Rooftop Bar) Didn’t go but was on my list!
There are endless, great options to dine / drink in Phoenix, just take your pick!
What to Do
Visit Old Town / Fashion Square
Checkout The Scott Hotel and grab a bite or a drink at the Canal Club. It’s such a gorgeously designed hotel with so much charm. (This is where I wanted to stay but it is pricey! So we opted to just visit for a drink.)
Where to Eat / Drink
Prep & Pastry (Brunch)
Diego Pop (Mexican) We didn’t get to go here but every time we passed by was busy.
Santé (American) Didn’t get to go here but looked good!
Canal Club (Cuban and Cocktails) Great excuse to walk through The Scott Hotel!
There are endless, great options to dine / drink in Scottsdale, just take your pick!
I hope you enjoyed my detailed road trip through Arizona. It’s a must-do for any traveler looking to experience the diversity and beauty of this southwestern state. When you go, be sure to take your time and soak in all that Arizona has to offer. From its diverse and picturesque landscapes to its awe-inspiring natural wonders. Pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an unforgettable trip through the Grand Canyon State!
Check out my Instagram here or Tiktok here for helpful videos and real life experiences of locations I mentioned!
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