While sitting at a local diner, he took a bite into his omelet as I enthusiastically discussed taking a trip to Arizona. I painted the pictures of the picturesque red stone mountains, the evergreen trees, and rolling desserts. He entertained my excitement and said “we’ll see” and continued to finish his breakfast.
A couple of days later he says “book it” and without hesitation, I grab my laptop and we were set to go and the research began.
Day 1: Depart from Boston and arrive in Phoenix
Flying is always an adventure and most times you experience some very colorful characters. The couple that was directly behind us entertained us for most of the flight with their one-liners and come-backs to each other. Shortly, 4 1/2 hours later, we arrived at our destination, Phoenix National Airport. We gathered our luggage at baggage claim, got in our rental car and started our venture to Apache Junction (a.k.a) Mom’s house. After a joyous welcome and quick gabs at the kitchen table, we rested our heads for a couple of hours before we made our journey to Page, Arizona.
Day 2: Page, Arizona and the Grand Canyon
Our alarms sounded bright, early and sluggishly we got dressed, brushed our teeth and packed up the “road trip essential pack” that my mom had made us. We were on our way, 5 hours on our way, to Page, Arizona. We had chosen Page after the endless pictures we saw on Pinterest of the mysterious Antelope Canyons with their pink ripples etched into the stone canyon and of the breathtaking photos of the Horseshoe Bend. So, there we were embarking on our adventure to the Northern most part of Arizona, listening to our road trip playlist.
The first couple of hours was mostly endless highway but towards the last hour or so, we made a right turn and we were transported into a completely different landscape. The bright red rocks towered over us and as we drove along the winding road. Finally, we arrive at our destination, Antelope Canyon Tours. Now we did gamble with the Antelope Canyon Tours, it is highly suggested to book your tour at least 2 months ahead of time, as wait times can be between 3-4 hours or possibly not available. So, when we were informed that wait times would be between 3-4 hours we discovered another way to see some of the canyons, an Antelope Canyon Boat Tour.
The Antelope Canyon Boat Tour lasted about an hour and then we started our way over the Horseshoe Bend, which was about a 15-minute drive. Now, this was one of the attractions that I was looking the most forward to. I’ve seen endless photos of the magnificent landscape and was captivated by the colors in the canyon and the way the sun glistened on the water that surrounded the giant rock. When we arrived there were a free parking lot and a pathway that led up the vista. After about a short mile walks, we set our eyes out to the large vast canyon. It wasn’t until we walk over towards the edge that we saw the majestic scene that I had seen so many times online. We, of course, did the tourist thing and took a bunch of photos and tried to find the perfect angle to take a “selfie”. Post, taking in the scenery and doing a little rock climbing we made our descent down towards the Grand Canyon.
It took us about 2 hours to get to the Grand Canyon Village, which was perfect timing to pull in as the sun was setting. As we walked to the Desert View Watchtower, I couldn’t contain my excitement for James, as the timeless beauty of the Canyon was about to engulf him. Turning the corner past a couple of trees, there it was, in all its glory, the Grand Canyon. As I looked over at James and glanced at his beaming smile I couldn’t help but feel at peace. Even though there were easily a hundred people gazing at the scenery, it did truly feel like it was just me and him. We stood at the edge and found a rock to sit on as the sun set and quietly fell into a trance of the colors of the canyon coming to light from the setting sun.
Day 3: Grand Canyon and Sedona
In the midst of the sun rising, we threw our luggage into the back of the car and drove to the gate of the Grand Canyon National Park. Now, I should tell you that by going in August, the expectation of being surrounded by several hundreds of other tourists is pretty high. Yet, we tied our hiking shoes, grabbed our waters and ventured onto the pathway. While we only had about half a day at the Canyon we decided that the Rim Trail or know as Hermit Road, would be the best fit for us, but I do highly recommend the Bright Angel Trail if you have a full day or more. The day was beautiful, the sun high in the sky, not too humid and the scenery was endless. It seemed nothing could interrupt the moment, at least that is what we thought…..
After snapping a dozen pictures along the trail and having my heart race as James stood a little too close to the edge, we came face to face with a monster. A monster who would leave its mark on both James and I that day. The Grand Canyon Tree Monster! You may be thinking wait there are trees in the desert, but the Grand Canyon isn’t 100% a desert terrain, instead it ranges from a conifer forest to desert. So, yes there are trees and they will appear out of nowhere if you’re in a trance from the revealing rocks. This is exactly what happened to both of us within seconds of each other. I can’t stress this enough to always pay attention to your surroundings for you never know when a tree monster will come down and attack, by hitting you in the head or worse almost taking your eye out.
So, here we were blooding dripping from my the top of my head and James trying to clean my wound as I’m trying to stop the bleeding that is dripping down his face from the top of his eyelid. We looked absolutely ridiculous as we stepped on the bus and took our seats in the front. Thank goodness neither one of us was seriously hurt, just our egos a little bit. Laughing, we attended to each other’s battle wounds and got off the next stop ready to conquer the wilderness.
We hiked the trail for about three hours, making frequent stops along the way taking in the serenity and peace. Once we got the end of the trail we came upon Hermit’s Rest, which is a historic resting and gathering place with unique merchandise and a snack bar to fuel your needs. It is a great place to snap a picture in front of stone Hermit’s Rest entrance arch or at the large circular fireplace within the building. This brought us to our end of being a tourist at the Grand a Canyon for now, but we already have plans for our next adventure out there.
Continuing on with our journey through Arizona, we made our descent to beautiful Sedona, known for its beautiful red rock mountains and formations. After about an hour or so into our journey, we had left the desert terrain that you picture when thinking about Arizona and found ourselves surrounded by tall evergreen trees. The straight road through the evergreen trees turns into a curvy narrow pathway descending along the mountains. Neither one of us has ever felt as small as we did while driving down these gigantic rock formations and being engulfed by their power. Once we made it the bottom, the red rock formations appeared and we knew we had made our way into Sedona.
Last time, when I visited this beautiful town with my mom, we stopped at a local restaurant, Sound Bites Grill. Let me tell you about how amazing this place is, the food is fresh and made from scrap, the cocktails were blended perfectly and they have an impressive beer menu and the dessert would have to be the breathtaking views of the red stone while dining on the expansive patio. As you could imagine, I had to bring James to indulge in this top Sedona dining spot.
Day 4: Tombstone
Alright, we are on our last day, and after a great night’s sleep at my mom’s house we piled into the Jeep and started our journey to one of the southernmost point of Arizona, Tombstone. We cruised on into Tombstone and headed over to the Wild Wild West! Our first stop was the Bird Cage Theater, which was a saloon, theater where the town people came to gamble and watch the women perform. Legend has it that many spirits and souls are trapped in this theater and it was actually showcased on an episode of Ghost Adventures. This is a must see in Tombstone and decided for yourself if this place is haunted. Behind the Bird Cage Theater is a gun show which provided comedy with its one-liners and interaction with the audience.
After the gun show, we headed back over to the tourist stores and did some browsing before heading on our way. However little did we know we in for a real treat, for it was Doc Holi”day”and Val Kilmer was scheduled to make an appearance! There were dozens of people dressed up as characters from the Wild Wild West and the “Tombstone” movie. After a quick appearance from Val Kilmer and a couple of reenactments, we headed back home and basked in the Arizona sun one last time before our journey came to an end.
There you have it, we made it through Arizona starting at the North, stopped in the middle and headed down to the South in 4 days! There are still many places to be seen and an endless amount of paths to explore in the beautiful state of Arizona.
Awesome photos! We’ve been to Arizona once for Grand Canyon. It was spectacular.
My husband went to school in AZ and we’ve been to Phoenix. But, this makes me want to go back and drive around a bit more. I still need to see the Grand Canyon!
Loved adventuring out in Arizona. So many beautiful landmarks. Your boat tour must have been amazing. Our favorite place out there was Monument Valley to the east.
This must have been a wonderful adventure for you guys! I’ve never been out of state but I intend to do so this year!
Your photography is so beautiful, it doesn’t even look real. I would really love to go visit Arizona to go to the Grand Canyon.
You’re so sweet! It was all the scenery really, and I still feel as if I didn’t capture every aspect. Thanks for reading!
I’ve never been to Arizona! It’s amazing how much you got accomplished in such a short amount of time.. and you got such great pics!
Thank you so much for your kind words! Yeah I felt like it was a month in those short 4 days, LOL!
I would love to have seen the Bird Cage Theater and the parts that were from long ago. Also Val Kilmer would have been nice to catch a peek of. Your pictures are beautiful especially the first one it is breathtaking. Sorry you were wounded, mot a great memory to bring home from vacation 🙁
Thank you so much for your kind words, yeah getting wounded wasn’t fun but it made for an interesting story and always brings us a few laughs when we talk about our adventure. Thank you for posting!
I have family in Phoenix, and my mom grew up there, so we’ve traveled up and down it a handful of times.I love watching just how drastically the scenery changes as you head north or south!
I was shocked by the change of scenery, at one point we would be in the desert and then in what looked like New Hampshire. It’s unreal that you could get all different type of terrain in one state. Thanks for posting!
My husband and I want to go to the Grand Canyon one day. Your pictures are stunning!
Wow … Looks like you had a wonderful time. I am bookmarking this post for future travels. Thanks for sharing.
ah this is super cool. it’s some of the most gorgeous scenery in the country!
It’s amazing how much of Arizona you were able to see in this short time! It looks like such a gorgeous state, and I’d love to visit there one day. 🙂
My sister just moved to Arizona about two years ago and I went to visit her in October. We were able to do a lot as well! We went to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, and spent a couple of days in her hometown of Chandler. You got a totally different perspective of the Grand Canyon from the boat, I would love to go back and do that!
October is a beautiful time to visit, it’s a little cooler and not too many people go during that time. Yeah, we just stumbled upon the boat tour and it was one of the coolest things we did. I would most certainly go back for that! Thank you for taking the time to post!
This post is making me want to plan a trip to Arizona. I’ve been to Sedona and I loved it, I want to go back and also see Page, I’ve heard it’s gorgeous!
Page is breathtaking, I’m sure you would absolutely love it with being a photographer. I would highly recommend anyone to visit! Thank you for posting!
I visited Arizona in High School and I would love love love to get back some day!
Yes, Arizona is definitely on my list, and you photos are making me want to go!
Your pics are breathtaking!
Oh man, Sedona is so pretty! It is on my bucket list for years. My bestie lives in AZ, and I have never been down to visit her. Sounds like it’s about time I change that! 🙂
Sedona is unreal with the red rock formations, it takes your breath away. Sounds like you need to schedule a flight to see your bestie and go explore Arizona! Thanks for sharing and posting!
That’s fun that you had quippy people behind you on the plane. I’ve got some stories to tell about plane mates, lol
So many things to love about Arizona! It’s really beautiful out there. Will visit there one day.
ahh i haven’t been to arizona in years!! I definitely need to get back! there is SO much more to explore and see!! Thanks for breaking down how to cover so much area in just a few days!
There really is so much to see and do out there. We didn’t even touch the surface of the endless adventures. Thanks for reading and I hope you plan a trip to Arizona soon!
Some great pictures there! We used to live in AZ, but we never saw the Grand Canyon. I’m so embarrassed. We loved Sedona, remember Tombstone very well and lived near Phoenix. Great place to visit, but I would never want to live there again – lol.
LOL! That’s ok, I noticed that tends to happen in the place you live. There are things in my state that I’ve never been too and my family from out to state has visited atleast twice! Thank you for reading the post!
Have never thought about visiting Arizona, so never knew how beautiful it is! Definitely marking this down!
Before my mom moved out there it wasn’t really something I thought about. It is definitely becoming a more popular destination more and more each day. Thank you reading my blog!
This is so beautiful I want to cry. It has been a dream of mine to visit Arizona (really all the desert states) and I can’t wait to go! This sounds so amazing!
I’m so glad you were able to experience my home state! I live in Arizona but ironic enough I’ve not even been to the Grand Canyon (so many of us natives haven’t funny and weird)!
Whoa! Those photos of the Grand Canyon are just stunning! I could possibly just hang out there for 4 days! Although, I do want to check out Sedona. 🙂
Amazing photos! Grand Canyon is always a charm. You guys should have check the glass bridge. Thanks for sharing!
What a fun adventure, which you captured so amazingly in these photos. You really packed a lot in in just 4 days. Would be fun to see what you would do with another 4 days.
Traveling Arizona has been on my bucket list-thanks for this tour!
Beautiful photos. Amazing Grand Canyon is always a charm.
Oh my gosh, these pictures and views are stunning! I’ve never been to Arizona, and this reminds me that I’ve always wanted to go.
Very good n informative post! Sounded pretty adventurous too
This trip looks so amazing!! I’ve never been to Arizona before and now I definitely want to. The shots you got are so stunning!
It looks like you guys had an amazing time! It has been years since I’ve been to Sedona, I love that city. Your pictures are awesome!
Super cute blog and love this post about Arizona! I’ve only done the Grand Canyon and an eager to check out the rest of the state..will be sure to follow your tips 🙂
I have yet to visit AZ. Other than driving through the state I know nothing and live so close! Must definitely check this out!
Wow the trip of dreams! Stunning location and pictures. I would love to visit Arizona
My need to go to Arizona and Sedona is so real! Beautiful photos and travel stories.
Addictive. Hope I can touch the Arizona soil one day. From a trekking lover.
I have always dreamt of visiting Arizona. Thanks for the very helpful blog. 🙂 Thank you so much.
Make your dreams a reality! Thanks for reading ☺️
Wow girl! You’ve totally inspired me to visit Arizona one day soon. Once I saw the colors of your Antelope Canyon Boat Tour I was sold. Stunning visuals- thanks for sharing!
The pictures don’t even do the beautiful scenery justice. I’m so happy I could inspire you, thanks for reading ☺️
Thanks for sharing! Sedona is definitely on my bucket list and your photos are amazing.
Sedona is one of my favorite places to visit ☺️ Thanks for reading!
Sounds like a great trip. Love the photos too. Thanks for sharing
Your pictures are wonderful! I’ll visit soon Arizona and i need this post. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Giada!
Your post made me recall my visit to Grand Canyons. Immensely liked your stunning photographs. Impressive post indeed.
What a beautiful place to visit so thanks for sharing your recommendations on what to do.
Amazing. I always wanted to visit Arizona. This blog help me in planning my trip. Thanks.
This is such an amazing post. I want to go to there, today, this minute…
Your pictures are absolutely beautiful! I visited Arizona last year and it was so cool. But I didn’t know about the Antelope Canyon Boat Tour – and I wish I did, because we weren’t able to go on the other tour. Anyway, great post. 🙂
Your photos are amazing. Sounds like a wonderful 4 days.
This looks like such a fun trip! We have not been to AZ yet (IDK why?!!) but it is on the list for sure.
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