Arizona

I have heard many great things about Sedona, so we decided to explore the town and stay overnight. You could easily take a day trip to and from Flagstaff if you wanted. On the main street in the downtown area there were many places to explore, such as charming shops, restaurants, and the visitor center which featured different tour companies. We strolled up and down the streets but couldn’t leave without adding a new stuffed animal to the boys’ collection to remember Arizona! I also picked out a Christmas ornament, which is my favorite kind of souvenir to remember our trips together.

What We Did

Red Rock Magic Trolley

In Sedona, we took the Red Rock Magic Trolley, which is a great way to see all the red rock formations and to get acquainted with the downtown area. It’s also a super relaxing ride and they even give out cookies halfway through the tour (the boys favorite part)!

In the area there are also multiple hikes you can do. I recommend the Courthouse Vista Trailhead for kids. Although the city is famous for the Devil’s Bridge, I decided not to take the boys on this one due to the complexity of the hike but I’m dying to check this hike off my bucket list.  Another unique site in Sedona is the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  

Pink Jeep Tours

A Pink Jeep Tour was a must for Sedona. This turned out to be Logan, Mason, and Grandma’s favorite part of our trip! Our driver Sean was a fantastic tour guide, taking pictures of us and giving us lots of interesting information about the area. The tour took us off-roading down the gulch in a bright pink open jeep. Because it was a little chilly that day, they even provided us with blankets.

Sedona Airport Overlook

Our tour guide also told us that for amazing views and photo opportunities that we should drive up Airport Road. I would highly recommend this. They also have an overlook where you can pay $3 to get an ariel view. There’s even a restaurant if you want dinner with a view.

Where We Stayed

While in town, we booked an Air B&B and stayed right on the main strip at Sedona Uptown Suites. It was the perfect size and location for all of us, and was clean and updated with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Where We Ate

While you’re in town, I recommend grabbing a healthy lunch at Wildflower. They have tons of yummy choices to pick from. Or if you’re looking for a unique pitstop, give the famous Cowboy Club a try. They have grilled rattlesnake and cactus fries! If you still have room for dessert, indulge your sweet tooth at Sabrina’s ice cream.

Don’t miss our Phoenix and Flagstaff posts too. Have you been to Arizona? What’s your favorite part?

Flagstaff is a great place to stay in Arizona if you want to visit iconic attractions such as the Grand Canyon!

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Out of Africa

On the road trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff, we stopped at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde.

This park has a lot of exhibits and shows you can check out, but the African Bush Safari is a must-see! Visitors get to ride in a large open window bus where you can see tons of different kinds of animals, such as zebras and giraffes, roaming around.

They also have walking areas and free trams that go through the park where you can check out the exhibits. My boys love to see animals, so this place was a perfect stop on our way to Flagstaff.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Another potential stop at the same exit is the Montezuma Castle National Monument. It is an 800 year old building made of limestone, and it is the best preserved cliff dwelling in North America.

Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon

Horse Shoe Bend

As a homebase during this portion of the trip, we stayed at the Flagstaff Drury Inn and Suites. From there, day trips to Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon were an easy feat. Horseshoe Bend is an absolutely stunning view where the Colorado River bends into a horseshoe shape. There, they are currently building a parking lot for future travelers to park and walk to the bend, but in the meantime, we parked a distance away and a bus dropped us off. From there we walked half a mile over some sandy and rocky terrain where the best pictures can be snapped of the Bend.

*Mom Tip: If your kids are brave like mine, I’d keep tight reins on them or avoid this place. The rail for safety is pretty tiny. My heart was racing the whole time, worrying that my boys might get too close!

After we saw the Horseshoe Bend, we visited the Antelope Canyon. I cannot recommend enough Dixie’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. Our tour guide Raymond was phenomenal. He showed us all the good photo opps and even helped us set the camera to get the best shots.  We even got to see a velociraptor footprint at the end of the tour!

Lower Antelope canyon
Lower Antelope canyon

I’d recommend having reservations before you visit this canyon. We drove from Flagstaff, so I was devastated when I was turned away by some other tour companies. In addition, some other tour companies may not be the best pick for you and your family, so do some research before paying a visit. Upper canyon tours end early and don’t get as much light. Others don’t take cash or do not allow children.

From the office of the tour company, you can walk to the canyon and weave in and out of all the amazing rock formations. There were steps and ladders getting in and out of some places, but my boys didn’t have a problem.

Lower Antelope canyon
Lower Antelope canyon
Lower Antelope canyon
Lower Antelope canyon

The majestic beauty and sheer wonder of this canyon is indescribable. I have never seen anything like it! Mason and Logan loved the canyon as well, even pretending to be little Indiana Jones. Definitely make a visit to Antelope Canyon if you’re planning a trip to Arizona.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

From Flagstaff you can also take a day trip to The South Rim of The Grand Canyon, which speaks for itself and can’t be missed if you’re in the state. The spectacular geology will take your breath away, not to mention make for some pretty amazing photo ops. This was my third time to the Grand Canyon, and it is absolutely amazing.

The grand canyon

Once you are in the park there is a visitors center that can guide you to what you’d like to see. We opted to ride the shuttle around the park and hop on and off to eat lunch and check out different areas. We saw lots of wildlife eating alongside the road too. There are several hikes, biking, shopping and eating options.

The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

Bearizona Wildlife Park

Bearizona

Another place we checked out on our way to the Grand Canyon was Bearizona Wildlife Park, which has wolves, birds of prey, barnyard animals, bison, and you guessed it, bears. They have an area where you can walk to see smaller critters, an area that you can drive through in your car, and a bus ride with open windows that goes through the bear area. They also have shows such as the birds of prey show. If you and your family love animals as much as we do, this place is definitely worth checking out.

Bearizona was the perfect stop to break up the driving from Flagstaff to The Grand Canyon.

Bearizona

Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff

Drury Flagstaff

We stayed at Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff, located in the quaint downtown area of Flagstaff, which had tons of shops and restaurants to explore all within blocks of our hotel. Our room was a super cute double queen suite, that had a stunning view from the balcony of the San Francisco mountain peak. We absolutely loved staying in Flagstaff! This Drury was one of our favorites. The best part is we know what to expect when we are at a Drury hotel. Amazing locations, suite options for family space, free breakfast, free kickback hour (3 free drinks per parent), snacks, popcorn, a pool, laundry, Wi-fi, and friendly staff. I have not found this at other hotel chains so consistently!

Drury breakfast

Our next stop is Sedona, AZ. If you missed Phoenix, check it out here. Have you been to Arizona before with kids? If so, tell me what your family loved?

Click here to check out my other posts from Arizona!

Fun in the Valley of the Sun! We headed out west for some outdoor fun on Spring Break. When we first arrived in Arizona, we stayed in Phoenix for a few days.

Lost Dutchman State Park

While we were in Phoenix, our goal was to be outside as much as possible. First on the list was the Lost Dutchman State Park. My boys and I love hiking. The Superstition Mountains were highly recommended for having scenic views and being kid-friendly. There is an entrance fee of $7 and a map is provided upon arrival. The park has many hiking trails that cut through the spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert landscape. We decided on the Treasure Loop Trail, but it was more challenging and advanced than we had expected.

Take a pic of map

Logan’s tip: When hiking, take a photo on your phone of the map. I cannot tell you how many times we had to reference it. The last thing you want is to get off on the wrong trail with little hikers.

Suspicious mountains
Logan photos

Mom’s tip: Remember to always bring a First Aid Kit when you’re hiking with kids! Both of my boys wiped out on this trail. Thank goodness for the good Samaritans we met along the way. Also, be sure to bring plenty of snacks and water. Don’t forget sunscreen! All that being said, the trail was very beautiful and provided great views of the scenic Superstition Mountains.

Suspicious Mountains

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost town
Goldfield Ghost town

We also visited the Goldfield Ghost Town, which is just minutes from the
Superstition Mountains. Built in 1893, this old mining town is a must destination for any kids interested in westerns. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants to explore, including a museum and a train ride. In its hay day, the town had three saloons, a brewery, a general store, a blacksmith, a boarding house, a school, and a meat market. Visitors can get a feel of what life was like in a boomtown in the wild west. Another fun thing this destination features is a live reenactment of gun fights, just like an old Western.

Desert Breeze Park

In Chandler, we visited Desert Breeze Park, which was near our Drury Hotel. This park has a lake with ducks, bathrooms, picnic tables, shaded pavilions, a huge playground, and even a little train that goes around the park that you can purchase tickets for. The kids had tons of fun running around here, getting all of their energy out. It was a great last stop.

Other Recommendations in the Phoenix Area

A couple of other places that were highly recommended in the Phoenix area that we didn’t get to visit were:

  • Odysea Aquarium
  • The Cactus League – If you are a baseball fan, you may want to check out spring training baseball games. We met tons of families checking out their favorite teams at spring training.

Drury Inn & Suites

Drury Chandler AZ

When we were in Phoenix, we stayed at Drury Inn & Suites in a friendly suburb in Chandler. As always, they have all the perks we are looking for when traveling with the family and looking to maximize our vacation budget. Free, hot, delicious breakfast before setting out every morning is a great bonus that they provide. They have pretty much every breakfast item under the sun, but Mason’s favorite is by far the lucky charms and powdered donuts!

Drury breakfast

They also offer the crowd pleaser Kickback Hour every night from 5:30 to 7 PM, which includes three free drinks for adults and tons of snacks, such as hot dogs, nachos, tacos, and more. For my family, the snacks are more like a meal and provide a cheap but tasty alternative to going out to a restaurant every night for dinner.

The hotel also has free Wi-Fi for all of your vacation needs, like downloading movies or audiobooks for the plane ride. Plus, their suites are the perfect way for my family to travel because you can close the doors of the separate bedrooms when it’s time for the kids’ bedtime.

Our next stop is Flagstaff, my personal favorite of the trip.  Stay tuned!