Top Sites in Arizona in 1 Week
Arizona, the Grand Canyon state, is filled with many natural and outstanding landmarks. Undoubtedly, one can spend endless days exploring Arizona’s red rocks and canyons. My 25th birthday plan was to visit Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon. Once I solidified my Havasu Fall plan, I visited the other top sites in Arizona in one week.
While I would love to take a month to explore the outdoors, a week was all I had. So, to maximize my trip, I planned to visit the “must-sees” of Arizona. It was my first time visiting Arizona, and I wanted to see the best of the state.
I’ve also included visiting Havasu Fall in this post. This bucket-list experience is a great way to hike into the Grand Canyon. Although this hike might not be for everyone, look up and see if this hike is one you can comfortably tackle.
Ready for an adventure? Here are my Top Sites in Arizona that you can see in 1 week!
When planning your Arizona trip, it is good to map your itinerary as sites can be far apart.
We flew into PHX and then rented a car to get around Arizona and visit our sites. Flagstaff is an excellent base to stay in when visiting the Grand Canyon, as it is one of the closest towns. We also stayed in Flagstaff as that was where our tour picked us up to visit Havasupai. So this was the driving distance for us between the sites.
PHX to Flagstaff: ~150 miles, about 2 hours
Flagstaff to Grand Canyon: ~80 miles, about 1.5 hours
Flagstaff to Page: ~130 miles, about 2 hours
Page to Sedona: ~160 miles, about 3 hours
Sedona to PHX: ~120 miles, about 2 hours
Grand Canyon (1-2 Days)
You can’t plan your trip without visiting this top site in Arizona, the Grand Canyon. While one day is not enough to see all the rims of the Grand Canyon, it is enough for a week’s trip. After all, it is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World!
While there is three rims total, the South Rim is probably your best choice when visiting for the first time. It is open all year round and is the most visited part of the park. Free shuttle buses take you to different overlooks to admire and take some fantastic photographs.
You can check out the overlooks and do a few short hikes in one day. Then, if you have time for a second day, you can tackle some of the longer hikes that take you to some of the breathtaking views. In short, combining the two will allow you to take your time and appreciate the Grand Canyon. However, if all you can get is one day, you can still see a lot and make the trip worth it!
Havasu Falls (4 Days)
I planned my Arizona trip around my Havasupai trip. So if you’re looking to do this in Arizona, plan your Havasupai trip first and then the rest of your activities around it. See Planning a Trip to Havasu Falls for more information.
Initially, we did a two-day/three-night stay in Havasupai on my visit. Since then, the Havasupai Tribe has required a minimum stay of three nights. Spending half your week in Havasupai can take up most of your especially if you only have a week off. However, I’m still including it in a top site to visit in Arizona, even if you only have a week, because of how incredible it is to see.
In two days, we were able to hike Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Both turned out as my favorite sites in Arizona. Some of the most challenging hikes lead to the most beautiful destinations, like Havasu Falls. This majestic spot in the Grand Canyon pulls visitors year-round.
Should you include this?
Make sure to look at all the details to decide whether hiking the Havasu Falls Trail is a good fit for you! It is about 20 miles round trip and requires you to camp for at least three nights.
Horseshoe Bend / Antelope Canyon (1 Day)
These sites are located in Page, AZ, and are easy to visit daily. Not much planning is required if you only want to drive to the site and see both locations. It’s the perfect laid-back day to go and visit these popular spots.
First, we drove to Antelope Canyon, where you can join in on one of the tours that drive you to the location to take you through the canyon. Tours leave every half hour or so, or you can book a tour in advance if you know what time you want to go. The drive from the tour start spot to antelope canyon is about 20 minutes, and the guide through Antelope Canyon is about 30 minutes. Click here to make reservations for Antelope Canyon.
A guided tour can only reach Antelope Canyon. When we last visited, it was easy to join in on tour without reservations. However, it is better to plan, especially with Covid precautions.
Antelope Canyon is only a 10-minute drive to Horseshoe Bend. After you park at Horseshoe Bend, it is a short 0.6-mile walk to the overlook. There you can take your time and enjoy the views; after this, you should be able to say you saw some of the top sites in Arizona!
There are options to kayak Horseshoe Bend through the Colorado River. I would love to do this next time I visit.
UPDATE: As of April 5, 2022, Antelope Canyon is in the Yellow Status and at 75% capacity with limited tour times. Make sure to book in advance.
Sedona (1-2 Days)
Beautiful red rock formations surround Sedona, known for its energy vortexes. The scenery and vibes in Sedona are one that you must be here to understand.
I loved Sedona and wish we had a little more time there. But one day was enough to explore what we wanted. We hiked Devil’s Bridge, walked around town, and got a relaxing massage.
Some popular things to do are:
This is a 5.8-mile roundtrip popular hike overlooking Red Rock country.
Pink Jeep Tours
These tours take you on an off-road adventure deep into the red rock landscape. It can be a bumpy ride. Make sure to look at the tour details to make sure it is safe for you.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
This beautiful Chapel nestled in red rocks has a fantastic view at the top. While the Chapel is free, parking is limited, so plan around that.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
Walking through this village and the shops is a relaxing way to enjoy Sedona. It’s also the perfect place to grab a bite to eat.
Above are just a few widespread things you can do in Sedona. Other popular things include ATV tours, massages, additional hikes, and much more.
If you have the option to stay two days in Sedona, I think it’s the perfect amount of time to see a little bit of everything. I have it on my list to go back and visit!