Hitting the Road – Summer 2020

Slide Rock State Park

Summer vacations are looking pretty different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little adventure in! We’ve rounded up our favorite Arizona destinations for quick day trips and longer road trips, along with some must-haves to make your adventure a fun and memorable one.


“This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. You’re gonna have fun, and I’m gonna have fun…” — Clark, National Lampoon’s Vacation. Can you think of a more iconic summer movie? While we love Clark Griswold’s enthusiasm, we know a crazy trip to a crowded theme park probably isn’t in the cards this summer. Here are some great destinations that are just a short road trip from Downtown Phoenix.

Lake Pleasant

Less than an hour away with 10,000 acres of gorgeous water and 116 miles of shoreline, Lake Pleasant is perfect for picnics, beach time and all kinds of water recreation.


A quick drive and almost 20 degrees cooler, even a day trip to hike their stunning trails, shop at quaint boutiques, eat amazing food, and enjoy the weather is a treat!

Slide Rock State Park

At just a little over two hours away, Slide Rock has an 80-foot-long natural ‘water slide’  and is known for being one of the best swimming holes in Arizona.  Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of sunscreen and make a day of it!

The Valley of the Sun

Do you remember when you were a kid and took leisurely drives with your family? We loved exploring different neighborhoods and parts of the city that we didn’t come across in our everyday life, and think this is the perfect time to revive that tradition! Take a quick drive to Cave Creek, Carefree, Papago Park, South Mountain – there are so many great areas of our city that the list could go on and on!



“It doesn’t matter how old you are, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9-year-old was given $100.” — Unknown. This quote pretty much sums up how we feel about road trip snacks! While we agree it’s always a good idea to have some healthy snacks on hand, road trips were made for chips, candy, sunflower seeds, popcorn, candy – Did we already say candy? Just have fun with this one!


No road trip is complete without amazing music. Get the whole crew involved in collaborating on a playlist or head over to Spotify and search Road Trip Music.


Get those phones out and document! Take pics of not only the sights, but every part of the trip including those epic snacks. Start a photo blog or just share your adventure on Instagram.

So, what are your summer road trip destinations and essentials? Let us know your fun summer road trip ideas and remember to share photos using the hashtag #ucsummer2020

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