Arizona trip report

Blog Post created by ks83 on Jan 5, 2018

This is a trip report on a recent trip to Arizona.


Day 1: On the first leg of the flight from Boston to St Paul delta actually upgraded us to Comfort + seating – my first ever free upgrade on an airline.


After landing late afternoon in Phoenix airport we took Uber to a downtown Budget location to pick up the car as airport pick up was extremely expensive. Only to find that the location was closed and they sent to a new location. Fortunately the Uber was still waiting and he took us to the new location.


At the new location they gave a 15$ coupon for the trouble and offered a free upgrade to a full size from economy car.


The plan was to just to drive to Page anyway, but we did do some shopping on the way. The drive to Page was really long and as it was pitch dark could not enjoy the scenery – but did enjoy on the drive back 2 days later.

Had called the CY location to let them know we are coming in pretty late, got around 10 30 PM.


Hotel review - CY Page Lake Powell Review


Day 2: After a nice breakfast, they had better selections than the Lexington Autograph collection hotel in NYC we set off to the Antelope Canyon tour.


It was pretty amazing though a bit chilly. The tour guide did warn that it would be 15 – 20 degrees colder in the canyon.


The tour was so-so as it was very crowded with people just taking pictures instead of enjoying the view. I also felt that it was very rushed as the whole thing was over in 45 mins.It’s worth doing once in your lifetime.


Then we went to the Antelope boat marina for the boat tour of Lake Powell. This we really liked as the scenery was pretty amazing.


After the boat tour we went to the horse shoe bend and the view was amazing too.


We also went to the Antelope galleria in downtown and they had pretty nice collections although pricey. We did not buy anything as we thought it was a tourist trap.


Most of the restaurants in Page are closed on Sunday and had to call about 5 or 6 before we could find a place that was open, finally we went to a thai place which was surprisingly above average.


azdesertrat , this thai place is pretty good if you want to check it out. Dara thai express is the name of the place.


Day 3: After another heavy breakfast at the hotel, we left to Flagstaff and as it was in the morning we really enjoyed the drive down.


I think the last time I saw so few vehicles on the road was when I was driving in Alaska.


We went to the sunset crater in Flagstaff and hiked the Lenox Crater Trail and Lava Edge Trail. The trails were pretty good with almost no people.


We then checked in to the Fairfield Inn in Flagstaff.


Review - Fairfield inn Flagstaff Review


Finding a restaurant for dinner was easy as they have so many places to eat here.


Day 4: After another heavy breakfast we checked out and started the drive to Tucson.


On the way we decided to do another hike and chose Cathedral rock trail – this was a very challenging hike but it was well worth it as the view was just amazing from the very top. We were so glad that we went all the way to the top – to all who do this trail I would suggest go all the way as it is well worth the effort.


We had to stop at the Phoenix airport on the way to swap out our car as there was an indicator to change the engine oil and I did not want to risk it.


Passing through Phoenix we encountered a lot of traffic and it was pretty late when we got to Ritz in Tucson. This was the best resort we have ever stayed at.


Review - Ritz carlton dove mountain review


Day 5: After a heavy breakfast and this was how we spent the whole vacation – heavy breakfast in the morning and an early dinner, we set out on mountain bikes.


This was pretty cool as it’s been a while since I rode a bike. My wife found it a bit tough initially but after a while we set out on a 3 mile long trail and we really enjoyed it. The resort is really beautiful.


After the bike rides we went for another hike on the resort grounds. Dinner was in the Core kitchen and details can be found in the resort review.


Day 6: After another heavy breakfast, we set out to old Tucson – a movie studio about an hour away.


We really liked this as we had never been to a place like this. We really enjoyed the grounds and spent over 3 hours exploring the place.


For dinner we had booked the El Charro’s Café after the recommendations here. We got to the Oro valley location at around 6 and had no wait. The food was just ok and the tacos my wife had was very spicy causing her issues throughout the next day. The only good thing about dinner was the Margarita I had.


Day 7: After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and started towards our final destination Scottsdale.


We came to downtown Scottsdale and did some shopping in the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

We had booked the Scottsdale Marriott at Mcdowell Mountains.


Review - Scottsdale Marriott at Mcdowell Mountains Review


Day 8: After breakfast we thought of doing the Camelback hike but decided against it as it was a weekend and all the reviews both online and here had said it would be very crowded in the weekends and had to start really early.


As it was almost 10 we took the Tom’s thumb trail and this was also very challenging, especially at the initial stages. The toughest hike I had done till date was Mt Mitchell in the Smoky Mountains and this was even tougher even though shorter.


The view from the top was only so-so although after the Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona every view from the top would be so-so.


We were so tired that we had to cancel our plans to go to JW Desert Ridge to view the christmas celebrations.


Day 9: After breakfast we set out to explore the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM).


I have to say that we are not big fans of museums and we actually avoid going to them wherever we go, but I am glad we went to this one.


It is a very good museum with a collection of musical instruments from all over the world and explaining the origins of them as well. The recorder they give you is pretty cool as it starts playing as soon as you get in front of a television. We came in pretty late – may be around 12 PM and had to rush through to finish seeing all the countries before closing time.


We were exhausted at the end by the sheer volume of instruments. We also spent some time in the gift shop and bought some souvenirs.


Day 10: As our flight was really early we had to skip breakfast and after dropping the car at the rental we headed back home.


On the second leg from St Paul to Boston Delta upgraded me to Comfort + but had to deny as they only upgraded me. I could not believe that I had to deny an upgrade.


We had parked our car at the CY Boston airport and as expected it was covered in snow and no they had not cleaned it like they do in Sheraton Madison.


This was a wonderful trip and we were really glad we picked Arizona and we were not bored at all even though we spent 10 days.


Many thanks to azdesertrat , j&c , iahflyr , jerryl , nipper , fschumpert , jerrycoin , clebert , zonahiker , rktdoc for all your wonderful suggestions and tips in organizing this trip.