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It’s no secret that I love a good road trip. My favorite part about Phoenix is that there are many great options for fairly quick road trips and I love to take them as often as I can. Our partners at GM let me borrow a 2019 GMC Sierra Denali for a week so I used it as the perfect excuse to go from Saguaros to Snow to Sand on the beach all within 1 week.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

Favorite Road Trips from Phoenix

Here are some of my favorite day trip or full-on road trip locations from Phoenix all with less than 6 hours drive.

  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Williams, AZ
  • Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Sedona, AZ
  • Prescott, AZ
  • Jerome, AZ
  • Payson, Pine, Strawberry, AZ (Rim Country)
  • San Clemente, CA
  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • Seal Beach, CA
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Holbrook, AZ
  • Gallup, NM
  • Tombstone, AZ
  • Bisbee, AZ
  • Puerto Penasco, Mexico

There are SO many options and a big variety of landscapes as well as things to do. The biggest advantage of taking a road trip is the weather difference! You can escape the crazy heat of summer in no time.  Going to work on posts of my favorite things to do/places to go in ALL of these spots since I always get asked when I go. Until then, I hope this is some good inspiration to kick start your next road trip whether it’s just for a day, a long weekend, or a whole week! Some great places to research are TripAdvisor, your favorite travel bloggers, google “things to do in” or “unique things to see in” and then insert the city/area, Yelp etc.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

My Week: Snow to Sand from Phoenix

I realized how great road trips from Phoenix are when we went from snow at around 7,000 ft in elevation all the way to the Pacific Ocean in just one week. We needed to see my Grandpa in Williams, AZ (the “gateway to the Grand Canyon”) because he wanted to give Parker (my oldest) an older truck he had. We actually had planned to spend the weekend in Page and then see my grandpa on the drive home but the weather was not looking great (some of the roads we’d need to take did end up closing for a day or so) so we decided to just make it a day trip instead.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

Saturday morning we jumped into the 2019 Sierra Denali, hooked up a trailer and drove up through Williams. On the way, we went from saguaros to pine trees & snow. In fact, we got snowed on on the drive between Flagstaff and Williams.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

We took Grandpa to lunch in town and then when the snow really started to come down we went over to his house to hook up the trailer (of course it was sunny as it could be at his place a few miles away). What we LOVED about the Sierra is that we could download the Weather Channel app on the Infotainment system and track the live doppler radar which really helped with timing around the weather on our trip.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

One of the reasons I loved taking this little day trip so much is that we got a chance to talk to the boys about towing, towing safety, and then we talked about how we did NOT have all this cool stuff on trucks when we were their age lol! There’s a whole section on the Infotainment system for trailers and towing.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

After we got home it was time to pack up for a few days on the beach. Jared and I both had some work out in Southern California so we loaded up the Sierra and drove across on the I-10 to my happy place.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from PhoenixFavorite road trips from Phoenix

I absolutely LOVE the new MultiPro tailgate and apparently so does everyone else because I got several comments on it while I sat in the bed and ate tacos by the beach while everyone else ran or rode by on their bikes.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix

Plans changed a few times while in CA, but I got in some Downtown Disney and 2 days at the beach which is exactly what I needed.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix Favorite road trips from Phoenix

The Sierra has so much room (more than enough room for our over 6ft tall 16-year-old in the back) and I loved how the seats lifted up for easy luggage placement when the boys weren’t with us. I always love the wifi option to get work done on the drive over and we both loved the handling. Actually, on the drive home I drove through some of the worst rain I’ve ever gone through on this drive and was SO glad I was in the Sierra. I did NOT want to give it back at the end of the week and am still missing it.

Favorite road trips from Phoenix

Favorite road trips from Phoenix (you can get to all of these places in less than 6 hours)


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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