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Many of Arizona's natural wonders are within easy reach of Phoenix

The Grand Canyon is a 4-hour drive from Phoenix
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All of the main attractions of Arizona can be reached in no more than a day's drive from Phoenix. Tombstone in south-east Arizona is a 3-hour drive, while the Grand Canyon itself is about 4 hours due north of Phoenix. The longest drive would be to the extreme north-east corner of the state, to Monument Valley, when 5-6 hours will take you all the way from Phoenix to the border with Utah.


With places as monumental as Monument Valley or as vast and awesome as the Grand Canyon or the Canyon de Chelly, you should plan on a weekend getaway, certainly not a day trip. To have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing a sunrise at the Grand Canyon or a sunset in Monument Valley you really need to spend one or two nights in those places. The same goes for the Canyon de Chelly, which is also a 5-6 hour drive from Phoenix.


There are plenty of other popular Phoenix weekend getaways that aren't quite so far. You can visit Flagstaff, on Route 66, which is a little over two hours away. Here you'll find the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Lowell Observatory, and many other attractions. Also check the Sedona See and Do page for the highlights of this attractive little town in Red Rock Country, which is only two hours' drive from Phoenix.


Slightly north of Sedona is Oak Creek Canyon which is the second most popular natural site in Arizona after the Grand Canyon. This is the place to choose if you want an active break in gorgeous scenery, as swimming, fishing, and hiking are the main activities in Oak Creek. The canyon is within the Coconino National Forest, which covers 1.856-million acres (7,511 sq kms), and is particularly beautiful when the trees get their fall colors.


There are also several interesting towns within easy reach of Phoenix which would make for an enjoyable weekend visit. Williams is less than three hours away, and is a historic town on Route 66. It was founded in 1882 when the railroad came through, and today you can catch the train from here right to the Grand Canyon. It's still a characterful town, with its main street a tribute to Route 66.


Jerome is two hours north of Phoenix, not far from Sedona. In fact you can see Sedona's Red Rocks from Jerome, a former mining town built into the side of Cleopatra Hill. Only a few hundred people live here now, but it has several places to stay and to eat, no fewer than three mining museums, and some impressive historic buildings.


Prescott is less than two hours north of Phoenix, and because of its altitude of 5,368ft (1,636m) it is a popular summer spot for Phoenix people seeking to cool down at the weekends. There are hundreds of historic buildings, several museums, plenty of antique shops where you might find that authentic western souvenir, and a good choice of hotels and restaurants.


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