Looking to explore the Southwestern United States? Whether you want to take in the natural beauty of the deserts and canyons, learn about the dynamic history, or just soak in the sun, the Copper State has a lot to offer travelers of all ages. Family travel in Arizona is easy, affordable and completely unforgettable.
From the iconic beauty of the Grand Canyon to snowy mountains of Flagstaff to the cactus-filled Sonoran Desert, this is one place you’ve just got to explore from top to bottom.
Ready for an adventure? Here’s your guide to family travel in Arizona.
Visiting the Grand Canyon with Kids
What better place for a geography lesson? With bold cliffs made of rocks that pre-date the dinosaurs, it is easy to see why the Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic sites in the United States. The mile-deep Grand Canyon National Park is actually bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island! You could spend a week exploring the paths, caves, and waterways. When it comes to family travel in Arizona, this is the quintessential trip.
The Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is an ideal base for exploring. This family-friendly hotel is just over seven miles from the park so it’s an easy trip if you’ve got young kids and want to break it up into a few shorter visits. For bigger families, check out the suites with separate living areas and kitchenettes.
Check out our guide to the Best Summer Road Trips for Families.
Family Trip to Sedona
With stunning vistas at every turn, Sedona is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Pick one of the many impressive hiking trails, explore Slide Rock State Park, go horseback riding, and meet the locals at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. This is an especially good destination for families with younger kids because you can explore nature while having all of the conveniences of home at your fingertips.
For a cozy, kid-friendly hotel, check out the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. Nestled among dramatic red rocks, you’ll find all of the comforts of home.
Tucson for Kids
With countless things for kids to do and temperatures that are cooler than Phoenix, Tucson is one of the top cities for family travel in Arizona.
Science-curious kids will jump at a chance to explore Biosphere 2, where the earth’s ecosystems are being recreated indoors. To learn about the local flora and fauna, visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum for the botanical garden, natural history museum, and zoo.
To have an old fashioned dude ranch experience, you’ve got to stay at the White Stallion Ranch. First thing in the morning, you’ll ride your horse through the desert for a good old fashioned cowboy breakfast. If you book to stay for a few nights (either four or six nights), they’ll throw in complimentary sessions of rock climbing, shooting, and Fat Tire E-biking.
Family Travel in Arizona: The Old West
Just an hour south of Tuscon, you’ll find the legendary town of Tombstone. Here you can get an authentic taste of The Wild West. With locals dressed up as cowboys, gunfight reenactments, and carefully preserved buildings, it’s like stepping back in time. Take a guided tour of the OK Corral and all of the streets that have kept this little town at the heart of American Old West culture.
After a long day out, if you’re looking to lay your head somewhere with all of the modern conveniences, check out the Tombstone Grand Hotel. Comfortable and modern, this lovely spot has complimentary breakfasts for the whole family and a stunning fire pit overlooking the desert.
Got older kids looking for fun? Yuma is one of the best places for your family travel in Arizona. Take them on a dune buggy through the desert, ride a camel, then go river-tubing. Explore the mines, and (if they’re brave enough!) check out the tours of the ghost town. Overlooking the Colorado River, this is another fascinating spot with plenty of Old West history.
For a family-friendly hotel in Yuma, the Radisson Hotel Yuma is an easy winner. It’s a stone’s throw from the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. And, you’ll also have easy access to the Arizona Historical Society Sanguinetti House Museum and the Colorado River State Historic Park
Scottsdale for Families
Just beside Phoenix is the kid-friendly desert town of Scottsdale. Famous for its spas and golf courses, this is a parents’ fave. Bring the family to wander around Downtown’s Old Town Scottsdale then take in the desert landscape of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
And, of course, you’ve got to stay at the #1 Family Waterpark Resort – The Great Wolf Lodge Arizona in Scottsdale is a massive indoor water park with daily events. The interactive games, an arcade, mini-golf, and great restaurant options is a dream for kids of all ages.
Family Travel in Arizona: Northern Fun
Another outdoor lovers’ paradise, there are countless hiking and biking trails in Flagstaff. Meet the local wildlife, explore Meteor Crater, then get down to the Lava Tube Cave. See the stars from the telescopes at Lowell Observatory then ski at Arizona Snowbowl. No matter when you visit, Flagstaff will keep you busy.
Little America Flagstaff Hotel is an easy winner for families looking for a kid-friendly hotel in a convenient spot.
Ready to book your trip? You need to check out these kids-fly-free airlines!