Arizona is full of fun day trips and excursions that will brighten up your vacation. There are extremely touristy things to do like the Grand Canyon, but there are also hidden gems that are a bit off the beaten track. If you like discovering new things that are made better by the journey, try one of these five Arizona trips that are off the beaten path.
Tortilla Flats is a tiny, one-road town that lies to the northeast of the Phoenix Metro Area. This town lies past Canyon Lake and is up in the Superstition Mountains. In order to get this little town, you will travel up a two lane road that winds up through the mountains and over one land bridges that will take you over the waters of Canyon Lake. Tortilla Flats has an amazing restaurant with live music, a little gift shop and a local grocery where you can enjoy things like prickly pear ice cream.
Desert Sonoran Museum
Just outside of Tuscan is a large preserve that will teach you everything you would ever want to know about life in the Sonoran Desert. You can learn about the giant saguaro cactus, native species to Arizona, and sit with humming birds in the aviary. This large preserve is perfect for nature lovers visiting, but it’s a bit of a windy drive through the mountains to get there.
Woods Canyon Lake
A short drive up Highway 87 will place you in Payson, Arizona. This little forest town is the destination where most Phoenicians love to camp. You can escape the heat and visit Woods Canyon Lake for some truly spectacular views of the forest and lake.
Rio Salado Audubon Center
Located right in the middle of Central Phoenix is the Rio Salado Audubon Center. Although it’s pretty centrally located, many do not thing to look in the middle of the city for a nature center. This amazing exhibit shows guests what life on the Salt River once looked like.
Arizona Renaissance Festival
Every year from February to early April, the Arizona Renaissance Festival comes to Gold Canyon. The festival will take you back in time to the Renaissance in a 30 acre permanent village with 13 stages and plenty of shops. This festival is a bit of a drive, but worth every mile in entertainment.