Arizona has some of the most unique natural wonders and rock formations in the country. When venturing from Mesa, you have access to small-town charm in Sedona or quaint German towns such as Summerhaven located only a few hours away. Spend your weekend snapping pictures of the Meteor Crater in Winslow or absorbing the art scene in Flagstaff. Mesa vacation rentals put you in the midst of the action while also offering relaxing, scenic breaks from the Mesa hustle and bustle. Choose one of these cities when planning your next weekend getaway.

1. Sedona

cathedral rock sedona

Dubbed as one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Sedona’s small-town charm and natural beauty make it the perfect weekend getaway. Located a little over two hours from Mesa, a vacation rental in Sedona puts you in close proximity to attractions such as Oak Creek Canyon and the red rock formations along hiking and biking trails. The dry climate is ideal for a fishing excursion with Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures or a horseback ride with M Diamond Ranch. Stop in at the Son Silver West Gallery to thrill the art enthusiasts in your group, or take in a show at the Sedona Dream Theater.

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2. Winslow

winslow arizona

Travel just three hours to see a massive round depression, otherwise known as the Meteor Crater, in Winslow. Spanning a mile across and 500 feet deep, this tourist attraction is the site where a large meteorite plummeted into the Earth more than 50,000 years ago. Explore the on-site discovery center and let the kids get some hands-on education with the interactive exhibits offering insights about plants, stars, and meteors. See another national wonder when making your way to the Rock Art Canyon Ranch or Homolovi State Park for the day. After you’ve seen the sights, stop in at the Arizona 66 Trading Company for some souvenirs.

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3. Summerhaven

sunset at mt lemmon
Source: Flickr / Lubomír Walder

Find cooler temperatures just three hours from Mesa when making the trip to Summerhaven. Known as one of Arizona’s hidden gems, Summerhaven is home to Mount Lemmon within the Santa Catalina Mountains. Spend your weekend getaway in the winter skiing the slopes at Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, or ride on the gondola in the downtown area during the summer. When making Summerhaven your vacation destination in October, take part in the Mount Lemmon Oktoberfest festivities, complete with food vendors and live music.

4. Flagstaff

field of yellow flowers in flagstaff az

When you want some big-city fun, make the less than three-hour trip from Mesa to Flagstaff for your weekend getaway. This city’s draw is the art and cultural scene represented by the Pioneer Museum, the Fort Tuthill Military Museum, and the West of the Moon Gallery art museum. Make your vacation an educational experience when touring the Lowell Observatory to get an up close and personal look at the stars. You can also treat the family to a ride on the historic Grand Canyon Railway or take in a performance by the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. You can’t leave Flagstaff without a tour of the Grand Canyon with Grand Canyon Adventures.

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5. Jerome

jerome arizona aerial view
Source: Facebook / The Historic Town of Jerome, AZ

All it takes is approximately two and a half hours from Mesa to reach Jerome, an Arizona city rich in history. This small town was once a thriving copper mining community before the Great Depression, and it’s now a vibrant tourist area with attractions such as the Douglas Mansion in Jerome State Historic Park and the Tuzigoot National Monument, a hilltop pueblo available for touring. Take in more history when stopping in at the Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town before setting out to see the geological formations of Cleopatra Hill. When you’re ready to unwind on your weekend getaway, enjoy some sweet wine at Passion Cellars or Caduceus Cellars before retreating back to your vacation rental.

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6. Prescott

watson lake prescott
Source: Flickr / David Quigley

For small-town charm and a historic tour of what was the original capital of the Arizona Territory, book a vacation rental in Prescott, located two hours from Mesa. This small city is home to historical buildings such as the Fort Whipple Museum and the Yavapai County Courthouse Square. Take a leisurely walk through the historic Whiskey Row or Downtown Historic Area to see Victorian-era homes that have been preserved by local residents. Enjoy the warm temperatures with a dip in Watson Lake, or see the exotic animals at the Heritage Park Zoo. After a long day of exploring sites such as the Bucky O’Neill Monument and the Mount Union Lookout, fill up your stomachs with American cuisine from the Iron Springs Cafe or Lone Spur Cafe.

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7. Coolidge

a building ruin
Source: Flickr / 11299883

Just an hour drive puts you in a cozy vacation rental within close proximity to the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge. As one of the largest prehistoric structures nationally, this monument features interconnected irrigation tunnels and a large house originally built by native desert settlers. Take a guided tour of the ruins before grabbing a savory bite to eat at Momma Jugs, a popular restaurant and bar.

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