Ibn Battuta once said “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
As the first few weeks of the New Year approaches it’s easy to reflect on goals and travel dreams we need to make a reality. If you’re already feeling that itch to plan some incredible trips to nourish your soul and tame your wanderlust, consider visiting the incredible sights and depths of the Southwest. Here are our favorite itineraries of 2017 to inspire your next adventure in the New Year.
1) Kick off your New Year’s Travel Bucket List with an overnight tour of Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell from Vegas. Enjoy Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and a Zion National Park scenic drive on this two-day, one-night guided private tour from fabulous Las Vegas. The Antelope Canyon & Lake Powell Private Overnight Tour departs the Las Vegas Strip at approximately 7:00am and returns the next day at approximately 8:00pm
Enjoy traveling in a private, custom vehicle through the Mojave Desert and over the Colorado River on the way to the Lake Powell. There are many options for this scenic drive including through Zion National Park, a photo stop at Lake Powell Wahweap overlook, touring the Glen Canyon Visitor Center, and a scenic walk at Horseshoe Bend. Let DETOURS customize this day to fit your travel desires. Dinner will be recommended and arranged by your DETOURS tour guide. There is also time for a scenic dinner cruise on Lake Powell. You will stay overnight stay in Page, AZ at Lake Powell Resort if available. On the second day your DETOURS guide will pick you up from your hotel to begin a guided journey to Antelope Canyon. Your journey through Antelope Canyon will last about two hours allowing plenty of time for photographs. Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous slot canyons in the world, formed by erosion and flash foods. Guests will depart Page, AZ for Las Vegas at approximately 2:00pm for an approximate 8:00pm arrival back to the Las Vegas Strip.
2) Take a step back in time and explore How The West Was Once with a customized tour to Chiricahua National Monument, Bisbee, Tombstone, Amerind Museum, Fort Bowie and Fort Huachuca. These sights can all be seen through a Platinum Tour from Phoenix (3 days, 4 nights). Explore the wonderland of rocks inside Chiricahua National Monument, which is a historic monument established in 1924 to protect its extensive balancing rocks and hoodoos located in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Visit the Faraway Ranch, the historic home of Swedish Immigrants, Neil and Emma Erickson dating back to 1886. Next up visit the historic copper and silver mining town of Bisbee, Arizona located just 92 miles southeast of Tucson.
Bisbee is known as a haven to artists, retirees and history buffs; our Bisbee tour astounds visitors with vibrantly colored rock faces and picturesque houses hugging the edges of cliffs. Its history can be discovered in its numerous museums, staircases and a Bisbee mine tour that leads deep into one of the remaining caverns.
As you continue your Arizona adventure, make sure you make time to visit the “Town Too Tough to Die.” Tombstone is the perfect place to explore classic western history in the heart of Southern Arizona. The town is famous for its lawmen and bandits, was the metropolitan hub of the American West for its commerce as well as mining and local cattlemen. Explore the wild west history, the historic San Xavier del Bac Spanish Mission, the famous cemetery at Boothill, as well as the Tombstone Courthouse, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, Birdcage Theatre, and OK Corral on your Tombstone tour.
Continue your journey into the historic Southwest by visiting the Amerind Museum. This Southwest treasure is a museum, art gallery, and research center dedicated to archaeology, Native cultures, and Western Art. Bring a lunch and enjoy the scenic picnic area with spectacular views of Texas Canyon.
Extend your travels to Fort Bowie National Historic Site, which commemorates the story of the bitter conflict between the Chiricahua Apache and the United States military. It also stands as a lasting monument to the bravery and endurance of U.S. soldiers in paving the way for westward settlement and the taming of the western frontier. The remains of Fort Bowie are carefully preserved, as are the adobe walls of various post buildings and the ruins of a Butterfield Stage Station.
Finish your tour at historic Fort Huachuca, which has served as a cavalry post, an infantry training center, a test center for electronic equipment and a major signals installation. Today the Fort remains an important center for communication and electronic technology development. It’s central role is the home of the US Army Military Intelligence Corps and a training center of soldiers for the various intelligence disciplines and unmanned aerial system operations.
3) Create a customized tour from Phoenix for 2 nights and 3 days to Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly National Monument & Winslow, Arizona. Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers the opportunity to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest Anasazi to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here today. Visit the historic ruins of Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 AD at the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves and soak in views of the spectacular Spider Rock.
Next on our list is the breathtaking Monument Valley, which is part of the Navajo Nation reservation, a 640-mile drive from Los Angeles, 175 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Ariz., about 25 miles north of the sleepy town of Kayenta. The valley’s most famous mesas, buttes and spires stand within the boundaries of the tribal park. The landscape transforms from non-descript rolling hills into towering rust-colored sandstone skyscrapers that seem to float on the horizon.
It’s a rare person who has not heard the famous line from the Eagles first hit single, Take It Easy. The song has the lyric “standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine site to see, it’s a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford, slowin down to take a look at me!” Many are the visitors who come from far and wide to stand and take advantage of the photo opportunity, on the most famous “corner” of Historic Route 66. The park features a life-sized bronze of a guitar carrying balladeer and a trompe l’oeill style mural that depicts the girl in a flatbed Ford.
4) Immerse your senses in the colors and sights of the Southwest with a customized Platinum tour from Las Vegas (4 nights, 5 days) to Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon & the Grand Canyon.
Discover the colors, shapes and long views in Bryce Canyon National Park. This full day tour includes views of the Virgin River Gorge, the Grand Staircase National Monument and the magical hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Visit Zion National Park and soak in stunning views of the The Watchman, the most photographed icon in Zion National Park. This beautiful and shapely rock mountain that happens to “face” the valley from the South is stunning during the daylight and glows at sunset. Make sure you have plenty of space on your iPhone or film in your camera when visiting this landmark.
Day two tours Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lee’s Ferry and the Navajo Nation. Antelope Canyon is one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the world located just east of Page, AZ. The third day of your tour experience explores the Grand Canyon South Rim with opportunities to soak in the views of what President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed as “one of the great sights every American should see.”
Days three and four give you a full experience of the vastness of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It was created at least 17 million years ago, as the Colorado River and its tributaries sliced through layer after layer of rock cutting their channels while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. If you venture beneath the overlooks, an overwhelming sensation unfolds as you are immersed into the splendid beauty of this national treasure. Listening to the breeze pass through layers of 2 billion-year-old rocks allows you to feel a new perspective on nature and life.
5) What if you could travel from Las Vegas to San Francisco and visit Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Napa Valley on the way? Create your very own customized tour and enjoy everything from the glimmering lights of Sin City to the excitement of nightlife, rich history and active excursions in San Francisco on this 5 day, 4 night adventure. Explore the barren but beautiful Death Valley National Park on day one, then stay overnight at the Furnace Creek Ranch. The next day, your tour guide will take you through California, traveling through the Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park. Day three and four will explore Yosemite National Park – famous for its waterfalls and fantastic landscapes. Finish off your trip by sipping your way through the lush tranquil vineyards of Napa Valley.
6.) Satisfy your Southwest wanderlust and visit two of the most majestic sights in Arizona with our Sedona overnight with Grand Canyon tour from Phoenix. This 2 night, 3-day tour will allow you to discover dusk and dawn in Sedona, paired with the best Grand Canyon views. This two-day guided tour offers a full day in Sedona among the world famous red rock formations as well as a full tour of the Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona’s Wonder of the World is yours on the second day of the tour to take in the best Grand Canyon South Rim views. Guests will also experience the Navajo Nation to enjoy the expert craftsmanship and unique history of the local culture. An Arizona tour sure to satisfy the soul.