My favorite trip to take for two days is to drive North on I-17 to the Sedona exit (Highway 179), turn left, and drive to the "Y" in Sedona. Turn right on Highway 89A. There is a great scenic drive that continues all the way North to Flagstaff along the Oak Creek. It's a great drive to wander up this road for a half hour or so, then turn around and go back and stay the night in Sedona. Here's a Travel Guide, Local Art Center, Dining, and Hisorical city webpage to Sedona. Take a Sedona Pink Jeep Tour if you haven't been, and experience the unique shopping and dining around the Sedona area.
The next day we travel to Jerome, and stay the night in one of the two hotels below. (From Sedona, travel the other way on Highway 89A, Southwest for 27.4 miles and look for the Jerome turnoff). Jerome is a terrific place to unwind, and some of the best rock music in the state is played in the bar underneath the Connor Hotel Jerome.
If you want to have a quieter trip, stay in the Jerome Grand Hotel, a haunted hotel overlooking the entire ghost town and valley.
Here are another couple of ideas for drives around our state, and a great online guide to the entire Southwest.
Another idea for a drive:
Coronado National Forest drive on the Catalina (or Mt. Lemmon) Highway. One of the most popular drives in the state (and most popular filming sites), is best done in the early Spring or Fall, when the temperatures are better and the desert is in bloom (the Saguaros bloom in May). The official name of the highway is the "General Hitchcock Highway" after Postmaster Frank Harris Hitchcock. Started in 1933, the road took almost 20 years to complete, with much of the work done by federal prison workers. The road climbs from the Lower Sonoran desert to the high forests of the Canadian zone, making it one of the most naturally diverse regions of the continental US. Take plenty of film, water, and remember to fill up before this trip.
Directions: From Phoenix, take I-10 east towards Tucson and exit at Grant Road (exit 256). From there, go east for 8 miles to Tanque Verde Road. Continue east on Tanque Verde for 3 miles to the Catalina Highway, also known as the Mt. Lemmon Hwy. The scenic drive is a winding two-lane road (paved) that begins at the boundary of the Coronado National Forest and terminates in the villiage of Summerhaven. Approximately 140 miles from Phoenix, then 27 miles scenic drive, can be done year round (fire restrictions sometimes close the road in summer and snow in winter - check national forest link above). More information: Santa Catalina Ranger District 520-749-8700. Also: a Mountain Bike Site for this trip, and a local Hotel Guide , Hiking Guide, and Mt. Lemmon Local Guide.