Arizona is one of the most diversified and geologically intriguing states in America, while being most well-known for its desert landscapes. The Grand Canyon, which carves a mile down into the rocky desert environment, is the state’s most famous landmark. But when you explore more of Arizona, you’ll be in awe of everything from raging whitewater rivers to sparkling lakes that are shrouded by ponderosa pine to striking snow-capped mountains.
Some of the most fascinating metropolitan sites in the United States may be found nestled within Arizona’s varied and distinctive landscapes. This quick and simple Arizona travel guide includes where to go, what to do, when to visit, and how to get there, so you can create the perfect plan!
Arizona travel destinations:
The majority of Arizona itineraries begin in Phoenix. Phoenix, which is both the state’s capital and largest city, is a thriving metropolis smack in the center of the Sonoran Desert. The desert city has developed into one of the top tourism destinations in the US, especially among those seeking to escape the chilly northern winters.
In search of urban charms? They are abundant in Phoenix. After exploring Downtown Phoenix’s quaint stores and art galleries, stop by a hip restaurant for a delectable farm-to-table dinner and artisan beverage. Alternatively, if outdoor adventure is more your style, consider escaping to Phoenix’s outskirts. Explore kilometers of hiking paths that travel through its distinctive desert landscapes.
Sedona is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the US Southwest, while not exactly being as well-known among tourists as Phoenix. Despite only having 10,000 residents, the desert hamlet has grown popular with tourists, particularly those who consider themselves to be spiritually inclusive, because of its geomagnetic energy “vortexes.”
Sedona is a great destination for a leisurely trip across the Arizona desert. It has long drawn painters and other creative types due to its spiritual reputation and spectacular vistas. If you wish to explore Sedona more freely, you may Sprinter van for rent Scottsdale from Book A Sprinter, which we heartily suggest. Sedona is home to some great RV parks.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you’re in Arizona, you must see Grand Canyon National Park before you leave. The 1.2 million-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site safeguards its eponymous canyon in addition to other extraordinary geographical features, such as red rocks and steep cliffs piercing the desert sky.
Of course, the Grand Canyon itself is the park’s main attraction. The Grand Canyon, which was created by the powerful Colorado River over millions of years, is 10 miles wide at its broadest point and a mile deep at its deepest. This natural beauty will immediately rank among the highlights of any Arizona road trip, whether you see it from Mather Point or Toroweap Overlook.
Tucson, the second-largest city in the state, best depicts the Southwest. Tucson, which lies in southern Arizona, has a variety of cultural influences, from Spanish colonial and Mexican to Native American and Old West. All of these elements combine on the city’s streets to create a special palette of hues and tastes that is unmatched in the country.
Around Tucson, there are lots of activities for nature enthusiasts as well. At the outdoor Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is home to 230 animal species and more than a thousand plant species, marvel at many distinctive desert environments. Or you might just go trekking at Saguaro National Park, one of the most well-liked outdoor getaways in the state.
Flagstaff, one of the most well-known rest spots along the illustrious Route 66, has long been a favorite among travelers. This charming mountain hamlet in Arizona is worth a brief detour even if you’re not roarin’ down this iconic American road trip route. The most well-known function of Flagstaff is as the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. But there are many more outdoor adventures available besides climbing the canyon.
Visit Walnut Canyon National Monument and Wupatki National Monument to learn more about Arizona’s prehistoric past. Or, if you’re traveling during the winter, pack your skis and hit the slopes at the Arizona Snowbowl, one of the most unexpected ski resorts in the nation. Make sure to schedule some time in your Flagstaff itinerary to visit the famed Lowell Observatory if you enjoy gazing at the stars. The observatory, which has been open since 1894, provides picture-perfect views of the stars over “Dark Sky City.”
Additional Arizona destinations:
- Monument Valley
- Antelope Canyon
- Lake Powell
- Lake Havasu
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Petrified Forest National Park
When to travel to Arizona
Arizona is at its most beautiful in the spring and fall. Arizona’s greatest seasons for weather are spring and fall, when the summer heat and the chilly winter months are avoided. Arizona’s peak travel season lasts from October through May. Make sure to reserve your lodgings well in advance during these months. Particularly in well-liked winter locations like Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, be prepared to pay more.
Arizona is a popular tourist destination all year round. You may select places that are appropriate for your journey at any time of year. Stick to the southern deserts in the winter, and in the summer, if you want to avoid the worst of the desert heat, head towards the highlands in northern Arizona.