Recently, Colby and I took the girls for a week long getaway to Arizona. We had a wonderful stay at the Scottsdale Camelback Resort and, with the great location, decided we could drive in any direction and go on an adventure. So we did. We had a 2015 Toyota Highlander and an open road. We found that family day trips in Arizona were actually pretty easy.
Family Day Trips
Since we were based in Scottsdale for the duration of our stay, we simply grabbed travel brochures from the resort lobby and began the process. As a family, we talked about what looked interesting or fun and went from there. We actually found plenty to do, we simply had to decide what was the best fit for our family. It ended up being a fabulous week with plenty of sightseeing, adventure and a lifetime memories made.
Our first day of the trip we wanted to get out and see a bit of Arizona and discovered the Historic Apache Trail was nearby. We loaded up the Toyota Highlander and set out for the day. Our first stop on the trail was at the Goldfield Ghost Town where the girls took antique pictures, we saw a “gunfight” at high noon, and had an incredibly filling lunch. Definitely worth the stop!
We then continued up the trail a bit to the Lost Dutchman State Park. Now, we knew the kids couldn’t do any kind of crazy hikes. Plus, we didn’t really have the shoes or equipment for it. The park ranger suggested we do the short 1/4 mile hike and learn about local plants. Perfect! Until we were 3 minutes into the trail and discovered a large snake slithering alongside us. Yep. Back to the Highlander we went! The girls were done.
No worries though, the Toyota Highlander made for a perfect ride further up the mountain. The girls had room to stretch, the A/C kept us cool inside, and everyone had a terrific view from the wall of windows around the vehicle. All was good. Well, until for some crazy reason the girls thought Colby was going to spontaneously drive us off the side of the mountain?! (Think Thelma and Louise here, People. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry after all the screaming.) Once we got the girls calm again we were able to go back to admiring the view. Whew.
Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive
After all the excitement from day one, we decided to take a leisurely drive on day two. We jumped back into the Highlander and headed Northwest to Sedona. Driving the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive was simply amazing. The drive takes you through winding mountain roads that climbs 4,500 feet from Sedona to the Mogollon Rim. Along the way you find evergreen pines, wildlife, waterfalls, and the iconic red rock of Sedona.
We let the girls watch a movie on the Blu-ray Disc™ rear-seat entertainment system as we made our way through the city, but once we drove into the mountains, they turned it off and watched the picturesque views go by. The second row captain’s chairs provided a comfortable ride throughout the 3 hour drive. Plus, when it was time to nap on the way back, the reclining third-row seats provided the perfect resting place for the girls.
Growing up, my family visited Tombstone often. Perhaps that is one underlying factor in our son being named “Wyatt.” Nonetheless, we decided it was worth the drive with the girls. Our last full day in Arizona we once again packed the Highlander and set out for a trip to the OK Corral. Luckily, the gas efficient Highlander carried us from place to place on a budget and in style! Not to mention, the the Star Safety System™ kept us all safe on the road!
The girls were immediately reminded of modern day comforts when we took a horse and carriage ride around the old western town. Those seats, windows, and air condition in the Toyota were appreciated once we hopped back in. But, it was fascinating to learn the history of the wild west and to see it preserved in this little hick town.
We even ventured over to Boot Hill on our way back to Scottsdale to learn more about the people of Tombstone. The girls were given cowgirl hats and listened to stories about life in the days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. All in all, I think it ended up being quite a learning experience and the whole family enjoyed the day!
And no matter where we ventured, the Multi-Information Display’s turn-by-turn navigation feature got us where we needed to be! We were able to travel through Arizona without worrying about getting lost.
If we had more time, we pretty much could have covered the rest of the state! There was so much to see and do. Fortunately, the 2015 Toyota Highlander was there for “Every journey. Every moment.” And it was perfect!