Fly to Phoenix-Mesa, pick up your hire car and drive to the desert oasis that is Scottsdale for a three night stay.
Three nights: The Scott Resort & Spa or similar
Days 2 to 3
Scottsdale is best known for its luxury spas, 200+ golf courses, endless shopping opportunities and the old western theme in Old Town, so you’ll be spoilt for choice on how to spend your time in this vibrant location.
The heart of Scottsdale is its Old Town, made up of nine walkable neighbourhoods combining Old West charm with urban chic. It is made up of a unique collection of shops, restaurants and art galleries, alongside well as public art installations, world-class museums and historic sites from the late 1880s.
You might also want to pick up one of the many trails to explore the Sonoran Desert – there are 230 miles of trails through Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, so pick your route and discover the iconic Saguaro cacti that are hundreds of years old, stunning mountain and valley views, plus flora and fauna of this fascinating region.
Scottsdale is also a haven for foodies, with quirky things for you to sample including a prickly pear margarita or a cactus taco. There are watering holes and eateries to suit all palates and budgets, ranging from cool cocktails to sports bars and hipster cafes to relaxed restaurants, where you can unwind after a day exploring.
Scottsdale – Flagstaff (154 miles)
Today it’s time to hit the road and head north through Arizona to the fun city of Flagstaff. En route you there are plenty of places to stop to admire the view, have a refreshments break and stretch your legs. A couple of suggestions include Frontier Town and Pioneer Arizona – two living museums featuring costumed actors, and the Black Canyon Heritage Park. Arrive in Flagstaff in it’s amazing location surrounded by mountains, desert and ponderosa pine forests, and check into your hotel for a three night stay.
Three nights: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Flagstaff or similar
A day to enjoy Flagstaff and its surrounds. Again you’ll be spoilt for choice for your activities in this location, whether it’s hiking a scenic trail or simply relaxing on one a terrace enjoying the local brew. You can drive a section of historic Route 66 and you will see plenty of opportunities to pull over and snap a photo of the Route 66 road sign.
You could also explore the Native American pueblo sites of the Wupatki National Monument, and the cliff dwellings of the Walnut Canyon National Monument.
When night falls, another attraction of the city is revealed - In 2001 Flagstaff was named the world’s first International Dark Sky City, and the Lowell Observatory is well worth a visit to stargaze through one of the telescopes and learn all about the cosmos. Flagstaff has a unique history in space travel, with every astronaut who has walked on the moon training in this location.
The Grand Canyon
A day to treasure, visiting the breath-taking Grand Canyon. It’s about an hour and a half drive to Grand Canyon Visitor Centre, but if it’s the summer months then we advise you to have an early start to miss the crowds. Park up your car and take the short walk to Mather Point for your very first view of Grand Canyon, and then from Mather Point, continue walking by turning either east of west along the Canyon Rim Trail. Take plenty of water with you and prepare to be awestruck!
Flagstaff – Sedona (29 miles)
It’s just a short hop today, so take it easy after all the excitement of yesterday, and pootle down the road to the lovely city of Sedona where you will check into your hotel for the final two nights of your holiday.
Two nights: The Wilde Resort & Spa or similar
A day to enjoy the attractions of Sedona. One of the iconic sights is Cathedral Rock, and you’ll find a few great viewpoints to get some great images for your photo album. Eating and drinking is a way of life in Sedona, and you'll find any number of wine rooms and craft breweries where you can sample the local beverages and produce. To walk this off you might want to stroll Sedona's numerous art galleries as you journey along Red Rock Scenic Byway from bottom to top. You'll find local photography, sculptures, paintings along the way. Or for those who prefer a more relaxing pace, a trolley tour is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. This 55-minute ride will take you on a leisurely jaunt through town so you can get your bearings and learn more about Sedona, photo stops included. Our final suggestion is to spend an hour or so discovering the past at Sedona Heritage Museum, with exhibits on its pioneering and movie-magic past.
Sedona to Phoenix-Mesa Airport (151 miles)
You can extend your holiday to travel up to Monument Valley (you’d slot this in after the Grand Canyon) or enjoy a few more days to experience more of the attractions of Scottsdale. Otherwise, today drive south to Phoenix, drop off your hire car and fly home.