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Are you searching for the ultimate Arizona itinerary that features the bustling city of Phoenix, the wondrous Grand Canyon National Park, and the stunning red rocks of Sedona? Look no further! This incredible 1-week Arizona itinerary takes you across the state to all the top destinations and attractions (including the cool ghost town of Jerome!). Keep reading to plan your 7-day Arizona trip!

The Ultimate 7-Day Arizona Itinerary Exploring Phoenix, Grand Canyon National Park and Sedona | The Wanderful Me

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If there’s one state I keep going back to again and again, it’s Arizona.

As someone who hails from the northern midwest state of Minnesota, I just can’t get enough of Arizona’s sunny weather, diverse landscape, mind-blowing attractions (like the Grand Canyon), and incredible hiking opportunities!

Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve visited Arizona countless times!

Whether it was doing a one-month USA road trip with Dan (the wanderful boyfriend), visiting Sedona on a girl’s trip with my mom and sister, exploring Prescott and the Grand Canyon on spring break, or heading down there to visit my grandparents who live in Arizona for half the year, this stunning state keeps calling me back.

Hiking near Sedona, AZ - a must do when road tripping Arizona.

But it’s not just me Arizona is calling in — this state has gotten some serious love from travelers and tourists recently! More and more people are discovering the incredible outdoor opportunities and unique sites Arizona has to offer.

If you have an itching to visit this sunny state and are wondering how to best plan your trip, this itinerary will help you see the best of Arizona in a short time!

I’m recommending all of my favorite AZ spots in this 7-day itinerary — Phoenix, Grand Canyon National Park, and Sedona.

Additionally, on the drive up to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix, I add in a cheeky stop at the coolest ghost town in Arizona — Jerome! You’re going to love it.

Keep reading to discover what Arizona has to offer and how you can see Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Jerome in just one week.


First things first: a car is essential for this trip.

Unfortunately, public transportation is dire in the United States and getting around via vehicle is absolutely crucial to make the most of your precious time and visit the best places in Arizona.

If you don’t have your own vehicle for your Arizona trip, I recommend using Kayak for car rentals. I find this site typically displays the best car rental deals!

Additionally, if you don’t live near Arizona or in the United States, you’ll likely be flying here. I recommend flying into Phoenix, as this will be the most affordable option.

Phoenix has two main airports — Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Both are centrally-located and have rental car places right near the arrival gates.

I always use Skyscanner to search for cheap flights! You can use the little widget below to see how much flights are from your departure airport to Phoenix, AZ.

(Side note: I have an entire post on how I score cheap flights! Check it out here.)

Sophie sitting on a ledge at the Grand Canyon National Park, a must visit attraction on any Arizona itinerary.

7-Day Arizona Itinerary Overview

Here’s a quick overview of the more detailed itinerary below.

  • Day 1 – Land in Phoenix and spend time exploring the city.
  • Day 2 – One full day in Phoenix to visit its top sites and attractions.
  • Day 3 – Drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon with a stop in Jerome.
  • Day 4 – Full day at the Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Day 5 – Drive from the Grand Canyon to Sedona and explore this cool town.
  • Day 6 – Full day in Sedona.
  • Day 7 – Drive back to Phoenix from Sedona and fly out.

Don’t forget to view the map of this road trip at the bottom of the post to get a better idea and actual visual of how you’ll be traveling around Arizona!

Sophie's sister and mom standing and admiring the view on an Arizona roadside stop.

Phoenix — Day 1-3

Your first couple days in Arizona are going to be spent in the bustling, lively city of Phoenix! As the capital of Arizona, you can bet there are tons of fun things to do, sites to see, and attractions to visit in Phoenix.

Best Things to Do in Phoenix, AZ

  • Head into Scottsdale Old Town and explore the Wild West-looking buildings.
  • Check out the incredible Desert Botanical Garden and view adorable succulents, beautiful flowers, towering cacti, and gorgeous greenery! (This is a personal favorite of mine!)
  • Ready to view beautiful Phoenix from above? Go on a Sunrise Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride!
  • Depending on how hot it is, have a picnic in one of the many city parks.
  • Jump in the car and head out for a hike on the outskirts of Phoenix. (I’m a big fan of the Lost Dutchman State Park.)
  • Visit the Heard Museum, which is devoted to Native American civilizations.
  • Check out the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.
  • Admire the Pueblo Grande Ruin.
  • Spend time outside at the Tempe Beach Park.
  • Explore the the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, Ro Ho En.
  • Eat your heart out at the exceptional vegan restaurants in Phoenix.
The view when hiking Hieroglyphic Trail near Phoenix, AZ.
Hiking Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix, AZ.

Where to Stay in Phoenix, AZ

I recommend staying somewhere central to cut down on transportation when in Phoenix. Not to mention, by staying centrally, you’ll be closer to all the best things to do in Phoenix!

My favorite areas to stay in Phoenix include:

Phoenix → Grand Canyon National Park

Next up on this 7-day Arizona itinerary? The Grand freakin’ Canyon, baby.

After spending a couple days seeing and experiencing the best of Phoenix, it’s time to drive up to Grand Canyon National Park. It takes around 4.5 hours to drive from Phoenix to Tusayan via Jerome, which is why you’ll find day 3 is mostly a travel day with a stop in Jerome.

Tusayan is the town right by the Grand Canyon National Park south entrance and it’s where I recommend you stay due to it being more affordable than staying inside the park. More on that below.

Downtown Scottsdale, one of the best places to visit in Phoenix, AZ.

Jerome – Day Trip

Jerome is hands down one of the COOLEST towns to visit in Arizona!

What once was a copper mining town has been turned into a tourist town filled with unique shops, little eateries, historic buildings, and a seriously interesting history.

Although, not too long ago Jerome was a bustling little place with around 15,000 residents. But as the copper mines dried up and money ran out, people up and left Jerome, leaving the town a desolate destination filled only with the lingering ghosts of long-lost miners.

View of local shops in Jerome, Arizona.

Nowadays, there’s around 400 people living in Jerome! (Who often report of strange occurrences and ghoulies running around the place…)

Anyways, with all of its cool attractions and interesting history, Jerome is well worth a stop on your drive up to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix!

Looking up the road at Jerome, Arizona.

Grand Canyon National Park — Day 4

Who’s ready to see a giant hole in the ground? ME!

Okay, okay, the Grand Canyon is so much more than just a simple hole… it’s a seriously stunning and cavernous canyon whose size you cannot even begin to fathom until you’re standing in front of it in person witnessing just how giant it truly is!

Not to mention, this national park boasts incredible views, gorgeous colorful rocks, exciting hikes, and a wild history that goes back millenniums.

In fact, scientists believe humans have inhabited the Grand Canyon area since the Ice Age! How crazy is that?

All in all, you won’t be bored when visiting the Grand Canyon — especially if you’re into reading placards and learning about its history! While the views can get a bit monotonous (though still beautiful!), getting to know the Grand Canyon’s past is where it’s at.

In this one-week Arizona itinerary, I dedicate one full day (2 nights) to the Grand Canyon National Park. I want to make sure you get your full Grand Canyon experience when visiting Arizona!

Sophie standing near the edge of a cliff at the Grand Canyon National Park.

Best Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park, which is a must visit on this 7 day Arizona itinerary that explore Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona.

Where to Stay Near the Grand Canyon National Park

As mentioned above, I recommend staying in Tusayan, which is the town located near the Grand Canyon National Park south entrance. If you’re road tripping Arizona on a budget, you’ll find accommodations in Tusayan are much more budget-friendly compared to accommodations inside the national park.

That said, if you have the means, I highly recommend staying within the national park! The hotels in Grand Canyon Village are incredible and in a spectacular location.

Grand Canyon National Park → Sedona

After you’ve gotten your fill of the Grand Canyon and its stunning views, it’s time to make your way back south to Sedona and its magical red rocks!

The drive from Grand Canyon National Park to Sedona takes around 2 hours so you can easily wake up in the morning, have a leisurely breakfast overlooking the Grand Canyon, make your way to Sedona, and have a good half day or so to go on a hike or explore this quirky little town.

View of the colorful Grand Canyon.

Ever thought about visiting Yosemite and Sequoia in the winter? It’s absolutely gorgeous! But before you plan your trip, check out this post on essential things to know when visiting Yosemite & Sequoia National Park in the winter!

Sedona — Day 5-7

Sedona is by far my favorite destination on this 7-day Arizona itinerary!

With its gorgeous red rocks, endless hiking opportunities, magical atmosphere and spiritual aura (it’s known to have 4 energy vortexes!), adorable local shops, jaw-dropping views, and delicious eateries, Sedona is one of the best places to visit in Arizona.

View of the red rocks of Sedona, AZ.

Best Things to Do in Sedona

  • Go on a hike — I recommend these short, easy hikes near Sedona.
  • Hike Devil’s Bridge via Mescal + Chuckwagon Trail, which is a favorite among visitors.
  • Check out Oak Creek Canyon.
  • Visit Cathedral Rock.
  • Explore the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
  • Check out one (or a few) of the many gift and specialty shops — the crystal shops are amazing here!
  • Take a look at the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
  • View Sedona from above and watch the sunset from the Airport Mesa.
  • Marvel at the Palatki Ruins (Palatki Heritage Site), just outside of Sedona in the Coconino National Forest.
  • Venture to the outskirts of Sedona at night for some incredible stargazing. (Check out this Sedona Nighttime UFO + Stargazing Tour!)
  • Go on a Small-Group Vortex Jeep Tour! The vortexes are an iconic attraction in Sedona and a must-visit on your 7-day Arizona road trip.
Sophie sitting on Devil's Bridge, a must-do hike when visiting Sedona on your Arizona trip.
Devil’s Bridge Hike.
Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is one of the best things to do in Sedona.
Chapel of the Holy Cross.

Where to Stay in Sedona

Sedona is pretty small so no matter where you stay, you’ll likely have easy access to all the best places and attractions here! However, some of my favorite places to stay in Sedona include:

Boynton Canyon near Sedona, AZ.

Sedona → Phoenix

On the last day of your trip, it’s time to drive back to Phoenix! Depending on what time your flight is at, it might be easier to drive back to Phoenix on day 6 and stay your last night there so you’re not rushing in the morning.

However, I highly recommend staying in Sedona as long as you can and driving to the airport from Sedona the day you fly out (if possible). It’s a relatively straightforward drive from Sedona to the Phoenix airport that takes around 2 hours.

Sedona is a GORGEOUS place to hike in Arizona! I recommend going on at least one hike with your time here. Check out this post on 5 awesome short and easy hikes in Sedona, AZ for more inspiration.

Sunset at Airport Mesa in Sedona, one of the best viewpoints overlooking the city and its red rock landscape.
Sunset at Airport Mesa in Sedona.

Map of 7-Day Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

How awesome does this 7-day Arizona itinerary sound?

Who wouldn’t love to road trip from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, with an exciting stop in the cool ghost town of Jerome?!

As someone who has personally done this Arizona sightseeing road trip before, I can wholeheartedly say it is totally awesome! It’s not too fast and not too slow, and features the best of Arizona in a short amount of time.

Tell me, are you planning an Arizona road trip that has stops in Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona? How does this 7-day Arizona itinerary sound to you? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Sophie xx

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