This visiting Arizona guide will give you details on the best, cool, fun, and hidden places to visit in Arizona. You will also get great travel ideas on the best cities and things to do in each of the cities.
Visiting Arizona Guide: Best Time, Places and Cities
Arizona is a southwestern U.S state. Arizona is the 48th state and the last of the contiguous state to be admitted to the union.
The state achieved statehood on February 14th, 1912. The place is best known for the Grand Canyon.
We love traveling as a family. Before we settled on Arizona, we looked into what the place has to offer. Finally, we agreed that the forests, state parks, national parks, and state forests are all we need.
Other than its beauty and natural landmarks, Arizona is vast and ancient. There is history defined by American Indians, larger-than-life adventures, and diverse landscapes.
The Grand Canyon covers an estimated distance of 277 miles. The Canyon has rocky walls that are more than a mile high. Wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest.
Best Time To Visit Arizona
The best time to visit Arizona in spring and autumn. The temperatures are cool in the mountains and warm in the desert (December – February, and March to May). The desert is blooming.
Each year more than 42 billion people flock to the state. Its beauty ranges from low deserts to alpine ski zones. The low deserts range from 70 feet – 12633 feet above sea level.
The best time to visit Arizona depends on what the traveler wants to do and experience. Winters are cold throughout the state. The location makes a big difference. Keep in mind the deserts cities’ seasons are hard to determine.
Average temperatures in Arizona vary drastically. Humidity temperatures feel nice much of the year. The temperatures are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. There is a low chance of rain or snow all year round.
If you are looking for the warmest time to visit Arizona, the hottest months are July, August, and June. The warmest time is late June where highs are around 101 degrees. Temperatures rarely drop below 70.1 degrees F at night.
Best Time to Visit Sedona Arizona
The best time to visit Sedona Arizona depends on what you want to do. Other factors include tolerance for crowded trails, and desire to plan. Sedona sits at an elevation of 4,350 feet and doesn’t get as hot as other popular places.
The best time to visit Sedona Arizona is from March to May. The temperatures are warm and not sizzling (temperature range from the mid-60s- low 80s). Hikers love this season as desert flowers are usually colorful and lovely.
September and November are good times for outdoor activities like biking. However, travelers must note that room rates are high.
If you are on a budget consider the winter season. During this time, it’s cheaper. All I can say is there is no bad time to visit Sedona.
If you don’t want to interact with a lot of people visit during the winter months. The spring and fall seasons are flocked with tourists.
During winter Sedona’s famous red rocks have a light dusting of snow while the rest of the town remains snow-free.
There are several annual holiday events in Sedona. Christmas caroling, the red fantasy of lights, and Santa-themed train rides.
Best Cities To Visit In Arizona
Visiting Sedona Arizona
Sedona is a delight to visit. Its magnificent scenery for the stunning red sandstone formations surrounds the city.
The cathedral rock is located here. There are loads of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and camping.
Visiting Tucson Arizona
Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona. The city has fantastic restaurants, museums, a historic neighborhood, and different cultures.
The city has lively streets that are fun to explore. Saguaro National Park is just near and it protects the saguaro cactus on a tract of land through the Sonoran Desert.
Visiting Yuma Arizona
Yuma lies at the point where Gila and Colorado River join. The city of Yuma is full of many pretty parks and there are several museums.
Territorial prison museum has some interesting history known as the hell hole of the west. Mexico is just near Yuma so there is a lot of Mexican food to try out.
Visiting Prescott Arizona
Prescott is the original capital city of Arizona in the 1860s. The community is pretty tight-knit and friendly.
The city is home to Arizona’s most prized museums. You will enjoy loads of art galleries local eateries, golf, and antique shops.
Visiting Lake Havasu City
The city is located in western Arizona and was built on the banks of the lake. This is how the city got its name after the lake.
The home to the original London Bridge was put up for sale in 1967 but the city bought and reassembled it. You can enjoy the lake and go boating on its waters.
Visiting Mesa Arizona
Mesa is the 3rd largest city in Arizona founded by Mormons back in the late 1800s. It has a fabulous natural history museum and Mesa arts Centre.
It is home to several theaters and art galleries. You can go hiking, swimming or visit the Tonto National Forest.
Visiting Tempe Arizona
Tempe is a city just east of Phoenix that hosts year-round events. It is home to one of the longest-standing juried arts festivals in the States.
It also has family-friendly attractions like the zoo, aquariums, arcades, and scenic hiking trails. You can get inspired at the ASU Tempe campus, galleries, shops, and museums.
Visiting Scottsdale Arizona
Scottsdale is part of the Phoenix Metropolitan area also known as the Beverly Hills of the desert. The city is wealthy with loads of resorts, high-end hotels, and swanky restaurants.
There are lovely art galleries and Museums. The old town plays up to its cowboy and American west identity.
Visiting Flagstaff Arizona
Flagstaff is a vibrant little city with a thriving local and mountain culture. It has training grounds for many athletic and US Olympic teams.
The city includes outside activities like run, mountain bike, rock climb, hike or a walk in the forest. The area is family-friendly till 9 pm and has a lot to offer. Flagstaff is great in providing fun for all.
Visiting Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix is in the southwestern United States. It has a thriving cultural scene which can be seen in the great museums. Phoenix is known for its outstanding hotel resorts.
The city of Phoenix is known for its hotness and is the 5th popular city in the united state. It is the seat of Maricopa County. There are swanky resorts, great hiking, Mexican food, professional sports action among others.
COOL/ BEAUTIFUL/ FUN PLACES TO VISIT IN ARIZONA
Visiting Camelback Mountain
Camelback is named for its resemblance to a kneeling camel. It has a hump and two tricky trails- Cholla and Canyon.
It is the most popular and attractive urban hiking spot in Arizona. Camelback is located just 20 min from downtown Phoenix.
The mountain receives several thousands of visitors and hikers each year. It became a city in 1968 and sits right next to Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood.
Two trails ascend 1,420 feet to a summit resembling the hump of a camel’s back. You can view the surrounding city at an angle of 360-degrees.
The mountain is home to native species such as rattlesnakes, desert tortoise, cottontail rabbit, and lizards. There are also plant species including the cholla, pear cacti, saguaro among others.
Visiting Papago Park Arizona
Papago is a desert park that covers 1200 acres but the park covers 296 acres. The Park is notable for its many distinctive geological formations and a wide variety of typical desert plants.
The Park has a large zoo, picnic area, small lakes, hiking trails, bicycle paths, a fire museum, baseball, and softball fields.
Papago Park has formed million years ago. The formation is like a Hole in in-the-rock as a major landmark.
The Park was designated for local Maricopa and Pima tribes of aboriginal Americans. Papago was also used in the 2nd world war to hold prisoners from 1942 to 1944.
Visiting Taliesin West Arizona
Taliesin West is situated in the Sonoran Desert outside of Scottsdale. It’s a memorial and testament to the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Taliesin was completed between 1937-1959.
The place was a winter home for Wright and a workshop for his apprentices. The place is not only a symbol of Wright’s versatility but also its influential expansion throughout the United States. The place was nominated to become world heritage status in 1982.
Visiting Phoenix Zoo Arizona
The zoo was opened in 1962 and is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo. It has over 3000 animals and represents 400 species.
There are animals like Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, giraffes, great horned owls, and rhino. Monkey, tortoise, lizard, Calamian deer, ostrich among others.
The zoo operates without any government funding and is supported through memberships, admissions, concessions, philanthropic donations, and special events.
When you visit Phoenix Zoo you will see different trails including the Africa Trail, Children’s Trail, Arizona Trail, and Tropical Trail. The discovery farm offers a play area for kids aged 18 months – 5 years.
Visiting Heard Museum Arizona
The museum presents the story of American Indian people from a 1st person perspective. It has exhibitions of both traditional and contemporary art by an American Indian artist.
The Heard Museum is located North of downtown phoenix and it opens from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
The museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight B and Maie Bartlett Heard to house their collection of Art. Since then, it has grown in size and stature to where now it is recognized internationally.
The quality of its collections allows the museum to attract over 250,000 visitors a year. The current collection consists of over 40,000 items including a library and archives with over 34,000 volumes. It has over 130,000 square feet.
Visiting Musical Instrument Museum
The museum was founded by Robert J. Ulrich. It was opened in April 2010. The largest of its type with over 15,000 musical instruments and associated objects.
The museum has instruments, concert footage, and clothing of renowned musicians on the 1st floor.
The other floor has divided rooms with geographic regions, each offering a unique collection of instruments. The instruments have streaming video and audio. The instruments help in providing cultural context.
Visiting Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden is 57 hectares in size. It was founded by Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937.
It was established in 1939 the garden has more than 50,000 plants. Home to thousands of species of cacti, trees, and flowers from all over the world.
HIDDEN PLACES TO VISIT IN THE ARIZONA
Arizona is a hot spot, there are things we love. We also love the idea of finding some things that are a bit hidden and haven’t been explored by millions. Other people every year, we will check them out below.
Visit The Wave/ Marble Canyon
This is a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona near the northern border with Utah. It is a section of the Colorado River.
The Marble Canyon is about 2 hours from Flagstaff. It’s magnificent, very beautiful, providing cinematic views everywhere you look.
Visit Goldfield Ghost Town
Goldfield was a mining town. Although it has been abandoned for many years, it has been refurbished. It now has tourist attractions with mine tours, rides, and shops.
The area is near superstition mountain. Men camped in the late 1800s while working in the nearby gold mines.
In 1897, the gold was all dug up and people began moving out for being jobless. There is a community known as the Youngberg that formed around the ghost town. The town and the historic building were revived as a tourist attraction.
Visit Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park is an Arizona State Park originally the Pendley Homestead. It is about 43- acres of a historic apple farm that is located in Oak Creek Canyon. It features a natural rock water slide, 15 minutes from Sedona and 40 minutes from Flagstaff.
The Slide Rock Park has famous red rocks surrounding it and desert scenery. There are 3 hiking trails in the area to explore before you cool off in the water.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Colossal Cave was discovered in 1879. It was believed to be a Hohokam shrine due to the black soot on the ceiling. After being abandoned the cave was home to a bandit gang, the Pantanos, who robbed a Wells Fargo payroll train.
It is a beautiful park offering tours of a cave with unique rock formations and a butterfly garden. Cave tours, hiking, biking, camping, trail rides, picnicking, gift shop are available.
Visit Tonto Natural Bridge
Tonto can be seen as a huge stone bridge. It crosses over from Pine Creek all the way to the walls of Pine Canyon. You can enjoy the view from several viewpoints along the parking lots.
Hikers explore underneath the bridge and marvel at the travertine formations that line either side.
The bridge is 183 feet high and is beautiful from every angle. Tonto is believed to be the largest natural bridge in the world.
PLACES TO VISIT IN PHOENIX ARIZONA
There are very many places you can visit in Phoenix Arizona. They include things that you can do for cheap. If you find yourself in Arizona, check out these places.
- Arizona Science Centre.
- Phoenix Zoo
- Castles N’ Coasters
- Desert Botanical Garden
- The Musical Instrument Museum
- Hall of Flame Fire Museum
- Taliesin West
- Old Town Scottsdale
- Camelback Mountain
- Mega Arts Centre
- Hole in the Rock
- Orpheum Theater
- Rosson House Museum
BEST INDIAN RESERVATIONS TO VISIT IN ARIZONA
Visit Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation is the largest tribal nation, sovereign entity within the United States. There are several excellent museums in the area that helps understand the culture of the Navajo and other Southwest American Indian people.
Navajo stretches across much of Northern New Mexico and Arizona, jogging over the border of Utah.
The area is wealthy, has a wide array of landscapes, formations, and plants. This makes the area such a distinctive landmark in the southwest and the world.
San Carlos Apache Reservation
The San Carlos Apache Reservation was established in 1871 by the U.S. government to hold members of many Apache groups.
It was established to stop the groups from raiding American and Mexican settlements. The place has a friendly community that provides entertainment for everyone, fishing, hiking, golf, and gambling.
The San Carlos Apache tribal lands encompass 1.8 million acres of pristine land spanning three regions of mountain, desert, and plateau landscapes.
White Mountain Apache Tribe
The White Mountain Apache Tribe was established in 1891. The area has abundant natural resources and scenic beauty.
The tribe is known for its network of enterprises. The area is 7 square miles, has wildlife, resources, rich in tradition, and outdoor recreation.
The area has streams, rivers and lakes, camping, fishing. At times the people celebrate their culture, language, songs, and dances.
Gila River Indian Community
The Gila River Indian Community has been around since 1859. The community owns and operates a private-use airport located 4 miles southwest of the central business district of Chandler.
This community has set up its own healthcare clinic, a telecom company, industrial park, electric utility, and publishes newspapers.
Visitors can experience a variety of attractions located within Gila River, The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, and Spa, it’s also one of the finest resorts.
Visiting Tohono O’odham Nation
The Tohono O’odham Nation is established as the second-largest Native American Nation in the U.S. Tohono O’odham means desert people.
It was established in 1916. The people are semi-nomadic. It is also the second-largest reservation.
Historically, the O’odham inhabited an enormous area of land in the southwest. Extending south to Sonora, Mexico, north to central Arizona, and west to Gulf California, and east of the San Pedro River.
The land was basely known as Papaguera. They use the Uto-Aztecan language. Most of the people in the nation practice farming and are mostly Catholics.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Arizona
If you decide to visit Arizona, you will find many great things to do there. If you have limited time, make sure you visit The Grand Canyon.
I hope this visiting Arizona guide gave you some ideas on different places that you can travel to in Arizona. Please share the post and also follow me on Visiting Travelers Pinterest for more.