So, you’re ready to start planning a trip to Arizona. Congrats!
One of the most overwhelming things for me is planning a travel itinerary, and having recently visiting the Phoenix area, courtesy of Visit Phoenix, I have the perfect 5 day Phoenix itinerary to share with you. We will be referencing the Visit Phoenix website during the planning process, so you’ll definitely want to bookmark their site.
You can absolutely tweak any of these options or mix them up as you wish, but I have found that when planning a trip, if I have something to start with like a pre-made itinerary, the entire planning process seems to go a little smoother. So let’s check out my 5 Days in Phoenix itinerary…
5 Days in Phoenix – Itinerary
Airports: PHX (Phoenix) or IWA (Phoenix-Mesa)
Before booking your flight to the major airport, PHX, double check to see if any of your nearby airlines fly into the IWA airport in Mesa. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Phoenix, but it could end up being a much cheaper flight and then an Uber ride away from Phoenix. Allegiant Airlines is a budget airline that offers low cost flights from Stockton, CA to Mesa, and the staff is super friendly.
Hotels: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa(Rooms in the $300’s), Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Rooms in the $400’s), Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch (Rooms in the $300’s)
There are many hotels in the Phoenix area, but I have listed the three that I have personally visited. For this itinerary, we stayed at two of the three listed above, and toured and ate at one of them.
Transportation: As far as getting around the Phoenix area, I personally used Uber, but you can also rent a car if that’s easier for you.
Also check out the Top 10 Things to Do in Phoenix.
Day 1 – Arrival + Hotel Check-In
Day 1 on any trip is always the most stressful and relaxing for me all at the same time. Depending on how far you’re flying, your entire day can be consumed with travel, or you could be lucky enough to have a super short day of travel like me (coming from California). Here’s a look at what your day might look like:
- Hotel Check-in (Westin Kierland)
- Dinner at The Mission (Room service or one of the hotel restaurants works if you’re too tired to go out)
Day 2 – Mesa – Fresh Foodie Trail
The Fresh Foodie Trail (#FreshFoodieTrail for you socials) is an awesome experience featuring the farms and agritourism attractions in and around the Mesa area. This is such a unique experience and a must-do if you’re a fellow foodie. Go to visitmesa.com for more details.
- Breakfast at your hotel
- 11:00 a.m. Olive Oil Tasting and Shopping at Queen Creek Olive Mill
- 12:30 p.m. Depart Queen Creek Olive Mill for Agritopia
- 1:00 p.m. Lunch at Joe’s Farm Grill at Agritopia
- Agritopia is a community on the edge of the rural/urban interface. It is an “urban farm” designed to flourish in the urban setting. Instead of a huge field of one crop, you find a patchwork of numerous specialty crops. New York Times named Agritopia the leading ‘agri-hood’ in the country in 2014. Here, the same-day harvest is sold at The Farm Stand, as well as the being served at Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop. All the produce grown on the farm is grown under the USDA organic protocol. Their family homestead – a ranch-style, slump block home – has been converted into a 60’s era mid-century modern diner, Joe’s Farm Grill. The 100-year old trees have remained and features like a butterfly roof and open breezeway that make for an airy patio with shade. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
- 2:00 p.m. Walk through Barnone, followed by Wine at Garage-East
- Barnone is Arizona’s newest Craftsman Community located inside a rustic Quonset hut built with metal from WWII planes that served the nearby Air Force base, has been brought back to life as an innovative artisan collective on the urban agriculture campus. Barnone features 12 resident crafts men and women across a wide array of disciplines including Arizona winemakers Todd and Kelly Bostock and their micro-winery Garage East.
- 3:00 p.m. Depart for hotel for an afternoon at leisure (swimming, lounging, resting)
- 6:30 p.m. Dinner at La Hacienda – Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
- La Hacienda features fine Mexican dining with a fresh, contemporary twist. Rustic Spanish architecture is dotted with urban furnishings and Mexican cuisine takes on a whole new meaning with renowned Chef Richard Sandoval, known as the “father of modern Mexican cuisine.” La Hacienda’s Executive Chef Forest Hamrick reflects Sandoval’s signature style of vibrant flavors and ingredients, combining the bold taste of classic Mexican food with timeless European cooking techniques in a lighter, healthier way. La Hacienda also features a fire pit patio seating and 240+ artisan tequila selections presented by a certified expert, Tequila Goddess Katie Schnurr. Save room for churros and flaming coffees!
Day 3 – Hot Air Balloon Ride, Pool Day, Switch Hotels
The early morning hot air balloon ride and breakfast in the desert is a must-do when visiting Phoenix. That wakeup call is brutal, but the views are well worth it and the breakfast is so delish!
- 4:45 a.m. Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride with Hot Air Expeditions
- 9:15 a.m. Return to resort for some pool time. I highly recommend getting a poolside cabana if you are staying at the Westin. It can get a little hot inside the cabanas, but you’ll appreciate having a spot to leave your belongings when you go for a dip.
- 1:00 p.m. Lunch at True Food Kitchen
- True Food Kitchen pride themselves as the purveyors of nourishment for the wellness-aware. They believe that living well isn’t just about eating the right food, but about sharing it with the right people. When you dine with True Food Kitchen, you’re dining with a community that cares enough to enrich their taste buds and their bodies. Their philosophy is that food should make you feel better — not worse — and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle. Every meal they serve is prepared to that standard. Phoenix is the flagship location for this concept launched by James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Sam Fox of Fox Restaurant Concepts.
- 3:00 p.m. Time to switch hotels! For our trip, we switched to Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch.
- 6:15 p.m. Depart for dinner and wine at Postino – the Highland location (be sure to make a reservation)
- Set in comfortable, rustic and immaculately restored buildings, each Postino combines unique & approachable wines with delicious locally grown fare. Spearheaded by local restaurant group Upward Projects create inspired restaurants connected to the community they serve. They are a restaurant group that thrives on creating authentic and inspiring experiences for the communities they serve. Through the contributions of countless incredible people, past and present, they’re headed to the moon with a simple mission — to make people feel good.
- After dinner – If staying at the Hyatt, enjoy their live music in the lobby.
Day 4 – Arizona Biltmore Tour and Spa Day
Day 4 on this itinerary is my favorite. The tour of the historical Arizona Biltmore hotel is something I am so glad I made time for. I literally had tears in my eyes and chills on my arms as I walked through rooms where some of my favorite celebrities hung out. We’re talking celebs like Marilyn Monroe, the Kennedys and the Rat Pack.
- 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at Over Easy Arcadia
- 10:00 a.m. Arizona Biltmore History Tour (reservations needed for the tour)
The Arizona Biltmore is a landmark hotel in Phoenix, built in 1929. It was constructed in grand form and has been host to vibrant social events for 89 years. Join the History Tour and experience the architectural significance first-hand. Tours are 1.5 hours long and available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10AM. Complimentary for resort guests, $10 for visitors.
- 12:30 p.m. Afternoon spa day in Spa Avania (Hyatt) – Be sure to make reservations ahead of time
- Awaken in the morning. Rejuvenate at midday. Unwind in the evening. It’s your body’s fundamental daily journey toward balance, and it’s the foundation for everything they do at Spa Avania. Against the vibrant hues of the Arizona desert is the first Scottsdale spa where every detail has been seamlessly choreographed to the science of time, resulting in the ideal state they call “avania.”
- 3:30 p.m. Himalayan Salt Room at Spa Avania (reservations required)
- 6:00 pm. Dinner – Wine Me Dine Me Chef’s Culinary Demo at the Hyatt
- This is a culinary journey with Chef Juan and his culinary staff, who will take you deep into the heart of fresh, authentic Southwestern flavors. He will custom prepare a four-course menu for you complete with tequila and wine pairings. It is a wonderfully fun experience where you can see, smell and taste some of the things that make our southwest cuisine so unique and memorable.
Day 5 – Departure Day
- Breakfast at leisure (check out the Regency Club at the Hyatt)
- Depart for airport
I hope this itinerary has given you a starting point for your 5-day adventure in the Phoenix area. If you have any questions or are looking for more recommendations, please feel free to leave me a comment.
*Hosted by Visit Phoenix*