road trips phoenix area

Phoenix might be the place you love and call home, but sometimes it’s nice to getaway. A weekend road trip can be the perfect escape. You don’t have to take any time off work, it’s an affordable mini-vacation, and you get to explore your region. If you’re ready to see beyond Phoenix, start packing for one of these seven amazing weekend getaways from Phoenix, Arizona. 

1. Prescott, Arizona

One-Way Driving Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 99.5 miles

Prescott may be close to Phoenix, but it can still feel like an adventure coming out to this nearby city. Pack a picnic, kayak, and relax at Watson Lake.

Or, spend an evening bar-hopping along the historic Whiskey Row. Make sure to have a drink at The Palace, one of the top 10 historic bars in America. 

You could even drive out to Prescott for one of the local trails that give a spectacular view of the city. 

You just might be surprised to find all the Prescott has to offer. 

road trip phoenix

2. Cottonwood, Arizona

One-Way Driving Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 104 miles

Cottonwood is the heart of Arizona’s wine country. Make sure you have plenty of trunk space on your visit because we guarantee you’ll be bringing more than a few bottles of wine home. 

This small town has a lot to offer, including wineries, boutique shops, great restaurants, and year-round events. 

We recommend staying close to the historic Old Town, as this is where you’ll find all of Cottonwood’s action.

Potential activities to add to your Cottonwood itinerary include:

  • Booking a wine tour for the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
  • Visiting one of the town’s many wine tasting rooms.  
  • Visiting the famous Dead Horse Ranch State Park. You can book a tour at the park via bike, horse, or ATV! 
  • Attending a local Cottonwood parade or festival. Cottonwood is known for special events that run all year long. Check out if there’s an upcoming event on the Cottonwood website before making your road trip plans.

The drive takes less than two-hours one-way, so you can visit Cottonwood for a day trip or make a whole weekend out of it! 

Winery tour close to Phoenix, AZ

3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

One-Way Driving Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 224 miles

The Grand Canyon is considered to be one of the marvels of this world that everyone should see once in their lifetimes. Even if you’ve seen the Grand Canyon before, it manages to awe every time you return. 

A visit to the Grand Canyon is the perfect weekend road trip. You can make it a camping trip, but make sure that your desired campsite is open and available for booking when you go. 

Otherwise, we recommend staying in one of the cabins available at The Grand Canyon Lodge. You can go for hikes during the day, grab food onsite, and spend a peaceful night in the comfort of your cabin. 

Spots at The Grand Canyon Lodge fill up quickly, so make sure to book your reservation in advance. 

Grand Canyon

4. Joshua Tree, California

One-Way Driving Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 224 miles

If you’re ready for another marvel of nature, spend a weekend driving out to see the Joshua Tree National Park in California. Joshua Tree National Park is two ecosystems in one massive park: the Mojave desert and the Colorado desert ecosystem. 

As you drive through the park, you can make stops to explore areas, go on mini hikes, and watch for wildlife. There are more than 250 bird species throughout the park, as well as reptiles, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and more. 

We recommend driving another 30 minutes past Joshua Tree to spend a night at The Spring Resort and Spa. Spend the day relaxing in the hot mineral spring pools on the resort before driving back to Phoenix the next day. 

Joshua Tree National Park

5. Las Vegas, Nevada

One-Way Driving Time: 4 hours, 44 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 301 miles

Who says you need more than 24 hours in Vegas? You can quickly drive to and back from Vegas over the span of one weekend and have plenty of time for a fantastic adventure. 

Vegas is a chameleon city, meaning it can be many different things to different people. You can spend your time eating at buffets, gambling, going to shows, dancing all night, or shopping. And, no matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to do!

Whatever you do, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to rest up for your drive home!

Las Vegas strip

6. Monument Valley, Arizona

One-Way Driving Time: 5 hours, 9 minutes

One-Way Driving Distance: 322 miles

Monument Valley is a popular destination right on the Arizona and Utah border. The park offers a 17-mile loop that you can drive through while taking in the beautiful landscape and desert animals. 

Make this trip complete with an overnight stay at Goulding’s. This rustic dessert resort offers comfortable accommodations and exclusive tours throughout Monument Valley. 

We recommend going for an early sunrise walk through Monument Valley so you can really take in the majestic scenery of this beautiful landscape. 

Drive to Monument Valley from Phoenix, AZ

Start planning these trips now, and in just a few months, you’ll have explored everything around the immediate Phoenix area!