If you’re looking for a unique place to take your next getaway, the state of Arizona might just be the answer. Arizona is home to some of the most scenic landscapes in the country and is also brimming with opportunities for some exhilarating outdoor recreation. Whether you want to take it easy and snap some Instagram-worthy shots from a distance or you want to get right in the action and go climbing up a rock face, you’ll find it all in these top Arizona vacation spots.
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The gorgeous city of Sedona is probably most well-known for its red rocks, literally. Red Rock State Park spans across 286 acres and offers a variety of different trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, all with amazing views of the surrounding scenery. You can also see some interesting wildlife in the park including coyotes, deer and javelinas. Or, if bird watching is more your style, you can go on a guided bird walk on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Besides visiting the park, you can also go on an ATV or Jeep tour of the canyons, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross and see Cathedral Rock. There are also lots of quaint restaurants and shops to explore along Main Street in downtown Sedona.
Tucson, Arizona may not be as well known, but it still has plenty of cool things to do and see. Like taking a tour of the Biosphere at the University of Arizona. Although it may look like something out of a movie, it’s the world’s largest living research center, focusing on some of the world’s biggest challenges with food, water, health and energy. You can also visit some unique attractions like the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, or try your luck at the Casino Del Sol. Main Gate Square, off of University Boulevard, also offers lots of shopping, dining and entertainment including bar crawls, escape rooms, comedy shows and karaoke.
Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and is also known for being the home to some of the most high-end spas in the country. If you’re looking for the ultimate place to relax and reboot, Phoenix is the place to go. Destination Spas like the Revive Spa and the Royal Palms Resort and Spa offer everything you need including healthy meals, spa treatments, yoga and tai chi classes, and swimming pools with private cabanas. If you’re traveling with children, there’s the Phoenix Zoo, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the Arizona Science Center to explore. Or for some adult fun, take a walk along the canal and stop in for some wine or craft beer at one of the canal-side eateries.
The Grand Canyon is probably the most popular vacation spot in Arizona, as it’s named as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Not to mention, the state of Arizona has been nicknamed the “Grand Canyon State.” It’s something that must truly be seen in person to be fully appreciated, as it spans a massive 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. You’ll definitely want to take plenty of pictures and if you’re feeling adventurous, can tour the canyon by helicopter, boat or whitewater raft! Grand Canyon Village, located at the South Rim entrance to the park, also offers unique shops and restaurants, as well as lodging options if you don’t want to camp in the area.
The small town of Tombstone, Arizona is dubbed “the most authentic Western town left in the United States.” If you’ve seen the popular movie by the same name, that’s exactly what you can expect during your visit here – dirt streets, old wooden buildings and a ton of character. You can take a stagecoach historical tour, watch a gunfight, pan for gold, visit Tombstone’s first graveyard or visit an original silver mine that’s located underneath the streets of town. You can even enjoy a meal at the saloon, stay at the Mercantile and Hotel, and get an old-time photo taken as a souvenir.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Thanks to the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the country and the first national recreation area in America. With 700 miles of shore and a staggering nine trillion gallons of water, there’s lots of fun to be had here including swimming, waterskiing, tubing, boating and fishing. But, that’s just on the water. The area surrounding the lake is also perfect for hiking, camping and nature photography. And since there are both resorts nearby, as well as a multitude of campsites, you can choose whether you want to stay inside or outside. Or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not rent a houseboat and stay right on the water!