If you hanker for a road trip, Arizona is possibly one of the best destinations you can choose for your outdoor adventure. Why? Because no matter where you decide to go in AZ, chances are you’ll find gorgeous vacation rentals that are usually within walking distance from some spectacular nature. And depending on how you plan your trip, you may never need to drive more than an hour or two from one spot to the next. So you’ll get to take in a lot of AZ beauty in a little driving.
If you are planning a road trip in Arizona, here are top five locations you want to visit:
Seek Adventure in Sedona/Grand Canyon/Flagstaff
The red rocks, scenic areas, and tranquil vibes of Sedona are every family’s dream to see. The drive up to Sedona from Phoenix is picturesque, hilly and takes about two hours. Go during non-peak dates for the best time. Enjoy everything from hiking, camping, and shopping, to galleries in Sedona. Stop for a glass of wine at Javelina Leap Vineyard before you head off to Grand Canyon- one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
When you get to the GC, don’t miss out on the area’s top highlight - the Bright Angel Trail on the North Rim. If you’re brave enough, consider Colorado River Rafting.
When you are in Flagstaff, enjoy the jaw-droppingly beautiful nature along with a range of hidden campsites south of Flagstaff. Oh, and make sure you visit Santas Workshop - especially if you’ve got your kiddies with you!
Old Town Scottsdale
From fantastic restaurants and shopping tours to some of the best golf courses in the state, you’ll get everything you need in the Old Town Scottsdale. Rent a vacation house in Old Town, spend a date night at Bandera, take a selfie in front of Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture! If your kids are coming along, make sure you take them to the OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland. A few other things you can enjoy in and around Old Town Scottsdale:
Bisbee is situated against a steep hill. Athletes know it for its annual 1,000 Staircase Climb. With its quaint “Ghost Town” charm, Bisbee is perfect for casually exploring the restaurants, shops, galleries, and other establishments.
Take a Golf Cart Tour of the city or try a Jeep Ride of the historic district and mines. See everything from the Brewery Gulch and Main Street to the Tombstone Canyon and OK Street.
If you consider yourself an old soul or are fascinated with the historic charm, you’ll love Bisbee’s:
Home to the majestic Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is a place filled with grandeur and adventure. Regardless of the time you come here, there’ll be plenty of activities to enjoy since local events run all year. Go check out the Renaissance Festival in February or the Festival of the Superstitions in October. Take Route 88 to see the Tonto National Monument, then try the miles-long hike trails if you are feeling adventurous. This place has got you covered for a few more great things like:
Show Low is home to about 12,000 residents (which makes the town much quieter than most.) Enjoy the White Mountains and great spots for hunting and fishing. Get your senses blown away with the local cuisine specialties, go exploring the wildlife spots or golfing. You can also go shopping for unique souvenirs at Lazy Bear Decor or drop by the Show Low Bluff Trail. Other things you can do:
a. Hiking and Camping
b. Oak, Aspen and Spruce tree forests
c. Snow Play
What other locations have you considered for your road trip across Arizona? Share your ideas in the comments below!
People used tents or similar sheltering structures since the dawn of time, and that is precisely why we cannot pinpoint the exact era when the first one was invented. The concept is simple. Drape whatever you can over a pole or something else, and you will get instant protection from the weather.
However, if we are to talk about the history of Camping and tents in America, we have to define two different uses: Camping as a way of surviving the harsh climate, and camping for purely recreational purposes. Recreational camping started to bloom in the 1900s, after World War II.
Fun Fact: The oldest evidence of a tent dates back to the 40,000 BC. It was located in a Russian archeological site in Moldova. Even the Old Testament mentions the use of shelters!
Luckily, camping equipment evolved through the ages, and we will take you on a short journey through the history of tents in American recreational camping.
The Tent History Timeline
1855 – The Americans realized that Native American tents are very functional and provide a great shelter. Copying the basic principle, Henry Hopkins Sibley patented a bell tent that had a large piece of fabric strung up over a pole in the center. This type of shelter was used widely in the Civil War.
1905 – A breakthrough in camping equipment made recreational camping available for everyone who doesn’t want to compromise on comfort. Singlehandedly, William Coffin Coleman discovered a new lamp that burned gasoline and emitted steady white light that was much safer than regular candles. It is how the Coleman Company came to life. And that company is still going strong, offering the most modern recreational camping equipment.
1906 – Thomas Hiram Holding is considered to be the father of modern camping. In 1906, he published “The Camper’s Handbook,” a guide that first entertained the notion of camping for recreational purposes. In it, he explains how camping brings you closer to nature, extends your lifespan due to the physical activity, and most importantly, makes people self-reliant. And he wasn’t wrong!
1911 – An in-depth guide about making ten different types of tents published in 1911. It is called the Boy Scout Handbook and provided a variety of camping information about tent pitching.
1945 – This was the year when Americans felt it was high time to go back to their roots and nature. Sales of tents and campers increased, and many people chose to spend their leisure time outdoors. It was due to the war ending, and purchasing power restored for many people. Luckily, they decided to go on a camping equipment shopping spree.
1959 – Eureka, a camping gear company, introduced the first-ever self-standing tent. This gave birth to a whole new era of tent development. Eureka indeed!
1970 – While other companies tried to copy Eureka’s previous patent, they went ahead and created a yet another industry shift. Up until then, tents were bulky, heavy, and hard to store and transport. But sometime in the 1970s, they advertised a new Timberline tent that fit in a backpack and didn’t weigh a ton. Timberline tents were purchased 1 million times in the next ten years.
1990 – There are many truck drivers in America, and trucks are perfect for harsher climates and rough roads. Especially if we are talking about the great outdoors, mountain areas and camping areas. Napier Enterprises saw the connection between the love of camping and truck drivers, so they introduced the first truck tent that fits perfectly on the back of the pickup.
2009 – 2011 – As of 2009, there were 3.2 million people in America who prefer tents over other luxurious camping experiences, and that number persisted throughout 2011.
2016 – The modern era brings impressive new tent designs and even sturdier and lighter weight equipment. Some of the concepts introduced to the public were solar-powered tents, kayak tents, tents intended for cyclists, and even those that can withstand howling winds and arctic climate.
This short recap of the recreational camping history can serve as a reminder of how far we have come from tepees to modern age tents and camping equipment. No matter which one you choose, the result is the same – reconnecting with nature and finding peace in the wilderness.