This post includes a guide to the best things to do in Arizona, U.S.
The Heart of American Southwest: Arizona
Arizona is one of the top destinations for travelers worldwide. It is a Southwester U.S. state with a lot to offer its visitors than you can think of. There are a plethora of things to do in Arizona as it is home to many cool things, incredible views, outdoor adventures, and stunning tourist attractions.
Arizona introduces the visitors to a wonderland of scenic landmarks, natural beauty, and interesting sights. There is no end to exploring and finding things to do in Arizona because every part of the state brings something different to you.
Arizona has both a vibrant city and a charming small-town vibe. And that is one of the best things about a certain place because you need to feel both at times. It is home to bustling cities like Sedona and Phoenix, which are great destinations for vacations.
Moreover, the climate, well its is a natural wonder in itself. It has sunny, dry weather all year round, and the winters are so mild that tourists love visiting Arizona.
Arizona is pretty much a mix of everything, and you will find historic buildings, art galleries, deserts, waterfalls, mountains, hiking trails, biking trails. All in all, it is a nature lovers paradise.
At times it can get difficult for you to figure out all of the amazing things to do in Arizona. So, we are here to save you from all the trouble. Here is a list of some of the best things to do in Arizona upon your visit.
So, before you head off to Arizona and enjoy your vacation, go through our list of the best things to do in Arizona and pin a few for yourself.
13 Fun Things To Do In Arizona
Let’s get started. We have curated a list of 13 top-rated things to do in Arizona.
1. Grand Canyon
Being one of the biggest attractions in Arizona and America, a tour to the Grand Canyon has to be one of the first things to do in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder carved out by the Colorado River years ago. It has several lookout spots, and most visitors head to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as it offers incredible views and walkways along the edge.
Note: Colorado River is one of the principal rivers in the U.S.
The North Rim of the Canyon can also be visited; it offers a different view altogether. However, that road is closed in the winter.
The Canyon is so large that it can be seen from anywhere, and as the late afternoon sun hovers over, it just glows with hues of colors, orange, red, and everything in between.
And for those visitors who would love a closer look at the canyon may consider the hiking trails to the canyon floor.
Those who aren’t much into adventure and exploration can take a helicopter tour of the canyon. The helicopter ride is also considered among the top things to do in Arizona.
2. Monument Valley
Monument Valley, located on the Arizona-Utah state line, is a part of the Colorado Plateau defined by a cluster of vast sandstone buttles. These sandstone buttles are one of the most iconic sites of the Southwest.
The valley area includes the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which people visit for its impressive visitor center, and the 17-mile one-way gravel road going through the park.
A few parts of the valley, such as the Hunts Mesa and Mystery Valley, are only accessible by a guided tour, so if you want to explore the area as a whole, you better take a guided tour.
The valley is one of the most photographed sites on earth because of the sharp rock formations and sand dunes. The sandstones are magnificent masterpieces at heights of 400-1,000 feet.
And as the sun shines upon these majestic formations surrounded by shrubs, trees, and windblown sand, it creates a truly wonderful experience and spellbinding scenery.
3. Havasu Falls
On the Havasupai Indian Reservation is the majestic 100-foot Havasu Falls- one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. For those looking for soothing and relaxing things to do in Arizona, Havasu Falls is a must-visit.
The falls are stunningly beautiful, and when there is a heavy flow of water, the fall cascades into different directions, making it look like two falls.
The pool at the base of the falls is worth a glimpse, too, for that bluish-green tint it has. There are several waterfalls in this valley and a few attractive bathing pools.
And as pleasing as the falls sound, trying to get to the fall ain’t that easy. So, if you can make it through the tough journey, you will realize it was worth it upon reaching there.
In the past, the Havusai Indians lived a secluded life near this area in the Havasu Creek Canyon. Their lives earlier depended on their agricultural skills but now rely highly on the tourist trade.
4. Phoenix Art Museum
One of the best things to do in Arizona to make the best out of your vacation is to explore the local history at a museum.
The Phoenix Art Museum was opened in 1959. Since then, it has been featuring an impressive collection of artworks from the Renaissance period in Europe, Latin America, Asia to West America.
The museum has a photography exhibition center, a shopping store, and a landscaped sculpture garden. And along with that, visitors can enjoy live performances, films, art festivals in the art gallery, and educational programs.
You will find both modern art and contemporary art here.
While visiting Phoenix Art Museum, you can also take a short trip to visit other interesting museums in Arizona, such as the Heard Museum, Hall of Flame Museum, the Pima Air & Space Museum, or the Musical Instrument Museum.
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is an interesting place dedicated to preserving fire fighting equipment from around the world.
5. Petrified Forest National Park
This unique national park is a major attraction of Arizona, and it is all about the views. This forest is a one-of-a-kind forest because where else will you find an entirely fossilized forest?
Here you will find fossilized plants, reptiles, and fish, along with large pieces of petrified wood. There is a visitor center that introduces you to the geology and ecology of the park.
Some trails allow you a close look at the unique sights. Visiting such a unique forest always makes its place on the list of the best things to do in Arizona.
6. Trip to Bisbee
Near the Mexico border lies one of the most interesting towns of Arizona- Bisbee. Nestled high in the mountains, Bisbee is a little community and a former mining town.
After the mines were shut down, Bisbee became a haven for artists and hippies. Today, the town has many interesting things to see and do with unique shops in the main street, an interesting mix of residents, and amazing restaurants in the historic downtown.
The town offers spectacular views all the way to Mexico. And in the hills, there are quite a few hiking trails so that you can take a self-guided hike.
7. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a breathtaking desert landscape, blue water, and stunning stone walls. The area is also home to Lake Powell, the largest artificial lake in the U.S., and the Glen Canyon Dam.
The area offers amazing water-based and land-based recreational activities. And among these, hiking is one of the main reasons visitors come here. It is done in the area’s biggest attraction, the Antelope Canyon.
You can visit the Antelope area on a guided private tour.
If you love visiting recreation areas, there is another one in Arizona that you can consider visiting- the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The area is home to some of the Colorado River and Lake Mohave, an artificial lake guarded by the Davis Dam.
8. Desert Botanical Garden
When it comes to desert, we usually think of long stretches of sands, cactus, and maybe a few pine trees. However, the Desert Botanical Garden is far away from what’s in your mind.
This garden is home to a variety of cacti and plants from all over the world. It is spread across 40 acres of land and houses over 10,000 varieties of plants.
This desert garden is an overflowing floral beauty.
Speaking of deserts, you can visit the Sonoran Desert for the actual feels. And if you would like to know about the desert, you can visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
This will certainly be one of the exciting things to do in Arizona. Also, for the desert feels, you can visit the Saguaro National Park too.
9. The Arizona Science Centre
Located in downtown Phoenix is the Arizona Science Centre, which is one of the premier science destinations.
The museum offers hands-on exhibits and galleries. Each gallery has a different scientific theme which fascinates the visitors very much. In addition to that, there is a large planetarium and an Imax cinema.
Various events and programs are organized in the center that visitors can be a part of. So, a trip to the science center will certainly be something of interest.
10. London Bridge
One of the best things to do in Arizona is exploring its beauty and attractions, and one such major roadside attraction is the London Bridge. Yes, the famous “London bridge is falling” London Bridge.
The bridge was built in 1931 and re-constructed in 1971 in Lake Havasu City. So being right there in the United States, you can take a walking tour of London’s history and see some of London too.
So, dive deep into London’s history while you take a walk on London Bridge.
11. Trip to Jerome
Nestled high above the desert floor, on a mountainside, is Jerome’s town, which has now turned into a major tourist attraction and the most famous ghost town.
Jerome is a total tourist pleaser, with plenty of interesting shops and restaurants. Even views from the streets are pretty amazing. The place has a mix of ruins and restored buildings.
There are many interesting places in Jerome to check out, like the Gold King Museum or the Sliding Jail, built on a clay slick.
If you stay overnight, you can check out the Jerome Grand Hotel in Verde Valley, which offers stunning views.
12. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Situated in Southeastern Arizona, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an International Biosphere Reserve. And as the name suggests, the main attraction of the monument is the organ pipe cactus.
The whole area surrounding the monument is quite remarkable with mountains and everything. It can be explored through various hiking trails and roads. Maybe you can take up a jeep tour.
It is also one of the best places to camp in Arizona. So, you can check out both the tall organ pipes and enjoy hikes and camping.
13. Tumacacori National Historical Park
Located in the South of Tucson is the Tumacacori National Historical Park, a historic site in Arizona. The site is home to the ruins of three early Spanish colonial missions namely San Jose De Tumacacori, Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi, and San Cayetano de Calabazas.
The site features a vintage museum where you can discover fine artwork. Over the years, the site has become a popular tourist destination as it organizes several programs for tourists.
Well, these are just a few of the things to do in Arizona. By now, I hope you have a rough idea of how it is going to be on vacation to Arizona.
That place has something intense and interesting that tourists love discovering every part of it, including the major attractions, cities, or towns.
Arizona has a very lit camping scene too, so if you are up for such adventures, you will surely find yourself doing such a thing once you are there.
Suppose you are in Arizona over a weekend trip and want to do something thrilling and adventurous. In that case, this mountain range known as the Superstition Mountains offers incredible hiking trails.
Other Places to Visit:
There are more fascinating sites that you can visit, like the Hoover Dam, the Canyon De Chelly National Monument, or the Mystery Castle.
Visitors get a free ranger-led hike and private tours for the Canyon De Chelly, too, from spring until fall. And who would want to miss that?
So, plan your vacation wisely, make a list of all the things to do in Arizona, check out our list, and see what suits you best. I hope this article on some of the best things to do in Arizona is of much help to you.