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Desert Drives: What Arizona Car Enthusiasts Can Do

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Arizona car enthusiasts get to enjoy about 300 days of sun per year, perfect for getting out on the open road.

Arizona has some of the best roads, best views, and best weather. This perfect combination is why Arizona car enthusiasts like sticking around in the desert (hey, it’s a dry heat) and driving with the top down most of the year.

For Arizona car enthusiasts there are a handful of enviable things to check out either behind the wheel or as a spectator. Local auto shows runs every weekend, scenic drives are literally all over the place, and there’s a solid balance of things to do outdoors as there are in the city. Here are just a few of the basically endless things you can do with and around cars in the Copper State.

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Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction

Every January, car nuts from all over the country–hell, the globe!–pile into tres a la mode Scottsdale to bid on beautiful classic rides. Under the Barrett-Jackson banner, the auto auction gives Arizona car enthusiasts and others an up-close look at some of the rarest and most sought-after vehicles known to the human eye.

There’s nothing quite like seeing grown men in their 50s light up like school kids when a ’65 Shelby is hand-rolled out to the platform. The week-long auto show nets some major bucks as high rollers dip into their pockets to pay for prized rides. This year saw a 2019 Mustang Bullitt go for $300,000.

Sedona Road Trip

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Have you ever seen the movie Cars or its so-so sequel or its amazing revival of a third installment? Well, the highways and backdrops seen in the movies are based on none other than Sedona, AZ, baby! The area’s beautiful red rocks and scenic routes make way for a perfect road trip for anyone looking to get out of the Phoenix traffic.

Highway 179 winds through Sedona’s canyons, dropping drivers off at various photogenic stops where they can backpack some trails or pitch a tent.

Jeepin’ It Through The Grand Canyon

While there are Jeep tours you can hop aboard in one of the world’s natural wonders, you can take your own Jeep and light out on great trails. Throughout the greater Grand Canyon area there are plenty of stellar camping spots with unmatched views stretching as far as the eye can see.

With a quasi-equipped 4×4 you can take a Jeep or truck to the Colorado River at the way bottom of the Grand Canyon, a huge drop if you’ve seen Thelma & Louise. Pro tip: eschew the jeep tours and bound down the canyon on your own.

Imperial Sand Dunes

Okay, so, technically these light brown hillocks of surf-able sand are on the California side of the Colorado River, but it’s only about a 20-minute drive from Yuma. For dune buggy fans and those who like to camp it in the desert, the Imperial Sand Dunes are a great option.

Allow us one more move reference in this piece: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. That’s right, one portion of the galactic Sci-Fi opera included scenes shot in these glorious dunes.

Some of the sandy hills can get up to 300 feet in height and act as the perfect desert shredding for over 1 million powersport lovers every year.

NEXT: 5 of the Best States for a Road Trip

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