Arizona January 16, 2017
Take A One-Day Road Trip To Any Of These 10 Fantastic Arizona Destinations
Another week just started but if you’re already feeling drained and looking forward to the weekend, then you might already be thinking of heading out of town for at least a day. We’re going to make that just a little bit easier for you with a list of some cool places to visit right here in Arizona.
For this list, we’re keeping the destinations simple so that you can take the time to really explore each area. So, fill up your gas tank, charge up your phone, and bring along your favorite travel companion. This is going to be a fun weekend!
Trip 1: Tortilla Flat and Tonto National Monument
For our first trip, we’re taking a look at two popular places that every Arizonan should visit at least once. Why not do it this weekend?
Tortilla Flat is an old ghost town that has turned into a mini destination with reconstructed buildings, beautiful desert views, and some fascinating history. This is also the perfect place to grab a bite to eat!
The next stop is Tonto National Monument, which features even older Arizona history with two ruins that date back several centuries. You can hike to both but be sure to make your reservation in advance if you want a tour of the Upper Cliff Dwelling. You can get more information at the
National Park Service website
Trip 2: Lava River Cave & Bedrock City
Want to catch a glimpse of Arizona's prehistoric past? This first stop to Lava River Cave just north of Flagstaff will introduce you to a time when the area had active volcanoes, which eventually led to the creation of this unique lava tube. You can hike inside, where it never gets warmer than 40 degrees.
Afterwards, check out Flintstone's Bedrock City in Valle for a more romanticized vision of our past and a chance to relive your childhood. While the park has been up for sale for a year and a half now, you can still stop by to visit. Admission costs just $5 and you can visit daily from 7am to sunset.
Trip 3: Fairbank & Tombstone
A chance to see an Arizona ghost town is always a classic way to spend an afternoon but we're doubling that joy with two places in Arizona: an actual ghost town and one that almost became one.
Fairbank dates to 1881 and was a prominent rail stop due to its proximity to mining, mill, and processing towns like Tombstone and Contention City. The town's population peaked within five years but began to decline once Tombstone's mines flooded. It was completely abandoned by the 1970s and you'll find quite a few buildings still standing today.
Just a few miles down the road from Fairbank is Tombstone, one of the more popular “ghost towns,” although it’s not really one. This historic town has quite the reputation and it’s definitely worth the time to visit.
Trip 4: Arcosanti & Eliphante Village
If you’re looking for something a little more unique and artsy to see, then you’ll like this day trip! The first stop is Arcosanti, located near Camp Verde. It's an experimental town designed to work with the desert and to reduce the environmental impact. The town is currently still under construction and a tour with any of the volunteers will give you more insight into the town’s origins. You can visit daily between 9am and 5pm and provide a donation.
This art installation and home in Cornville is little known and quite the sight to see. Designed by artists Michael Kahn and Leda Levant, the structure has a magical, subterranean feel to it. That’s no surprise since the home is composed of items like driftwood, stone, broken pottery, and other recycled materials. Be sure to schedule your visit in advance! You can find details for scheduling a visit at their website,
Trip 5: Mission San Xavier del Bac to Tumacácori
Beauty and history are in no short supply on this day trip! Arizona’s two surviving Spanish missions are perfect for learning more about Arizona’s history during the early stages of European colonization and you’ll get a chance to tour the interiors of these structures.
Mission San Xavier del Bac was founded in 1692, making it one of the oldest European structures within Arizona’s boundaries. The mission is one of the most stunning examples of Spanish colonial architecture and we’re not surprised it’s frequently called our White Dove of the Desert.
Tumacácori is just one year older than San Xavier but time and human interaction has really taken a toll on the mission. A visit and tour here will give you more insight into the mission’s deterioration.
So, these places look pretty awesome and we know how fun each place can be. Let us know where you like to head for a weekend day trip near your home!