There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips throughout Arizona. One day-trip destination that never fails to wow visitors is Sedona, which is renowned for being one of the most scenic regions in the country.
Sedona is a red-rock playground where romantic weekends are perfected and photographers' dreams come true. Picturesque spas offer healing and restorative therapies, and off-road tours deliver adrenaline-inducing adventure. Sedona is also a place where families can make lifelong memories and shoppers can discover that perfect Southwestern gift.
We asked our friends at Visit Sedona to share a few of their favorite things to do in this beautiful city, and they put together the following list of can't-miss activities:
Top 10 Things to do in Sedona
1. Hike, with more than 200 trails to choose from.
2. Shop at more than 80 galleries, boutiques and stores.
3. Take a trolley tour.
Though many love to visit and live in Greater Phoenix because of the dry, scenic desert, an escape to a watery oasis can be a perfect summertime getaway. Phoenix has a number of lakes just a short drive away and they all provide something fun for both thrill-seekers and those seeking to relax.
Located in the northwest Valley about 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is always bustling with a variety of water sports and outdoor enthusiasts. The 10,000-acre lake is enjoyed by windsurfers, boaters, sailors, water and jet skiers, and fishermen. Lake Pleasant Regional Park also offers camping and trails for mountain biking and hiking.
Located in the scenic Tonto National Forest and surrounded by towering canyon walls and Four Peaks in the distance, Saguaro Lake is a beautiful spot for spending a day on the boat. Located 40 miles east of Downtown Phoenix, Saguaro Lake is a great place for both thrill-seeking water-skiers and wakeboarders or those seeking a relaxing day of fishing or just hanging out on a sailboat. Leave the captaining to someone else and take a guided tour of the lake on the Desert Belle paddle boat.
Canyon Lake is located 50 miles east of Phoenix in the Superstition Wilderness of Tonto National Forest. Like other lakes in the region, the 950-acre lake is a great place for a variety of watersports in addition to camping and hiking. Boat rentals are available and the lake has a popular day-use campground with a large grass area, shady ramadas and a swimming-only section of the lake. The day-use area fills up fast so reservations are recommended.
Apache Lake is another of the series of lakes located in the Tonto National Forest and is known for its boating, trout fishing and the scenic canyon walls that surround parts of the lake. Boat rentals are available and for those looking to enjoy the wilderness without roughing it, Apache Lake has a motel and restaurant.
Roosevelt Lake is about 80 miles northeast of Phoenix and is the largest of the lakes just outside the Greater Phoenix region. Like other lakes in the region, Roosevelt Lake provides plenty of space for a variety of watersports and boating activity, but also has over 110 miles of shoreline and a number of peaceful coves for those wishing to escape to a quieter spot to spend their day.
Bartlett Lake is just 45 miles from downtown Phoenix and is the second-largest lake in the Tonto National Forest. If you don’t have your own boat or are looking for a different lake experience, Bartlett Lake Marina has a house boat available for day and weekend rentals and a top deck party boat that accommodates up to 25 revelers.
Spring might be the best time to visit Phoenix. Here are our top 10 reasons why.
- The average high temperature is 70 degrees (21 Celsius) in February, 75 degrees (24 C) in March, and 83 degrees (28 C) in April.
- Cactus League Spring Training has games scheduled every day in March
- A daytrip to the Grand Canyon won’t include summer crowds.
- Resort swimming pools.
- Blooming cactuses and wildflowers reveal why the Sonoran Desert is among the lushest deserts in the world.
- It’s food-festival season. Taste the best of Phoenix at events like the Devoured Culinary Classic.
- River sports. Spring is the prime season for kayaking, canyoneering and paddle boarding.
- Dining outdoors. One dinner under the springtime sun or stars, and you’ll understand why so many of Phoenix’s restaurants have patios.
- Golf. Phoenix’s signature desert courses are in pristine condition.
- The lack of April showers. It rains about an inch all spring, so don’t bother packing your umbrella.
When you think about Arizona, wine might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, over the past few years Arizona wines having been getting more and more attention. Leading Arizona wine makers such as Arizona Stronghold and Pillsbury Wine Company have been making strides in getting Arizona wines on the map. In fact, today there are a dozen vineyards and more than 60 wineries located throughout the state. The best part? Many are just a day trip away from Phoenix.
The most concentrated area of wineries in Arizona is located just an hour and a half North of Phoenix in the Verde Valley. Enjoy a day of tasting wines in the picturesque red rocks and canyons that surround Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona, Clarkdale and Cornville.
Wineries and Tasting Rooms in Northern Arizona
Granite Creek Vineyards 2515 Road 1 East, Chino Valley (928) 636-2003
Jerome Winery 403 Clark Street, Jerome (928) 639-9067
Caduceus Cellars 158 Main Street, Jerome (928) 639-WINE
Bitter Creek Winery 240 Hull Street, Jerome (928) 634-7033
Wine Cellar featuring Dionysian Cellars 1029 N. Main Street, Cottonwood (928) 649-0444
Arizona Stronghold 1023 N. Main Street, Cottonwood (928) 649-0444
Pillsbury Wine Company North 1012 N. Main Street, Cottonwood (928) 639-0646
Alcantara Vineyard & Winery 7500 Alcantara Way, Verde Valley (928) 649-8463
Page Springs Cellars 1500 Page Springs Road, Cornville (928) 639-3004
Oak Creek Vineyards 1555 Page Springs Road, Cornville (928) 649-0290
Javelina Leap Vineyard 1565 Page Springs Road, Cornville (928) 649-2681
Art of Wine/Sycamore Canyon 101 N. Hwy 89A/#B-9 Sedona (877) 903-WINE
Juniper Well Ranch 10080 W. Tough Country Trail, Skull Valley (928) 442-3415
The Sonoita/Elgin area is a beautiful area of Arizona surrounded by national forest about two and a half hours south of Phoenix.
Wineries and Tasting Rooms in Sonoita/Elgin
Charron Vineyards 18585 South Sonoita Hwy, Vail (520) 762-8585
Dos Cabezas WineWorks 3248 Hwy 82, Sonoita (520) 455-5141
Hops & Vines 3450 Hwy 82, Sonoita (520) 955-4249
Wilhelm Family Vineyards 21 Mountain Ranch Drive, Elgin (520) 455-9291
Rancho Rossa Vineyards 32 Cattle Ranch Lane, Elgin (520) 455-0700
Callaghan Vineyards 336 Elgin Road, Elgin (520) 455-5322
Canelo Hills Winery 342 Elgin Road, Elgin (520) 455-5499
Kief-Joshua Vineyard 370 Elgin Road, Elgin (520) 455-4482
Sonoita Vineyards 290 Elgin Canelo Road, Elgin (520) 455-5893
Lightning Ridge Cellars 2368 Hwy 83, Elgin (520) 455-5383
In the far southeast corner of Arizona, just about three hours from Phoenix, you’ll find Willcox, an agricultural area known for apples and autumnal corn mazes — and now wine.
Wineries and Tasting Rooms in Willcox
Keeling Schaefer Tasting Room 154 N. Railroad Avenue, Willcox (520) 766-0600
Carlson Creek Tasting Room 115 Railview Avenue, Willcox (520) 766-3000
Coronado Vineyards 2909 E. Country Club Drive, Willcox (520) 384-2993
Zarpara Vineyard 6777 S. Zarpara Lane, Willcox (602) 885-8903