ARIZONA to VEGAS - GUIDE AND ITINERARY FOR A BREATHTAKING SOUTHEAST ROAD TRIP

6:17 PM

 Hey friends! I'm so excited for this blog post. Below I'll be outlining all of the details and the itinerary from my recent road trip through Arizona into Las Vegas, Nevada. You will see I have an Intro, Planning Tips, and Our Itinerary.  *Disclaimer: I am no travel agent or expert and there were several other places that we would have added if there was more time (some of which I'll also share below); I'm simply sharing our personal trip and the amazing scenery and experiences we got to share, in hopes that it can help others heading to the area!   

To start: Whether in South Jersey, or in Pennsylvania on the outside of the city - I've lived in the Greater Philadelphia area my entire life. I've seen my fair share of mountains, sunsets, etc. but I had never seen an Arizona sunset (yes, they are different), or a desert in general. When our Europe trip was canceled in April due to Covid, I went quite a while without thinking about travel at all. Eventually I began thinking of places within the country that my boyfriend and I could road trip through and be pretty isolated from others. Arizona was the first to come to my mind. I had always seen scenic pictures of the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe bend, Sedona, etc. online and was always in awe at their beauty. Get this - the pictures don't even do any justice!! I truly enjoyed every single place that we went; even the drives between each destination, down long roads in the middle of the desert were so pleasing and beautiful. Four hours felt more like thirty minutes. To top it all off, I got engaged and became a fiance on the first full day of the trip! So needless to say it was an absolute blast and I couldn't wait to share with you all once I got home and got my life together... which took a bit longer than expected, sorry!

Planning Ahead: When we decided we wanted to explore Arizona, I first began to research. That's definitely the first step and might be why you are here. I looked up "places to see in Arizona" "Arizona road trip" and all that touristy stuff to try to compile some places and then see what the distances between them were. I highly recommend doing that so you have an idea of the places you want to see. There are also several places in AZ to fly into (Phoenix, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, etc.) and that helps determine what order you should visit places. We knew that we would fly into Phoenix, because the prices looked the cheapest lol *shrugs*. So we knew we'd explore Phoenix, and we also wanted to see Sedona, Page (Antelope Canyons, Lake Powell, Horseshoe bend) and the Grand Canyon. We also wanted to have at least one night in Las Vegas since we had never been, so gathering an idea of what we wanted to see helped build the itinerary. First step is to definitely figuring out which airport you plan to fly into whether any of the Arizona ones, or Las Vegas. Then, determine your personal must-sees and figure out geographically what order you should do that in. Once you do that, you can see if anything fits in between or if there's anything outside of that you would like to do and have time for. I do wish that we had gotten to Utah because it was only about 2 hours from Page, AZ but we didn't want to overwhelm ourselves and figured we'd be back again! We left on a Monday and flew home early Saturday morning. However, if you do have the time I'd definitely make your way to Utah and check out Mt. Zion.

A few other tips, if you're flying in we use the Hopper app to monitor flights so we know when the best time to book is. Once the flight was booked, I researched rental car sites because I knew we'd get our car after landing for the duration of the trip. I looked on Auto Rentals to compare car prices for the dates/airports that I needed and Alamo had the best prices during the time we were going. I really liked that the price you see online is the set cost and nothing changes, which did hold true. The customer service rep did ask if we wanted to upgrade to a larger or luxury car for a bit more and we kindly declined. Once we got to the garage, we got to pick between several cars (some actually ended up being luxury) and all were perfect size for all of our luggage - I definitely recommend going with a compact car if it's going to be 2 people, unless you really like jeeps, trucks, etc. Our car got us everywhere we needed to go each day and once we got to Las Vegas (our last stop) we actually returned the car the night before we flew home, and just pre-ordered an Uber to the airport the next morning since the flight was so early. I also recommend doing this is if you're staying fairly close to the airport and leaving earlier in the day because you are charged per day for the rental car. 

Note: We stayed at Air BnBs the entire time, except for the lodge we stayed at in the Grand Canyon, and I'm so glad we did! If you have never used Air BnB, click here to SAVE $65 off a qualified booking!

Now The Fun Part: Below is our exact itinerary that worked amazingly for us. I hope this can help some of you headed to the area! I also listed additional recommendations/suggestions beyond what we were able to do. 

 OUR COMPLETE ITINERARY: 

DAY 1 - PHOENIX, AZ

  • Flew from Philadelphia > Phoenix (arrived around 2 pm - keep in mind AZ is 2 hours behind)
  • Landed and picked up our rental car from the airport + headed to our Phoenix Air Bnb
  • Grabbed few groceries, case of water, etc. for the week (not necessary but we did lol) 
  • Lunch from In-N-Out Burger , obviously lol!
  • Got dinner & drinks at Majerle's Sports Grill . If you're looking to watch a sports game it's not bad. My fiance wanted to catch a football game, but if you are going for food choose somewhere else :) 



                                         

DAY 2 - PHOENIX, AZ  > SEDONA, AZ  [about 2 hrs.]

  • Caught sunrise at Lookout Mountain Preserve (pictured above)
  • Grabbed breakfast at The Original Breakfast house
  • Coffee Run: Dutch Bros Coffee (I told them it was my first time there and I got one on the house! So good if you're a coffee lover and such friendly customer service)
  • We had a sunset air balloon ride planned for 3-7 pm which is why we stayed in Phoenix, but was canceled due to heat (Tip: I'd recommend booking sunrise to be safe)
    • Instead we went to Desert Botanical Garden and that is where I was unexpectedly proposed to! It was beautiful; there are different paths to walk around and a little restuarant with food and drinks on site
  • Drove to Sedona, AZ + Arrived at AirBnB
  • We were exhausted so we didn't go into the town to eat; just sipped wine and ate snacks we already had by the fire we made, which was so relaxing. Several places I looked up had fire pits available. Nice touch to a perfect day!

DAY 3- SEDONA, AZ > PAGE, AZ [about 2 hrs. 45 mins]
  • We woke up and left around 7 AM (we were still stuck on Eastern time so we typically woke up early & went to bed at a decent time) and drove to hike at Devil's bridge trail . Devil's Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area so if you're down to get active I recommend! 
    • make sure to stop and see the blue McDonald's arch (only in the world) on your drive to or from!
  • Ate lunch at Sound Bites Grill (make sure to eat on the deck outside for an amazing view; you are eating right next to the mountains!) 
  • Walked our food off at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
  • Drove to Page, AZ 
    • headed straight to Horseshoe Bend once we got there, right before sunset (Page is super small town so everything is in same general area for the most part). This is a beautiful landmark to see in Page!
  • Checked into our Page AirBnB and ordered take out from El Tapatio mexican restaurant
      
  

   DAY 4- PAGE, AZ  >  GRAND CANYON, AZ [about 2 hrs. 30 mins]

  • Headed to our Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon tour which was breathtaking. 
    • Due to Covid, large boat tours were canceled; the only way to get to the canyons were by kayak. Kayaking through the crystal clear lake and canyons was magical. I was glad we kayaked as opposed to a boat tour. 
  • Grabbed quick lunch and festive beer at The Bird House (we STILL rave about those Honey butter tenders! We didn't want a large meal because we were going to have dinner in Flagstaff which is about 2 hrs 15 mins from The Bird House) 
  • Once we got to Flagstaff, we walked around a bit and then went to the Lumberyard Brewery, where we each got a flight and a bite. If you like to try different beers it's nice, but the food was pretty basic - nothing special.
  • After dinner, we made our way to Grand Canyon area to Red Feather lodge. I was a little skeptical because I'm not really a hotel person. However, we checked right in and had no problems with our hotel room; the beds were actually nice and comfy. There's very limited Air bnbs in the area and this was super affordable and close to the National Park.
    •     * If you have time, I'd recommend traveling about 2 hours from Page , AZ to Monument Valley before making your way to The Grand Canyon. That's another great sight that I wish we got to see!

   

 GRAND CANYON, AZ  > LAS VEGAS, NV [about 4 hrs. 25 mins]

  • We woke up and headed straight to The Grand Canyon South Rim
    • This requires some research because aside from having different rims, there's also many different points. We decided on Yavapai and Mather point, both beautiful and easy to get to the lookout. If we had more time, we would have done more. 
  • We then made our way to Vegas baby!
    • We made sure to check out Route 66 along the way and stopped at Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner for lunch. Our waitress was the best and the burgers and homemade root beer were both great! 
  • We went to Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas before heading to our place of stay.
  • We arrived to our Las Vegas Air Bnb and relaxed for a bit before returned our rental car to the airport and Ubered back to take on The Strip, which was walking distance from our place! 
    • Of course had to get a nice big drink from Fat Tuesday :)
    • ** We were trying to make it to Las Vegas with time to relax, pack up and pop some champagne ;) to end off the trip before we went out, BUT if you have time I've heard and read that Bearizona is a cool place to drive and see bear, etc. and is on the way from Grand Canyon to Vegas. I also recommend stopping at Hoover Dam on the way to Vegas, you will pass it as you're driving.
 


    DAY 6- LAS VEGAS, NV > PHILADELPHIA (HOME) 

    • All good things must come to an end right? We woke up and got right into our Uber to head to the airport and that's all she wrote! 

      As stated before, we had the time of our lives! I've been asked several times what my favorite part of the trip is (besides getting engaged, of course) and it is truly so difficult to choose. Each destination had something different about it that made it so uniquely beautiful. You have to see it for yourself to believe it! Anyways, if you've made it this far thank you for reading. Please let me know in the comments if you are planning to go there and use any part of the itinerary. I'd love to hear! 

      Until next post!

      - Kait  xo

      travel , blogger , travel blog, arizona, nevada, arizona to vegas , arizona road trip, arizona landmarks, 








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