As a little nudge to consider making Arizona your next long weekend trip if you haven’t already been, I thought I’d briefly share the highlights from our 3 day Labor Day long weekend itinerary. Although we flew into Phoenix, we based ourselves in the city of Page, given its proximity to most of the major attractions we were trying to get to. Although it seemed a bit ambitious at first to stick to our plans with holiday crowds slowing us down, we made it comfortably despite a bazillion photo-op pitstops. ;)
*Page itself is a ~3 hour drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, so make sure to account for that in your planning if flying into Phoenix.
We left Phoenix early with plans to beat the holiday traffic and reach Page by early afternoon, but totally underestimated how many great hidden gems were along the way. The three major stops to consider:
1) Flagstaff through Route 66- If only just to get a taste of the historic route (and a second dose of caffeine, who are we kidding!), downtown Flagstaff is a fun stop. We did this on day 3 on our way back, scroll through for images from then. :)
2) Sunset Crater National Monument- We stumbled upon this beautiful spot almost unintentionally, and I’m so glad we did! The now dormant volcanic crater makes for a dramatic backdrop to sunlit meadows, with the opposite side showcasing the grand San Francisco mountains. Noone else was around, so you bet I danced around in the wildflower fields while I could. ;)
3) Wupatki National Monument- Since the Standing Rock demonstrations, Kushal and I have tried educating ourselves about the Native Indian communities in the country and we’re constantly amazed/pained by what we learn. The Wupatki national monument was a chance to see a fully preserved settlement of the Navajo Indian tribes in the desert, and it was yet another necessary reminder of their resilience, albeit in the face of still existing oppression.
It was golden hour when we finally reached Page, and we booked it straight to Horseshoe Bend for what we knew was going to be a stunning sunset. Horseshoe Bend is one of those places that wows despite having seen it in pictures a hundred times before, so beautiful! I might have been wearing a velvet dress for the day, but secretly inside my head, I was living my best Pocahontas-singing-just-around-the-riverbend life!
Bryce Canyon National Park is only a 1.5-2 hour drive from Page, so definitely add it to your itinerary for a daytrip if you’re there! I shared a long-ish photo story of this day (with outfit deets!) in this earlier post if you’d like to see more, but trust me nevertheless when I say that it’s well worth the drive. Oh and grab some lunch sandwiches to-go from Forscher German Bakery.. nom x100!
If your legs are not weary as yet, extra stops along the way that we really enjoyed were the striped ‘toadstools’ of Grand Escalante National Monument...
...and the wonderful sunset views from the Wahweap reservation.
Day three involved waking up with the roosters for an early date with Antelope Canyon and once I got over my hangry coffee-less grumpiness, boy was it worth it! Given the predicted high temperature of over a hundred degrees by late morning, the early morning time slot was perfectly un-suffocating on our chosen Lower Canyon tour. It was truly a bucket list dream come true to witness the wondrous swirling patterns of the slot canyons, although my favorite moment may have been when K paused to fully observe and approve of my outfit just before we entered the canyons and went as far as to say that it was the ‘perfect’ look for a morning in the desert. ;)
In all seriousness, I stepped outside of my comfort zone with this gorgeous sheer embroidered top ($18!) and now that I have, I’m obsessed! It’s such a versatile piece and the color palette is so perfect for the upcoming cold seasons!
We got on our way back to Phoenix soon after this, as we had plans to stop in Flagstaff (how cool is the candy colored motel we found there?!)...
...and Sedona before it got dark. I shared all the deets on Sedona in this post if you’d like to read. :)
There aren’t a ton of accommodation options in Page, and we may have gotten lucky with the most charming one in town at Rose Walk Inn! It’s a homely B&B run by the most grandparent-ly Jim and Verda… they pronounced us to be their grandkids promptly after we entered and kept us well fed and entertained for our whole stay like only real family would. :) Verda’s famous pancakes had us drooling, and Jim’s magic tracks made coming back from a day of exploring even more fun! It also helps that it’s only a few minutes away from the best restaurant in town- El Tapatio (that marg and salsa combo though!!). Definitely consider staying here if you’re in Page, promise you’ll love it!
This stay was in collaboration with Rose Walk Inn, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week ahead!
XO Sushmitha :)