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
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
Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon
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!
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.
The majestic beauty and sheer wonder of this canyon
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.
Bearizona Wildlife Park
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
Bearizona was the perfect stop to break up the driving from Flagstaff to The Grand Canyon.
Drury Inn & Suites 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!
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!