While Peoria, Arizona, has plenty of parks, attractions, and educational destinations to take the family to, there are also great places to visit for a day trip. Whether you want to learn about the Native Americans that lived in the area, go horseback riding in the desert, or step underground into a cave, check out these five day trips you can take from Peoria.
Take a Jeep Tour in Sedona
According to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, nearly 3 million tourists come to see the striking red rock formations, shop for crystals in the New Age shops, and dine on a variety of foods ranging from cactus tacos to upscale Italian cuisine that Sedona offers.
A fun way to get up close to the gorgeous scenery is to take a Jeep tour with Red Rock Western Jeep Tours. The tour guides will take you on thrilling off-road trails while telling you about the history, flora, and fauna of the Sedona area. You’ll get a great overview of Sedona and come away with a deeper appreciation of the Native Americans, settlers, cowboys, and New Age people that made Sedona what it is today.
Location: 2900 W. State Route 89A.
Fees: Vary by tour.
Take a Cruise on Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant is a short drive from Peoria and offers endless recreational opportunities. This large Arizona lake has 114 miles of shoreline to explore, and people enjoy visiting Lake Pleasant to go swimming, fishing, and boating.
To get a feel for the lake’s vastness and learn about the plants and animals that live in and around the lake, take a cruise with Lake Pleasant Cruises. This company offers a wide range of public cruises including narrated sightseeing, sunset dinner, sunset live music, or brunch cruises. You can also book private charters for special events such as weddings, anniversaries, and corporate events.
Location: 8708 W. Harbor Blvd. at the Pleasant Harbor Marina.
Fees: Vary by cruise.
Step Back in Time at Montezuma Castle National Monument
You’ll be in awe when you see the dramatic ancient dwellings at Montezuma Castle National Monument. This spectacularly preserved cliff dwelling, built by the Sinagua people around 900 years ago, is five stories tall and had 20 rooms nestled inside the white limestone cliff wall. While you can’t climb up to the dwelling, you can walk the trail underneath to get great views of Montezuma’s Castle.
Start your visit to Montezuma Castle National Monument by stopping at the nature center to see exhibits and dioramas, and to pick up a trail map. You can also purchase educational books talking about the history of the Sinagua people, books on the flora and fauna of the Camp Verde area, and toys the kids will enjoy bringing home. Once you arrive back home, take the family to any of these plant-based restaurants in the Peoria area.
Location: 2800 Montezuma Castle Road in Camp Verde.
Fees: Adults 16 and up: $10, children 15 and under: free, Montezuma Well: free.
Take a Horseback Ride in Wickenburg
Put your cowboy boots and cowboy hat on and head north to the charming town of Wickenburg. This historic town is the oldest town in Arizona north of Tucson, and the fifth oldest in the entire state of Arizona. Ranching has always been a way of life for those who lived in the Wickenburg area, and in the late 1800s, miners came to Wickenburg in search of gold, silver, and copper. At one time, Wickenburg was a boom town. Today, this town has a population of about 8,000 people and is a major tourist attraction.
If you want to experience a taste of horse and ranch life, book a horseback ride at Rancho de los Caballeros ranch and resort. Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or new to horseback riding, you’ll find the perfect guided ride for your skill level. Choose a two-hour morning or afternoon ride, a nature ride, or, for the ultimate family fun, a sunset cookout ride. After you arrive back at the corral, you can say goodbye to your friendly horse by grooming it with provided combs. Rancho de los Caballeros also offers private riding and roping classes along with general horsemanship skills.
Location: Rancho de Los Caballeros 1551 S. Vulture Mine Road.
Fees: Vary by rides.
Go Underground at the Queen Mine Tours in Bisbee
You’ll feel like a miner when you don a hard hat, a headlamp, and a yellow slicker and take an underground tour at the Queen Mine Tours in the historic town of Bisbee. Your tour guides, retired miners, lead you and the group 1,500 feet into the mine while recounting the mining days along with the dangers and dramas associated with underground mining. Miners pulled copper ore from the Queen Mine helping fuel the world into the electrical age, as copper is a necessary element for the production of electricity.
After a tour of the Queen Mine, you’ll have a deep understanding of how important Bisbee’s mining industry was for the development of the Southwest and the world. Once you come up top from the mine, enjoy wandering around the town of Bisbee. You’ll find museums filled with mining history, restaurants serving everything from barbecue to upscale American food, and bars with an assortment of drinks and entertainment. Bisbee is one of Arizona’s most valuable treasures and makes a wonderful day trip from Peoria.
Location: 478 N Dart Road in Bisbee.
Fees: Adults 12 and up: $14, children 6 to 12: $6.50.
Arizona is a varied state with lots of natural beauty to explore, and most of these amazing places are short drives from Peoria. Where is your favorite place to go for a day trip? What do you and your family enjoy doing when you go away for the day? What other day trip ideas can you recommend? Let our team at Crème de la Crème of Peoria (Lake Pleasant) know of cool places to visit.