Wake up from a great night’s rest while staying at the Verde Valley Inn. If you’re a go-getter, wake up on time for that beautiful Arizona sunrise. If you’d rather sleep in, that’s cool too. Either way, get your morning going by choosing from the plethora of breakfast options and hit the road for a quick drive to Tuzigoot National Monument. This National Monument will give you a glimpse into the life of Native Americans that inhabited the area and you can see up close and personal the pueblos that are still standing. It’s remarkable to see the structures that are still standing and to read about the history of the early inhabitants of the Verde Valley.
Pro Tip- If you’re planning on visiting any other National Monuments or National Parks on your trip to Arizona, it’d be worth your time to purchase a National Parks pass. Otherwise, the cost is $10 per person.
Take your time reading the signs and studying the craftsmanship of the pueblos at Tuzigoot but when you’re ready to head out, don’t feel sad because the party is just getting started!
It’s just a quick 30-minute drive to Out of Africa Wildlife Theme Park. Hopefully, the kids had a blast at Tuzigoot National Monument, but if looking at ancient artifacts isn’t their cup of chocolate milk, Out of Africa Wildlife Theme Park will be!
You and the family can experience Africa in Arizona and enjoy the many shows and encounters that are offered. Everything from giant snake shows to an African bush safari to a predator zipline. Yes, you read that right. You can zipline over lions! Are you traveling on a budget or maybe you don’t have time to spend very long? No problem. Out of Africa Wildlife Theme Park offers bundles so you can experience it the way you want. Yes, I know, this place has everything you could imagine from A to Z, but wait, there’s more!
If you didn’t eat some food at Out of Africa Wildlife Theme Park, grab the kids a quick happy meal and refuel at Starbucks because the fun isn’t over. Montezuma Castle National Monument is just a short 12-minute drive away. If you thought the pueblos at Tuzigoot National Monument were impressive just wait until you take a glimpse through the window of the past and see the impressive high-rise apartments in the cliffs.
The Park Rangers are happy to share with you their knowledge of the Sinagua people. Your imagination will run wild as you get a glimpse into the lives of this industrious, native civilization and their way of life. The ruins built into the cliff are jaw-dropping and every member of the family can enjoy the view with a short walk on the self-guided ⅓ mile loop trail.
If you’ve been pounding the caffeine and still want more to experience, cruise over to Walnut Canyon National Monument. It’s incredible to walk the path around the canyon and look out to see structures built throughout the entire canyon. There are lots of stairs but it’s worth every single one.
Not sure if you’re up for another National Monument and want to save that for another day? No worries. Head back to Cottonwood, Arizona but take a small detour and check out Jerome, AZ. This old mining town is worth the detour just to see the old mine and modern homes built into the mountain. You’ll think you’re in another country as you drive up the road towards the town once known as “The Wickedest Town in the West”. Not sure it’s worthy of that nickname? Step up to the plate and experience a Ghost Town Tour and see for yourself!