Why Should Everybody Visit Arizona At Least Once in a Lifetime
Located in the heart of the American Southwest, Arizona is packed with vibrant cities, charming small towns and plenty of natural wonders. Famous worldwide for being home of the Grand Canyon, those who venture deeper into the state will discover all kinds of unique places and interesting sites including Native American cliff dwellings, remnants of ancient cultures, historic ghost towns from the mining days and a landscape that invites to spend lots of time in outdoor activities.
Arizona has been traditionally an attractive tourist destination. Its memorable and thrilling landscapes, impressive extension and rich history make it one of those places that deserve to be visited at least once in a lifetime and extensively explored.
A road trip is probably the best way to do it and Arizona is one of the few states best suited for such experience. You can discover the delicious local food influenced by its Mexican neighbors, the impressive Hoover Dam unique geological sites, comfortable accommodation facilities and the fantastic desert experience. Road tripping in Arizona is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. From Route 66 to Oak Creek Canyon and the Apache Trail Historic Road, Arizona is home to dozens of byways and roads that are definitely worth exploring.
When planning a road trip in Arizona, bringing plenty of water is a must as you can easily find yourself driving for hours on end before you spot somewhere you can buy a bottle of water. Remember that it can get really hot inside the car even if you're driving with the AC on at full blast and you'll need to rehydrate frequently! And if you have any trouble with your car and you're stranded in the middle of the road, having water will be even more important!
Remember to respect the speed limit as you drive and avoid driving recklessly. Many of the roads in Arizona are desolate and straight and you may be tempted to drive very fast. However, you can only drive 5-10mph over the speed limit to avoid a ticket from the police or danger. Be a responsible driver and avoid putting yourself and others at risk. It's important to bear in mind as well that driving off-road is not only illegal but also potentially dangerous in this state. Since the desert is a delicate and fragile environment, even a single vehicle driving on it can damage many years of growth. If you come across a dirt road during your road trip, that's fine, but do not off-road on your own to avoid getting in trouble.
Going on a road trip across deserted roads is a challenging experience even for the most experienced driver. If you're planning to rent a car either because yours is too old, small or uncomfortable or because you don't have one or plan to arrive in Arizona by plane and start your road trip there, it is wise to invest in a car rental insurance policy. You'll feel safer and more confident while behind the wheel if you know that there's an insurance company behind you ready to protect you and assist you in case you have an issue with your vehicle. With so many options available in the market, look into them carefully in advance to avoid making a rush decision at the rental agency's counter. It's advisable that you choose the one that offers the widest coverage without breaking your budget.
Let The Grand Canyon Overwhelm You
The Grand Canyon is one of America's most famous attractions and a must-see for anybody spending some time in Arizona. Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon looking out over the endless ridges of colorful walls and deep ravines is another worldly experience. Spectacular, breathtaking and fascinating are not accurate enough to describe what's in front of your eyes. Far down below you can see the Colorado River, which has carved this fantastic landscape over the centuries.
The National Park is itself divided into two main areas: the remote North Rim and the more accessible South Rim. Visitors can enjoy plenty of adventurous activities such as mountain biking, rafting, helicopter tours, walking out on the glass-bottomed floor of the Skywalk and much more! Visitors can see layers of red rock bands on the walls that show the long history of the Grand Canyon.
Vast and magnificent, the Grand Canyon is probably Arizona's most distinguishable landmark, a natural wonder that you just have to wwwire at least once in a lifetime.
Due to its proximity to Flagstaff and Williams, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon attracts the most visitors. It's the home to the park's headquarters and where you will find the largest collection of services, including a bank with an ATM, hotels, restaurants and a general store.
The North Rim is closed during the winter months due to its high elevation and heavy snowing and it is the less explored area. It's ideal if you're looking forward to a remote, relaxing and less crowded experience.
The West Rim welcomes visitors with the aforementioned Skywalk. Sitting 4000 feet above the Canyon floor, the glass-bottom Skywalk is truly a modern marvel. If you're brave enough and dare to step into the Skywalk, you'll be able to enjoy a breathtaking experience of the majestic Grand Canyon.
Fall in Love With Sedona
Located north of Phoenix, Sedona, with its stunning red rock mountains and buttles is one of the most beautiful destinations in Arizona. The area offers great mountain biking and hiking trails and there are interesting tourist shops, art galleries and restaurants along its main street. Sedona is surrounded by various ancient Native American dwellings, which can be visited on your own or as part of a jeep tour.
Many consider Sedona to be a highly spiritual place. In fact, it is known for its varied energy vortexes, crystal sellers, UFO tours and aura reading experts. It's a popular tourist attraction because of everything it offers visitors to do: impressive natural landmarks, wineries, spiritual retreats and interesting art galleries and museums. It's a great destination for hikers and for those who enjoy being in close contact to nature. Camping, horse riding or bird watching are just some of the outdoor activities you can do here. If you like hiking, why don't you begin your day with the iconic Devil's Bridge Hike that you can do in a couple of hours? It's challenging but easy enough for any level of hikers.
Since Sedona is close to the magnificent Grand Canyon and the city of Flagstaff, it's a convenient and attractive stop for those planning a visit to the National Park.
Admire Hoover Dam
Considered one of the world's great engineering marvels, Hoover Dam is a massive structure that crosses the Colorado River and links Arizona and Nevada. It's 726 feet high and 1244 feet long and Lake Mead, held back by the Hoover Dam, is the largest artificial lake in the United States.
It's possible to walk or drive across the dam for free and those visitors interested in learning more about this marvellous structure can take a tour of Hoover Dam or the Power Plant, where they can see the wall of the dam and the generators that produce electricity. Go to the O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge that's located nearby to enjoy spectacular views of the area!
Hoover Dam is another highlight in any visit to Arizona and it's definitely a must-see. Take your time to wwwire the mesmerizing views of Lake Mead. You don't see the largest artificial lake in the US that often!
Spend Some Time in Phoenix
Phoenix is Arizona's capital and the fifth most-populated city in the United States. Its lively atmosphere is a magnet for both amateur and professional golfers thanks to its many well-manicured golf courses. Phoenix, set in the middle of the desert area known as the Valley of the Sun, it's the cultural and economic heart of Arizona.
Tourists flock all year round to enjoy its many hiking trails, world-class spas and unique attractions. It's proud of its dynamic restaurant scene very much influenced by its neighbor, Mexico. Bathed in sunshine all year round, it also offers visitors a plethora of educational and entertaining museums, great theatres and shopping options. In summer, when days are scorching hot, it's a great idea to have fun and cool down in any of the many water parks open in town!
It's definitely a great idea to make base in Phoenix while exploring Arizona. It's a rapidly growing city where it's almost impossible to feel bored! Amongst the most preferred attractions by tourists we can mention the Desert Botanical Garden, as showcase for native plants, the renowned Musical Instrument Museum, the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum or the Arizona Science Center.
The Heard Museum is one of the most important highlights in Phoenix as it features and impressive collection of Native American artifacts and artwork. This world-class museum houses more than 32,000 items, a theater and an auditorium and visitors can appreciate exhibits such as Native American jewelry, sculptures, paintings, textiles, photographs, an impressive collection of Hopi Kachina dolls and much more. It's definitely the place to learn about Native American art and to find a worth-cherishing souvenir to take back home.
The Heard Museum is Phoenix's top cultural attraction and a must-see if you are in the city.
Art lovers will enjoy the varied and impressive collection at the Phoenix Art Museum that ranges from the Renaissance period in Europe to art from the American West. There are also modern art paintings displayed.
Phoenix Art Museum is famous for its international scope, with works representing American, European, Latin American and Asian art. With such an expansive and varied assortment of works of art, expect to spend at least a couple of hours exploring the different galleries and exhibition halls.
Science nerds will find the Arizona Science Centre their favorite place in Phoenix. It's a prominent scientific and educational institution that offers a wide variety of hands-on exhibits and galleries where visitors of all ages can learn and have fun at the same time. The Arizona Science Center is also home to a planetarium and Imax cinema. It's one of the best science museums in the United States as it invites visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the worlds of flight, mummies, planetariums and everything in between! Both adults and children will have a great time here!
Monument Valley, with its sandstone buttes, is probably the most iconic image of the Southwest. The area straddles the border between Arizona and Utah and includes jagged rock formations, stone spires and buttes and sand dunes. It's probably the most famous classic American landscape as it has been the backdrop of many cowboy movies.
There are fantastic photo tours offered that are very popular amongst those interested in taking great photos of the valley. Or you can wwwire it from your car seat as you pass by on the nearby highway.
Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed places in Arizona and a major tourist attraction in the state. It offers some very unique sights due to its narrow canyon walls and the natural light that falls from above. It can only be visited in tours and experts recommend taking pictures at high noon. Be prepared for blowing dust! The colorful rocks, after all, are petrified sand dunes.
Located on the Navajo Indian Reservation and near the town of Page and named after the antelopes that used to be common here, the canyons themselves are divided into the upper and lower canyon. Upper Antelope Canyon is the most popular and visited; it's less narrow and therefore much easier to climb and it's the preferred area amongst photographers. The lower canyon is much narrower and visitors must climb down ladders to reach the canyon floor.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Found near Camp Verde, Montezuma Castle features one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the United States. Dating back to the XII century and used by the Sinagua civilization, this five-story structure of 20 rooms resembles an ancient high-rise apartment complex.
Although European-Americans named it after the Aztec emperor, the dwelling actually predates the birth of Montezuma II by 100 years. There's an interesting visitor center and a museum that displays relics and artifacts, stone tools, bone needles, shell ornaments and much more.
Montezuma Castle is, definitely, one of the top things to do in Arizona and a must-stop in any road trip from Phoenix to Sedona. The Sinaqua were daring builders and this cliff-dwelling is a clear example of their exquisite ability.
Surrounded by multiple mountain ranges, Tucson is an attractive city to visit in Texas. It's home to the state university and it has many vintage shops, restaurants and a lively night scene. It's located in the Sonoran Desert and you can explore El Presidio District with mansions restored from the XIX century.
Tucson is the second largest city in Texas and it's a delightful mix of cultures. Its varied museums and cultural scene showcase the city's diversity. Lying in a valley and surrounded by arid mountains and plains full of cacti, it's a charming city where you'll create cherishable memories.
Arizona, Land of American Indian Tribes
Thousands of years ago, long before the Wild West, indigenous cultures called what's now Arizona their home. These early inhabitants settled in villages throughout the diverse regions of Arizona, forming tribes such as the Hohokam, Mogollon, Puebloans or the Patayan people.
Today, 22 sovereign American Indian communities reside in Arizona, each with their unique economic, cultural and spiritual richness. There are many museums and cultural centers in Arizona devoted to highlight their fascinating culture, where you can come up-close the artifacts, tools and structures they created and, in fact, no trip to the state would be complete without exploring the unique American Indian heritage and culture here.
Apart from museums and cultural centers, it is possible to visit tribal lands to experience their culture. However, while many tribes like the Navajo Nation and White Mountain Apache, welcome visitors for a more robust experience, others limit involvement to their commercial interest.
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