Exploring your options has never been so fun.
In many ways, the beauty of Arizona is embodied by its most famous natural landmark, the Grand Canyon. Like the Grand Canyon itself, Arizona is vast and ancient, a panorama of stunning color and fascinating geology, with a history defined by American Indians and larger-than-life adventurers.
But there is so much more to the Grand Canyon State than the Grand Canyon itself.
It’s not just red-rock buttes, pulled-taffy canyons and cartoon-like cactuses that the state is famous for; it’s also whitewater rivers, snow-crusted mountain peaks, gigantic stands of ponderosa pine, big, blue lakes and sandy beaches.
Arizona is a place where it’s easy to combine outdoor exploration and urban culture. Experienced adventure companies and outfitters can escort groups to some of Arizona’s most beautiful places—from Jeep tours in Sedona to float trips on the Colorado River to horseback treks in Monument Valley. Such photogenic endeavors can be seamlessly augmented by museum visits and memorable meals in the cosmopolitan centers of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson.
Arizona also caters to lovers of wine, golf, astronomy, Old West history, professional sports, luxury spas and shopping. Aficionados of the latter can peruse fashion centers, designer outlets, art galleries and vintage boutiques.
So, sure, the Grand Canyon—one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World—is something no visitor to Arizona should miss. But it’s far from the only thing that makes Arizona grand.
Enjoy the View
With a landscape that takes on all shapes and forms, Arizona boasts incredible scenery and adventures to follow suit. Wake up and start your day with a hike. Ranked as one of the best hiking cities in America by National Geographic, you’ll find a hike that’s perfect for your skill level and expectations.
- South Mountain Park (Phoenix) – National or Mormon Trail
- Phoenix Mountain Preserve (Phoenix) – Mohave Trail
- McDowell Sonoran Preserve (Scottsdale) – Gateway Loop
- White Tank Regional Park (Waddell) – Black Rock/Waterfall Loop at sunrise
- Superstition Mountains (Apache Junction) – Siphon Draw Trail
- Tucson Mountain Park (Tucson) – Hidden Canyon Bowen Loop Trail
- Catalina Foothills (Tucson) – Seven Falls
Other ways to view the sights:
- Sedona Pink Jeep Tours
- Grand Canyon Pink Jeep Tours
- Phoenix/Scottsdale ATV Tours
- Statewide Day and Overnight Tours
Savor Every Moment
Discriminating foodies love Arizona. The state is rapidly becoming known for its culinary excellence, thanks to James Beard and Forbes Five Star award-winning restaurants, farm-to-table fare, food truck trends, American Indian specialties and, of course, authentic Southwestern cuisine. From sophisticated ambiance to rustic, down-home surroundings to romantic candlelit dining, you’ll find an ambiance to suit your taste in Arizona.
Want more ideas for meals worth traveling for in Arizona? Go to ExpeditionFoodieAZ.com
In addition to a diverse culinary scene, Arizona is also being recognized for its wines and craft beers. If you have an appreciation for the grape, spend a day tasting wines grown and produced in Arizona. There are three growing regions to choose from: the Sonoita/Elgin Wine Trail just southeast of Tucson, the Willcox Wine Trail just east of Tucson, or the Verde Valley Wine Trail two hours north of Phoenix. The soil and climates in the regions are similar to the wine growing regions of the south of France, Spain and Southeastern Australia, so prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of Arizona wines. If you’re more of a craft beer aficionado, be sure to sample flights of hand-crafted beer in breweries featured on the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail.
Embrace New Cultures
With cosmopolitan diversity, Old West heritage and deep Native American roots, Arizona’s arts and culture scene is one of the most dynamic in the world. Carve out some time to visit these one-of-a-kind museums that are worth checking out:
Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art. (Phoenix)
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, (Scottsdale)
Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), (Phoenix)
Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA), (Flagstaff)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, (Scottsdale)
Amerind Museum, (Dragoon)
Prepare for Adventure throughout Arizona
Whether you prefer emerald fairways or verdant forests, there are countless ways to explore Arizona. Get your cosmopolitan fix in Phoenix, then see where the day takes you. From hidden mountain trails to Jeep tours, from sparkling lakes to sparkling wine, you’ll find the greatest element of our bountiful landscape is that of surprise. You may not know what to expect, so prepare to be wowed. Here’s a quick list to inspire you:
- Greater Phoenix Top Ten things to do
- Scottsdale things to do
- Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim (4 hours from Phoenix.*)
- Flagstaff – Downhill/XC skiing, Flagstaff Extreme, Lowell Obsevatory and an Ale Trail (2.15 hours from Phoenix*)
- Williams – Bearizona, Route 66, Grand Canyon Railway (3.5 hours from Phoenix*)
- Prescott – Old West, Historic Downtown, Whiskey Row, Watson Lake (1.45 hours from Phoenix*)
- Verde Valley (Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona & Yavapai Apache Nation) – Red rocks, wine tasting, Verde Canyon Railroad, Copper Arts Museum, Montezuma Castle National Monument (45 minutes from Phoenix)
- Tucson – Mt Lemmon, Saguaro Nat’l Park/Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air & Space Museum/aircraft boneyard, Titan Missile Museum, Cycling Mecca, Downtown,UNESCO First City of Gastronomy (1.45 hours from Phoenix)
- Bisbee – Copper Queen Mine tour, Mining & Historical Museum, art galleries, ghost tour and Brewery Gulch. (3.15 hours from Phoenix)
- Tombstone – “The Town to Tough to Die,” O.K. Corral, Old West history (2.50 hours from Phoenix)
- Sierra Vista – Hummingbird Capital of the U.S., Ramsey Canyon Preserve, Sandhill Crane migration (3 hours from Phoenix)
- Willcox – Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Cochise Stronghold, wine tasting, Apple Annie’s Orchard (2.50 hours from Phoenix)
Start planning your Fiesta Bowl adventure at VisitArizona.com