Known as the Grand Canyon state, Arizona offers numerous attractions and places to see from ancient cliff dwellings and the red rocks of Sedona to Spanish missions and world-class resorts. Although a top 100 list is in order for this sunshine state, below are top 10 selects from TripsandSnaps to get you started.
1. Grand Canyon: We would be amiss not to start off with one of the seven natural wonders of the world . . . the Grand Canyon. Encompassing more than 1 million acres, this mile-deep breathtaking gorge offers numerous hiking trails, observation points and Skywalk, a glass walkway which extends 4,000 feet over the canyon floor.
2. Sedona: One of the most photographed places in the United States, Sedona combines unique red rock formations, jeep tours, hot air balloon rides and numerous galleries and specialty stores for a wonderful getaway.
3. Jerome: One of the best preserved historic mining towns is Jerome, located north of Phoenix. You’ll find early 19th century architecture converted to hotels, galleries, restaurants and specialty shops overlooking the Verde Valley.
4. Montezuma Castle: One of the best preserved ancient cliff dwellings is Montezuma Castle, which was home to the Sinagua people more than 600 years ago. Within this region, you’ll also find other famous ruins including Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot National Monument.
5. London Bridge: This historic structure was actually saved from destruction in London and brought to Lake Havasu where it was reinstalled. A charming English village surrounds the well-known bridge and a large lake provides numerous recreation opportunities.
6. Phoenix Cultural Center: Within a 2-mile radius of downtown Phoenix, you’ll find numerous cultural and educational opportunities including the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Museum of History.
7. San Xavier Del Bac: This beautifully preserved church dates back to the late 1600s which was founded by a Jesuit father, Eusebio Francisco Kino. This mission is still in use today by the Tohono O’odham Native American community.
8. Kartchner Caverns State Park: Located southeast of Tucson, this state park is a perfect summer visit to cool off in a guided tour of this wet, limestone cavern showcasing a dazzling display of stalacites including a huge column aptly names Kubla Khan.
9. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Spanning nearly 100 acres, this acclaimed park offers a beautiful Sonoran desert setting just east of Tucson featuring a great selection of wildlife and plants native to the southwest region.
10. Titan Missile Museum: Tucson is home to the only remaining Titan II missile in the United States, deactivated but still intact in its launch pad. Tours are available by docents, who bring to life the Cold War era and taking you through areas of the actual launch systems.