After a friend of mine got accepted into ASU for law school, I decided to make a trip out there to visit him before school got too intense for him. The drive out from LA to Phoenix was about 5 hours, and we arrived Friday night at around 9 pm. Luckily, my friend had a studio, so we were all able to stay over at his place! First stop, Mills! Mills is a popular street to go to for bar hopping and eating. We ended up getting Mellow Marshmallow, a popular pizza chain in Arizona, and ended up at a few bars around Mills. Mills to me was a more ratchet version of Scottsdale, but we had a ton of fun here! Recommendations for bars at Mills: Gringos, Handle Bar, El Hefe, Blasted Barley, and Rooftop Bar.
The next morning, we woke up at 4 am and did a suicide trip up to Page. Page is 5 hours north of Phoenix, and we arrived at 9:30 am at Ken's Tours for our Lower Antelope Canyon tour. For Antelope Canyon, tours must be reserved in advance, and there's two choices- upper and lower. Upper is more popular among tourists, and it gets booked months in advance. We were able to get lower antelope about a week before luckily, and it was also twice as cheap. Lower is $20 and goes from down to up, where as upper is $40 and it goes the other way. For lower antelope canyon, its better to come in the early morning or afternoon to get the beautiful sunlight that lights up the canyon.
The tour guide gave us a few rules, and we began our descent into the canyon. The stairs are pretty steep, and it was packed with tourists inside. We had to wait for a bit before getting in, so I took a few photos while waiting!
Upon entering, it was PACKED with tourists, and people smell. :( Fortunately, once we got going, we were able to have more breathing room and walk around. The tour itself was pretty long; every time we thought we found the prettiest spot, there was always an even better spot up ahead. I would try to go ahead of the group so that you won't have anyone in front of you, and take photos then! Also try not to hold up the line, as it does get crammed in the back. These photos I took were not edited, and it was crazy how beautiful the canyon was. It's even more gorgeous in person!
After finishing this tour (it was a little under an hour), we headed to Horseshoe Bend after a quick bite. It's best to hit both spots at the same time as they are only 10 minutes away from each other. For Horseshoe Bend, there is a short 15 minute hike to reach the actual spot. There is no shade whatsoever, so be prepared to burn and bring some water. However, upon reaching the bend, we were SHOCKED at how enormous the bend was. It was so breathtaking!! I felt so small and insignificant next to the bend, and a picture could not do this beauty justice!
After admiring Horseshoe Bend for a bit, we headed out, and started to head back home. A friend recommended that we stop by Sedona Rock Slide since it was on the way, and it took around 2 hours to get there. It costs around $30 per car to enter (up to four people), and once we parked, it was a short 5 minute walk to get to the natural rock slides.
Sedona reminded me of Cars Land but real life! There was a river flowing throughout the canyon and the natural rock slides were eroded from the water flowing through the years. There were four different slides, and we jumped in immediately! The water was freezing cold, but once I went in, I didn't feel the cold anymore. There's moss everywhere so its EXTREMELY slippery. We all slipped at least 5 times, and my friends and I got bruises everywhere. Because the rock slide was natural, it was a little painful as there were small rocks at the bottom and you hit the rocks on the side that are sticking out. However, it was totally worth it, as it was so much fun!! With the different currents in water from the formation of the rocks and the random dips and twists, everything is unexpected and so much better than a regular water slide.
Bring towels and a change of clothes or you're going to be sitting on a wet seat for the next two hours! After arriving home, we showered and headed to dinner at Pig & Pickle. See my Yelp review here: http://bit.ly/1MfZOGe There were multiple restaurants I wanted to try but didn't get to such as Postino, Cornish Pasty Company, Roaring Fork, and Daily Dose. After dinner, we headed to Scottsdale! This area reminded me of a Downtown Fullerton but much more upscale and full of LEDs and beautiful decor. Since there are no clubs in arizona, this is their version- a two in one bar and "club" with a dance floor. Top four bars here are: El Hefe, Bottled Blonde, Maya, and Hi-Fi.
For brunch on Sunday, we went to Park's Place Bar & Grill as R&R (the most popular brunch for bottomless mimosas) had a two hour wait. Park's Place also had bottomless, and everything here was good! Check out my review for more details: http://bit.ly/1ZehreP
After Brunch, we went to Maya Day Club & Night Club where Showtek was playing, and it was a blast! Definitely comparable to Vegas in my opinion, but then again, everyone's experience is different! Get the fishbowl they have there! They only have a limited amount, but when one party finishes and the bowls get returned, you can go to the counter and order it. We got lucky as someone ended up giving us their bowl for us to use. We stayed there until the end, and went home after.
This trip to weekend was totally exhausting, but it was so worth it! Definitely a weekend to remember, and we kept going non-stop to maximize our time. We drove a total of 20 hours and slept 9 hours the whole weekend, which was pretty crazy. I would not recommend trying to do everything like we did, but it is doable! Overall, this trip was more of a nature trip which I loved, but we fit everything we wanted to do in our schedule! So glad I got to visit and experience the beauty of Arizona.