Arizona is known for awesome places like the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Tombstone. It is home to several indigenous tribes, providing a peek into centruies old cultures. There is so much to see in this beautiful southwestern state in the US. Well, we got the chance to spend a week in the state and so we just focused on Phoenix. We had a lot of fun and can hardly wait to go back to explore more of Arizona.
- Tonto National Forest- We are a family that loves to hike. When we see a mountain, we have to climb it. With amazing views and short hills, Tonto National Forest is great place to hike with little ones. Our girls easily climbed the smaller hills and avoided running into the many cacti. Be sure to take plenty of water and charge your phones because there are very few people out there. The forest is the largest in Arizona so there is room to spread out and enjoy the land. Tonto is just shy of two hours away from Phoenix. https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto
- Great Wolf Lodge- I usually don’t consider the hotel or resort where we are staying a destination in and of itself, but Great Wolf Lodge is an exception. It has nearly everything! An indoor water park and outdoor pool was great for our water loving family. Breakfast is a buffet, so if you’re not much a breakfast eater, you can grab small bites at Dunkin’ Donuts. There are several restaurants or cafes so there is no shortage of food. The staff were awesome, and the activities were great for the kids. Don’t miss the arcade! Also, this resort is located near the highways and a small shopping center. You can grab many things you need for your trip right next door. Tip: Use Groupon to book. We saved 30 % by booking through them. https://www.greatwolf.com/arizona
- Estrella Mountain Regional Park- One of the main things I wanted to see in Phoenix was the dark sky. A dark sky area is one where there is minimal light pollution from cities, making the stars very visible for stargazing. We drove an hour outside of Phoenix to Estrella Mountain Regional Park and it was darrrkkkk. We turned off the lights on the car and could not see the area around us at all. It was amazing. If you want to see stars, constellations and planets, but are short on time, check out Estrella, in nearby Goodyear, Arizona. It’s $7.00 per car to get in. https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/estrella-mountain-regional-park/
- Goldfield Ghost Town- We couldn’t do the West and the land of Tombstone without visiting a ghost town. Goldfield is located near Tonto National Forest, in Apache Junction, making it a perfect stop before or after a hike. Goldfield is an authentic 1890s ghost town site. You can visit the old church, bordello, jail and other shops. You can grab some prickly pear cactus jelly and even mine for gold. Noodles has quite the eye for finding precious metals in the dirt! We really enjoyed stepping back in time. There’s no fee to enter the town. http://goldfieldghosttown.com/
- The Dolly Steamboat- A great way to see the majesty of the mountains is from the water. So we did a scenic cruise on Canyon Lake on the Dolly Steamboat in Tortilla Flats, AZ. The tour covers 6 miles of deep water and lasts one and a half hours. We were in awe of the beauty in the canyon and even got to see big horn rams, way up high in the hills. The cruise starts at noon everyday and while they take walk ups, its best to reserve your tickets in advance. Adults over 13 are $25, kids 5-12 are $15, ages 1-4 are $6.00 and under age 1 is free. https://dollysteamboat.com/
See more pictures of our time in the Phoenix area at instagram.com/raisingnomads