Shop, Dine, Visit The Sharlot Hall Museum, Whiskey Row, And Enjoy Hiking, Fishing, And Other Activities On A Phoenix Day Trip

    Phoenix offers plenty of excitement and beautiful sites to see as well as great shopping and entertainment to enjoy. Planning a Girlfriends Getaway is easy because on a day trip you can visit the unique shops, visit a spa, and dine on savory selections before heading out for a day exploring the region. For the men and those who love adventure you can swim and play tennis in the morning, then spend the afternoon fishing, hiking or sightseeing in the cool pines of Flagstaff or the White Mountains.

    One popular day trip is a visit to the Grand Canyon, which is only a five-hour drive from Phoenix. Just hop on Interstate 17 north from Phoenix to Flagstaff. From Flagstaff take Route 180 northwest to the Canyon. This is one of the world’s seven natural wonders, and offers spectacular vistas of canyon walls that have been sculpted from the earth over the millennia by the mighty Colorado River. If you've never seen the Grand Canyon this now is the time to do it. It's such an amazing site to watch the shifting sun create a palette of constantly changing colors, from deep russet to pale pink, from washed granite to golden brown. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open year-round, and there you can experience it through nature walks and mule rides into the Canyon, or by driving around its scenic edge. The North Rim is open from mid-May through October, depending on weather conditions, and lodging is available.

    Approximately a two-hour drive from Phoenix is Prescott, where you'll find the Sharlot Hall Museum complex. This is a great stop for those who enjoy historic treasures for it is here you'll see the first territorial governor’s mansion, the historic 1857 John C. Fremont House and the restored 100-year-old Bashford House.

    Did You Know? - Prescott, founded after the discovery of gold in 1863, was the first permanent capital of the Arizona Territory.

    Nearby is another point of interest; the charming town square, home of the Yavapai County Courthouse. The blocks surrounding the town square are filled with antique shops, restaurants and hotels. The most famous section of the square is Whiskey Row, located on Montezuma Street. Whiskey Row got its nickname during the mining days when nothing but saloons occupied the street. The fastest route to Prescott from Phoenix is north on the Black Canyon Freeway (Interstate 17) to Cordes Junction, then northwest on State Route 69.

    Photographers will love visiting Montezuma Castle and Well, which is an impressive ancient Native American cliff dwelling nestled high above Beaver Creek and is more than six centuries old. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, for whom the castle is named, never saw the famous structure. The Sinaguas, Pueblo Indians who moved into Greater Phoenix during the 12th century, built the dwelling from limestone and adobe. When white settlers saw it years later, they concluded only Aztecs could have designed the castle and named it accordingly. The structure was built on a steep cliff to protect the Native Americans’ property rights.

    About seven miles northeast of the castle on the Park Service Road is Montezuma Well, a limestone sink hole with a natural spring used by Native Americans for irrigation. The well still provides nearby Beaver Creek with a daily water supply of more than a million gallons. The well is 55 feet deep and 470 feet wide. From the parking lot at the well, follow the trail to the surrounding plateaus – the result of volcanic lava flows. The best way to get to Montezuma Castle is to take Interstate 17 north to the Montezuma Castle turnoff just past Verde Valley. This is a scenic three-hour round-trip so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the short ride with family and friends.

    These are just a few of the unique sites the can be explored on a day trip, and with world class events, attractions, and performances - there's so much more the enjoy in Phoenix!

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    To plan your getaway, view nearby attractions, join events, and find deals and packages available visit the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau online at www.visitphoenix.com.