Gilbert, Arizona, is a great starting point for many different day trips. It is surrounded by beautiful landscapes that are perfect for a relaxing day away. Whether you are interested in going hiking, enjoying the beautiful scenery, learning about local history, or spending some time in town, there are plenty of things to do. Here are five day-trips you should try the next time you are looking for a fun day trip, courtesy of Crème de la Crème of Gilbert, Arizona.
The Grand Canyon
Considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a place you don’t want to miss seeing. This trip will be a long one, but the views and scenery that you see while driving are well worth the time spent in your vehicle. When you get to the canyon, there are various points that you can visit for breathtaking views; two of them being Mather Point or the Mary Colter Lookout Studio.
To get inside Grand Canyon National park, there is an entrance fee of $35 per vehicle. Inside the park, there is a visitor center that gives you more information about the Grand Canyon. There are also free shuttle busses that you can take between different points within the park.
If you choose to make your day trip an overnight trip, you can stay in Tusayan, a small resort town that is just outside of Grand Canyon National Park. Whether you are looking for a budget room or something more luxurious, there are lots of options to choose from in this little community.
Flagstaff takes visitors up into the mountains, where you can enjoy being outside in the summer and winter with opportunities for hiking, climbing, skiing, or playing in the snow. There are also ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings in the area that you can visit.
If your idea of fun is centered around shopping and doing things in town, there are also lots of places where you can go shopping, eat tasty food, and enjoy local art and culture in the area. There are various museums you can visit to explore the history of Flagstaff, or you can check out the Lowell Observatory if you want to extend your day trip long enough to see the stars.
As you drive through town, you hit a section of Route 66, which has some historical buildings you can explore as well. Be sure to visit the Discover Flagstaff website for a full list of things you can do while there.
As you head to Flagstaff, you can stop by Montezuma Castle. The Castle is the remains of a Sinaguan settlement that was carved into the alcove of a cliff. This five-story apartment complex is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Six miles upstream from the castle is the Montezuma Well that visitors can explore as well.
There are short interpretive trails that visitors can explore at both monuments so you can get out and stretch your legs while you are there. The cost to see the Montezuma Castle is $10 per person for anyone 16 years old and up. Children 15 and under are free. If you want to explore the Montezuma Well, you can visit that monument for free.
Another stop you can make while on your way to Flagstaff is Sedona. Like many places in Arizona, Sedona is full of lots of things to do, like exploring great hiking spots, golfing, a vibrant nightlife, and wine tasting. While there are many things to do, Sedona is best known for its reputation as a spiritual mecca, From spas to yoga classes or healing therapies, Sedona has a lot to offer when it comes to relaxing and taking time for yourself.
In addition to spoiling yourself with some well-deserved therapies, Sedona also has an incredible art scene. You can spend the day browsing through dozens of different galleries and enjoying the different types of art each artist creates.
Whether you plan on getting some treatments done or going shopping, make sure you come with a budget in mind, as prices for art and therapy treatments can get pricey if you aren’t careful. If you decide to go hiking, make sure you double-check if there is a price to enter the park.
Saguaro National Park
Image via Flickr by bgwashburn
If you would prefer to head south from Gilbert, you can enjoy a drive down to Saguaro National Park. This National Park is home to the Saguaro Cactus that has a lifespan of up to 250 years. They are large, tree-sized cactus with a beautiful white flower that blooms between May and July. Be sure to check out the cactus garden, which is located around the visitor center.
There are plenty of hiking trails that you can find within the park, including day hikes or wilderness hiking that takes you through the backcountry.
A must-see is the Signal Hill Petroglyph Area that is the largest petroglyph site in the Tuscon Mountain area in Saguaro National Park. The petroglyphs are rock art that varies between 550 and 1550 years old. The area has over 200 petroglyphs, many of which you can see from the visitor trail.
If you are bringing kids, there is a Ranger Program that allows kids to explore, learn about, and protect the national park. The price to visit Saguaro National park is $25 for a vehicle, or you can buy an annual pass for $45 and have access to the park for a whole year.
These are just a few of many different day trips around Gilbert. What is your favorite place to go on a day trip? Do you head somewhere where you can enjoy the beautiful nature in the area, or do you prefer heading somewhere more populated with shopping and food? We at Crème de la Crème of Gilbert would love to hear your favorite day trip location!