25 Places to Visit in Arizona
By Janet Benoir – October 20, 2023
Arizona boasts some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States, offering a diverse array of awe-inspiring sights from the blooming saguaros in the south to the mesmerizing crimson slot canyons in the north. As you embark on your adventure through the Grand Canyon State, you’ll find countless must-see destinations to add to your bucket list.
Having explored every corner of this magnificent state, this guide aims to help you discover Arizona like a true local. With a wealth of firsthand knowledge at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create the perfect road trip itinerary to make the most of your visit. From national parks to unique towns, experience the best that Arizona has to offer.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon National Park, one of Arizona’s most iconic destinations, is undoubtedly worth your time. As you explore this breathtaking natural wonder, you’ll be amazed by its vastness and diverse landscape. The park boasts ancient rock formations, steep cliffs, and the powerful Colorado River, creating a truly unforgettable experience.
When planning your visit, consider popular spots such as Bright Angel Trail, South Rim, and North Rim. Hiking, river rafting, and helicopter tours are just some of the many activities available to help you fully appreciate the grandeur of the park. Embark on your adventure and immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of the Grand Canyon National Park.
When planning a trip to Arizona, Sedona should be high on your list of must-see destinations. Surrounded by striking red rock formations, this picturesque desert town offers you stunning views and a wealth of outdoor activities.
Verde Valley, with its rich history, provides numerous archaeological sites to explore. To fully experience the beauty of Sedona, embark on one of the many hiking and biking trails, and capture the vibrant sunsets that are sure to leave you mesmerized.
Monument Valley, a striking red desert landscape, is a must-visit place in Arizona. With its towering sandstone formations, it’s easy to see what makes this iconic location so captivating. As you traverse the rugged terrain, you’ll find yourself admiring the natural beauty and the interplay of light and shadows on the mesmerizing rock structures.
During your visit, you can embark on a self-guided driving tour or join one of the guided tours led by local Navajo tour companies to get an in-depth understanding of the history and culture of this enchanting area. Remember to bring a camera to capture memories of this wonder in Arizona’s backyard. In Monument Valley, you’re not just experiencing a classic American landscape, but you’re also participating in the rich tapestry of indigenous Navajo history and culture.
Stepping into Jerome, you’ll find a historic copper mining town perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill. Offering picturesque views of the Arizona landscape, as well as preserving its rich mining history, Jerome is a must-see destination for travelers looking to experience authentic Arizona culture.
Explore the historic buildings, such as the Sliding Jail and the Jerome State Historic Park, which showcases the fascinating tale of mining life in the early 20th century. While strolling through the town, make sure to visit the lovely boutique stores and local art galleries. Jerome will leave you with a lasting impression of Arizona’s past and present charm.
Phoenix, the bustling capital of Arizona, offers a myriad of engaging attractions for you to explore. As you walk through the city, the vibrant Downtown area is filled with innovative museums, delectable dining options, and the iconic Talking Stick Resort Arena. Be sure to visit the renowned Heard Museum, which showcases Native American art and culture, providing a unique insight into their rich heritage.
To immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding Phoenix, embark on a scenic hike through the Desert Botanical Garden or the South Mountain Park and Preserve. These remarkable outdoor spaces allow you to appreciate the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, while offering breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Don’t miss the chance to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Phoenix when you visit Arizona.
In the heart of Arizona, Scottsdale offers a range of attractions to explore. As you wander through the lively downtown area, you’ll discover an array of galleries, shops, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art or the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts to satisfy your cultural curiosity.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate hiking and biking opportunities in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Take a stroll along the Canal Walk or indulge in a luxurious spa experience at one of Scottsdale’s renowned resorts. The area’s picturesque desert landscapes and striking sunsets make it a must-visit destination during your Arizona travels.
Saguaro National Park
When visiting Arizona, Saguaro National Park should be on your list of must-see destinations. As you step foot into the park, you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, mesmerized by the towering saguaro cacti that give the park its name.
While exploring Saguaro National Park, be sure to take advantage of various hiking trails, ranging from easy ones that you can complete in less than an hour to more challenging ones that will lead you deeper into the park for a rewarding day-trip. Remember to bring your camera, as the park offers stunning sunset views that capture the essence of the Southwest United States.
Tucson, a city in Arizona, offers a variety of must-visit attractions that cater to various interests. Begin by exploring the renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, an outdoor and indoor facility showcasing the Sonoran Desert’s vast array of native plants and animals. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Saguaro National Park, where you’ll encounter the iconic giant saguaro cacti towering above the desert landscape.
Next, dive into history by visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac – a magnificent 17th-century church that stands as a testament to the region’s Spanish Colonial past. To broaden your cultural perspective, spend an afternoon at the Tucson Museum of Art, which hosts a vast collection of contemporary and classic artwork.
Bisbee, a charming town in Arizona, offers you a unique experience as you explore its rich history and scenic beauty. This former mining town is nestled in the Mule Mountains, providing an idyllic setting that will captivate you at every turn. As you wander through the town’s well-preserved streets, you’ll discover the distinctive architecture of its Victorian-era buildings, art galleries, boutiques, and eateries, truly immersing you in the essence of old-world charm.
For those seeking adventure, don’t miss the chance to explore the Queen Mine Tour, where you’ll dive deep into Bisbee’s mining history. Feel like a true explorer as you venture underground through its impressive tunnels with the help of knowledgeable guides. Another must-see during your visit is the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, which offers enriching insights into the town’s past.
Tombstone is a captivating destination in Arizona, transporting you to the Wild West era. The exciting town offers numerous historic sites and interactive attractions. As you walk through the town, imagine yourself as a cowboy or cowgirl and experience the thrilling atmosphere.
A must-see location in Tombstone is the O.K. Corral, where the famous gunfight between Wyatt Earp and his opponents took place. Stroll along the streets to marvel at the old-world architecture and interact with reenactors, showing you what life was like during those times. Explore the Bird Cage Theatre and the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, which dive deeper into the town’s history.
Flagstaff is a must-visit destination in Arizona, with its picturesque landscape and multitude of attractions. As you explore this charming city, you will discover the perfect blend of nature, culture, and history. Start your journey by visiting the iconic Lowell Observatory, where you can learn about galaxies and observe celestial bodies in the night sky.
After immersing yourself in the wonders of the universe, head outdoors and bask in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Wander through the breathtaking Coconino National Forest or climb the impressive mountain peaks of Humphreys Peak and the San Francisco Peaks. No matter what you choose to do in Flagstaff, you’re bound to create unforgettable memories in this captivating Arizona city.
In Sonoita, Arizona, you will discover a unique and beautiful destination to explore. Known for its picturesque landscapes, Sonoita offers visitors a taste of Arizona’s wine country with several prestigious wineries and vineyards in the region. Plan your visit to tour multiple wineries, sampling the region’s outstanding wines, and soaking in the rural atmosphere.
Apart from immersing yourself in the rich wine culture, take time to venture through Sonoita’s scenic surroundings. The area boasts numerous hiking and horseback riding trails that will lead you through rolling hills, grasslands, and oak groves, making your visit a truly memorable experience. So make sure to put Sonoita on your list of must-visit locations in Arizona.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
When exploring Arizona, take the opportunity to visit the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Located near Camp Verde, this impressive 20-room dwelling tells the story of the Sinagua people who inhabited the area over 800 years ago. As you observe the cliffside structure, imagine the ingenuity it took to build such a masterpiece in the pre-Columbian era.
As you walk along the trails, notice the natural beauty surrounding the monument, such as the sycamore trees and the pristine Beaver Creek. This historical site serves as a timeless reminder of Arizona’s rich cultural heritage, making it a must-see destination on your journey through the state.
Chiricahua National Monument
If you’re seeking a unique place to visit in Arizona, the Chiricahua National Monument is a must-see destination. This fascinating area features stunning rock formations, diverse plant and animal species, and captivating views. You’ll find an abundance of hiking trails as well as the 8-mile Bonita Canyon Scenic Drive, providing you with a range of activities and viewpoints.
During your visit, immerse yourself in the rich ecosystem and observe the remarkable biological diversity. In this monument, you’ll encounter a mixture of four different ecosystems ranging from desert to forest. Take the opportunity to explore this geological wonderland and connect with the beauty of Arizona’s natural environment.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Located in southern Arizona, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. This unique park features the rare Organ Pipe Cactus, which is native to the area and can grow up to 23 feet tall. As you explore this beautiful monument, you’ll also discover a variety of other desert plants, wildlife, and scenic landscapes.
Visiting the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument provides you with several recreational activities, such as hiking, photography, and stargazing. With numerous trails available, you can experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert up close. Don’t forget your camera, as this breathtaking location offers stunning vistas and fascinating flora and fauna that you’ll want to capture. And as the sun sets, be sure to look up at the clear night sky for an unforgettable stargazing experience.
Saguaro Lake, located in the heart of Arizona, offers an astounding natural oasis for you to explore and enjoy. Surrounded by the magnificent Tonto National Forest, this breathtaking body of water provides a diverse selection of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From kayaking and fishing to hiking along the shores, there is an adventure tailored to everyone’s taste.
Whether you’re simply taking in the beautiful views of the lake from a shady picnic spot or embarking on a boat tour to admire the dramatic landscapes of steep cliffs and striking saguaro cacti, Saguaro Lake has something for every traveler visiting Arizona. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness an unforgettable sunset, casting a warm glow over the water and the unique desert surroundings.
Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City, nestled in the picturesque backdrop of Arizona, is an ideal destination for a memorable vacation. You’ll be captivated by the world-famous London Bridge stretching across the serene Lake Havasu. Be sure to explore the adjacent island with its lush parks, pristine beaches, and dedicated walking trails, offering a calming respite from the daily hustle.
The city boasts numerous recreational activities, keeping you entertained throughout your stay. From boat rentals to fishing and hiking, the options are endless. For history enthusiasts, the Lake Havasu Museum of History presents a unique opportunity to delve into the region’s rich past. Your visit to Arizona wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the charm of Lake Havasu City.
Visiting Arizona offers a multitude of exciting and scenic locations. One such place you must add to your itinerary is Lake Pleasant. This large freshwater body situated in the heart of the Sonoran Desert provides a fantastic escape for both locals and tourists alike.
At Lake Pleasant, you can indulge in various outdoor activities like water sports, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching. Rent a boat and explore the lake, or simply unwind along the picturesque shoreline. Don’t miss this freshwater oasis when you venture out in Arizona.
Prescott, nestled in the mountains of central Arizona, is a picturesque destination for those seeking a blend of outdoor adventure and a rich historical experience. Walk through the charming downtown area, adorned with Victorian architecture on Whiskey Row and Courthouse Plaza. You can enjoy the various art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants that line the streets.
Get out and experience the area’s natural beauty with over 450 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails in Prescott National Forest. For a relaxing day, explore various parks and lakes such as Watson Lake and Goldwater Lake. Visiting Prescott means immersing yourself in the captivating beauty of Arizona while learning about its vibrant past and rich cultural heritage.
As you explore Arizona, don’t miss out on visiting Nogales, a vibrant border city with a rich cultural history. Located in Santa Cruz County, this town offers a unique blend of American and Mexican influences, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking an authentic experience.
While in Nogales, you can walk along the lively streets filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants that showcase the town’s vibrant spirit. Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine, which is a delightful mix of traditional Mexican and American flavors. You can also visit the Pimería Alta Historical Society & Museum which showcases Nogales’ history and its Native American roots. Enjoy your time in Nogales as you discover the best of Arizona!
If you’re searching for a refreshing getaway in Arizona, Pinetop is the perfect destination for you. Surrounded by lush pine forests, this charming town offers a variety of outdoor activities to suit every adventurer’s taste. You can hike through scenic trails, fish in clear lakes, or simply relax in the serene environment.
In winters, Pinetop transforms into a winter wonderland, offering excellent skiing and snowboarding options at the nearby Sunrise Park Resort. As you explore the town, you’ll also find numerous cozy cabins and delightful local restaurants for a comfortable stay.
Oatman is a must-see destination when visiting Arizona. This charming former gold mining town, nestled in the Black Mountains, offers a unique experience for travelers. When you stroll through the town, you’ll find numerous historic buildings, souvenirs shops, and authentic Wild West saloons lining the streets. Don’t be surprised if you encounter friendly burros wandering around, as they are descendants of the miners’ pack animals and have become a delightful attraction.
During your visit, take time to enjoy the quirky special events often hosted by Oatman, such as gunfight reenactments and the annual International Burro Days. Exploring the nearby mountain trails provides breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape, while photography enthusiasts will appreciate the town’s rustic charm and vivid history. Oatman truly offers an unforgettable adventure for anyone looking to soak up some Arizona history and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
Payson, a picturesque town in Arizona, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Surrounded by the majestic Mogollon Rim and Tonto National Forest, you can explore an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. Be sure to walk the lush trails of Water Wheel Falls and Horton Creek, where you’ll experience the beauty of glistening waterfalls and serene woodland atmosphere.
In addition to its natural beauty, Payson offers a rich history and cultural events. As you stroll through the town, you’ll find the Rim Country Museum and Zane Grey Cabin, offering insight into the region’s pioneer days and the famous author’s life. Don’t forget to check out the local events calendar for rodeos, festivals, and art shows which provide an authentic taste of the spirited community in Payson.
Take the time to explore the charming small town of Winslow. This historical gem boasts numerous attractions to pique your interest. Immerse yourself in the rich railroad history at the Old Trails Museum, which houses artifacts and narrates the story of the Santa Fe Railway. As you stroll down the iconic Route 66, stop by the famous Standin’ on the Corner Park, inspired by the 1972 Eagles song “Take it Easy.”
In addition to its rich history, Winslow offers an array of outdoor activities to enjoy the state’s natural beauty. Visit the Homolovi State Park to experience ancient Native American culture, explore trails, and enjoy stargazing. Just a short drive lies the breathtaking Meteor Crater, the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact site. Spend an afternoon marveling at this natural wonder while visiting the museum and interactive learning center, helping you gain a deeper understanding of this geological phenomenon.
Willcox, a charming town in southeastern Arizona, offers a variety of attractions for you to explore. Known for its exceptional vineyards and wineries, it’s an ideal destination for wine enthusiasts. In addition to wine tasting, you can experience a scenic journey to the stunning Chiricahua National Monument. This remarkable spot showcases unique rock formations, numerous hiking trails, and opportunities to catch a glimpse of the diverse wildlife.
In Willcox, don’t forget to visit the historic Rex Allen Museum, dedicated to the Cowboy singer and actor, Rex Allen. This museum immerses you in the rich history and cultural significance of the town. Additionally, consider stopping by the nearby Cochise Stronghold, a hidden gem nestled between the Dragoon Mountains.
Eloy, a small city in Arizona, offers unique experiences for travelers. Nestled between Phoenix and Tucson, this destination allows you to explore the beauty of nature and embrace the warmth of its community. You’ll find yourself immersed in the rich history and culture of the region as you visit several attractions.
While in Eloy, be sure to skydive at Skydive Arizona, one of the largest skydiving operations in the world. This adrenaline-pumping adventure will provide you with unbeatable panoramic views of the stunning Arizona landscape. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, a well-preserved ancient structure showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the area.