Planning a Quick Family Trip to Arizona: Phoenix, Sedona & the Grand Canyon!

Photo by Anthony Melone on Unsplash

Jack has a random 4-day weekend off of school, which obviously means we need to take advantage of it and go somewhere fun! My only criteria on choosing a place was: “warmer than Maryland” and “never been there before.” So, boom… Arizona it is!

I booked our airfare, hotel, VRBO and have a vague outline of what we are doing, but I’d love some feedback if you’ve been to Arizona!

Here is our current plan:

Day 1: Fly to Phoenix. Stay in Phoenix for the day and explore.

On our plan: We will be arriving in Phoenix, picking up our rental car (booked by Travis because he cares what car we drive more than I do), and staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale that evening.

Possible things to do that day:

  • Eat. We need breakfast, lunch and dinner in the area.
  • Explore Historic Downtown Scottsdale
  • Explore Old Town
  • Hiking/Sightseeing – open to suggestions for an easy hike with beautiful views

Day 2: Drive to Sedona and explore.

On our plan: We will be checking out of our hotel after breakfast and then hitting the road for Sedona. It is about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive but it is very likely we will make stops along the way. We will be checking into our VRBO and staying there for the next 2 nights. It has a HOT TUB!!

Possible things to do that day:

  • Eat. Lunch, dinner and all the snacks.
  • Tomb Natural Bridge is said to be a good stopping point while driving. State Park entry is $7 per adult and there are hiking trails.
  • Possible hike: Devils Bridge. It is a popular trail that is said to be easy enough for most skill sets. It is 2.1 miles one way, or 4.2 miles round-trip.
  • Tlaquepasque Arts & Shopping Center is supposed to be super cool with locally owned shops.
  • Airport Mesa Viewpoint is said to be a great place to watch the sunset.

Day 3: Drive to Grand Canyon and explore

On our plan: We will be heading out to the Grand Canyon after breakfast and spending the day there. The drive takes about 2 hours each way. After a day at the Grand Canyon and the surrounding areas, we will return to our VRBO in Sedona for a second night.

Possible things to do that day:

  • Eat. Breakfast in Sedona, lunch somewhere in between, and dinner somewhere.
  • Flagstaff is about halfway between Sedona and the Grand Canyon, so it can be a great place to stop to stretch your legs and eat.
  • Only the South Rim is open in the winter due to snow. Grand Canyon permit fee is $35 per car.
  • There are various tours to take, ‘hop on and off’ buses… I need to research and could use some recommendations!

Day 4: Head back to Phoenix and come home

On our plan: We will wake up, have breakfast and pack up. Then we will drive back to Phoenix (about 3 hours), turn in our rental car, eat some lunch and hop on a plane to come home.

We have a quick stopover on our way home, and also will be getting in super late. So, I’m planning to try to just pack carry-on luggage so that if we are delayed or cancelled, we can just find a hotel and try again later.

I can’t wait! If you have any recommendations for places we shouldn’t miss – whether it be food options, hikes, stores, or views – let me know!

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One thought on “Planning a Quick Family Trip to Arizona: Phoenix, Sedona & the Grand Canyon!”

  1. Perfect timing – we were just talking about this exact same trip for spring break! Thinking of flying into Phoenix and out of Vegas, though…we’ll see! Have a great time – can’t wait to read all about it!

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