Top Sites in Arizona in 1 Week
Arizona, the Grand Canyon state, filled with so many natural and amazing landmarks, it truly is an outdoor lover’s dream. Undoubtedly, one can spend endless days here exploring Arizona’s red rocks and canyons. My 25th birthday plan was to visit Havasu Falls which is in the Grand Canyon. Once I solidified my Havasu Fall’s plan, I decided to make my birthday trip to see 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. To maximize my trip, I planned to visit the “must-sees” of Arizona. It was also my first-time visiting Arizona, and I wanted to visit the best that the state has to offer.
From the Grand Canyon to Horseshoe Bend. This post outlines some of the top visited sites in Arizona. The Grand Canyon is not only a National Park, but also considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. If you’re into hiking and exploring the outdoors, this trip is perfect for you.
I’ve also included visiting Havasu Fall in this post. This bucket-list experience is a great way to hike into the Grand Canyon. However, this hike might not be for everyone, be sure to 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 out your itinerary as sites can be pretty far apart. We flew into PHX and then rented a car to get around Arizona and visit our sites. Flagstaff is a good base to stay 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.
PHX to Flagstaff: ~150 miles, about 2 hours
Flagstaff to Grand Canyon: ~80 miles, about 1.5 hours
Page is on the northern side of Arizona, leaving from Grand Canyon or Flagstaff would cut some of the time in half.
Flagstaff to Page: ~130 miles, about 2 hours
Flagstaff to Sedona: ~30 miles, a little under 1 hour
Sedona to PHX: ~120 miles, about 2 hours
You can hover over the dots to get an idea of where the cities are.
Grand Canyon (1-2 Days)
You can’t plan your trip without planning to visit this top site in Arizona, the Grand Canyon. While one day is definitely not enough to see all the rims for 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 are three rims total, the South Rim is probably your best choice when visiting for the first time. It is open all year around and is the most visited part of the park. Here there are free shuttle buses that take you to different overlooks to admire and take some amazing photographs.
In one day, you can check out the overlooks and do a couple of short hikes. 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, a combination of 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. If this is something you’re looking to do in Arizona, plan your Havasupai trip first and then the rest of your activities around it. I have a detailed post here on how to begin planning your Havasu Falls trip.
Originally, on my visit, we did a two day/three night stay in Havasupai. Since then, the Havasupai Tribe now requires a minimum stay of three nights. This 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.
There, in two days we were able to hike to Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Both turned out to be my favorite top sites in Arizona. They say some of the hardest hikes lead to the most beautiful destinations, and that was true with these falls. This majestic spot in the Grand Canyon pulls visitors year-round.
It is a bit hard to quantify the level of this hike, but many people go with moderate. However, many people of different hiking experience levels can do this hike. Although I was beginner hiker, I found it a bit difficult but rewarding.
There is an option to catch a flight via helicopter into the town about a mile from Havasu Falls. However this way is not guaranteed especially with delays and cancellations with the helicopter.
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 3 nights.
UPDATE: Havasu Falls has been closed due to COVID-19. Expected date for tourism to open is June 2022.
Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend (1 Day)
These sites are both located in Page, AZ, and easy to visit in a day. There isn’t a lot of planning required if all you want to do is drive to site see both locations. It’s the perfect laid-back day to drive and visit these popular spots.
First, we drove to Antelope Canyon where you can join in on one of the tours that drives you to the location to take you through the canyon. There, 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.
Antelope Canyon can only be reached by a guided tour. When we last visited, it was easy to join in on a tour without reservations, however it is better to plan especially with Covid precautions.
From Antelope Canyon, it 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, and 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)
Sedona, surrounded by beautiful red rock formations and known for its energy vortexes. The scenery and vibes in Sedona are one that you must be here for to understand.
I absolutely loved Sedona and wish we had a little more time there. But one day was enough to explore what we wanted. There we hiked Devil’s Bridge, walked around town, and got a relaxing massage.
Some popular things to do are:
Devil’s Bridge: 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 the red rocks has a fantastic view at the top. While the Chapel is free, parking is limited, so make sure to 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 of the numerous popular things you can do Sedona. Other popular things to do 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!