A City Girl's Guide to a Weekend in Arizona
As a blogger and avid social media user, I’m constantly finding myself scrolling through Instagram. Since travel is one of the main topics I’m now exploring more, I’ve been finding myself stumbling upon tons of beautiful images of places all around the world.
One place in particular I happened to stumble upon was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I kept seeing the different parts of the canyon, the sunsets, sunrises, etc. It just happened to be perfect timing because my boyfriend and I were taking a weekend trip to Arizona a few weeks after I found those pictures.
When looking up what to do in Arizona, we happened to come across an article about a place called Antelope Canyon. Every single picture was incredible, and the warm aesthetics just happened to fit my vibe lately too. Each photo was filled with earthy reds, burnt orange tones, and layers of neutral browns. After looking at a few images, we decided that we needed to go to Antelope Canyon that weekend no matter what.
So we did.
But before we get to that, here’s what else we did that weekend…
The first day we got to Arizona, we flew into Phoenix and had the best lunch at Phoenix Public Market Cafe. I had a delicious vegan A B & J—almond butter and jelly sandwich. It was on 9 grain bread and had sliced apples on top too! My boyfriend had the Baker’s Quiche and seemed to really love his as well. If you’re ever in Phoenix you need to try this place. It is a hipster-ish cafe with the best lattes. I had the honey latte and it is to die for. I’ve been craving it ever since we went.
Anyway, after we got some lunch we drove up to the South Rim of the Canyon. We were there in the late afternoon, but it was still light out at the time. We were able to walk around and see so many beautiful views. It was so peaceful. We were only there a few hours and felt like it was the perfect amount of time. If you have more time to spend there, I think it was be super relaxing to find a great view and read a new book there too!
The next day we spent in Flagstaff with some friends and were able to do some fun activities like an extreme adventure course, going out downtown, and just spending time together. It was a total blast!
On our last day in Arizona, we decided to head up to Antelope Canyon.
One thing to note about Antelope Canyon is that before you go, you need to decide if you want to see the Upper Canyon or the Lower Canyon. Personally, I did my research and found that the photos I kept seeing prior to the trip were in the Lower Antelope Canyon. Most people that I talked to and read reviews from said that Upper Antelope Canyon was a multi-hour trip and they had to take additional transportation to get there; Lower Antelope Canyon was more recommended—so we went with that.
Before you head to Lower Antelope Canyon, make sure you stop and get a full tank of gas and some snacks in Flagstaff because once you get past there, there’s really no place to stop.
We got up to Lower Antelope Canyon around 12:30pm or so. Despite reading reviews and listening to locales talking about needing a guide, we decided to just drive up to the canyon and then figure out what to do. If you put Antelope’s address in the GPS, it’ll take you literally to the side of a road. It turns out that you actually do need a guide or tour. Luckily, 3 minutes away from that address are tons of tour places. The one we went to was Ken’s Tours.
Since we didn’t have much time to explore the canyon—we wanted to get back towards Phoenix before it got dark out—we opted for the 1 hour tour. The tour was perfect. The canyon is beautiful, but you can see quite a bit of it in 1 hour. The only issue we ran into was having to wait an hour and a half for a tour because we didn’t make a reservation. It was fine though, we walked around the gift shop and then waited in the car for a bit (the actual waiting area was a bit crowded).
However, after we were on our way for the tour around 1:45pm, we were required to wait about 45 minutes in a line with all of the other tour groups before we were allowed to enter the canyon. If you’re not a patient person and don’t want to be waiting around, our guide said that the best time to come is first thing in the morning. If you make your reservation the first one of the day, you can usually just walk right in, but when there’s several groups, they limit the number of people inside at once. Limiting the number of people happened to be a good thing because then we weren’t all crowded or rushed.
In the canyon itself, there are tons of beautiful views. Our guide pointed out great photo spots (and even took some for us!), iconic canyon views, and told us a bit of history as we went along. For the most part, we were able to be on our own to stop to take pictures as long as we kept up with the group.
When I was researching Antelope Canyon, I kept trying to think of what to wear. I wanted something cute, but not over the top. I couldn’t find outfit recommendations anywhere, so I just decided to wing it. The tour we went on didn’t require any extensive hiking or anything of the sort (luckily)—just a few staircases and the occasional latter. So I opted for short booties (the same ones I wore to Coachella), a rust-colored mini skirt, a black off the shoulder crop top, and a small wristlet to hold my phone and ID in. In my opinion, it was the perfect outfit. Wear whatever you want when you go, but I would advise close toed shoes (like booties) and no stilettos.
By the time we got out of the tour, it was around 3:30pm/4pm. We decided to head back towards Phoenix before the sun set. The reason we did this was because there are no street lights basically anywhere between Phoenix and Antelope Canyon—even Flagstaff was super dark. Locales told us it’s because of light pollution, but to us it was still very dangerous, so we tried our best to get as close to Phoenix as quickly as possible, because once the sun sets, it’s pitch black out. If you feel comfortable driving in the dark on curvy roads, this won’t be wont an issue for you. For us city people, it was a bit hard for us since we’re used to having street lights all the time.
On our way back to the airport Phoenix, we stopped for a quick dinner at La Vetta, which was this amazing Italian restaurant in downtown Flagstaff. I loved the interior and the food was perfect. My boyfriend loved the soup there too--so make sure to try some. They offer grilled artichoke that you can add on to your dish; I highly recommend getting it! After dinner, we headed back to the airport and took a midnight flight home. I have Global Entry, so I flew through security in about 3 minutes, which was amazing because we were so exhausted.
Side note: Global Entry and/or TSA-Pre Check is a staple for those of you who travel often like we do. If you're going on a trip early next year, I recommend applying now and scheduling an interview so you can get it right away. It makes life so much easier!
We had a great weekend in Arizona. Antelope Canyon is a place I feel is definitely worth visiting. It’s stunning and it’s incredible to see the beauty earth creates for itself. Every photo we took was simply gorgeous and the weather was incredible. If you have any questions at all about traveling, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff—or anything at all, please let me know!
Catch you next week!