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Best Road Trips For Visiting Relatives and Friends

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As it starts to get cold all over the rest of the country, we start to get more visitors in Phoenix--what a surprise! When friends and relatives come to see you for a few days, you are going to need some ideas about where to go and things to see in the area. Here are some of the best places in the Phoenix area to take out-of-town visitors, with a focus on places that are uniquely Arizona.

If you decide to hit the road for the day, remember to check the weather forecast for your destination. It doesn't take long to get to mountainous areas that are cold and wintry.

1. Prescott

Prescott was the territorial capitol of Arizona. Enjoy a taste of Arizona history, with a side dish of a modern mid-sized Arizona city in a beautiful area of central Arizona.

2. Sedona

The red rocks of Sedona will lure you and your guests if a day trip is on the agenda. You can't go anywhere better to enjoy scenic beauty than Sedona. If you plan on taking a guided 4x4 or jeep tour during the holidays, make your reservations early. After you're done marveling at Sedona's natural beauty, there's plenty of shopping and eating to be done, too.

3. Payson

Arizona isn't all desert, and even if all you do is drive to Payson, the trip up the Beeline Highway is one of the loveliest. Watch the lower desert gradually turn into pine forest as you go to Payson and beyond, to Pine and Strawberry. This is what we call Rim Country. The elevation is at about 5,000 feet in Payson, so check the weather and dress accordingly. There might be snow, but it doesn't usually last very long.

4. Jerome

Jerome is one of Arizona's favorite towns. A scenic drive to this former mining town in Central Arizona offers you and your guests a glimpse into a significant part of Arizona's history and growth. Today's commerce in Jerome centers around the artist community, so after exploring the mines and museums, a little shopping at the eclectic studios is in order. Of course, you can simply visit the museum, but if you want to spend the entire day, be prepared to do lots of walking here.

5. Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Not so much uniquely Arizona, but maybe more uniquely Africa! This wildlife preserve about 90 minutes north of Phoenix makes an easy day trip. Leave about 5 hours to see all the animals in an environment that makes you happy that a place like this exists.

6. Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot

About one and a half hours north of Phoenix are two National Monuments that are well worth a trip. Take a walk among cliff dwellings and ancient Native American villages. It's an important part of Arizona's history, and a fun day of walking and hiking in our beautiful Arizona weather.

7. Road Trips For Bikers

One of the great features that Phoenix has to offer motorcyclists is the comfort and variety of a vibrant urban area in combination with easy access to magnificent rides with unexpected diversity. Through 6,000 ft. of elevation change, Central Arizona’s roads wind amidst lonely cacti and pine forests, introducing the rider to landscapes from sweeping southwestern vistas to steep canyon walls. Here are five day rides for visiting motorcycle enthusiasts.

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