Tips for Traveling to Phoenix from Omaha

From Omaha to Arizona Creating Memories on a Family Adventure in Phoenix Omaha MomOur family recently traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, from Omaha and we loved it!

Since we moved here in 2020, Omaha people have gushed about their visits to Arizona. (And I’m not just talking about the snowbirds!) After a little research, I understood why: Along with Arizona’s warmer winter weather, its desert landscape is beautiful! There are several direct flights to the Phoenix area, making it convenient to fly from Omaha. AND, Phoenix is loaded with fun things for the whole family!  

I am a big advocate for family travel, regardless of how old your children are. I know the perils of traveling with young kids, but I also know the reward of instilling adventure. So, whether you want to tuck this info away for a future trip or are ready to book your tickets today, here’s a preview of our trip: Where we stayed, what we ate, and what we did on our trip to Phoenix, Arizona. 


Wherever we travel, I pull up The City Mom Collective directory to see if our travel destination is on the list. I like to see what local moms recommend, from restaurants to local playgrounds. 

(Also, if you’re not staying directly in Phoenix, nearby Scottsdale Moms has some great info, too.)


We booked a place through Airbnb. Although the price would have been similar if we had stayed in a hotel, the value felt better. The house we stayed in was nestled into a quiet neighborhood in northern Phoenix and had more than enough space for my family, including a full kitchen. My kids enjoyed the private pool in the backyard, and I liked that the space felt more like staying at a friend’s house than in a disinfected hotel. 


Phoenix is a foodie’s dream destination. It is known for its southwest flavors. But no matter what type of food we craved, there was a local menu to match it. We came prepared with a Phoenix “to-eat” list. What was on the top? Fry bread! I grew up eating fry bread and am always looking for fresh, authentic fry bread. 

From Omaha to Arizona Creating Memories on a Family Adventure in Phoenix Omaha Mom
Fry bread

Out of all the options, we went to The Fry Bread House, a James Beard-awarded restaurant. It was busy during the middle of the afternoon, but we waited less than a half hour for our food. We tried their Native taco, honey fry bread, and some plain fry bread with beans and cheese. My kids, who had never tried fry bread, gobbled up the beans and cheese-topped ones. They were apprehensive about the honey fry bread, but that meant more for my husband and me! 


Phoenix is known for its hiking and museums. Most days, we planned hiking or another outdoor activity during the morning when it was cooler and then explored museums in the afternoon. 

Our first stop was Hole in the Rock at Papago Park. It’s lauded for its views and is a great place to soak in the Phoneix landscape. The hike is mild. My son and husband later hiked Piestewa Peak, on the other side of the city, which required hiking boots and a steady heart. Hiking in Arizona is a rockier, steeper experience than hiking in Nebraska, but if you have a water bottle and an adventurous spirit, it’s worth the views! The iconic Camelback is the climb my son wants to conquer during his next visit. 

We also enjoyed Desert Botanical Garden. It was fun to see the different flora that grow in dry climates. I was surprised at how shaded the garden was, and there were many educational opportunities along the path. My kids loved learning about the mesquite tree that is native to Arizona. They learned how Indigenous people used every part of the tree, and they even got to grind some pods and taste the flour.

From Omaha to Arizona Creating Memories on a Family Adventure in Phoenix Omaha Mom
Museum of Musical Instruments

Another experience that is a must in the Phoenix area is one we almost didn’t do! I was apprehensive about going to the Musical Instrument Museum. I wondered, “Would the kids really enjoy this?” But after seeing the 5-star reviews, I thought it was worth the try. And, yes! It is a one-of-a-kind experience! At the beginning of the tour, you’re given headphones. As you wander the rooms of displayed instruments, music automatically plays in your ears as you get close to the display. There were beautiful instruments, talented musicians, and interesting cultures all presented—a true tour around the world! And then, like the cherry on top, at the end, we played some of the unique instruments shown. 


Being on holiday with the ones you love is all about having new experiences and making memories. Time can be jam-packed with activities or relaxed without any rush. You can have a budget that you stick to or be spontaneous and decide what you want to spend in the moment. That’s the beauty of getting away. And getting away doesn’t have to be a trip to Arizona or any other geographical location. You can get away from the everyday grind with a staycation. Omaha is full of adventures! The choice is up to you. 

So be creative! Most importantly, enjoy your time with your family.

From Omaha to Arizona Creating Memories on a Family Adventure in Phoenix Omaha Mom
The view of Phoenix from Hole in the Rock.

Have you ever traveled to Arizona? What do you recommend families experience? What’s your favorite place to travel to as a family?

Ashley Shannon
ASHLEY C. SHANNON is a wife, mother, and adventure curator. After living in the coastal South for many years, she's back to her Midwest roots, where she's excited to explore Omaha and paint her experience of motherhood with words. You can find her on IG @Ashley_C_Shannon


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