While the desert is most-often thought of as a dry, rocky place, Arizona proves that jewels are strewn about the arid landscape for everyone to enjoy. Phoenix itself is a vibrant city that continuously attracts future residents and tourists. One would be foolish not to visit and enjoy the many attractions it has to offer. For those that already live here, it would be equally as foolish not to journey outside the city’s limits and explore the must-see northern Arizona cities.
As fall changes to winter, the time for enjoying the outdoors in Phoenix is approaching. That said, a winter in Phoenix is not like winter in many other states – or even northern Arizona cities. Arizona’s vast landscape offers an opportunity for skiing, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and holiday activities. To help with your choice of travel plans, here is a detailed list of must-see northern Arizona cities to visit if you live in Phoenix.
Explore in Flagstaff
Surrounded by lush forests, dry desert, and towering mountains, this city has something for everyone. To kick things off, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can summit Arizona’s highest peak, Humphrey’s Peak. Not only will enjoy glorious and beautiful views when you reach the summit, but you will also feel a rush of pride and satisfaction in completing the feat.
When you’ve finished with your day-time excursion, hit the town for some much-need fun. The largest of the three cities on this list, Flagstaff will provide the most options for nightlife enjoyment. The Alpine Pedaler is the best way to pub crawler in the city, and you will certainly not be disappointed.
Though the attractions are enough to motivate a weekend of travel, traffic can be a challenge headed north on Interstate 17. You can fly or take a train, but even amongst weekend drivers, it’s fastest to load up the car. This way, you will be able to thoroughly take in the gorgeous landscape of the state.
Hike in Sedona
The arts community in the lovely city of Sedona is alive and well, but you will get a breath of life breathed into you as well from the simply stunning natural setting it is situated in. Surrounded by steep canyons and red rocks, there isn’t a more relaxing place to settle for the weekend.
You will have numerous choices if you feel the need to get outdoors and hike, but the most rewarding is the Hopi Indian Reservation tour. The city is also known for its excellent spas and resorts, which will be perfect to massage sore muscles after hiking in the canyons all day.
When you feel sufficiently rejuvenated, head downtown for some fantastic wine selections. Take a tour of the many wineries in the area or stop into The Art of Wine to make a quick trip of it. If you’re looking to return to Phoenix with some food of your own, hit the Farmer’s Market to support local business. Again, though you can easily reach the town by way of bus or train, a trip by car is both the cheapest and most rewarding. In fact, if an SUV is an option, there are many roads where a four-wheel drive car might be helpful in this area.
Wine and Dine in Cottonwood
For the avid wine consumers out there, Cottonwood is a dream city. The city is alight with numerous renowned wineries, and you can easily visit many of them with a tour, or stop into individual establishments like Fire Mountain, or Winery 101 for a more personal experience.
As for outdoor activities, you really cannot go wrong here. Enjoy horseback riding, take a kayak trip down a river, and even skydive for the first time over the beautiful Arizona landscape. If you wish to enjoy the sights in a more relaxing way, however, hit the rails with Verde Canyon Railroad, and take a train ride across the canyons. When you go out for the night, you will be splendidly delighted with the historic downtown of the city. Cottonwood has many popular breweries and restaurants for you to enjoy. Though the fastest way to travel to Cottonwood would be by car, a ride on the train might serve you best in this case. It will surely give you an authentic feel when the train rolls in, and you see the historic, western-style downtown area awaiting you.
Whichever city you choose to visit, you will be delighted and fulfilled in your desire to get away for a while. If you have the time and are already planning on traveling, why not plan a road trip to visit all three? Enjoy the adventurous outdoors or settle into a nice relaxing stay with wine. Get out and enjoy Northern Arizona as soon as possible!