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Ideas for Arizona visit at end of March

Old Jan 16th, 2020, 07:42 AM
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Ideas for Arizona visit at end of March

Looking for some insight on a location in Arizona that might be somewhat warm around March 23. We are coming from the Northeast so 60-70 degrees would be somewhat warm. At the end of this jaunt we would be flying to Denver. Previously we visited NParks in Utah and Sante Fe again ending up in Denver. We love NParks and would love to visit others but seems too early in the season.
We enjoy mountains, hiking, yet welcome a pool setting for a few days. Food/restaurants is less important.
I guess my question is if we wanted more warmth how far south would we have to go? Or which NParks in neighboring states would be doable at the end of March.
Thanks in advance for any and all ideas from such knowledgeable posters on this forum.

Last edited by bfamilyfun; Jan 16th, 2020 at 07:48 AM. Reason: post to Arizona forum
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 08:44 AM
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Within Arizona the temperatures are a matter of elevation, not "south". The Phoenix area is the warmest. Check weatherbase.com for weather information.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 11:25 AM
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Tucson has some nice hiking opportunities like Saguaro NP, Catalina State Park, Sabino Canyon and I think day time temps would meet your somewhat warm requirement. Madera Canyon to the south is within day trip distance though higher in elevation so will be colder.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 01:40 PM
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If you are planning to fly, fly to Phoenix or Phoenix-Mesa if you can fly Allegiant. Next month my wife and I will be taking trains from Oregon to Tucson and renting a car. We are driving back to Yuma for a gathering of geocachers. The last time I went solo to this meeting, on the second Sunday of February, it was 79* when i left Yuma. I visited the Organ Pipe Cactus NM on the way back to Tucson.
If you do go as far west as Yuma, bring your passports so that you can walk over into Los Algodones Mexico.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
. . . The last time I went solo to this meeting, on the second Sunday of February, it was 79* when i left Yuma. I visited the Organ Pipe Cactus NM on the way back to Tucson. If you do go as far west as Yuma, bring your passports so that you can walk over into Los Algodones Mexico.
I guess I should have said "of the places most people might want to go" Phoenix is the warmest. Unless there's a particular reason to go to Yuma, like for a meeting of geocachers, it wouldn't be a place I'd recommend. A friend with a daughter in Yuma often had trouble convincing herself to visit from we lived in SE AZ.

I haven't been everywhere in the state but lived there for 25 years. I also prefer the Tucson area to Phoenix but it depends entirely on your interests. The 2 areas are very different with very different sorts of possibilities. They both have mountains nearby with hiking possibilities & resorts with pools & it'll be warmer in Phoenix. What else? Are you birders? Do you enjoy a good museum? Both cities have good ones, depending on what kind you might like. Both have desert parks/outdoor museums for flora & fauna. I suggest you do some reading, online or guidebooks from your library so you have a better idea what area suits you, just too many possibilities for us to guess. Then, which are closer to parks "in neighboring states" adds a whole new level of complication. We'd love to help so guide us more with specifics.


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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 05:22 PM
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Las Vegas/ Death Valley combo might fit your requirements. If you want to stick to Arizona, I vote for Tucson.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 05:56 PM
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I really enjoyed Tuscon. I usually only visit Phoenix for sports events.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 07:02 PM
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I love, love, love Tucson. The Sonora Desert Museum is amazing. You could spend a whole day there. But I would not miss the Heard Museum in Phoenix--it is truly amazing!!! You could fly in/out of Phoenix, spend a couple days there and spend more time in Tucson.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 04:26 AM
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Thanks so much for the ideas to get me started.; especially the tip describing north vs south as compared to elevation. My east coast knowledge is showing.

We do like museums but given the choice outdoor activities win out. Since we have never visited Arizona everything will be a new experience. Based on thoughts here Iím leaning towards the Tucson area. Of course, flights available with our miles do not fly to Tucson, only Phoenix.

What I meant about neighboring states was probably meant to ask which national parks would be open at the end of March. I know I can find that easily enough on the npark website.

Thanks again. Iíll be back with more questions!
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 06:43 AM
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We flew into Phoenix and rented a car. It is about a 2 hour drive and an interesting stop is the Casa Grande Adobe. Well worth a visit.

https://www.nps.gov/cagr/learn/historyculture/index.htm

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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bfamilyfun View Post
Thanks so much for the ideas to get me started.; especially the tip describing north vs south as compared to elevation. My east coast knowledge is showing.

. Based on thoughts here Iím leaning towards the Tucson area. Of course, flights available with our miles do not fly to Tucson, only Phoenix.

What I meant about neighboring states was probably meant to ask which national parks would be open at the end of March. I know I can find that easily enough on the npark website.

Thanks again. Iíll be back with more questions!
Will your miles get you to Las Vegas? You don't have to stay in Las Vegas - just head for Hoover Dam. See Hoover Dam on your way into Arizona. Maybe check out Sedona before you get to Phoenix.
Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon have lots of snow now but southern Arizona is nice now. There are many snowbirds that are living in their travel trailers for the winter in Quartzite AZ.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 09:12 AM
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If you decide on Tucson definitely fly in to Phoenix and drive down. It is an easy drive.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 10:57 AM
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Flying to Phoenix and driving to Tucson is a great idea. Thanks! I need to pay more attention to driving distances. I didn't realize how close Phoenix and Tucson were.
Still leaning toward Tucson and finding a clean hotel with free breakfast, fridge, and microwave. We have enjoyed VRBO and others but recently are put off by all of the additional fees and such. Having a washer and dryer is a plus but not a deal breaker. Any favorites?
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 11:01 AM
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We only plan on a few days so the additional drive from Las Vegas may not be appealing. Yet certainly not out of the question if the timing is appropriate. We had good luck flying to Las Vegas and then on to Utah national parks. Well almost.....that was a lot of miles in the middle of no where. Would not repeat that drive in the dark.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 04:21 PM
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Sunset in Las Vegas in late March is about 5:45PT (6:45 Arizona time). Depending on when your flight lands and you get your rental car, you could stay at Henderson or out at Hoover Dam Lodge and see Hoover Dam in the morning. From the dam, head for Sedona and then Phoenix. Yes there a lot of miles of pretty much nothing in parts of Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Avoid driving in the dark to avoid animals in the road.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 03:26 PM
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Check dates for Cactus League baseball in Phoenix area. Very busy hotels, restaurants, roads, etc. lots of visitors May be winding down by your visit.
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 11:58 AM
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Yes, be aware of baseball spring training. We rarely go to Phoenix from Tucson, terrible traffic.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 08:58 AM
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Again, thanks for sharing suggestions. I’m back to the planning after considering a few days in Florida before ending up in Denver. Obviously a different thread but with major airports involved we can go in any direction.
That being said, does anyone have thoughts or experience with the 2 Hyatts in Tucson?
Hyatt Place Tucson Airport
Hyatt Place Tucson - Central 1375 W. Grant Rd

Distance to PHX is within minutes of each. Any reason to choose one over the other?
We plan on mostly outdoor/activity.

Thanks for any input on these hotels or any others for that matter.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bfamilyfun View Post
That being said, does anyone have thoughts or experience with the 2 Hyatts in Tucson?
Hyatt Place Tucson Airport
Hyatt Place Tucson - Central 1375 W. Grant Rd

Distance to PHX is within minutes of each. Any reason to choose one over the other? We plan on mostly outdoor/activity.
Hyatt Place was my go to stay at the airport, to stay before flights & leave my car. In your case both have easy access to I-10 or maybe depending on if you have plans one direction or another. Grant Road location is closer to downtown & around town, airport may be easier if going to the east & southeast & back on I-10 especially at commute times but other than that I'd decide by price.

Last edited by MmePerdu; Feb 1st, 2020 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Feb 5th, 2020, 11:57 AM
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With advice from posters our plans are firming up.

Flying into Phoenix arriving late Tuesday morning.
Rent a car and drive to Tucson.
Tucson will be our base staying at the Hyatt.
Fly out early on Sunday morning.

On our list in no special order but looking for suggestions on amount of time to spend at each. Hikes of 5 miles or so are very doable.
* Sabino Canyon

* Catalina State Park

* Saguaro National Park

*Mission San Xavier del Bac

* Mt. Lemmon

Thanks for any hints or ideas about our journey. This is our first trip to Arizona.
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