Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

woman walking on dirt road

Introduction: Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

I swear to Cher ………… if I ever hear someone who has never visited Arizona in the summer try to justify the blaze by saying, “It’s a dry heat though,” …..I may lose my freakin’ marbles. With sizzlin’ temperatures that make it possible to fry an egg on the pavement, driving a few hours away from the Valley can be a major relief. That’s why I composed a list of the best day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat.

Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat


2-hour drive from Phoenix

Chapel of the Holy Cross - Sedona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Located 115 miles from Phoenix, the breathtaking red rocks and canyons of Sedona offer a perfect silhouette for those seeking a spiritual retreat.

Rumor has it that the tranquil city acts as a vortex – an earthy location that is a swirling center of energy. An energy vortex is thought to create strong spiritual experiences, which explains the high traffic of tourists seeking psychic readings, hiking-yoga meditations, and prayer near the Chapel of the Holy Cross that is built into the red rock.

I spent my 26th birthday in Sedona. Full-disclosure for those looking to get rowdy: the city doesn’t have much of a night life. Almost all of the restaurants close by 9 pm and we couldn’t find bars open past 10 pm. That’s another reason why the city remains so peaceful.

Deck from Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas - Sedona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
View from the deck of Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

We stayed at the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas, and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT. We initially booked that hotel because we were broke gals in our mid-20s but I would book this hotel over and over again on any future trips.

Our pet-friendly room had a private entrance in the front, and in the back was a long deck that overlooked the red rocks.

For excursions, we ended up finding a deal on a helicopter ride through Sedona Air Tours.

Sedona Air Tours

There are a few different rides to choose from, but we went with the basic Bear Wallow Run which featured the well-known red rock formations. The tour was 15 minutes long from start to finish for $109 per person. Sounds like a hefty price for the short amount of time you’re in the air but it was


For those seeking to get active, visit Slide Rock State Park, Devil’s Bridge Trail, or West Fork Trail for some hiking. Spend the late morning/early afternoon sipping a glass of wine while listening to live music at Winery 1912.

Soaking up the view at Winery 1912

Cap off your day by dining at my favorite restaurants: your choice of either Tortas De Fuego Mexican Restaurant or Mariposa Latin Inspired Grille.

Sipping on a birthday margarita at Tortas De Fuego Mexican Restaurant


2-hour drive from Phoenix

Flagstaff - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Stock image from Canva

Home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff is the perfect spot for those looking to cool off.

Grab a beer in downtown Flagstaff, where you can see for yourself the historic charm the city has to offer.

For the adventure seekers, consider hiking through Coconino National Forest or participating in the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course where you can rock climb or zip line. 

There is a common misconception about Arizona that it’s strictly desert terrain, and the Arizona Snowbowl located a few miles north of Flagstaff proves that notion to be false. Located at the top of a volcanic mountain range at 11,500 feet, the ski resort allows visitors to snowboard, ski, grab a bite to eat, and browse the souvenir shops. 


2-hour drive from Phoenix

Stock Image from Canva

Located approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix, the city of Jerome is known as the ghost town of the wild west.

The Jerome State Historic Park will show you the history behind the roaring mining community.

The copper mining industry left the town in 1952, which is when Jerome officially converted into a ghost town. Visit several museums like the Hotel Connor and Spirit Room, the Original Jerome Winery, or Bobby D’s BBQ Pit.


2-hour drive from Phoenix

People often bypass Prescott for other major cities in Arizona, but the small town has so much to offer, including some amazing camping sites.

McCoy and I “glamping” in Prescott

My favorite spots to visit in Prescott include hiking Thumb Butte, visiting Willow Lake, biking the Peavine National Recreational Trail, and grabbing a drink on the historic block called Whiskey Row in downtown.


4-hour drive from Phoenix

Page, Arizona - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
My dog, McCoy, on our hike in Page.

Officially my favorite location in the state, Page, Arizona, offers the most amazing landscape. The city has a population of a mere 7,000 and showcases Navajo culture.

Horseshoe Bend - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon were on my bucket list, so I chose to turn it into a two-day trip. Page isn’t very far from the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell, so you can hit some major historic sites on your way.

Antelope Canyon - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Antelope Canyon

Lake Havasu

3-hour drive from Phoenix

Stock Image from Canva

For a college spring break, I decided to see what Lake Havasu was all about and it did not disappoint. We ended up going wakeboarding and the breathtaking views didn’t let me down. Make sure to visit the London Bridge, the Desert Bar, or take an ATV tour.

Havasupai Falls

4.5-hour drive from Phoenix

Havasupai Falls - Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat
Stock Image from Canva

Located on the south side of the Colorado River and in the Havasupai Reservation, Havasupai Falls is considered by many to be the best hike in Arizona.

According to, Havasupai sells out within 30 minutes of reservations opening up for the year. You can hike or take a helicopter ride in and out of the canyon.

If you are going to hike, you must train for it as it takes 10 miles to get there, and another 10 miles to get back to the parking lot. The aquamarine waters paired with the red canyon backdrop make your long hike well worth it.

Stock Image from Canva

Conclusion: Day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat

If you’re needing a break from the Valley, consider one of these seven, day trips from Phoenix to beat the heat. Whether you live an active lifestyle, are a foodie, or a history buff, every location will have something to offer a diverse population of tourists.

Here’s another article you might like: 8 expenses to cut out for more travel


Published by Trina Thomas

Hi, I'm Trina. Previously a mortgage loan originator, I have been a full-time freelance writer and journalist since 2020. When I'm not scribbling, I love spending time with my Labrador Retriever, McCoy, eating the best cuisine a city has to offer, traveling, cooking, crafting, and all of the other basic bish things you can think of.

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