My mini Arizona road trip includes a 5-night itinerary starting and ending in Phoenix, Arizona with a stop at Grand Canyon National Park. This itinerary includes the best places to visit, including where to stay, where to eat and where to drink!
When I decide to visit Phoenix last month, I knew that I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Grand Canyon National Park. Visiting the park was one of my travel goals this year so I knew that I had to make it happen. To visit the park, I planned a 6 day, 5 night mini road trip starting and ending in Phoenix, Arizona. Two days in Phoenix, one night at Grand Canyon National Park and the final two nights in Scottsdale was a great length of time to experience some of the best that the area has to offer. Along the way, I experienced a taste of Phoenix with some of the best outdoor adventures.
For this trip, I was excited about the opportunity to try Silvercar, a hassle-free car rental company located near the Phoenix airport. I read about Silvercar a few years ago and was finally able to visit a location on our recent trip to Phoenix. I really loved everything about the experience. You can reserve the car on the Silvercar app or online. Once you arrive at the airport, you receive a text from Silvercar instructing you after getting your bags to take the shuttle to the rental car facility. Upon arrival, you are met by a Silvercar Concierge who will take you to your Silvercar where you’ll use your phone to scan the QR code on the windshield to unlock your car and go. The car was in great condition and you are always guaranteed an Audi A4. Eliminating the hassle of waiting in line at a counter was a major bonus. I love that the rental car service was straightforward and will definitely be using Silvercar on future trips.
This road trip starts in Phoenix, heads north through Sedona and then on to the Grand Canyon National State Park before returning to Scottsdale. One of the things that surprised me the most about Arizona was how much I actually really enjoyed the road trip. I’m not usually a fan of extended periods of time in the car. But the scenery from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon was a unique experience. You start in the desert of Phoenix and work your way to the red rock formations near Sedona and then through evergreen forests as you move closer to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Here are my suggestions for a 5-night mini Arizona road trip:
Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix and stay at The Hermosa Inn
The Hermosa Inn is a lovely little boutique hotel located in Paradise Valley. I love small hotels and resorts because they are more private, relaxing and quaint. With beautiful accommodations located in 34 charming hacienda-style casitas, the inn is a secluded oasis in the middle of the Phoenix metro area. You are steps away from plenty of restaurants, shopping and activities but the inn remains in it’s own little peaceful area and is a great place to start the two day trip.
The casita-style rooms are large and comfortable. Each room offers plenty of privacy and is tucked away in the lush landscaping. On your first day in Phoenix, I recommend relaxing and enjoying some of the resort amenities, such as the pool. For lunch or dinner check out a few of my favorite food destinations in Phoenix.
Day 2: Explore Phoenix and stay at The Hermosa Inn
On day two, explore the best that Phoenix has to offer. I highly recommend starting the morning with a hot air balloon ride over the desert. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden for a few hours and then grab lunch at Bink’s Midtown.
After lunch, head back to The Hermosa Inn, relax by the pool and indulge at the spa. The facial I enjoyed at the spa at The Blue Door Spa Suite at The Hermosa Inn was one of the best facials I ever experienced. After a long day outside, enjoy the peace and tranquility of the spa. I love that it is a small, one room casita so you really feel like you are being catered to.
Day 3: drive to Grand Canyon National Park with a stop in Sedona and stay overnight at the park
The third day is probably one of my favorite days from the entire trip. Depart Phoenix early and plan to make a stop in Sedona. Take I-17 to Arizona State Route 179 into Sedona. The scenery in Sedona is truly breathtaking. Stop for a break, relax and enjoy the beautiful red rock formations. As soon as I stepped out of the car in Sedona I knew that I wanted to return. The landscape and rock formations that you see from the road are only a small piece of what Sedona has to offer. I can’t wait to return for a longer trip.
After arriving in Sedona, I highly recommend stopping at L’Auberge de Sedona for lunch. The property is located along a small creek. The food, scenery and service are excellent. It is located right off of the main road that you will be traveling on your trip so the location is convenient.
After you are fueled up from lunch, I recommend picking up a picnic dinner (and maybe even breakfast) at one of the local restaurants to bring with you to the Grand Canyon. We packed a small cooler and picked up sandwiches and salads at Wildflower Bread Company. Then head north on Arizona State Route 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff. Along the way you will spot more red rock formations and tall evergreen trees as your wind your way through the mountains. It is an easy drive and a great way to experience the Arizona landscape. There are a few places along the route to pull off, take some pictures and enjoy the beautiful blue skies and green landscape.
Walk the rim and then grab a spot to sit and enjoy your picnic dinner as you overlook the beautiful sunset. I recommend staying at any of the available locations within or around the park.
Day 4: Explore the Grand Canyon, return to Scottsdale and stay at the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
With only one day at the Grand Canyon, wake up early and enjoy the best that the park has to offer. I recommend staying all day at the park and then return back to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale before dark.
Day 5: relax at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
On your last day in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend relaxing at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Enjoy the pool, hike a nearby trail or experience the Chef for a Day program. Read more about everything that you can experience in my post about the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale.
Five days is not nearly long enough to explore everything that the area has to offer but it provides a great way to see some of the best outdoor activities, restaurants and luxury accommodations. Our last trip to the Phoenix area was one of the best trips we have ever done and I can’t wait to return!
Don’t miss these other posts that recap the best adventures and experiences:
Weekend Guide to Sedona, Arizona
Disclosure: Silvercar provided a discounted car rental rate for the trip and Visit Phoenix and Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau provided some complimentary local area accommodations and activities featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.