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10 Great reasons to visit Arizona

Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, has hosted millions of road trips throughout history for good reason! There are countless reasons to visit Arizona, but in this article, I’ll highlight the top 10.

Coming back from a Utah and Arizona Road trip, the potential for this state to rank among the greatest in North America is staggering. With its diverse array of beautiful landscapes, natural phenomena, vibrant cities like Phoenix and Sedona, the cultural significance of Monument Valley, and much more, Arizona offers an unforgettable experience.

I’d love to hear about your experiences if you’ve been there. As for me, I’ll share the main reasons to visit Arizona!

10 Great Reasons to Visit Arizona

1. Grand Canyon

There’s a reason Arizona is known as the Grand Canyon State! You can take a guided tour through the South Rim to experience the various facets of the Grand Canyon, camp on-site for an otherworldly experience that grants access to more secluded areas and views, or opt for shorter hikes if you’re pressed for time.

2. Meteor Crater

Forty-nine thousand years ago, a large iron asteroid, measuring 30 to 50 meters in diameter, struck the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona near Winslow, outside of Flagstaff. This impact caused a massive explosion that excavated 175 million tons of rock, forming a crater nearly a mile wide and 570 feet deep. It’s a natural phenomenon that compelled the surrounding area to adapt to its reality and navigate around the massive hole in the ground. You can learn all about it at the Barringer Space Museum!

3. Sedona and outdoor activities

Sedona is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Surrounded by towering sandstone formations characterized by vibrant red and orange hues, created over centuries of erosion, it provides perfect landscapes for stunning photo opportunities.

Must-do hikes for everyone include the Devil’s Bridge, Bell Rock Trail, and Cathedral Rock.

Just like Utah, Arizona hosts its own film festival: the Sedona International Film Festival. Held annually in February, this event attracts numerous visitors, actors, and filmmakers.

4. Antelope Canyon

Located in Northern Arizona within the Navajo Nation, Antelope Canyon is one of the most impressive wave-like structures I’ve witnessed in a while. The preservation of such beauty over time is remarkable.

To ensure you secure your desired time slot, it’s advisable to book a guide a few days before your visit, especially during peak season when slots fill up quickly. Access to the canyon is only permitted with a guide, which has contributed to its long-term preservation.

5. Tombstone

If you’re seeking to immerse yourself in the ambiance of the Wild West from over a century ago, Tombstone in Southern Arizona is a must-visit destination. This historic town was once the residence of legendary western figures like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, among others.

Tombstone offers many attractions, including museums, train rides, shooting galleries, and more. It provides an opportunity to journey back in time and experience the essence of the Old West. It’s an excellent activity to enjoy with your family, especially if you have memories of watching old Western movies with your loved ones, like myself!

6. Horseshoe Bend

Situated just a few minutes away from Antelope Canyon in the town of Page, Horseshoe Bend is a breathtaking natural wonder. This horseshoe-shaped bend around a sandstone cliff on the Colorado River epitomizes pure natural beauty. Access to the site is free (with a $10 USD parking fee) and requires only a short walk from the parking area.

7. Phoenix

Phoenix, the capital of the Grand Canyon State, situated in the heart of the state, is renowned for its year-round sunshine, the stunning Sonoran desert, and a multitude of appealing activities. The city offers luxurious spas for relaxation, golf courses, hot air balloon rides providing panoramic views of the desert and cityscape, opportunities to explore the historic city of Scottsdale and its environs, as well as a plethora of museums like the Musical Instrument Museum and the Heard Museum, or hiking adventures in Papago National Park.

These are just a few examples of things to do in the city but there are plenty more; this is quite an urban and diverse city!

Sports enthusiasts can catch a Diamondbacks game; Arizonians are passionate about baseball, and the team has a solid reputation. Additionally, Phoenix hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, ranging from cultural and musical to sports and historical events. These festivities are not to be missed!

For those looking to venture beyond the capital, Phoenix serves as a gateway to nearby destinations like the city of Tucson or Jerome, both rich in historical significance and offering a lot of activities for exploration.

8. Scottsdale Old Town

I have just mentioned the old town of Scottsdale in Arizona but it deserves its own spot on the list! This old town is full of unique shops and art galleries with many cultural attractions you should visit! It’s a historic district full of art at every turn you take!

For art fanatics, you can check out the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the tons of art galleries, or the ArtWalk. For historians, you have the Historical Museum or the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Old Adobe Mission.

There is of course the nightlife scene that appeals to the younger crowd with entertainment going through the whole night.

And if you only want to take in the amazing view of the Sonoran Desert, you can walk along the Arizona Canal and enjoy!

9. The Food

Due to its proximity to Mexico, Arizona offers some of the best authentic Mexican food and Mexican-inspired dishes. The cuisine also draws inspiration from Native American traditions, evident in many of its meals.

Here are a few examples to add to your foodie list!

  • Fry bread: A staple of Native American cuisine, Navajo fry bread is golden and crispy, often served with savory toppings like beans, cheese, and meat, or sweetened with honey and powdered sugar.
  • Chimichanga: These deep-fried, large burritos are typically filled with seasoned meat, beans, cheese, and vegetables, and served with guacamole and sour cream. Delicious!
  • Prickly pear: A fruit that grows on cactuses, prickly pear is sweet, tangy, and delicious. (PS: We have those in Morocco as well, so it’s very nostalgic for me.)
  • Sonoran hot dogs: This street-food style dish features a bacon-wrapped hot dog stuffed with pinto beans, onions, tomato, mayo, mustard, and jalapeño salsa.

10. The weather

When I tell you that there is sunshine almost every day of the year in Arizona, I am not exaggerating! It’s an amazing travel destination year-round, especially for those who dislike winter.

Did I convince you to go on vacation in Arizona? I sure hope so! It’s a trip you will enjoy for sure!

Until next time,

Sofyah,

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SofyahOv

Sofyah Ov is the founder of Sofyahscorner. Through her travels, she emphasizes the art of living comfortably while adventuring, showing readers how to strike a harmonious balance between world exploration and the soft life. Having lived in 3 different continents, the writer, passionate traveler, and lifestyle enthusiast would love to teach you how you can have it all!

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