So, you’ve decided to venture over to Arizona, again. Or you’re living in Phoenix. By now, you’ve probably already seen the Grand Canyon, witnessed the red rocks at Sedona, and ate to your fill in Tucson. Either way, you want to experience more of this beautiful state. The problem, however, is that you only have time for a day trip. What do you do?
Don’t worry because Copper Courier, a Courier Newsroom publication, has got you covered. The publication recently posted an article on its website which includes a list of 7 great places that you can visit, all within a short drive from the Valley of the Sun.
1. Cave Creek
Located only 30 minutes from Phoenix, this place will take you back to Old West. This small but fun-filled town has got it all, from shopping to outdoor adventures, and from great cuisine to amazing desert views.
If you’re in the mood for living as they did back in the day, you can head on over to a private ranch, as many offer private and group horseback rides. If you happen to go there on a Wednesday or Friday, you can also enjoy the amateur bull-riding competition at the Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse.
2. Apache Junction
Located 40 minutes from Phoenix, this place has an interesting history. According to one legend, a Dutch miner hid a huge stash of gold in the mountains in the Lost Dutchman State Park. You can try your luck, who knows you might find the lost treasure.
If treasure hunts are not your cup of tea, you may also venture around the Goldfield Ghost Town, which is a replica of the historic town near the Goldfield gold mine. The town also has the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel which appeared in Charro!, a movie from 1969.3. Superior – Miami – Globe
These are three historic mining towns spread along the I-60, located an hour away from Phoenix. These historic towns are now known for off-road exploration, bird-watching, and antiquing.
The Courier Newsroom publication recommends that you start your day at Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Followed by some antique shopping in Miami. And once you’re tired and hungry, head on to Guayo’s El Ray for some authentic Mexican cuisine. Your last stop should be Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park and Museum in Globe, which hosts the pueblo of the Salado people.4. Verde Valley Wine Trail
In 2021, Verde Valley was recognized as the newest Viticultural Area. The vineyards cross multiple towns, from Sedona to Jerome, and from Page Springs to Cornville to Clarkdale and Cottonwood. It is recommended that you start your day at Old Town Cottonwood, which has 9 tasting rooms. You can also sign up for a nine-hour wine trip provided by the AZ Wine Wagon, shuttle service.5. Prescott
It will take you nearly 2 hours to visit Prescott, Arizona’s first capital. Located in the heart of this town is the historic town square. The neoclassical revival-style courthouse is located here, surrounded by lush lawns.
Or you can head over to Whiskey Row, to grab a drink at Gold Rush-era saloons. The town also boasts several antique shops, art galleries, and museums, all within walking distance. And once you’ve admired the town, take a step toward its outskirts to enjoy the azure waters of Watson Lake.
This is an especially interesting location because Jerome is the largest ghost town in America. Located 2 hours from Phoenix, this town is known for its haunted history. This town dates back to 1876 when it was established as a copper mining community. Today, the streets are lined with art galleries and tasting rooms, making it a popular arts destination, says the article posted by the Courier Newsroom publication, Copper Courier.
You can learn more about this town’s mining history by visiting Audrey Headframe Park, Gold King Mind, and the Mine Museum. If you’re in for a fright, head over to the most haunted hotel in Arizona, the Jerome Grand Hotel, which towers over this town.
7. Pine – Strawberry
Tucked in the mountains of Mogollon Rim Country, Pine and Strawberry are great destinations for outdoorsy people. Located 2 hours from Phoenix, Pine is home to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, which has the largest natural travertine bridge. You can follow multiple trails leading to waterfalls, springs, and green canyons.