Fall Break Trips within Driving Distance of Phoenix


Today we’re sharing a few of our favorite fall break trips within driving distance of Phoenix.

Fall break trips within driving distance of Phoenix

Fall break is the perfect time for a cooler weather adventure, or to keep the summer feeling alive a little longer.

Keep reading on how to take advantage of how close the East Valley is to some pretty amazing family adventures. We have itineraries for tweens/teens all the way down to babies.

We’ve curated a list of fall break destinations within a day’s driving distance of Phoenix, leaving off the most obvious choice of Disneyland since we’ve covered it here


East Valley Moms

Sedona to see the fall leaves for fall break

Fall leaves in Sedona, AZ with kids
Let’s admit it, Arizona isn’t a mecca of fall foliage like other parts of the country (we’re looking at you, Vermont!) But there’s still a few destinations throughout the state where your family can see the leaves changing colors and are easy to get to from the East Valley, like Sedona.

Sedona’s changing leaves are typically in late October and early November, so timing is a bit tight to catch the leaves changing. The yellows and oranges of the oaks mixed with the Sedona red rocks is something truly spectacular to experience. (If Sedona isn’t your thing, here’s other Arizona destinations for fall leaves).

Here’s a full itinerary for seeing the fall leaves with kids in Sedona, including where we stayed, ate and explored. One fun bonus: Driving up to the airport makes for a beautiful scenic view in the car, with the reward of a restaurant where you can view the planes taking off & landing.

Las Vegas with tweens & tots for fall break

When we tell people that we like to take family trips to Las Vegas, they look at us like we have 2 heads.

But really, it’s a fun place to explore with kids, especially if you aren’t into gambling. We took our 10 & 11 year The kids love Circus Circus, the Stratosphere and going to magic & cheesy music shows. Plus, the Wax museum makes for hilarious stories after.

We’ve stayed on strip & off strip, with pros and cons to each. On strip, you’re within walking distance to everything, and can stay at some of the bigger named hotels, making it easy to head back for naps/recharging after a morning adventure. Off strip, we like getting kitchenettes and the quiet of the pool area not filled with college kids. 

Payson with kids for fall break

By far, our favorite vacation spot within a short drive. We’ve been spring, summer & fall and found it beautiful no matter the season. We prefer to stay at Heart of Payson a family-focused vacation rental that’s in the middle of town (walking distance to playgrounds), but have camped and stayed in traditional hotels across Payson as well.

Payson has much to offer with fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, all within a quick drive. A few of our favorite activities in Payson:

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Tonto Fish Hatchery (FREE admission)

Most fun of all though is just hanging out together in the fresh air! 

A fall break staycation with kids in Scottsdale 

Of course, you can always plan a “staycation” as well and check out some of the awesome tourist spots in our very own Valley. Here’s our recos for the best family-friendly resorts to staycay at. 




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