If you live in Tucson, Arizona, you have a lot to love about your hometown. What if you want to get away for a weekend? There are many attractive places within driving distance that will give you new things to see and do.
1. Phoenix, AZ
Head to Phoenix for a big-city experience, just under two hours away. Nightlife abounds in the Phoenix area: You can see live comedy and dance the night away in downtown Phoenix, or you can check out the craft beer scene in Old Town Scottsdale.
Shoppers will have the time of their lives browsing through upscale shopping areas or the large selection of small shops and boutiques. In addition, sports enthusiasts of all ages can cheer for their favorite professional sports teams. Phoenix has teams in the big four professional sports leagues: football, baseball, hockey and basketball.
2. El Paso, TX
In just over four hours, you can be in El Paso, Texas. It's a wonderful place for family fun at reasonable prices.
El Paso is proud of its local artists, and it has many art galleries that feature traditional and contemporary art. Be sure to visit the Encaustic International Art Studio & Gallery. The entire family will learn something new as you explore this painting method that uses heated beeswax mixed with colored pigments. Other family attractions include the El Paso Zoo and the Adventure Zone, where you can ride go-carts or organize your own paintball wars.
3. Lake Havasu City, AZ
If your family loves the outdoors and water sports, you must visit Lake Havasu City. It's close to a five-hour drive from Tucson, but the trip will be well worth it! The entire family will enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking and just relaxing in the sun.
The Parker Dam on the Colorado River created Lake Havasu. Sand dunes, canyons, mountains and basins at the foot of California's Chemehuevi Mountains surround the 45-mile-long lake. Its unique claim to fame is the London Bridge that was relocated from London, England, to the lake in 1967.
4. Las Cruces, NM
There are two places you simply must visit while you're in Las Cruces. First, you need to see the White Sands National Monument, consisting of undulating dunes of rare white gypsum sand that cover 275 square miles of desert. You can explore the dunes on foot, bicycle or by car.
On your way home, stop at the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces - it's more than 40 years old and hosts over 300 vendors. In addition to sampling the fresh food, you can also shop for ceramics, pottery, leather goods, jewelry and more.
5. Sedona, AZ
Sedona is about 3.5 hours from Tucson, and it's the perfect destination for immersing yourself in Grand Canyon-like natural beauty. Sedona is nestled in the middle of 1.8 million acres of national forest land, where you can hike on red rock trails through multi-colored stone formations, discover hidden canyons and visit authentic Mexican village recreations. End your day in one of Sedona's fine restaurants that offer everything from vegetarian fare to steak to spicy Southwestern cuisine.
6. Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff is almost four hours from Tucson. While it's not far from Sedona, this destination is ideal for a winter playground; the Arizona Snowbowl is Arizona's premier destination for skiing and winter sports. From a location high in the Arizona mountains, Flagstaff winters are decorated with fresh snow powder, sunny skies and breathtaking views.
Whether you want to go swimming in the summer or skiing in the winter, weekend getaways close to Tucson have something for everyone!