Go out of town and into the State of Arizona, Phoenix
Families and folks who are tent camping can face a lot of difficulties when trying to find a place to set up camp near Phoenix.
Unlike other places, many RV Parks in the Phoenix area do not welcome children. They are basically rolling retirement villiages and don't want screaming kids around. At some of these places, "kids" means anyone under 45 - and that's NOT a joke! In addition, many "campgrounds" are RVs only, and don't allow tent camping.
It's probably a good idea to do a little research. There are some great campgrounds at very reasonable prices to the northeast of Phoenix, and, unless you're there on the weekend, you probably don't need reservations. They are a ways out of town - not necessarily a bad thing. But if you just roll into Phoenix looking for 'campground' signs, you may get a lot of 'no's' before finding a place.
Favorite thing: Phoenix has tons of hiking and biking trails for every level of fitness. Echo Canyon Recreation Area, where Camelback Mountain is located, and Squaw Peak Park, are two of the most popular. On any given Saturday or Sunday, you're likely to see Phoenix's physically fit residents hiking or jogging to the tops of the citys 1-2,000 foot peaks. This is one of the best outdoor cities due to a combination of weather and terrain. The parks of Phoenix are one aspect in which you'll want to partake.
Map of Red Rock. Central Arizona. More beautiful than you can ever imagine.
Just for fun, read Carlos Costanada's 'Teachings Of Don Juan' to get a real flavor of the magic and mysticism available in the southwestern deserts. He spends a great deal of time with a Yaqui indian shaman (medicine man) along the Mexico/US border. It's an eye opener to read about this culture.
Once you start, it's impossible to come back!
Oh. I almost forgot. The Grand Canyon is also in Arizona!!! I tend to think of it as its own state! However, the people of Arizona proudly claim it as their own, I'm sure!
Don't miss this spectacular sight. There's also great river rides on the Colorado River below, and tours or independant hikes into the canyon.
Favorite thing: Getting around the astonishing desert of Sedona (all around the city of Phoenix) I got to this little town : Carefree! It is a nice place... nothing to do but an heathbreaking sunset to enjoy!!!!
Favorite thing: Take a trip 6 hour drive up to Northern Arizona, to visit the Grand Canyon. This is truly a place for the soul to find the piece, solitude, and merge with nature that it craves.