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Last Updated on June 23, 2024

INSIDE: See the best of the Grand Canyon State with our hand-picked guide of 30+ things to visit in Arizona. Awesome scenery, funky towns, & more!

Planning a vacation in Arizona can be a daunting process. You know there are certain *must-see* items on your list . . . I’m gonna go out on a limb & assume the Grand Canyon is one of them 😊.

But what else should you see? It’s a big state and there are SO MANY options!

On top of that, you might be juggling multiple interests and age groups−like those tweens who would rather stay home and watch Tik Tok videos. You may be thinking, “where do I even START?” Don’t despair, we’re here to help . . .

. . . and we’ve put together this hand-picked list to get you started.

We’ve spent years traveling in Arizona. This list is based on places we’ve seen and recommended, things to visit in Arizona that always deliver. Heck, the Grand Canyon has been “delivering” for millions of years 🤩. But not everything is quite that old.

We’ve divided them up into some general categories, so feel free to bounce around to find what’s most of interest to you. (You can also use the handy Table of Contents to jump directly to the item you want.)

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff or an adventure-seeker, you’re bound to find something that suits you in this list of fascinating things to visit in Arizona. Start planning your Arizona Journey today!

Top Arizona Tourist Spots

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon tops the list of things to visit in Arizona

Come on-you KNEW I was going to start with this one, didn’t you?

No trip to Arizona would be complete without visiting the iconic Grand Canyon. The state’s official nickname is even “The Grand Canyon State.” (Spoiler alert: you’ll see it on most of the state license plates 🙃)

It truly is a must-see wonder of the world. I was literally speechless for 10 minutes the first time I saw it. (And me being speechless for 10 minutes is a wonder of the world all by itself. 🤣)

Grand Canyon National Park boasts awe-inspiring views and OODLES of outdoor activities, including hiking, rafting, and camping. I, for one, could spend hours just gazing at the majesty of it all. (And I have!)

Since it is one of the top Arizona tourist spots, the Grand Canyon can get super-crowded in summer. Spring and fall are excellent times to visit, with mild temperatures and less crowds. Take a look at our post on visiting the Grand Canyon in November for more off-season tips.

Saguaro National Park

When you think “Arizona” and “desert,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? I’ll bet it’s a saguaro cactus 🌵. And Southern Arizona is the only place in the United States where these gentle (but prickly) giants grow.

Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, is one of THE sites to see in Arizona.

This desert sanctuary is packed to the gills with saguaros (which, btw are America’s largest cacti . . . many are 30-45 feet tall!), as well as all sorts of other desert plants and wildlife.

Viewing platform at Saguaro National Park-one of the things to visit in Arizona
Saguaro National Park is one of the sites to see in Arizona

On our last hike there we witnessed a massive Chihuahuan Raven soaring above the desert floor in search of its next meal. We spotted it after first hearing the “whoosh whoosh” of its wings. So majestic!

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, one east of Tucson, the other to the west. Both offer some of the best Tucson hikes -including accessible trails for those with mobility concerns.

Rugged (meaning you’ll have to hike to it!), high-altitude camping is available in the eastern (Rincon Mountain) section. In an ironic twist, all of the campgrounds are above the altitude where saguaros grow. But you’ll see some beautiful speciments on the way in up and out down! 🌵⛰️

Monument Valley

If you’ve ever watched a car ad on TV chances are you’ve seen Monument Valley. This Navajo Tribal Park on the Arizona/Utah border is famous for its majestic and unique sandstone formations . . . a few of which look like giant stone hands! 🤚🏼🤚🏼

This wind-carved masterpiece with iconic red rock formations is one of the more popular Arizona tourist spots. It’s also the place where multiple old western movies were filmed. 🏜️

Drive or hike through to experience glorious sunrises and paintbrush sunsets (being sure to follow designated routes on this sacred Navajo land).

Four Corners Monument

kneeling in 4 states at once is one of the top things to visit in Arizona
Four Corners Monument is one of the top things to visit in Arizona

Geography geek alert! 🤓 Stand in four states at once: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. I LOVED it.

This is the ONLY place in the United States where you can experience this. Fortunately, the monument is a large open plaza, with a big ol’ plaque in the ground for the state border. So you can stand, sit (or even lay down) in four states at once. 🧭

Four Corners is located on Navajo land; there are displays of indigenous culture and art surrounding the geographical marker for you to appreciate and enjoy.

Anyone who’s intrigued by geographic anomalies (like moi 👋) should definitely put this on their list of things to visit in Arizona.

PRO TIP: Check out our 4 Corners & Monument Valley road trip for places to see in Arizona!

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is one of the most popular Arizona tourist spots

Horseshoe Bend is that dramatic U-shaped bend in the Colorado River that’s an Instagram darling. It used to be fairly unknown, but now it’s one of the must-see Arizona tourist spots.

See incredible views, perched high above the river before it winds its way down to the Grand Canyon. (Just promise me you’ll stay behind the railing-that sandstone is pretty crumbly 😳.)

Horseshoe Bend is one of the great things to do in Page Arizona. Check out our list of more!

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

If you love Wild West history, watching the live dramatization of the famous gunfight in Tombstone is definitely one of the sites to see in Arizona. This short performance (it’s only about 15 mintues long), which is re-enacted several times daily, is a raw slice of the wild west. 🤠

Reenactment of the gunfight at the OK corral in Tombstone az-things to visit in arizona
Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone is one of the places to see in Arizona

When I first went there I expected it to be a little hokey, and I suppose if you’re cynical it can be. But the I realized where I was: Right. There. Where it really happened. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday strode around this very spot. Apaches raced their horses through the hills surrounding town.

You are smack-dab in the Wild West. When you let that history roll over you, you can feel the tension of the legendary gunfight echoing off weathered walls. And even in that desert heat you’ll get chills.

Taliesin West: Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

Taliesin West is one of the things to visit in Arizona for architecture fans

Anyone who is interested in architecture must visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architecture school in Scottsdale. Taliesin West is an architectural masterpiece, one that has stood the test of time like so many of Wright’s works.

Positioned in the Arizona desert, it seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor spaces, reflecting Wright’s organic architecture concept. Driving up the hill to the entrance, you don’t even see the building, it seems to blend right into the landscape!

Wright definitely loved the horizontal, so you won’t find soaring spaces. Sometimes I wish the ceilings were a little higher to capitalize on those magnificent desert views. But there’s no denying his structures are unique and memorable, and Taliesin West is certainly one of the places to see in Arizona.

PRO TIP: If you like Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, be sure to check out the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, which he also designed. Stop into the Wright Bar and have one of their signature Tequila Sunrises, which was invented right there.

Route 66 in Arizona

Giant arrows in desert ground along route 66 in Arizona
Plenty of sites to see in Arizona along Route 66

Driving Route 66 through the Grand Canyon state is an experience that strings together multiple sites to see in Arizona. You’ll witness a combination of midcentury history and iconic scenery on a Route 66 road trip.

Along this iconic journey you’ll see vibrant vintage towns, such as Winslow, with it’s Standing on the Corner park (yep, from the hit song Take it Easy.) Route 66 passes right through Petrified Forest National Park, one of the many Arizona national parks & monuments worth exploring.

Chow down in vintage diners, and lay your weary head at one of the fabulous retro motels and hotels along Route 66 in Arizona. We’ve driven this route multiple times and somehow all that vintage charm never gets old 😊.

Things to visit in Arizona: Natural Wonders

Petrified Forest National Park

view of painted desert-reddish hills covered in bits of greenery-things to do in Arizona
The Painted Desert is one of the places to see in Arizona, in Petrified Forest National Park

Getting two parks for the price of one makes Petrified Forest National Park one of the great things to visit in Arizona. It features colourful petrified wood, ancient fossils, and Painted Desert vistas.

The northern half features the stunning views of the Painted Desert, where the rock mounds look striped in a variety of colors. (These get even more intense at either sunrise or sunset!)

Then, as you continue the park drive southward, you come upon petrified wood, rock art and fossils. It’s a journey back to prehistoric times.

PRO TIP: Petrified Forest National Park is right along Route 66, so it makes a great stop or detour from a Route 66 road trip.

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument is a must among Arizona tourist spots

Imagine some other-worldly landscape like something out of a Star Wars movie, then plunk it into an Arizona forest. That’ll give you an idea of what Chiricahua National Monument is like. (btw, in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “cheer-ih-COW-ah” 😊)

I couldn’t wait to visit this park in the southeastern part of Arizona, and I was NOT disappointed.

The park is tucked into an almost hidden valley deep in the mountains. Take a scenic drive and/or hike through miles of towering rock formations and eerie hoodoos in a world untouched by time.

It’s breathtaking, and, in my opinion, one of the things to visit in Arizona that you should not miss.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Southern Arizona is cactus country, no doubt about that. After you’ve had your fill of saguaros, it’s worth taking a drive just a bit farther southwest to see the rare organ pipe cactus. The multiple spiky spires are magnificent to see.

Organ Pipe National Monument is the only place in the US where these magnificent cacti grow. And it is totally worth a trip!

organ pipe cactus against a backdrop of rocks at organ pipe cactus NM-places to see in Arizona
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is among the most beautiful Arizona tourist spots

It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt finding the cacti at first, because they tend to grow on south-facing rocky soil. But once you know where to look you see organ pipes everywhere!

The cacti are on view all year round, but I recommend visiting in spring, when the Arizona wildflowers are in full bloom. The combination of the majestic organ pipe cactus surrounded by a field of poppies is a sight to behold.

PRO TIP: There are plenty of things to to in Ajo, AZ, making it a great base for your visit to Organ Pipe. It’s a cute former mining town that’s now got an artsy vibe.

Sedona‘s Red Rocks

Known for its vibrant art scene and natural beauty, Sedona offers stunning Red Rock landscapes that are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, or simply soaking up the scenery.

Red rocks of Sedona in the fall-evening "golden hour" light, with evergreens in the foreground-sites to see in Arizona
Magnificent red rocks of Sedona are some of the places to see in Arizona

No matter where you go, there’s a magnificent vista of red rocks in unique formations, carpeted with greenery, all against the backdrop of a crystal blue sky. Even if you’re not a big hiker, try to get out into nature around here just a bit. The views are breathtaking.

This scenery has been attracting artists for decades, so there are lots of wonderful galleries and cultural events year-round. On our last visit we saw a fabulous plein air (outdoor) painting festival . . . gorgeous!

And there’s something spiritual about all this natural beauty. No matter what your belief, Sedona has something for everyone, from vespers to vortexes.

NOTE: Sedona is one of the top Arizona tourist spots, so it can get crowded during summers and weekends. Check out our list of things to do in Sedona in the fall for options during off-peak season.

Antelope Canyon

Even if you’ve never heard of Antelope Canyon chances are you’ve seen photos of its smooth sandstone walls and mystic light beams.

This hidden gem nestled deep within Navajo land is one of the things to in Page, Arizona, not far from famous Horseshoe Bend. (I was astounded that this magnificent place was practically hiding in plain sight so close to town!)

Walk through narrow paths as sunbeams pierce the canyon’s apex, casting ethereal light patterns, painting a magical canvas that changes with every passing hour. It’s certainly great for photographers, but I was also content to just stand there and absorb it all in wonder.

PRO TIP: Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land; visitors can only see it on a sanctioned Navajo-led tour. Access is limited-be sure to book in advance.

Mogollon Rim

If you’re a geology geek, you’ll love Mogollon Rim. This is one of those BIG sites to see in Arizona: spectacular 2,000-foot high escarpment, stretching across the landscape in the eastern part of the state.

My observation upon first seeing this geological wonder was a (highly scientific), “WHOA!”

“Rim Country,” as it’s known, offers breathtaking vistas and a plethora of outdoor adventures. Experience the thrill of hiking or biking along its numerous trails, or immerse yourself in the serenity of camping under starlit skies. 🌌

Fishing enthusiasts, will find some of the best lakes in Arizona along the Mogollon Rim. The nearby town of Payson offers shopping and some historic sights, including the cabin of famous western writer, Zane Grey.

Unique Historic Sites to See in Arizona

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

This park, deep in Navajo land in northeastern Arizona, offers insight into Native American culture and history. It is one of 18 Arizona National Monuments (the most National Monuments that any state has!)

The timeless beauty of Canyon de Chelly reveals ancient rock formations and prehistoric cliff dwellings that weave a tapestry of indigenous history and culture.

Canyon de Chelly is one of those places to see in Arizona that somehow manages to be out in the open, yet tucked away all at once. I’m always fascinated by the sophistication of these ancient peoples . . . and their tenacity! What an incredible legacy they’ve left behind. 😊

Explore the panoramic vistas via a series of drives around the canyon rims, or hike the trails on a Ranger-led expedition. Those looking to probe deeper can descend into the canyon’s depth by prior arrangement. (Imagine riding horses down here–that’ll certainly give you a sense of the history and majesty of this special place.)

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle in AZ-view of cliff dwellings as seen from a distance-high up in the cliff
Montezuma Castle: one of the historic things to visit in Arizona

Explore this well-preserved cliff dwelling and imagine the life of the Sinagua people who lived here centuries ago. Montezuma Castle National Monument immerses visitors in the region’s ancient history. For lovers of history (particularly Native American history), this is one of the sites to see in Arizona.

This astonishing five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling-built 100 feet up into the cliff face 😱 is a testament to the ingenuity of the Sinagua people who inhabited these walls . . . over 800 years ago. (I’m not sure how you’d build something like this today, much less waaaay back then!)

Unlike Canyon de Chelly (above), Montezuma Castle is an easy day trip from Phoenix, or a great side trip if you’re spending time in Sedona.

Lastly, there’s a BONUS! 🤩 About 10 minutes up the road lies another magnificent (and related) site: Montezuma Well. Also used by the Sinagua people, this large body of water sunken into the top of a hill is a marvel to behold. This National Monument site is free to visit and is rarely crowded-an underrated nugget just waiting for your discovery!

Glen Canyon Dam

View of glen canyon dam with bridge in front, taken 3/4 mile away at glen canyon overlook-arizona tourist spots
Glen Canyon Dam is an engineering marvel | Things to visit in Arizona

Glen Canyon Dam is a great place to balance a love of nature with an appreciation for all that humans can achieve. This massive structure near Page, AZ, holds back the mighty Colorado River to create the reservoir of Lake Powell, and all the recreational areas associated with it.

Learn all about the dam’s function and construction at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, located right on sight. You’ll learn (among other things) that the dam is a whopping 710 feet high 😲 (just a few feet shorter than Hoover Dam).

For a unique viewpoint, head about a mile south to the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, where you’ll get stunning view of the Dam to the north, and the canyon that feeds into Horseshoe Bend to the south. It’s a locals’ hack (and it’s totally free!). 🙌

Wupatki National Monument

Yup, more ruins from ancient peoples, only this time they’re out on the plains instead of tucked into a cliff somewhere.

At Wupatki National Monument, you’ll discover a series of ancient Puebloan ruins, rising up from the rugged Arizona landscape out in the open. It’s a blend of ancient history and natural beauty. Compared to cliff dwellings they seem so unprotected, but they are SO beautiful!

The fact that so much of these red sandstone structures still remain is a testimonial to the sophistication of these ancient peoples.

Wupatki is located just north of the town of Flagstaff, and is among the fascinating historic places to see in Arizona.

Tumacácori National Historical Park

For history buffs, the mission at Tumacacori is one of the sites to see in Arizona

Wander through the historic park featuring the ruins of three Spanish mission communities. Immerse in history at Tumacacori National Historical Park, located in Arizona’s lush Santa Cruz Valley south of Tucson.

Marvelously preserved remnants of three Spanish colonial missions showcase exquisite architectural styles from the 18th-century. The traditional orchards and farmlands along the river give insight on how this spot has housed some of America’s earliest settlers.

These sacred structures, including the historic Mission San José de Tumacácori, stand as a testament to the convergence of Spanish and indigenous O’odham cultures.

Lowell Observatory

Learn about the universe at this historic observatory in Flagstaff. Located in Northern Arizona, the distinguished Lowell Observatory offers boundless celestial exploration. It rests under the region’s dark skies, providing unobstructed views of the cosmos.

It is historically significant as the site where the former planet Pluto was first discovered in 1930! 🪐 (yes, I know that’s a “saturn” emoji, but that’s the only one available 🤷‍♀️)

The observatory continues to be a hub for astronomical research and public education, utilizing advanced telescopes to study and share the mysteries of the universe. If you’re a space geek, star gazer or just like

Places to See in Arizona: Museums & Attractions

Desert Botanical Garden

Witness the incredible diversity of desert plants at this Phoenix-based garden. Immerse yourself in Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden, an oasis showcasing nature’s resilient beauty. This is one the the top Arizona tourist spots for plant lovers.

Wander through scintillating exhibits such as the Wildflower Loop, teeming with vibrant blooms. Feel the tranquility of the Trees of the World exhibit, introducing foreign flora. Discover the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, revealing desert’s captivating biodiversity. Marvel at whimsical butterfly displays at the seasonal Butterfly Pavilion.

Learn from the Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert exhibit that emphasizes human and plant interdependence.

Standing on the Corner Park

Statue of folk singer with front of ford pickup in foreground, Winslow Arizona route 66
To rock n’ roll fans, Standing on the Corner Park is a must among places to visit in Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona is an iconic homage to the Eagles’ hit song “Take it Easy”. The lyrics, “Well, I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona“, captured the essence of a free-wheeling life, forever placing this small town in northern Arizona on the rock n’ roll map.

The park, featuring murals and statues (and, of course, a flatbed Ford! 🛻 ) breathes life into the song, encapsulating the timeless spirit of Jackson Browne’s lyrics.

It’s a pilgrimage site for fans; a stop here is like stepping into a verse of the song. And the fact that Winslow is right on Route 66 just sweetens the pot 😍. If you love rock and roll, this should be on your list of places to see in Arizona.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

A raptor takes flight at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Come here for 3 museums in one: part zoo, part botanical garden and part natural history museum all combine for one immersive experience. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Arizona’s natural landscapes at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum outside of Tucson. This living museum combines zoological, botanical, and geological exhibits, offering a unique fusion of zoo, garden, and outdoor gallery.

Popular highlights include the Raptor Free Flight outdoor bird shows, unique animal inhabitants like (adorably ugly) javelina and quirky coati, and the Cactus Garden with its vibrant desert flora. Enjoy the exquisite Hummingbird Aviary, and marvel at the diversity of life in the walk-through aviary. Immerse yourself in the Earth Sciences Center with its captivating mineral exhibition.

Uncover the secrets of the Sonoran Desert and enjoy the best of Arizona’s natural world. Best of all, it’s literally just down the road from Saguaro National Park, making a it great companion place to visit on the same day-Win-Win! 🙌

Musical Instrument Museum 🎶

If you’re a music lover, this should definitely be on your list of things to visit in Arizona! Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is an immersive experience into music from around the world.

SPOILER ALERT: This is one honkin’ (see what I did there?😉) museum! You may need 2 days to see everything here! (We totally did!)

Marvel at the Artist Gallery, where you’ll see exhibits and relics from a wide range of musicians, such as Buddy Rich’s drum set, Pablo Casal’s cello and Roberta Flack’s grand piano (along with a stunning pink dress!). If this has you itching to play some tunes visit the “Experience Gallery” where visitors can play global instruments.

But wait, there’s more! MIM captures heartbeats of various cultures, from a Stradivarius violin 🎻 to ancient Asian gongs. With 7,000 instruments from 200 countries, MIM entertains, educates and inspires. One visit will take you on a worldwide, rhythmic journey, without leaving Phoenix.

Arizona Plane Graveyard (The Tucson “Boneyard”)

Tailfins at Arizona plane graveyard, including coast guard plane
Love airplanes? Then the Boneyard should be one of the places to see in Arizona!

Plane Geek Alert! (that’s me!) Take more than 3,000 surplus military aircraft, plunk them down in the desert for storage and you’ve got the Tucson Boneyard.

This is the world’s largest collection of planes and they’re all “hiding in plane plain sight” at Davis Monthan Air Force Base just outside of Tucson. It’s a sight to behold for plane geeks everywhere (totally raising my hand here 🤓!).

Due to security measures, tours are no longer permitted on base. However, you CAN still see the planes using local roads. . . if you know where look. Check out our guide to seeing the Arizona Plane Graveyard, which has handy maps and viewing tips. This is one of the sites to see in Arizona that you won’t find anywhere else.

Best Places to See in Arizona: Cities & Towns

Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a city teeming with art, culture, and history, and makes a great base for a vacation in Ariozna.

Visit its numerous museums, art galleries, or enjoy fine dining at sophisticated restaurants. There are plenty of Arizona tourist spots in or near Scottsdale, including Taleisin West (see above).

Known for its vibrant art scene, indulge in the stunning displays at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which is a Smithsonian affiliate. Keeping with the western theme, explore the charm of Old Town, brimming with unique shops, galleries, and delightful dining experiences.

Sports lovers will enjoy Major League Baseball Spring Training, world-class golf, and terrific hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Scottsdale, a blend of natural splendor and cultivated sophistication, promises a memorable escape.

Jerome

Once a bustling mining town, Jerome offers a quirky mix of history, horror (through its haunted buildings), and artistry with numerous galleries.

Part of what makes Jerome unique is its location: perched high on a hill, overlooking expansive desert landscapes (and Sedona’s famous Red Rocks.) It’s a little bit of a nail-biter driving up 😬 . . . my husband didn’t see the views-he was too busy focused on driving the twisty road. Make sure you’ve got a designated driver if you decide to do a pub crawl.

Or better yet, spend the night at the funky (and slightly spooky 👻) Grand Hotel for an unforgettable experience.

This historic copper mining town invites you to explore its fascinating past at the Gold King Mine Museum, the Jerome State Historic Park, and the vibrant art galleries all promise an unforgettable sightseeing experience, making it one of the cool places to see in Arizona.

Flagstaff

Flagstaff is known for its historic downtown, vibrant music scene, and access to outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, camping, and more.

This vibrant town on Route 66 offers a blend of rustic charm and urban sophistication. The historic downtown serves up an eclectic mix of dining, shopping, and culture (and some awesome breakfast spots!)

Just outside of town is the iconic Lowell Observatory (see above), while in about 90 minutes you can experience the breathtaking marvel of the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff’s high elevation (7,000 feet!) keeps it cool in summer and makes it one of the places to see in Arizona for snow sports in the winter months. ❄️☃️

Bisbee

Places to see in Arizona: the former mining town of Bisbee

Bisbee is nestled in the Mule Mountains in the southeastern part of the state, and is a funky and charming Arizona small town.

Anyone interested in vibrant art scene should make it one of the things to visit in Arizona. There are local boutiques, art galleries and events taking place year-round.

Spoiler alert: the town is truly tucked into the mountains and is very hilly. It’s famous for its many stairs!

The town is filled with elegant victorian architecture from its mining days. Today the now-defunct Queen Mine makes a fascinating tour, with its labyrinthine tunnels and vast open pit on the edge of town.

Proximity to the town of Tombstone (OK Corral) and Chiricahua National Monument make it an excellent base for exploring this part of Arizona.

Tucson

The state’s second-largest city is definitely one of the places to see in Arizona. Tucson is a sunny city (300 days of sunshine per year 😎) offering a rich blend of cultures, architectural styles, world-class gastronomy, and a fascinating history.

As the location of the renowned University of Arizona, Tucson has sophistication and culture you’d expect to find in a much larger city. There are many unique things to do in Tucson.

The area is rich in history, and FOOD . . . Yowza! The area has been cultivated for 4,000 years, creating a food heritage so unique that Tucson was the first city in the US to be recognized by UNESCO for its gastronomy.

Ringed by four different mountain ranges, Tucson has plenty of desert, forest and wide open spaces to appeal to nature lovers (including Saguaro National Park.)

On top of all that it’s home to the Tucson Boneyard (see above), a collection of military aircraft that will intrigue any planespotter on the planet. (Full disclosure: it’s the reason I first visited 😍.)

Page

Page is a small town in northern Arizona that’s the gateway to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell. It’s located in the captivating beauty of the high desert and makes a great base for exploring this part of the state.

The town was created during the building of nearby Glen Canyon Dam, and has grown into a center for seeing the many Arizona tourist spots in this part of the state.

In addition to the many things to in Page AZ, the town has great proximity to several nearby Arizona national parks and monuments. The North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon are near enough for a (long) day trip. As are Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in Utah.

Even with access to all these other parks, I found myself enjoying Page for the things right in and around town. The scenery is stunning and the air is clear. It’s a great place to hang out and just enjoy being in Arizona.

Prescott

Prescott Courthouse in background, compass rose on pavement in front, arizona small towns
The courthouse in the center of Prescott’s beautiful town squarethings to visit in Arizona

If you looked up “charming small town” in the dictionary you might see a photo of Prescott. It really is that cute.

The central town square with courthouse in the middle looks like something from central casting. (Remember the old Back to the Future movies?) The square is ringed by Victorian-era buildings filled with shops, restaurants and art galleries.

For even more fun (and darn tootin’ authenticity), one side of the square is dubbed “Whiskey Row,” lined with saloons left over from the town’s Wild West days. (And yup, America’s oldest rodeo is just a few blocks north, pardner 🤠.)

Prescott is located in the state’s central highlands, about 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, amid pristine national forests at mile-high altitude. It’s one of the places to see in Arizona that will remind you that this was the Arizona Territory long before it became a state.

Phoenix

I couldn’t finish this list of things to visit in Arizona without including Phoenix. Arizona’s largest city (and the 5th-largest in the US) is a sun-drenched metropolis enchanting visitors with sky-high palm trees, rugged mountains, and a vibrant arts scene.

Phoenix beckons with world-class museums, major league sports teams and beautiful resorts. Although there are many attractions through the sprawling valley of the sun, there are also plenty of things to do in downtown Phoenix to keep any visitor happy.

With excellent flight service through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and a location in the central part of the state, Phoenix makes an excellent spot to start and finish an Arizona road trip exploring the state.

Or, you could park yourself at one of Phoenix’s 5-star resorts and just soak up the sunshine 🌞. Either way, you can go wrong.

In conclusion, Arizona’s rich offering of historical sites, natural wonders, cultural experiences, and vibrant cities make it a uniquely diverse destination. An essential stop for any discerning traveler seeking an unforgettable journey through America’s entrancing southwest region.

FAQ

What is the number one attraction in Arizona?

standing at an overlook of the Grand Canyon November

According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, the number one attraction in Arizona is the Grand Canyon

What do people visit Arizona for?

People visit Arizona for stunning natural beauty, fascinating history, world-class resorts and cuisine, top-notch sports and adventure, all with the state’s fabulous weather. Arizona truly has something for everyone!

What is the most frequently visited attractions in Arizona?

According to tourism.az.gov, the top ten Arizona attractions by attendance (as of its last census) are:
1. The Grand Canyon
2. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
3. State Farm Stadium in Glendale (Super Bowl and other major sporting events)
4. Phoenix Zoo
5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
6. Saguaro National Park
7. Lake Pleasant Regional Park
8. Petrified Forest National Park
9. Desert Botanical Garden
10. Lake Havasu State Park

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