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ARIZONA

The Grand Canyon State

 

Arizona's Adventure

Like its most famous natural landmark, the Grand Canyon, Arizona is also vast and ancient, a tapestry of stunning color and fascinating geology. The state is rich with rushing rivers, snow-capped mountains, stands of ponderosa pine, pristine lakes and sandy lakefront beaches. It’s a destination that offers an easy combination of outdoor adventure and urban sophistication. Hike the red rocks and alpine forests. Drive across the desert on Historic Route 66. Indulge in a spa day. Whether you’re looking for a lesson in Old West history, to perfect your golf game or to browse designer outlets and high-end boutiques, you’ll find unforgettable delights in Arizona.

THE AREA

Start an outdoor adventure in Arizona at Grand Canyon National Park, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. If you’re flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport (PHX), it’s about a three-and-a-half hours by car to the canyon’s South Rim, the park’s most visited area. Stop at one of the visitor centers here or at the Yavapai Geology Museum to learn about the area’s unique topography. Enlist the help of an experienced adventure company or outfitter for a tour of the canyon, as well as the state’s many natural beauties: from Jeep tours in Sedona to float trips on the Colorado River to horseback treks in Monument Valley.

RICH HISTORY

Arizona’s history is defined by Native Americans, larger-than-life adventurers and Old West tales. Today, populations from 22 American Indian communities live in Arizona. Visitors can tour tribal lands, visit American Indian-operated museums and cultural centers, and purchase jewelry and artwork created by American Indians at a variety of shops and boutiques. Journey back to the Old West with a trip to one of the state’s ghost towns to learn about Arizona’s mining history. Or, explore the roadside attractions of old Route 66, the historic roadway known as the Mother Road. In Arizona, Route 66 winds through Petrified Forest National Park, Kaibab Plateau, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon Caverns and more.

Must see places

Grand Canyon National Park

Located in Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. The park is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon; a mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide. Layered bands of colorful rock reveal millions of years of geologic history. Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers visitors from the rim. Read More

Arizona Wine Country

What pairs well with a warm, sunny afternoon and a breathtaking view of Arizona’s beautifully rugged scenery? A glass of locally made wine, of course. In Arizona’s high deserts, three major grape-growing regions have taken root – Sonoita, Willcox, and Verde Valley. Since the 1970s, these locally made wines have earned international acclaim, won numerous awards, and have even been served in the White House. Touring Arizona’s three wine trails is an excellent opportunity to get outside, sip a fabulous wine, and admire the stunning vistas.

Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

In November 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains. They were looking “for a cave no one had ever found” and found it. The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their awesome discovery. Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected. Tenen and Tufts spent several years looking into the possibility of developing the cave themselves. Some members of the Kartchner family lived in Tucson and were very impressed with the development and operation of Catalina State Park by Arizona State Parks. They decided to approach State Parks to see if the agency was interested in acquiring this outstanding resource.

Navajo Interactive Museum

The Museum was created with the help of leading Navajo scholars, museum personnel and the Navajo artistic community to provide a vibrant experience for people of all ages and all nations. On-site demonstrations are available. The Explore Navajo Interactive Museum approximates the journey Navajos take through life. At over 7,000 sq. feet, the museum features a traditional Navajo Hogan (home) and Navajo stories of creation. Your Navajo escort will help you understand the exhibits of Navajo culture, traditions, family systems and more.

Tuscon's Dining Scene

Certain restaurants are all about the "secret" menu, those delicious dishes and surprise chef concoctions that only those in the know are aware of. But thanks to social media, some of these off-menu items aren't so secret after all. Here are five restaurants in Arizona—from fast-casual eateries to elegant fine-dining establishments—where hidden culinary delights await diners who know to ask for them.

Saguaro National Park

Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

Lake Powell

With Lake Powell and the Colorado River on our doorstep, Page puts you right at the heart of unparalleled outdoor beauty. Here in Page is a most dramatic photo op in Horseshoe Bend, the mile high Tower Butte (now accessible via helicopter), the slot canyons, the ten-mile Rim Trail and spectacular views from the Glen Canyon Dam.

Route 66

The stretch of the “Mother Road” running across northern Arizona is dotted with history, culture and fun. Get your kicks on Arizona’s own special piece of this famous road. Route 66 was established in 1926 and has since been decertified, but many portions of the road are still drivable and offer attractions along the way. When driving the Route in Arizona, there are plenty of incredible outdoor sites to check out. Meteor Crater, the Petrified Forest National Park, Grand Canyon Caverns, and the Colorado River Recreational Park and are all just off the interstate, each one remarkable in its own rite.

Twin Peaks Campground

Twin Peaks Campground is the main campground at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It is located 1.5 miles from the Kris Eggle Visitor Center and Highway 85. The campground has 208 sites, four are large enough to accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length. Thirty-four sites are reserved for tent camping only. Reservations are required during the peak season (January through March).

Travel to Arizona

AIRPORTS

The Phonenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and Tucson International Airport are the main international airports for travel to Arizona.

CAR

The Grand Canyon State may be the setting of the most famous natural attraction but it’s so much more than its nickname suggests. During this 12-night self-drive, Arizona’s cowboy culture, indigenous history, in-vogue cities, Route 66 kitsch and Nat Geo-worthy views will get under your skin.

TRAIN

Three Amtrak train lines cross though key metropolitan areas of Arizona. The Southwest Chief begins in Chicago and takes riders through the northern part of the state on its way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The route then cuts to the northwest and heads toward its final stop at Los Angeles Union Station. The Southwest Chief stops at Arizona stations in Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams Junction and Kingman.

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