PHOENIX — The Valley is in for a wild week when Super Bowl LVII comes to town. But some of us aren't quite feeling it, and that's OK! Whether you want to get out of town or enjoy the quieter spots, there's still plenty to do.
>> Editor's note: The above video is from a previously aired broadcast.
With Glendale hosting the Big Game itself on Sunday, Feb. 12, thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Arizona from out of state. The week leading up to the game is when we can expect the Valley to start getting busy.
Most of the crowds are expected to gather around downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale where the Super Bowl Experience and Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate are happening.
You can also expect crowds around the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale ahead of the game.
If you want to dodge all of that, here are three ideas for going where the crowds aren't.
1. Check out some out-of-Valley locations
The Phoenix metro is definitely Arizona's biggest city, but the state is full of beautiful locations outside of the Valley of the Sun. Here are a few of our (totally subjective) favorite small towns.
It's the longest drive on the list, but we think it's the most worth it. Tucked down into the southeast corner of the state, about 15 minutes north of the Mexican border, Bisbee is a mining town that was reborn as a thriving art community.
You can find all kinds of historic hotels and charming stores nestled into the historic buildings that line the winding mountain streets. If you're in the mood for some athletics you can take the Bisbee 1000 Great Stairclimb. Or you can find some of the art galleries and music venues hidden in the side roads.
Whichever you choose the town is small, beautiful, and bursting with history instead of people.
If you like haunted history, Jerome is the place to go. Near the top of Cleopatra Hill about halfway between Prescott and Flagstaff, Jerome is the second former mining town on this list.
Once the 4th largest city in Arizona, it's a much quieter retreat now. The steep town roads are home to about 450 people with plenty of spots for artists, musicians, and gift shops to show off their work.
And at the top of the town stands the Jerome Grand Hotel. It's the most haunted hotel in the most haunted city in the state.
With a beautiful view of the Valley below and a charming old-school aesthetic, it's the perfect place to get away from the city for a weekend.
It's better-known than the other spots on this list, but with its red rock buttes and monoliths, Sedona is too gorgeous to pass up.
The town has plenty of shops and lodging to stay busy. If you want to get out onto the trails there's some of the best hiking in the state. Or you can take a Pink Jeep Tour if you don't feel like walking the trails.
And with all eyes on the Super Bowl, it's very likely that you'll have the place mostly to yourself.
2. Explore Arizona's wilderness
With 4,166 named mountains, Arizona has some of the best natural vistas in the American Southwest. The Grand Canyon State is known for its stunning views and beautiful wilderness.
That means there are plenty of spots in the Valley where you can go to enjoy the scenery and get away from the Super Bowl weekend craziness.
Phoenix's popular Cholla Trail recently reopened to visitors. The 3-mile out-and-back trail up Camelback Mountain provides a sweeping view of the city below.
East of Phoenix, the Superstition Wilderness area is covered in trails ranging from well-maintained paths to rugged hikes. With a rich history and a legendary lost gold mine, the nearly 160,200-acre area offers plenty for the ambitious hiker.
If the weather permits, you can even take a weekend trip up to Flagstaff to ski the Arizona Snowbowl and get a very different sporting experience!
You can find more Arizona hiking opportunities on peakvisor.com.
3. Just have a chill, stay-at-home weekend
Sometimes the simplest answer is the best, and the Valley offers plenty of options for a quieter weekend in the comfort of your own home.
Looking to catch up on your shows or find a good movie? This could be the weekend to do it.
Streaming services are getting new blockbusters and old classics alike. Viewers can catch films like Jurassic World: Dominion, Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical, The Menu, and more.
If you're a reader, the Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale public libraries (as well as others) will be open during Super Bowl weekend and even offering various events for folks who aren't sporting inclined.
At the end of the day, Super Bowl tickets are selling for thousands of dollars. If you wind up watching the game from home, you won't be alone!
There are plenty of ways to enjoy State 48 without being in a crowd.
Super Bowl LVII
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