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February 5, 2021 | 4 Minute Read

Day Trips from Phoenix

Beyond Phoenix: Quick Day Trips

When you reserve a stay at Marriott’s Canyon Villas, you can expect an escape filled with restoration and relaxation in the Sonoran Desert. Spend the day under the sun in shimmering resort pools, or head to the Wildfire Golf Club at the adjacent JW Marriott® Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa to perfect your game. From your home base, you can also explore some of Arizona’s most iconic rock formations, historical archaeological sites and — of course — the Grand Canyon. Consider these quick day trips, all less than 3 hours from your resort, when planning your Arizona getaway:

Visit the Vortexes in Sedona

Less than 2 hours from your resort lies Sedona, Arizona, a destination notable for red rock formations, specifically its vortexes — uniquely shaped rocks thought to emit energy. Red Rock State Park, a 286-acre nature preserve, offers incredible views of Sedona’s most famous vortex and landmark, Cathedral Rock. Choose to catch a glimpse of this incredible formation on the Red Rock Scenic Byway, which is often called the “museum without walls.” Or visit it up close during a Scenic Jeep Tour via Marriott Vacation Club® Activities Powered by PlacePass.

Sedona also offers a variety of outdoor activities for you to enjoy, including hiking and golfing. The Coconino National Forest makes for a memorable afternoon, featuring scenic overlooks of the desert landscape.

After a day of adventure, take a break and browse the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. This outdoor shopping center is marked by mosaic fountains and cobblestone streets, where you’ll find art galleries, New Age shops, restaurants, and more.

While in Sedona, you can book a Scenic Sedona Tour where you’ll explore everything from the vortexes to cultural shopping and dining.

Hike, Raft, and Ride at the Grand Canyon

A trip to Arizona is incomplete without a visit to the Grand Canyon, located less than 3.5 hours from your Phoenix resort. There are myriad ways to experience the Grand Canyon, from hiking and biking to more unique excursions, including mule rides and raft trips on the Colorado River. 

Discover Treasured Arizona Artifacts

Arizona is rich with Native American history, from the Palatki Heritage Site in Sedona to the Navajo National Monument in northern Arizona. While not all experiences are currently available, you can still discover Arizona’s history at outdoor archaeological sites.

To start, head to the Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde, about a 1.5-hour drive from your resort. This well-preserved set of dwellings, nestled into a limestone cliff, were built by the Sinagua people between 1100 and 1425 A.D. In addition to artifacts that offer a glimpse into the past, you’ll be able to explore the nature and wildlife that live in the space beside the perennial Beaver Creek stream today.

Further north, take your road trip up to the Meteor Crater outside of Flagstaff. This 550-foot-deep, bowl-shaped cavity was created over 50,000 years ago when an iron-nickel meteorite impacted the Earth. Now, the Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum is one of the most popular attractions in northern Arizona. You can experience the crater in an air-conditioned viewing area, outside on an observation deck, or via guided tours along the rim.

See the Saguaros in Tucson

While Phoenix and Sedona come to mind when planning an Arizona getaway, Tucson — just 2 hours from Marriott’s Canyon Villas — offers foodie destinations and incredible outdoor adventures.

Saguaro National Park, named for the infamous saguaro cactus, offers two districts from which to explore picturesque Southwestern landscapes: the Tucson Mountain District, known for its incredible sunsets, and the Rincon Mountain District.

For a more relaxed adventure, visit Sabino Canyon, located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Here, you can picnic among the saguaro cacti or refresh in the Sabino Creek before boarding the tram to your next hike.

Planning to spend the day in the city? Reserve a space to explore via a Historic Bike Tour, or embark on a Taco Bike Tour to refuel before your next adventure.

How to Get There

  • Points Owners and Owners enrolled in the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations® Exchange Program may use Vacation Club Points to reserve any number of nights at Marriott’s Canyon Villas.
  • If you are a Marriott Vacation Club Weeks Owner, you can use your Week(s) to place an exchange request with Interval International® for 1-week stays at this resort.