Arizona was a state that we expected would be so perfect for us. We have heard stories, seen pictures, gone down countless rabbit holes, and have been in awe with the idea of visiting for years. We may have over hyped ourselves for this one. We were blown away by many of our stops in Arizona, and honestly, we spent more time in this state than any other, but we were surprised by the lulls in between those incredible places. Some of this could very well have been due to the amount of closures due to covid, but the stretches in between each stop felt very long.
If you are planning to drive through Arizona during a time where Covid is a reality, it is important to note that all lands owned or operated by the Navajo are completely closed. This means no open gas stations, no groceries, and definitely no bathrooms. Sadly this also meant that we were not able to visit Antelope Canyon. With all this being said, Arizona is still an absolute must. What would we do differently? We would fly or break Arizona into two trips. Going across the state may have been crazy long, but The Grand Canyon, Jerome, and Lake Havasu (among many others) were unbelievable places that you should experience. I picked these three to focus on because they were all so different, so fun, and so gorgeous.
The Grand Canyon is, well, grand. So grand. Like, you don’t realize how small you actually are until you are standing on the edge of this massive wonder. The layers of the rocks are insane and the rivers that flow in the base look unbelievably small. Keep in mind that at its widest, the canyon is eighteen miles across. We looked ahead at our route going in and out of the area and decided to explored the South Rim for times sake. The path is perfect for any visitors. I would definitely suggest filling your water bottles before starting to walk. There are no fill stations along the way at this time, so just plan ahead for the heat. We certainly run thirsty, so we went through a couple of Kleen Kanteens super quick. After exploring for a couple of hours, we went back toward the store and had an ice cream to cool down. We would definitely recommend staying in Williams when you visit. The downtown is on Route 66 and is so fun. We were able to get a great breakfast to go from Brewed Awakenings right on the main strip. Elliott was more than excited about his smoothie, and the coffees and sandwiches were awesome.
The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona is absolutely beautiful, and although we didn’t stay there, the road is covered in campgrounds. If you do venture to Sedona, be sure to drive off of the main strip. We visited Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic Church built into the stone. We have explored many churches around the world, and the views from this diocese is almost unmatched.
From there we ventured to a city that we can not wait to explore more in the future: Jerome. When the days of Covid are behind us, we will be revisiting Jerome to go on many wine tours and soak in more of this old town. As I wrote on Instagram, it is a picturesque city where Europe meets that old west. We love a city that is super trendy, but also still holds true to its original architecture and landscape. While Jerome is a copper mining town, turned ghost town, it is now covered in vineyards. Our wine rack is very happy with our choices.
Our last must stop is definitely Lake Havasu. This was our little guys favorite stop, to the extent that there were tears when we left. The water was so warm, yet refreshing, and the backdrop is nothing short of stunning. We had so much fun swimming right next to the desert. Look ahead at the beaches. Some are super busy, but others had nearly no people on them. We visited Rotary Community Park, and we were able to swim away from any crowds at all. The downtown looked awesome, but it was very busy so we only drove through. We were able to make so many memories together in Arizona.