Arizona has a lot of attractions for all kinds of travelers. But the Grand Canyon remains to be a popular choice, drawing more than 4.5 million visitors a year. It is truly an amazing sight but if you want something different, the Southwestern state is loaded with other beautiful places you can visit. Arizona has various natural and man-made wonders and a vast landscape with diverse vegetation that will awaken the explorer in you. So, next time you take a trip to this sunny state, don’t miss out on visiting these attractions.
Visiting Monument Valley will instantly remind you of American Western movie scenes with stunning views. Aside from being a frequent film location, the red-sand desert region is famous for its tall sandstone buttes that are 1,000 feet high. Although it will take a couple of hours to drive, the jaw-dropping sight will be worth it. When exploring the magnificent terrain, make sure to bring a 4×4 vehicle because park rangers don’t allow access to some roads even if you have a two-wheel-drive SUV. If you want a different way to explore the area, you can also rent a horse and embody the cowboy spirit. Also, you can get a permit to use the private campsites near the park or to do some backcountry hiking.
Located on a Navajo Tribal Park, the Antelope Canyon is famous for its twisting arches. These natural wonders are products of intense water erosion and are a popular subject for many photographers. Once you reach the desert floor, seeing the colorful light reflecting on the sandstone can make you feel like you are on another planet. If you want to capture the unique beauty of the subterranean realms, the ideal time to take photos of them is between 10 in the morning and two in the afternoon. This is when the sunlight will hit the sandstone halls.
If you want to experience Arizona outdoor adventure, you can start at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The vast 1.5 million-acre area spreads across striking landscapes and magnificent blue waters. Visitors can enjoy various activities like swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and fishing. You can also choose among the 900 campgrounds and select from desert and lakeside views. You won’t run out of things to do in this natural playground and you can visit it any time of the year.
It’s easy to get impressed by the massive structure when you stand in the observation deck of the Hoover Dam. It was built in the 1930s to control the Colorado River and harness hydroelectric energy. To explore the powerplant and passageway within the dam, you can join guided tours and learn about the dam’s history. Visiting this famous landmark allows you to marvel at the Art Deco-inspired pieces found in its interior and exterior, making it a worthy pitstop on your next family trip.
Desert Botanical Garden
Arizona is home to unique plants and wildlife. Most of them can be found in the Sonoran Desert. To learn more about these plants, you can visit the Desert Botanical Garden. It has over 20,000 plants like cacti succulents, desert wildflowers, and agave. The garden is not just for the fans of Arizona’s flora; art aficionados can also find the trail enjoyable. When you follow the trail, you’ll see permanent garden exhibits and temporary art installations. Visiting the Desert Botanical Garden can be a fun adventure for the whole family.
Red Rocks of Sedona
Arizona is not just an adventurer’s haven, it is also known for its spectacular sights. One of them is the red rocks in Sedona. The beautiful red rock formation creates a striking contrast against the green valley. While some people feel this breathtaking backdrop is ideal for various outdoor activities, others find it to be a place for calming the mind. This is why this amazing view of nature attracts all types of people to visit Arizona. Even those recovering from substance abuse choose to enter a drug rehab Phoenix residents go to rather than other treatment facilities, so they can admire scenic views any time they want.
Saguaro National Park
The Saguaro National Park is known for the giant cacti it is named after. This 92,000-acre park is located in Tucson. Many people don’t just come to see the enormous cacti, but also to get a glimpse of the majestic desert sunset. The park is open for hiking and backpacking. You can also find campers in certain areas. Keep in mind that you need permits to stay in specific campsites.
Arizona has more to offer than its vast landscape. It is also home to some of the pristine lakes in the country like Lake Powell. This man-made reservoir stretches up to 254 square miles and is part of the Glen Canyon, the Colorado River, and Canyon National Recreation Area. Lake Powell is one of the popular tourist attractions in Arizona with two million people visiting every year. To fully experience the clear waters, it’s best to rent houseboats at Wahweap.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Known for the abundance of organ pipe cacti in the area, this international biosphere reserve is located on the Mexican border just two hours from Phoenix and Tucson. It’s a great location for hiking and camping. Many tourists come to see the cactus bloom in May and June. During these months, you need to prepare for high temperatures averaging around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
There’s more to Arizona than the Grand Canyon. It is filled with breathtaking spots that are perfect for all types of travelers. With all the amazing natural views and impressive man-made structures, you won’t run out of things to see or do. Get to know these other attractions so that whenever you visit Arizona, you’ll have something new to look forward to in Arizona.