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Arizona: Tucson - Phoenix - Pine Tops

Krteczech

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Silverado II, CO
We will be taking three weeks TS road trip starting next week. Lucky us, we just booked Antelope Canyon tour for my DH birthday, and will drive to Tucson/Oro Valley area from there.
Any suggestions on places to see and foods to taste on this long trip? We preference to be on the go most of the time and this is our first visit to Southern Arizona. We will be returning via Santa Fe back to Northern Colorado around 5/20. Any advice welcomed.
 

BJRSanDiego

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I enjoy hiking the west Saguaro Park (by SVC Starr Pass). It is a little north and west of Tucson and you can walk directly from SVC Starr Pass timeshare). Lots of trails. Lots of Saguaro cactus.

Also in that area is
Karchner Cave (res's recommended)
Pima Air museum
Bisby gold mine tour
Open pit copper mine (Kennecot?) south of town
Wine country (Wilcox)
Mount Lemon
Old Tucson filming site
 

dmbrand

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Drive through Monument Valley on your way coming or going.

While in Page, stop at Horseshoe Bend, and the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

If you go have time, take 89A to Lee’s Ferry and Navajo Bridge. Going further west you will see the Vermillion Cliffs.

Not sure if you are stopping in Phoenix, but the valley is surrounded by mountains, with many trails. You can drive up South Mountain to an overlook. Cave Creek Frontier town is quaint/cute. Westgate Entertainment District is adjacent to State Farm Stadium, and has several restaurants, if you are passing through. Just time your travel through the city….best to avoid 6-9am and 3-6pm on the major highways. It just gets congested then.

If you are hikers, Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon have worthwhile hikes. You can drive all the way up Mt Lemmon, stopping at several pull outs to see views.

Tucson Desert Museum was very nice. The Saguaros are budding out now in Phoenix, so you may see some blooms.

Tombstone is a tourist attraction, but I enjoyed it. We also drove to Chiricahua National Monument to hike; it is in the middle of nowhere, though. lol.

Have a great trip. We have been splitting our year between AZ and WI. This state has soooo much to see.
 

rapmarks

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We spent a lot of time in Arizona. We didn’t find much to do in the Phoenix area, but we found a lot to do with Tucson as a base.
There are several things to see driving south from Tucson off of I19
the white Dove of the Desert Mission, Madeira Canyon, Tupac Presideo
state historic park, tumcomcari historic park, the whippel observatory tour, There is also the border town of Nogales.
the Kitt Peak Observatory is west of Tucson.
if you go to tombstone, then be sure to visit Bisby also,
karchner caverns is on that route too

Arizona sonora desert museum, tohono-chol, Sabrino Canyon, botanical gardens , Pima air and space museum, biosphere 2, Titan missile museum, flandreau planatariam, univ of Arizona campus. These are all right around the city of Tucson.
we visited the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest when we drove back toward Santa Fe.
we went to a park northeast of the city which was having presentations all day. I can’t remember the name, but I will never forget one of the tours. As we followed the two tour guides, they came across what looked to them like bear scat. They kept going back and forth about the characteristics of bear scat. They touched it, they smelled it, then they said let’s see how it tastes. We all screamed….lol, they had planted this substance along the trail to tease the tourists.
 
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Snazzylass

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Can you give me an idea of your interests? Are you really driving from Page directly down to Tucson?

PHX is a checkerboard of cities with each mayor fighting for relevancy. It can overwhelm non-locals and sadly, unless you want to check out a couple of museums like the Heard or the Art museum, or attend a sporting event, there's no reason to go downtown. Same with the Westside. Only sports can drag me over there.

So, let me know your interests and if you will be spending any time in PHX. For fine dining, the resorts are the way to go. The PHX metro including Scottsdale has more resorts then any US city. There's always a good chef at each one.

Wild Horse Pass which is south of PHX, just off I-10 is on Tribal Land and features Tribal fare. Before you get that far South and if you check out South Mountain, I always take friends and family to The Farm at South Mountain. It's always a hit! The food is good and it's interesting to walk around and learn about what the area once was. If you are in a hurry, I'd suggest The Original Carolina's for breakfast burritos. 1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 Pretty sure it might be cash only. Eat there or take out.

I would urge you to take the backroads as much as possible. Get off the 10 around Florence and take the old highway into Tucson. If I were headed down that way, I'd want to stop on the South side of Tucson at the original El Guero Canelo for a Sonoran dog. There's an old-timey resort on the Northside, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch which has a wonderful Sunday brunch. For dinner, I'd love to go back to Vivace - very good! If you have any interest in Art, History and or culture, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum. Very peaceful grounds and a step back in time.
 

rapmarks

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Wisdom’s in tucumcari was good, and has a delicious fruit burrito for dessert
 

Krteczech

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Thank all of you who contributed to our enjoyment. We drove from Aspen, CO to Page, AZ thru Moab, UT and Monument Valley. Our one night stop at Page,AZ was memorable. We booked an expensive early morning Lower Antelope Canyon guided tour and were not disappointed. We drove to Tucson area Oro Valley WorldMark in the afternoon. We visited both parts of Saguaro NP and were lucky to see blooming Saguaros and many other variety of cacti. Historical DT Tucson didn’t disappoint and we really enjoyed visiting San Xavier Mission. Grand Mesa National Monument was also interesting. Unfortunately I got sick and spent few days in bed. Next week we stayed at Camelback resort in Scottsdale. We toured Taliesin West and Cosanti workshop, both in Paradise Valley. We also toured Historic Arizona Capitol museum and grounds and attempted to hike Camelback which was almost in TS backyard.
On the way to our next TS we stopped at Tonto National Monument and historic Globe, AZ. Our last TS week was at Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ WorldMark. Nice resort in the largest Ponderosa pine continuous forest at 6700ft elevation. We hiked beautiful trails in the forested area with many lakes and streams for five days. On the way north we stopped at Petrified Forest NP and spent two days in Pagosa Springs, CO enjoying hot mineral springs. Our trip was 2560 miles and if this confused deer didn’t want to look at our new Toy Venza while going 65, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about.
 

TheHolleys87

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and if this confused deer didn’t want to look at our new Toy Venza while going 65, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about.
Uh-oh, much damage to the Venza? I imagine it was fatal to the deer. Hope y’all weren’t hurt!
 

Krteczech

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Silverado II, CO
Uh-oh, much damage to the Venza? I imagine it was fatal to the deer. Hope y’all weren’t hurt!
Toy Venza got hit below left headlight by deer’s left rear leg and will require some work. Curious deer made it across and to the meadow. Interesting how both, my husband and I, remember the collision and how our GoPro recording shows the different story. We would be justifiably called an unreliable witnesses.
 
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