One of Arizona’s most famous landmarks is the iconic Grand Canyon. Here’s a 2 days in Arizona itinerary including the canyon and more.
How To Get Around Arizona
We found the best way to get to the attractions we wanted to see in Arizona was to hire a car and drive ourselves.
Although, there are numerous guided tours you can jump on to depending on your starting point. You’ll a great choice on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
For example, from the city of Page you could get the Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour.
Or, if you are based in Las Vegas, there are a multitude of tours, with one of the most popular being the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend day trip.
Best Time To Visit Arizona
Arizona is an all year round destination. Probably the best time to visit though is during the autumn months of September to November, especially if you prefer it a little cooler.
At this time of the year you avoid the peak tourist season and also the pretty high temperatures that can hit 40°C during the summer months.
Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.
What To Pack
2 Days In Arizona Itinerary
Day 1: Explore North
We were based in the more central city of Phoenix in Arizona but could not miss the opportunity to explore the acclaimed northern area of Arizona.
We hired a car and arrived at our first destination in just under 4 hours.
Grand Canyon South Rim
The Grand Canyon has made it onto the list of the ‘7 natural wonders of the world’ for good reason. It is undoubtedly very grand and also pretty breathtaking.
South Rim is the most popular and accessible rim at the Grand Canyon National Park and has plenty on offer.
There are visitor centres, free Ranger talks, geological/ historical information and the Grand Canyon Railway. As well as over 20 viewpoints and trailheads.
Depending how long you want to spend at the rim, there are numerous tours on offer. From self-guided audio walking tours to air and rail tours, there are plenty of ways to discover the true magnitude of this unique place.
Entrance passes to Grand Canyon National Park are valid for one to seven days and start at $20.(With both the South Rim and North Rim of the park included.)
Visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim has to be THE best start to your 2 days in Arizona itinerary. Seeing this natural wonder is surely at the top of everyones Arizona bucket list!
From Grand Canyon South Rim, it’s just over a 2 hour drive to Horseshoe Bend, your second and final destination of day 1 of your 2 days in Arizona itinerary.
Horseshoe Bend is the point where the Colorado River curves into a perfect horseshoe shape around a rugged sandstone escarpment. Thus, creating one of America’s most beautiful natural attractions.
It’s said to be perhaps the most famous bend in the entire 1450 mile length of the Colorado River and certainly one of Glen Canyon National Recreations Area’s highlights.
The view of this dramatic curve and the sweeping panorama around it are best seen from the 4200ft wide overlook area at the edge of the cliff.
The emerald green tones of the Colorado River waters set against the red tones of the sandstone rock is pretty breathtaking.
It’s free to visit Horseshoe Bend. However, there is a parking charge of $10 per vehicle to use the car park.
Horseshoe Bend is undoubtedly one of the most photographed and stunning spots of the American Southwest.
Day 2: Phoenix
Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and located in the central region of the state, it’s the perfect place to spend day 2 of your 2 days in Arizona itinerary.
For a great start to the day, The Lola restaurant on Sunset Boulevard will put a smile on your face.
Opened in 2018, The Lola’s goal was to ‘create an atmosphere and vibe that everyone will enjoy with an industrial and open ambiance’.
They are renowned for their brunch, small plates and craft cocktails along with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Offering a varied selection of dishes, using fresh local produce, you will be spoilt for choice.
From a variety of French toasts, waffles and burritos to burgers and steaks, you are sure to find something to suit your tastebuds.
The Lola is a great destination not only for food and drink but to also soak up some good vibes in a really cool restaurant.
Cham Pagn Lanes
Now you are fuelled up, Cham Pagn Lanes is the perfect spot to expend some energy and have some laughs.
Located at 903 N 2nd Street, this champagne bar and bowling alley for adults, is a perfect spot to spend some time with friends.
With its very chic and grown-up interior, it’s far from your normal bowling alley. Bowlers actually get to enjoy a very plush lounge area aw well as pool tables and pinball machines.
Along with a choice of drinks including wines, beers, gins, whiskeys and of course champagne and champagne based cocktails.
Additionally, if you are looking to eat, they also serve a menu with dishes ranging from sushi to pork rolls and Thai curries.
So, gather some friends and head to Cham Pagn Lanes to let loose your inner child and have some fun.
After your bowling session, if you are looking for a really good place for dinner on day 2 of your 2 days in Arizona itinerary, it’s got to be Cocina Madrigal.
Topping the list of Yelps 100 best restaurants in America, you’re probably best making a reservation as this is understandably a very popular restaurant.
Located at 4044 S 16th Street, don’t be put off by the rather plain exterior. Once inside, you are greeted by a contemporary and comfortable interior as well as an outside patio area.
This family-run, Mexican restaurant specialises in fresh, handcrafted tacos, homemade enchiladas and lots more delicious Mexican cuisine. All using fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are bursting with flavour.
Fusing traditional recipes with creative twists, the food at Cocina Madrigal seems to reflect a true passion of Mexican food.
Add to this, the restaurant’s friendly and attentive staff and you have got the perfect dining experience.
For the perfect end to your 2 days in Arizona itinerary, I can recommend heading to Sazerac.
Located in the heart of Phoenix’s art district at 821 North 2nd Street, this locally owned and operated bar is intimate and relaxed.
Furthermore the owners pride themselves on offering ‘one of a kind, expertly-crafted cocktails and the best craft beer we can find’. Along with an amazing choice of whiskeys.
The interior is dark and calm, with some great art work on the walls. There’s also a really cool outdoor patio area with mist machines if need to cool down.
To add to the ambience there’s plenty of good music, often provided by local DJs or live bands.
With it’s funky and friendly vibe, this is the perfect place to relax, unwind and have a few drinks with mates on your last day in Arizona.
Where to Stay In Arizona
This hotel is located in the center of the Sonoran Desert, less than 30 km from downtown Scottsdale.
It boasts 2 golf courses, and offers air-conditioned rooms with scenic views. Rooms at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort are spacious and include a seating area. They come equipped with cable TV, a coffee maker and minibar. Some rooms have balconies.
The JW Marriott Phoenix features 5 restaurants that serve a variety of American and international cuisine. The hotel has an on-site Starbucks and provides free WiFi in public areas.
Guests of the hotel can enjoy the 5 swimming pools and waterslides. The Desert Ridge Resort also boasts a spa with a lap pool, and a fitness center.
Featuring an atrium, an indoor pool and a restaurant, Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North offers accommodation in the city centre of Phoenix.
Guests can also enjoy the on-site bar. Phoenix Convention Center is 4 km away.
All rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV, a microwave and a small refrigerator. A private bathroom is also available. Select rooms include a seating area or a living room.
Great American Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and Atrium Lounge offers beer and cocktails, as well as billiards and a dartboard. You will find a 24-hour front desk, gift shop, and fitness centre at the property.
This hotel is 9 miles from downtown Phoenix and 3 miles from the Phoenix Mountains Park.
This hotel features an outdoor pool and offers free Wi-Fi in every room.
Rooms at the BEST WESTERN PLUS InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites feature a microwave and refrigerator. The rooms also have a coffee maker and cable TV.
BEST WESTERN PLUS InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites offers a gym and a business center. Guests can dine at P.J. Café, which features a breakfast buffet.
For more places to stay in Phoenix, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.