Tuscon, Arizona is home to numerous noteworthy restaurants, art galleries, and entertainment. However, if you’re looking to get away from the big city crowds, then you might consider these great locations situated less than half a day’s worth of driving from Tucson. When you stay at one of many Tucson vacation rentals, you can enjoy living in proximity to lakes, national parks, and state parks. Here’s a list of the top seven weekend getaway spots from Tuscon.

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona

grand canyonAfter five hours in the car, you arrive at the Grand Canyon one of the most beautiful examples of nature at work. For the brave at heart, stop by the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Perched on the South Rim of the canyon, this attraction is a horseshoe-shaped observation deck that extends over the edge of the canyon and features an all-glass construction. Find a vacation rental in Grand Canyon Village for easy access to hiking in the summer months. You can take a tour through the National Park Services to the bottom of the canyon. In town, enjoy meals at the Bright Angel with its diner atmosphere and hearty meals with an American flair.

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2. Sedona, Arizona

Arizona red rocks
Source: Flickr/Drew Hillegass

In three and a half hours, you see the iconic red rocks that surround the town of Sedona. Pack a couple of bottles of water, stop by the visitor’s center for trail maps, and spend the day hiking around the Red Rock State Park. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is built upon one of the buttes and offers stunning views in a tranquil setting. Adventure Jeep Tours take you where your car can’t to see the natural beauty of Sedona and the surrounding area. Over the course of half a day, your guide can take a calm drive through the desert or a wild one.

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3. Jerome, Arizona

bridge mountains
Source: Flickr/chrisinphilly5448

Leave city life in the big city far behind with a less than four-hour drive to Jerome. This charming town features a historic downtown area, narrow alleyways, and an eclectic blend of shops. Learn more about the mining industry in Arizona with a tour of the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. Wander past the old blacksmith shop and general store, where you can see abandoned supplies as you peak in the windows. The must-visit shop in town is the Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes store that features handcrafted kaleidoscope from local artists. In the Jerome State Historic Park, take a tour of the Douglas Mansion that dates back to 1916.

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4. Las Cruces, New Mexico

arizona red mountains
Source: Flickr/Bureau of Land Management

Cross over into New Mexico during your four-hour drive to Las Cruces for a weekend of quality family time. See the footprints of prehistoric animals at the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument. When you arrive, stop by the visitor’s center for a look at the exhibits and a trail map to see these fossilized prints. Made from an eclectic variety of materials, the Recycled Roadrunner Sculpture is a must-see artwork in town. The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum provides a glimpse of the towns past and what it takes to work in agriculture in the area.

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5. Lake Havasu, Arizona

arizona bridge river
Source: Flickr/Michael Theis

Who knew that you could see the original London Bridge with only three and a half hours in the car? Yep, the original bridge was brought over piece by piece and put back together in Lake Havasu. It’s now the biggest attraction in the town with the exception of the lake. Take your binoculars and a field guide to identify birds out to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge has more than 300 types of birds that regularly call it home. Take the adults in your group to the Havasu Landing Casino for an evening of games of chance and a buffet dinner.

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6. Flagstaff, Arizona

snow-capped mountains
Source: Flickr/Bill Kuffrey

Your family can breathe in the fresh mountain air in four hours in the mountain town of Flagstaff. Leave the desert far behind and climb into the mountains with cooler weather and lush forested areas. Take a drive out to Meteor Crater to see where an actual crater impacted the earth and visit the small museum that provides you with more information. When you visit the Wupatki National Monument, stop by the visitor’s center for a trail map, so you don’t miss any of the prehistoric Pueblo sites. Pack your ski equipment and zoom through the powder at Arizona Snowbowl with its variety of trails for all skill levels.

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7. Bisbee, Arizona

city street mountains
Source: Flickr/Gabriel Millos

A little less than two hours away from Tucson sits the ultimate small town experience for your family in Bisbee. This little town packs a lot of history and art galleries within its small borders. Check out the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum to learn about the town’s extensive history and the people that built it. The Bisbee Restoration Museum recalls the efforts made for local buildings and homes. While in town, stop by the Copper Queen Hotel that is reportedly haunted. This hotel was also a popular vacation spot for John Wayne and star on the door marks his favorite room.

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