The cultural community of Sedona is a mecca for art lovers and collectors. Surrounded by the towering red sandstone cliffs of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona’s deep red-rock buttes provide a beautiful backdrop to boutiques and art galleries selling authentic Native American and Southwestern arts and crafts. Visit Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tah-la-key-pock-ee), a shopping village named after a small Mexican town that was once that country’s leading producer of crafts and glassware. While in Sedona, explore the area via an airplane or helicopter tour, a hot-air balloon ride or a jeep tour.
Sedona is a 2-hour drive from Phoenix. Take Interstate 17 north from Phoenix to Junction 179. Exit for Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon and enjoy the pure, breathtaking beauty of the Oak Creek Canyon area.
Prescott, founded after the discovery of gold in 1863, was the first permanent capital of the Arizona Territory. While in Prescott, stop at the Sharlot Hall Museum complex. See the first territorial governor’s mansion, the historic 1857 John C. Fremont House and the restored 100-year-old Bashford House.
Another point of interest is the charming town square, home of the Yavapai County Courthouse. The blocks surrounding the town square are filled with antique shops, restaurants and hotels. But, the most famous section of the square is Whiskey Row, located on Montezuma Street. Whiskey Row got its nickname during the mining days when nothing but saloons occupied the street.
In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889. The fastest route to Prescott from Phoenix is north on the Black Canyon Freeway (Interstate 17) to Cordes Junction,then northwest on State Route 69. Prescott is approximately a two-hour drive from Phoenix.
Day Trip Arizona’s White Mountains, located in the eastern part of the state, offer a variety of attractions in a climate 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. With an elevation of 9,000 feet, summer activities include golfing, camping, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and just relaxing. In winter, the White Mountains become just that — white.
Sunrise Ski Resort offers outstanding ski runs and other winter sports opportunities, including snowmobiling, ice fishing and cross country skiing. Much of the White Mountains area is on Native American land, including the Hon-Dah Casino. Rodeos, cultural festivals and parades are common events in the White Mountains region. The White Mountains area is a four-hour drive from Phoenix with a wide range of accommodations available.
The trail twists through the back of the Superstition Mountains from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Lake and the town of Globe. A portion of the trail is unpaved but can be easily driven by most vehicles. The trail features cliff-sided canyons, sparkling lakes, towering saguaro cacti and a vast array of wildflowers. The ghost town of Goldfield, the Old Western town of Tortilla Flat, the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum, Tonto National Monument and Weavers Needle Lookout are a few interesting points along the trail.
Other scenic stops include The Lost Dutchman State Park and Roosevelt Dam. The Apache Trail is a 4.5 mile round trip from Phoenix. Directions: Leave Phoenix via U.S. 60 east to the Apache Trail. Turn left on AZ Highway 88 to the Apache Trail. After passing Roosevelt Dam and Tonto National Monument,make the return loop to Phoenix via U.S. 60.
Located 282 miles from Phoenix (about a five-hour drive) is Lake Powell. While a bit farther from Phoenix than some destinations, the drive to Lake Powell is well worth the time. The lake is 186 miles long and claims 1,960 miles of shoreline, more than the entire Pacific Coast of the United States. The lake is held back by Glen Canyon Dam, which has enough concrete to build a four-lane highway from Phoenix to Chicago. Water sports of all kinds are popular on the lake — fishing, water skiing, boating, swimming, etc. Although Wahweap Lodge and Marina provide outstanding accommodations with spectacular lake views, adventurous types may opt for a houseboat rental. Houseboats range from 36-foot vessels with basic amenities to 56-foot crafts with everything you’d find at a resort hotel.
Lake Powell is one of the most-popular attractions in the National Park Service system, attracting 3.5 million visitors a year.