Family Vacations to Arizona

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Arizona – Family Vacation Guide

It’s home of the world-famous and stunningly gorgeous Grand Canyon. Not to mention other striking natural features like Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Throw in cities to explore like Phoenix, Tucson and Sedona, plus skiing destinations in the north and you’ve got an ideal place for families. From daring outdoor adventures to relaxing spas at resorts in Scottsdale, you’ll find it all and then some here under the big blue skies and wide-open roads made for road trips.

Where to Go

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is worth a whole trip in its own right. Peering over the rim at this enormous natural wonder and the layers of color on display will inspire awe in the little kids all the way up to adults. The famous South Rim offers many hotels with a wide range of prices (though many do book up very early so plan ahead), while Grand Canyon West lets the truly daring experience a once-in-a-lifetime, stomach-dropping opportunity to stand on glass 2,000 feet above the canyon bottom.

  • Take a hike to get up close and personal and see this gigantic canyon in all its glory. The Rim Trail on the South Rim is an easy walk that offers excellent views without being too strenuous for younger kids. Parts of the path are paved and you can also hop on the shuttle bus to go back if any little feet are extra tired. For a much more strenuous hike, the famous Bright Angel Trail is a 12-mile trail (round-trip) that begins at the rim and goes all the way to the Colorado River below. You can hike down as far as you want to tailer the hike to your adventure level – just remember the way back up is the tougher route with steep switchbacks.
  • Even if you don’t stay there, the famous El Tovar hotel is worth checking out. This historic hotel first welcomed visitors in 1905. The dining room overlooks the canyon and offers truly incredible views. Stop in for dinner or for an early breakfast to catch the sunrise and the glowing natural light on the canyon.
  • For a different view of the canyon, consider a rafting trip. Several companies offer trips that range from a few days to a week and let daring kids and parents experience roaring rapids and camping under a blanket of stars while learning about river history.

Take me to the Grand Canyon

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Other Natural Wonders

Arizona has no shortage of stunning natural attractions that will wow families and offer a truly unique vacation.

  • Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land just east of Page, Arizona. The slot canyon is a jaw-dropping sight that will win even teens over with its Instagrammable beauty.
  • A magical land of red sandstone towers and barren beauty, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park offers iconic views that will make you feel like you’re living in a real life spaghetti western.
  • Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed parts of the Colorado River and it’s immediately obvious why. The sharp, circular bend in the river makes for a truly unique view. Tours are offered that will take you here on a day trip from Page, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon or even Las Vegas.
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Arizona offers plenty of outdoor adventures, but it has great cities for families to explore too. It’s sprawling capital is the perfect place to start.

  • Take kids to the Musical Instrument Museum which houses hundreds of instruments from all over the world and they can even play many of them.
  • The Desert Botanical Gardens will teach kids about the plants that thrive in this desert climate and takes the family on easy walking trails to explore.
  • For scenic views, hike up Camelback Mountain. The Summit Trail is a steep challenge for older kids and teens, while young ones will enjoy the easier trails that take you around the base of the mountain.
  • Take a day trip to nearby Scottsdale (just 25 min from downtown Phoenix) for the an endless list of kid’s activities and best in shopping. You can also stay here at one of the many acclaimed resorts.

Take me to Phoenix

Take Me to Phoenix


Sedona is considered by some New Age types to be the site of energy vortexes and is known as a hub for spiritual healers and followers of alternative medicine. Whether or not you believe in the power of the vortexes, the beauty of the red rocks and the booming artist culture is sure to win you over.

  • Arts and culture thrive here. If you time your visit right, you can participate in the 1st Fridays event that features artist events, special openings and talks at multiple local galleries.
  • Experience the mystical wonder of Sedona for yourself with healing therapies and psychic readings. Or you can get in touch with your inner self through yoga or at one of the numerous spas if that’s more your speed.
  • Adventure beckons in Sedona with everything from mountain biking and skiing to golf and fishing available.

Getting Around

The sprawl of Arizona begs for a car, especially if you plan on seeing multiple cities or doing day trips. However, Phoenix does have a reliable bus system and there is a light rail that links it to nearby cities like Tempe.

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