As summer draws near and COVID-19 restrictions wane, the call of the open road beckons. Can you hear it? (Of course you can!)
If you’re itching to throw off the shackles of self-quarantine, there’s no better place than Arizona to satisfy that itch with a fun-filled, energizing, and head-clearing summer road trip. Arizonans are fortunate to live in a state that overflows with natural wonders and breathtaking beauty. But you knew that. The question is: Where to?
At your Valley Honda Dealers, we’re all about putting more fun in your drive. So, here’s our list of some of the best summer road-trip ideas near Phoenix. It’s time to pick a destination, load up your Honda, and get ready to hit the road.
First Things First: Are You Ready?
Before you pull out of your driveway, it’s a wise idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for the road. Nothing can turn a summer road trip into a “bummer” road trip faster than an unexpected breakdown in the middle of nowhere (and Arizona has countless miles of “nowhere” to be in the middle of). Relax. We’ve got you covered. Learn more about preparing your car for vacation and be sure to schedule auto maintenance in Phoenix prior to your vacation.
One of the best ways to experience all that an Arizona summer road trip has to offer is in a spacious and family-friendly 2021 Honda Pilot from your Valley Honda Dealers. (Check out our blog about why the Pilot is the best SUV for Road Trips.)
Now, onto the meat and potatoes.
8 Arizona Road Trip Ideas
Not far from Prescott, Sedona offers an amazing vortex of stunning beauty, small-town charm, upscale resorts and spas, and spectacular red rock formations. It’s easy to see why USA Today ranked it number one on its list of “The 10 Most Beautiful Places in America.” Sacred to Native Americans, Sedona is a mecca for those seeking spiritual renewal and artistic inspiration. It’s also been the backdrop for more than 100 movies and TV shows, dating all the way back to the 1920s.
Well, duh. Living in Arizona and not visiting the Grand Canyon is a lot like living in SoCal and not going to Disneyland. Both are touristy locales, we admit. But the sheer majestic vastness of the Grand Canyon affords plenty of opportunities to get away from the madding crowd and take in its awe-inspiring grandeur in relative solitude.
A drive along Route 89 to the less-touristy North Rim affords a glimpse of the breathtaking Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. You can also explore the Canyon’s many options for hiking and camping. Visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk & Eagle Point for an unforgettable view of the canyon below.
About a half-hour drive outside of Flagstaff is a stunning example of what happens when a fiery meteor collides with Earth. Let’s just say that it leaves a lasting impression of enormous proportions.
Bring your hiking shoes and lots of stamina as you trek nearly 150 feet up to the crater’s rim where you can gaze into its colossal bowl measuring 3,900 feet in width and 560 feet in depth. Lucky for us this otherworldly scar on our planet’s surface occurred more than 50,000 years ago. Whew! This national landmark features guided tours, a 4D immersive experience, a gift shop, and an otherworldly space museum.
Starry, Starry Night
Speaking of otherworldly, did you know that Arizona ranks as one of the best places in the country to stargaze? In fact, our state has more certified “Dark Sky Places” than anywhere else in the world. We discuss this in our blog: “The Best Places to Stargaze in Arizona.” Check it out for more Arizona summer road trip vacation ideas.
Montezuma Castle National Monument was created in 1906 to help preserve this spectacular example of Native American ingenuity and culture for future generations. Its centerpiece is an extraordinary 20-room apartment chiseled high into the cliff by the indigenous Sinagua People more than 1,200 years ago. While you’re in the vicinity, it’s worth a side trip to experience the Verde Canyon Railroad in nearby Clarkdale, outside of Prescott.
Turning our attention southward, one of Arizona’s most picturesque destinations is the Sky Island Scenic Byway outside of Tucson. This stunning 27-mile drive offers incredible, Instagram-worthy views as you climb 6,000 feet up Mount Lemmon where the landscape changes from Sonoran Desert saguaro cacti to picturesque pine forests.
This trek up Mt. Lemmon’s rugged terrain is not for the faint of heart. So, you need a vehicle that’s equally rugged and ready for this exciting adventure. There’s none better than the 2021 Honda Passport SUV from your Valley Honda Dealers.
On your way to the “Old Pueblo” (aka Tucson) on I-10, you’ll pass by the sprawling Saguaro National Park. Get out, stretch your legs, and take in this magnificent natural tableau of soaring Saguaro cacti; some more than 150 years old. While there, be sure and visit the park’s Red Hills (west) and Rincon Mountain (east) visitor centers. Another can’t-miss attraction is the educational Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
And now for something completely different. Add a dash of international flair to your Arizona summer road trip by visiting Lake Havasu’s famous and historic London Bridge. Faithfully rebuilt brick by brick, the bridge that once spanned the River Thames in London now sits astride picturesque Lake Havasu. While the area is certainly touristy, you might be surprised to learn that there’s plenty of other things to do at Lake Havasu State Park, including camping, fishing, and watersports.
Shop New Hondas in Phoenix
Before you head out on an exciting and fun-filled Arizona summer road trip, head over to one of our 10 conveniently located Valley Honda Dealers for the best deals on new Hondas for sale near Phoenix, including the Passport and CR-V Hybrid.
Your Passport to Arizona’s Most Rugged Adventures
Take one look at the Passport’s bold and athletic exterior and you know that it’s got the chops to take you on the road less traveled no matter where the compass points you. The Passport is powered by a potent 280 hp*, 3.5-liter iVTEC® V-6 engine. You’ll handle Mt. Lemmon’s switchbacks with confidence, thanks to the Passport’s advanced, torque-vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Traction Management and four-wheel independent suspension.
Inside, the Passport offers comfortable seating for five adults and up to 100.7 cubic feet of cargo space* with the second-row seats folded flat. Convenient underfloor storage* lets you stow away emergency gear and other items out of sight.
As the temperature changes from scorching desert heat to alpine cool, you’ll appreciate how the Passport’s Tri-Zone Climate Control keeps everyone in their comfort zone. Enjoy the great outdoors even more with the Passport’s available one-touch power moonroof. And stay connected thanks to the Passport’s standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration*and its large, seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen.
Go Further for Less in a 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid
We’ve just scratched the surface of the many amazing summer road-trip destinations that Arizona has to offer. Whether it’s Monument Valley, Tonto National Forest, Tombstone, the Apache Trail, or a longer trip to nearby Las Vegas or Palm Springs, you’ll get there for less in the best new hybrid SUV for sale at your Valley Honda Dealers.
Roomy, spacious, and sporty, the 2021 CR-V Hybrid is your perfect summer road trip traveling companion. Thanks to its 2.0-liter, DOHC iVTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and electronic CVT transmission, it offers lively performance and thrifty fuel efficiency to take you further for less. It gets an outstanding, EPA-estimated 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway*.
The CR-V’s spacious interior gets top marks for versatility, too. Configure the CR-V’s 75.8 cubic feet of commodious cargo space* to suit your lifestyle and your summer vacation plans with its fold-down 60/40 split rear seatback.
No matter where you travel on Arizona’s highways and byways this summer, the CR-V Hybrid’s advanced suite of “Honda Sensing®” active driver-assist safety features has you covered. They include Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Additional safety technologies that are also available include Honda LaneWatch™, Blind Spot Information System, Cross-Traffic Monitor, and Auto High-Beam Headlights.
Visit your Valley Honda Dealers to start your summer vacation in a new or pre-owned Honda. Now you’re ready to see Arizona.
Passport 280 hp @ 6000 RPM (SAE net)
Cargo space based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.
Apple CarPlay is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Android and Android Auto are trademarks of Google LLC.
CR-V Hybrid 40 city/35 highway/38 combined mpg rating for hybrid trims. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-package/condition (hybrid trims), and other factors.