Recently, Mike’s job took him to Arizona for a meeting of the minds and, since I was on Spring Break during that week, I tagged along to get some sun while Rhode Island got hit by its FOURTH Nor’Easter in a row. If you’ve never been to Arizona, I highly recommend this state for domestic travel. This was my 4th or 5th time there, and it’s still one of my favorite states to visit. The weather is always beautiful, the people are so nice, and the landscapes CANNOT be beat.
This trip, I had this pleasure of going to three cities, with some surprises in each! Mike’s meeting was in Prescott, but due to weather, he flew out early and stayed in Phoenix, where the weather was the complete opposite (80’s and sunny). Prescott is 2 hours north, and the weather was still in the 30’s, so I decided to stay in Phoenix an extra day before meeting Mike at night after his meetings the next day. Our original plan was to head to the Grand Canyon, but we decided to head back to Phoenix after the conference, since northern Arizona had forecasted snow, the sole reason I had left Rhode Island in the first place! Here’s a look at some of the great experiences we had in the West.
I arrived in Phoenix on a Tuesday night, narrowly missing Winter Storm Toby, and was so excited to get to some actual warmth! The very first thing we did when I arrived was run up to the top of the buttes at our hotel, the Marriott Tempe at the Buttes, to check out the sunset. This was just the perfect start to the trip. I love a good hike, and this one was a short (but steep!) intro to the week ahead of me. The view was beautiful! You could see all of downtown Phoenix, and the colors were perfect.
That night, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, Top of the Rock. Some of the best food I’ve had in ages, definitely since moving home from New York. I couldn’t stop eating even though I was full!
I spent the next day at the pool, studying for midterms and getting some much needed sun. The staff at the pool and at the hotel overall were so accommodating and nice, and I was sad to leave. That said, l hopped on the Arizona Shuttle for Prescott that evening to meet Mike.
If were being honest, I had no idea what to expect of Prescott. Being from the Northeast, I had no idea what Prescott even was, or that it existed, until this trip. When I got there, it was dark and Mike was still at work, so I had to do a bit of exploring myself. the city seemed so friendly and safe, and I walked over to a local restaurant for dinner and a drink.
The next day, while Mike worked, I spent the day studying in a local cafe, the Wild Iris. It was such a great place to spend a rainy day working. The space was huge but still cozy, and I ate both breakfast and lunch there while I wrote flash cards and chatted with the staff.
The weather cleared up a bit, and I snapped this picture of their city hall – it was just so quaint in their downtown area and this building really stood out to me.
The highlight of Prescott, however, was Superstition Meadery. This place was AWESOME. I was browsing a precious gift shop near our hotel and saw an arrow pointing downstairs for mead. Having had no idea what mead was, I strolled down. I honestly felt like I was in a New York lounge, but instead I found myself drinking small batch honey wine in one of the top meaderies in the country. It was so cool!! I tried the Jucius Caesar.
After work that night, around 4:30, Mike had a brilliant idea. Let’s drive to Sedona and catch the sunset! he said. Sedona was close to an hour and a half away, but we jumped in the truck and drove out there!
What an awesome idea this was!!! We arrived at Little Horse Trail with about 40 minutes until sunset, jumped out, and started hiking (actually, running) up the red rocks. We made it just in time! We got such a cool view of the sunset. Plus, I had never seen red rocks like this, and the landscape absolutely blew me away. Camping trip in Sedona now added to the bucket list!
That night after the hike, we drove back to Phoenix for the last day of our trip. Remember – we were supposed to have gone to the Grand Canyon, but the snow stopped us, so instead… we booked HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE in Phoenix for early the next morning!!
Hot air ballooning has always been really high on my bucket list. I am so glad that we had this experience! We took our trip through Float Balloon Tours, and I couldn’t have felt more safe. There were close to 20 people in our balloon, and the pilot was great about floating us close to the tops of the hills and bringing us high over the city.
At the end of the ride, which started at around 5 am, we landed in the middle of the desert, where the balloon crew made us a delicious breakfast that they served with champagne. The crew was so nice and I couldn’t have had a better time with the group on the flight. Highly, highly recommend!
This was such a nice trip and I’m so glad we were able to see so much of this beautiful state. Have you ever been to AZ? How has your experience been?