Whether short on time or funds, a classic vacation may not be the best option for you and the kiddos. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay home during school breaks. Instead, plan a fun staycation for the whole family near Gilbert with our handy guide.
Usery Park Campground
Some of the best staycation destinations are also top places to explore nature, and our favorite is Usery Mountain Park. Part of the Maricopa County Regional Park system, this spot offers RV camping for active families. It’s a modest, serene campground with 73 sites, some with electric and water services, a dump station, and modern restrooms. The park can accommodate campers with tents up to a luxurious 45-foot-long RV, and you’ll enjoy amenities like a picnic table, barbecue grill, and a fire ring.
Usery Park made our list because of the scenic views, the nature center, and fun outdoor events. Even your littlest family members will love scouting out the spectacular cacti-dotted landscape with a hike. You’ll find more than 29 miles of multi-use trails here, but if you want an easy, relatively short walk, we recommend starting with the barrier-free Merkle Trail. Remember to stop by the shaded outdoor fitness center near the trailhead and get in a workout.
If you enjoy archery, you’re in luck. The five-star rated range at this location is the only one in the state and features a 3-D animal target course. Bring your model airplanes on this camping adventure near Gilbert. It’s Arizona Model Aviator’s official flying site with an 800 by 85 foot paved runway. If your family is interested in learning more about our fascinating Sonoran Desert plants and animals, you can attend one of the park’s exciting interpretive programs, like Cactus 101 and All About Hummingbirds.
- Location: 2701 N. McGill Drive in Mesa
- Park Hours: Between May 1 and Oct. 31, daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from Nov. 1 to April 30, between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
The best staycations offer something fun for both parents and kids to do. Thankfully, many outstanding family-friendly resorts near Gilbert, like Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, fit the bill. This Southern Arizona pick has it all, from golf and tennis to activities designed just for the kids. You’ll love the staff’s hospitality, stunning views, delicious onsite cuisine, and two pools, one for adults only. So spend a family fun day splashing in one pool, then enjoy some alone time with your partner that evening. Just remember to practice water safety.
Floor-to-ceiling windows or your own private terrace provide views of the magnificent Catalina Mountains and Arizona’s night sky right from your room or suite. You’ll find a spacious desk with an ergonomic chair, an in-room safe, and an oversized tub that’s perfect for soaking the busy day away. This luxury hotel also provides guests with hiking trails, an 80-foot waterfall, and two PGA golf courses. Then, unwind with a signature spa treatment, feed the fish in the koi pond, or discover a kaleidoscope of stars with the resort’s telescope.
- Location: 7000 N. Resort Drive in Tucson
- Hours: Check-in is at 4 p.m., and check-out is at noon
The Enchantment Resort
Some of life’s most memorable moments happen during a family staycation. Consider bonding at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona. This area is a world-renowned destination for nature lovers of all ages, and there’s no place better to stay with kids in tow than this spot. Surround yourself with the beauty of red rocks, pinyon, and ponderosa pines within acres of pristine wilderness. Book one of the resort’s casitas. Each one features classic Southwestern decor and offers a private deck or patio overlooking Boynton Canyon. There are also one and two-bedroom suites or poolside accommodations.
Join other guests at one of the onsite restaurants and indulge in delicious cuisine. Chef-created dishes center around locally grown ingredients at Che Ah Chi, while Tii Gavo offers a more casual experience suitable for younger children. Stop by The Market before you head out to explore. It has quick bites for breakfast and lunch, snacks, and hot and cold beverages. You’ll also want to visit the Trail House and stock up on outdoor gear, then ask one of the expert Adventure Advisors to put together a Sedona experience tailored to your family’s fitness level.
There’s something magical about Sedona. If you haven’t visited the city, it’s a must-see. Its stunning natural beauty is known for inspiring spiritual and physical transformative experiences. So whether you schedule a jeep tour, horseback ride, or a hot air balloon excursion, there are many ways to delve into this destination.
- Location: 525 Boynton Canyon Road in Sedona
- Hours: Check-in is at 4 p.m., and check-out is at noon
Grand Canyon National Park
The last recommendation on our list of fantastic places near Gilbert for a family staycation has to be the Grand Canyon. There are many ways for you and the kids to explore this national geological treasure, from a train ride around the rim to a rafting excursion on the Colorado River. The South Rim area of the park is open year-round. Stop by the visitor center, catch a cultural handicraft demonstration, watch the park’s orientation film, and take a hike. Don’t forget your camera and a portable battery charger.
There is a wide range of accommodations near the Canyon, from rustic campsites to luxury resorts. We recommend booking your stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. This newly refurbished 298-room inn offers guests the luxury of a bygone era. You’ll appreciate amenities like free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, a hot tub, and onsite dining options, plus it’s conveniently located blocks from downtown Williams and the train depot.
- Location: 235 N. Grand Canyon Blvd. in Williams
- Hours: Check-in is at 3 p.m., and check-out is 11 a.m.
Well, there you go. The dedicated staff at Crème de la Crème of Gilbert put together this list of our favorite places for a staycation near home. Which spot will you visit first? Let us know, and drop us a line. We’d love to share your experience with other Arizona parents.