With travel restrictions still making national and international travel more difficult than usual, keen travelers have taken to exploring their local area more than ever before this year. With fewer people staying put instead of traveling to warm weather destinations for the winter, it’s the perfect opportunity for locals to enjoy the beauty and attractions that Arizona has to offer. Usually, around the peak travel season, you’d want to avoid some of these areas, but this year everywhere is experiencing lower crowds than ever before. These are some of the top places to travel in Arizona during the current pandemic, where you’ll still be able to experience a safe and enjoyable vacation.
Saguaro National Park
Located in Tucson, this is a fantastic location if you are looking to enjoy some of the classic scenery Arizona is so well-known for. With the state’s popular Navajo Tribal Park is still closed, such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon, options are a little more limited at the moment for natural destinations. I’d highly recommend taking the scenic drive in the western district of the park, which is best enjoyed at sunset. National parks are great travel destinations at the moment, as they afford plenty of space in nature and make it easy for you to social distance from fellow visitors. This national park can easily be combined with a stay in Tucson, which has plenty of cultural attractions and historic sites for visitors to enjoy.
Phoenix has so much to offer visitors still, even during these challenging times. You don’t necessarily need to base yourself in the centre, and as long as you have your car, you’ll be able to drive between some of the fun attractions outside of town. An hour outside of Phoenix, visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where you’ll see hundreds of cactus varieties, various species of birds, and enjoy walking on the loop trail. Phoenix Zoo is offering a social distanced option called Cruise the Zoo, where visitors can drive instead of walk through the grounds. While you may have visited the city many times before, take this time to enjoy new attractions and experiences that you’ve overlooked on previous visits.
If you’re looking to escape the four walls of your home and enjoy some time in nature, there’s no better place to enjoy hiking than in Sedona. Most of the Sedona trails are still open, and you’ll have dozens of different hikes to choose from. Hiking and mountain biking are some of the best ways to escape the crowds, and when you are distanced from other visitors, you won’t need to worry so much about taking precautions out in nature. Sedona offers over 400 miles of trails, and nearby you’ll also enjoy museums, state parks and national monuments.
If you are looking for somewhere to escape for a week or more, this is the ideal destination within Arizona. For so many individuals, Sedona is a dream destination to visit, and we often take our local destinations for granted. We get so caught up in ticking off bucket list destinations we’ve seen on travel blogs, that we forget to enjoy the beautiful nature and attractions within a couple of hours of our home. So make the most of this challenging time and enjoy the beauty of Sedona.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Spanning 1.5 million acres over Arizona and Nevada, Lake Mead offers recreational opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. Camping is still available to visitors, and you can book your reservation in advance online. With many opportunities for boating, hiking and fishing, you’ll enjoy exploring this area and spending time away from the crowds in nature. If you don’t fancy camping, nearby Willow Beach is a small town with accommodation and restaurants. With so much to explore, you’ll be kept busy every day of your visit here.
Often overlooked by Arizona residents, Prescott is a small city which offers stunning scenery to its visitors. With camping, kayaking and hiking opportunities, this is a great location for anyone looking for an active adventure. In the downtown area, you’ll find plenty of sites and attractions to keep you busy and to learn more about the area’s history. There are multiple local hotels and bed and breakfasts to choose from, and you’ll enjoy dining in some of the great restaurants in the downtown area. It’s the perfect city escape without the crowds that some of the larger cities in the area still draw.
While other destinations in the world may be off-limits to us all currently, the current situation is the perfect opportunity to appreciate all we have in our local area. If you have the time, group together a few of these destinations to create a fun road trip around the state. While I’m sure you can’t wait to start flying around the world again, take the time this winter to enjoy everything Arizona has to offer.