For sheer variety, there aren't too many places that can beat
Northern Arizona for landscape and beauty.
First off, select a home base--a place to return to after driving around all day. The
Northern Arizona sights are relatively close, but "relatively" still might mean a few hours drive. One of the best home bases is Sedona. It's got quite a collection of shops and restaurants, and also has Slide Rock, in , just a few minutes outside of Sedona. Oak Creek Canyon
Slide Rock is a canyon carved out of the red rock by
. The algae covering the rocks makes them especially slippery, so swimmers can actually slide right on down the river, like a naturally formed water park. It's a very popular destination, but be sure to check with the park in advance, because they will close the creek to swimming if the algae level gets too high or the water level gets too low. Oak Creek is also great for fishing. Oak Creek
With a comfortable home base, the family is ready to make their expeditions to the other Northern Arizona sites of interest, starting with the world's biggest hole in the ground, the
Grand Canyon. Carved out of bedrock by the Colorado River, the canyon is a scar across Northern Arizona, and offers some of the most incredible views in the state.
Between Sedona and the Canyon is
Flagstaff, one of the few places in where you can go skiing. That's always been an attraction for Arizona Phoenix dwellers--the possibility of driving to at dawn to ski all morning, then driving home to jump in the backyard pool. Flagstaff
There are several other sites of interest within a few hours' drive from Sedona, such as Meteor Crater, the Petrified Forest, the
Painted Desert, and Montezuma's Castle. All of them are worth the trip, and make Northern Arizona one of the most attractive areas in the country.