My family is planning a vacation for next summer to some of the national parks. We will be flying into Phoenix. Anything that we should do in Phoenix or just move on to Sedona? My in-laws recommended the Heard Museum, though I’m not sure my 9yo would appreciate it. Thanks!
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I don't know what your interests are, but there are things to see in and around Phoenix.
If you like water activities (boating, skiing, fishing) you could go to my birthplace, Bartlett Dam and reservoir northeast of Phoenix.
There is an outstanding outdoor gun range north of the city.
Dillon Precision is in Scottsdale--I think they have tours.
Go here to see what Tripadvisor recommends: https://www.tripadvisor.com/At...Phoenix_Arizona.html.
Here is another take on popular tourist sites in and around Phoenix: https://www.planetware.com/tou.../phoenix-us-az-p.htm.
How far outside the city center are you willing to travel for day trips? The Saguaro Cactus National Monument south of the city is nice. The old town of Jerome is good, but you'd probably go there on your way to Sedona.
You indicate you intend to visit National Parks, but are flying into Phoenix. I presume you intend to rent a car there to continue your vacation. I agree that Sedona should be on your list, and while there I recommend doing one of the Red Jeep tours--I'm sure your kid would love it, and the scenery is outstanding. Grand Canyon, of course. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are good. Glen Canyon and a boat ride on Lake Powell are nice. Grand Tetons National Park--try for a float trip on the Snake River. And, of course, if you're that far north, Yellowstone is a must.
How much time are you going to be away from home? If you get to Utah, there are 5 major National Parks there--I've done Arches and Canyonlands NPs, but eventually want to do the others. I'd recommend the hot-air balloon ride over Arches NP, but I don't think they'd allow your 9yo.
Texan by choice, not accident of birth
If the destination is the Sedona area, don’t waste any time in Phoenix. You will not have near enough time to take in all the cool shut in the Verde Valley. Sedona has a lot of great things to see, and a lot of tourists. There are also a lot awesome places that aren’t in Sedona but are very close.
Breakfast at “The Coffee Pot” restaurant is a must.
If you want to get out off road, I would be happy to lead the way. Rent a jeep, I’ll take you to some pretty fantastic trails, with some incredibly stunning views. The cost of renting a jeep is less than you all taking a Pink Jeep tour, and we can see all the amazing things they’ll show you, and more.
I grew up around here, moved away, and moved back a couple years ago. I’d be happy to be your tour guide for a day.
The “lol” thread
I’m considering a road trip with the family down to Arizona this year. Are the trails a year round thing of something that should be confined to certain months? How “off-road” are they?
Every time I am in Phoenix I go to the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Great food. Stock up on See's Candy too.
barndg00: Please define 'summer' better. What month(s)? We sometimes have 8 months of it here. . And your planned duration in Phx itself?
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My wife and I did a trip to Sedona via Phoenix a year or so ago with my brother and his wife. Two places we really enjoyed were the Musical Instrument Museum and the Desert Botanical Garden. I'm neither a musician nor a gardener but found both places fascinating.
I speak jive.
Scottsdale Gun Club doesn't suck.
Los Dos Molinos at the base of South Mountain is delicious and notoriously spicy, if you're game.
What suits you?
My girls and I really enjoyed the AZ Science Center, the desert botanical gardens and the McCormick-Stillman railroad park in scottsdale. Not sure on covid impacts.
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I like baseball so if I'm in a city with a major or minor league team I try to get tickets to a game.
There are 21 minor league teams in rookie league in Phoenix and its suburbs.
Phoenix also has a major league team, the Diamondbacks.
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DISCLAIMER: These are the author's own personal views and do not represent the views of the author's employer.
The Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa is good. Make reservations ahead if you want a ride in the SNJ or one of their other planes.
“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”--Thomas Sowell
PHX in the summer? Leave. Go north.
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My wife grew up in Phoenix and we visited often (until her parents moved). Summers can be tough. Temps in June are often >110.
Depending on temp when you're there, I'd add these to what to do list
> Desert Botanical Garden - check to see what's in bloom. Wonderful if things are in bloom, ok but not great if things are not in bloom.
> They have a great zoo (if that's of interest)
> If you like hiking and want a challenge - check out Squaw Peak.
> if Native American art and culture are an interest, check out the Heard Museum.
> If you like small (high end) shops, wander through downtown Scottsdale
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Dillon Precision is in Scottsdale too. When I was living there, I got a chance to watch them make the Dillon Aero. Not everyone gets to take a peek at that process though...I had an in with the owner.
If you check the schedules for Ben Avery Cactus League and the USPSA schedule for Rio Salado Gun Club in Mesa, you may be able to meet some of the pros. I used to shoot at both and met many, many of the guys and gals that are prominent ad figures. Maybe even pick their brains a little if you want.
Tombstone is cool if you're already down that way, but honestly not worthy of a trip by itself.
Otherwise, go north.
No thanks, I've already got a penguin.
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Park on Mill Ave in Tempe and climb the butte. Hayden Butte. Dawn is best but midday is fine with lots of sunscreen and water. Twenty minutes up, rest, then off for ice cream.
I've done it in August, 118˚ ... as a younger man.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum W of Tempe on US-60 is nice but get there early. Oak Creek Canyon is a favorite area past Sedona.
My family has enjoyed the White Tank parks as a place to hike and explore.
Wow, so many responses. Thanks! We are going in June, flying into Phoenix, renting a car and heading north for Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Moab/Arches, and flying home from Grand Junction, CO.
Obviously a packed trip and what I really meant was should we take the time for a day in/around Phoenix or head on to Sedona when we arrive. Seems like heading on will be the best option with how packed our trip will be.
June is dry but usually pretty hot. For outdoor activities, if you get out in the morning it will be OK, but around mid day you'll want to move inside until the ball of fire goes below the horizon.
Heading north right away might be the best. I would recommend an alternative route on your way to Sedona, though. The shortest route will be straight up I-17.
Although a longer drive, taking the 'back way' via Wickenburg / Yarnell / Prescott / Jerome / Cottonwood may be more interesting for you and your family. Plenty of stops along the way that are fun and historic, and plenty of scenery from low desert to Ponderosa pine forests to go through. It might add an hour plus to your drive, but would be well worth it.
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Buy a cooler or bring a folding one. Water and ice will save you a bundle bought bulk.
Drive to Tucson and go to the Pima Air & Space Museum. Also the Titan Missile silo museum.
"Sometimes Magic sounds like Tape" -- The Amazing Johnathan
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