Labor Day is FAST approaching – do you have plans? Two years ago we took our kids to Bisbee & Tombstone – it’s my favorite place to visit. We used to live in Sierra Vista and we really miss it there quite a bit.
Last year we went to Hatch, New Mexico for the Chile Festival and we are going back again this year. It’s quite a drive but our kids have so much fun.
If you are off that weekend too and looking for a fun road trip to take with the family, we rounded up 5 of our favorite places to take our kids. It’s hard to pick a favorite because they really had fun no matter where we went.
These are all fabulous places for us locals in the Phoenix (possibly even Tucson) area – plan ahead though! If you are staying overnight, book a hotel early… scour Groupon for deals too!
Travel north on the 1-17 to exit 289 (90 minutes north of Phoenix) and exit there, to the right, then head 1/2 mile (past two traffic circles) and hang a left on Montezuma Castle Road. You’ll drive down the hill to see the cliff dwellings & archaeological remains.
The well is just a few more miles north of Montezuma’s Castle, off the 1-17 and exit 293.
The well and castle are open 364 days per year (closed on Christmas) from 8 – 5 p.m. Fees are $5 for ages 16 and above to see the castle. There is no fee to enter the well.
(If you take this road trip, you can actually make it a full day by stopping at the well & castle on the way to Flagstaff — we recommend visiting these both on the way UP the hill ~ 2 – 3 hours is more than enough time. Get a bite to eat at Johnny Rockets in the Casino right off the 1-40 in Camp Verde, and continue up the hill to Flagstaff. Stay the night ~ and visit the Lowell Observatory the next day)
Located in Southern Arizona, Bisbee is a city perched on the hillside of an old mining town – you can find gourmet restaurants, antique shops, book stores and restored neighborhoods of European and Victorian Style homes.
Take a Mining Tour in the Queen Mine, or an Old Bisbee Ghost Tour ~ visit the Brewing Company.
Bisbee neighbors to Tombstone, an Authentic Old Western Town that has museums, gunfights, underground mine tours, ghost hours & more. Both Bisbee & Tombstone are 3 hours Southeast of Phoenix.
If you need a bite to eat, Tombstone has plenty of great restaurants, many of which are child-friendly. Bisbee is a cute and quaint little town, it’s very steep to push a stroller if you have a baby, so a baby carrier might be your best option. There are many little restaurants all over town that are cute, some are more child friendly than others and some offer outdoor seating (which might be your best bet if you have lots of kids).
If you visit Bisbee or Tombstone, it’s best to stay Sierra Vista – there is a Holiday Inn and Hampton that are near to the mall, and the Windemere Hotel has been recently remodeled if you are looking for additional places to stay. It’s best to call ahead and see if they have rooms available.
A 100 Year old Mining Town, the city is full of antiques and old mining equipment, that is 5,000 feet above sea level in Yavapai County.
Jerome sits atop what (once) was the largest copper mine in Arizona – when the mine closed, the town became one of the largest ghost towns in America.
You can visit the Winery, eat at a Restaurant or shop for Antiques. Visit Prescott the same day to make it a fun day trip – while in Prescott you can walk down Whiskey Row.
(If you have smaller kids, make sure you visit the Heritage Zoo in Prescott — they are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the summer. It’s an adorable place for the kids – ours LOVED it! )
Open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park has the largest Natural Travertine Bridge in the world – 183 feet high over a 400 foot long tunnel that is 150 feet at it’s widest point. You can enjoy the bridge from up top or hike down.
The park is $5 for adults 14 years and more, $2 for ages 7 – 13, and kids under the age of 6 are FREE. Head up to Payson on 87 North – at the traffic circle take the 2nd exit, and stay on AZ 87 N for another 8.6 miles, then turn Left on NF 583. The park is on the left.
Perhaps this might even be a great weekend to camp – but be prepared & plan ahead, I’m sure you won’t be the only family that visits! Check to see if you qualify for a FREE or discounted National Parks Pass so you can save a little money, too.
Enjoy one of the earliest agricultural developments in Arizona with a 43-acre historic apple farm in Oak Creek Canyon (Sedona)… right off Highway 89A. Those who visit can slide down a natural chute, or play in the creek.
Entrance is $20 per vehicle for up to 4 adults; each additional adult (14 years or older) is $3 and you can pay with Visa or MasterCard. Holiday weekend fees are a little more ($30 per vehicle on Memorial, 4th of July & Labor Day). See more on their site for hours.
(While you are there, head over & grab this Groupon & visit a Winery for LESS – $34 will get you a Wine Tasting for 4 + FREE Wine Glasses).
Have you taken any of these trips? Which are your favorite? We’d love to hear about it!