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Top 10 Best Things to Do In Arizona

Visiting Arizona is by definition embracing the Southwest experience, as the state is filled with adventure, experience, culture, and more. Many whom visit the impressive and strikingly beautiful region, traditionally head straight for the natural wonder The Grand Canyon. However, for those who want to venture further in to this extravagant place, look no further. Here Southwest Experience’s guide to the ten best things to do in Arizona

  1. The Grand Canyon National Park
Desert View
Photo Credit: Richardo Maria Montero

Of course, the Grand Canyon has to be at the top of the list. As one of the most famous and world famous, the Grand Canyon is one the most popular attractions in the United States. With many outdoor adventure opportunities, most visitors typically visit just the South Rim to gander at the brilliant colors and deep ravines. The Grand Canyon Contains all of the majestic colors that are associated with the Southwest with its oranges, reds, yellows and much more.

Interestingly, as most visitors on view from the South Rim, the North Rim contains a brilliant perspective that is quite different in comparison to the South. However, the North Rim is only accessible during the Spring through Fall, as it closed during the Winter due to road conditions.

2. Sedona, Arizona

If red is your color, you might just fall in love with the magnificent landscape that is embodied throughout Sedona. The landscape is surrounded by spectacular red rock mountains and buttes with many hiking and biking trails that lend to a truly unique Southwest experience as it is one of the top places to visit in the Southwest.

Sedona
Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston

Of the many attractions throughout like Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge, we highly recommend checking out an off-roading tours as they can provide access to many locations that are difficult to get to. Additionally, Sedona has many tourist shops, galleries and restaurants, making for a well-rounded adventure

3. Monument Valley

(Insert Forest Gump Reference Here) Monument Valley is perhaps one of the most beautiful scenic drives and places to visit in the United States. As one of the most photographed areas on Earth, the valley encompasses many sandstone structures that are memorizing. Standing between 400 to 1000 feet, there is much to see rock formations, buttes, and sand dunes.

Monument Valley
Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely

The road throughout Monument Valley is 17 miles with many scenic places to pull off to capture a great photo. When clouds are just right, visitors are sure to capture a photo worthy of being posturized. Located at the heart of Monument Valley is the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park which gives visitors insight to how this beautiful place was created over millions of years.

4. Page

In describing Page, Arizona, one could state that is perhaps a crown jewel of everything unique to the Southwest experience.

Horseshoe Bend - Page, Arizona
Photo Credit: Kirk K

Page serves as a great base for several Northern Arizona attractions, which includes Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and much more. The town is truly a tourist destination for its vast offering of adventure.

Lower Antelope Canyon - Page, Arizona
Photo Credit: Kirk K

From the blue waters of Lake Powell to the unique lighting in the famous Antelope Canyon, is a can’t miss vacation destination in the Southwest.

5. Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Home to well preserved cliff dwellings and gorgeous canyon overlooks, Canyon De Chelly can be over looked by some, but it definitely a top place to visit in the Southwest.

Canyon de Chelly
Photo Credit: Joe Frisino

Some of the main attractions at this unique National Monument include White House Ruins and Spider Rock. Visitors will be delighted to known that the canyon has more than one hundred cliff dwellings. However, many of the ruins aren’t accessible to visitors. As the only accessible cliff dwelling is White House Ruins for visitors.

6. Havasu Falls

While at number six on our top things to do in Arizona list could be described as unjust, accessibility does serve as a factor. Havasu Falls, located in canyon of Havasu Creek, is by definition a desert oasis and could be the perfect illustration of a earthly paradise.

Havasu Falls Day Two
Photo Credit: Sean Hagen

The pools that have been created by Havasu Falls have a bluish green tint that makes this place truly unique for a special kind of Southwest experience. The area is under the jurisdiction of the Havasupai tribe and can only be accessed by permit and a paid fee. Furthermore, day hikes are not allowed.

7. Jerome, Arizona

In terms of fun settings, Jerome is a unique place to visit because it once was a thriving Southwest mining town turned ghost town. As town sits on a mountainside overlooking the desert landscape, the versatility of the town makes it standout.

Arizona skyline.
Photo Credit: DC DJ

While many of building in Jerome have been resorted, there are still some that sit in ruin, which make for an unordinary experience that is completely unique as far as ghost towns go and is very popular day trip area.

8. The Painted Desert

An indelible encounter for adventure seeking individuals, the Painted Desert is perhaps one of most distinguishable parts of Arizona. The Painted Desert stretched across 93,500 acres as it extends from the edges of the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest.

Painted desert
Photo Credit: Nicola Bragato

The colors of the region are quite unique as it is filled with reds, oranges, pinks, and grays. The most accessible part of the Painted desert is located in the Petrified Forest National Park, which gives visitors a chance for a truly intimate experience.

9. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

As one of the International Biosphere Reserve, visitors are treated thriving and unique living desert. As the desert preserve is home to over 30 species of cactus, the Organ Pipe National Monument is a must visit place located in Southern Arizona.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Photo Credit: R.J. Thomas

The Organ Pipe National Monument showcases a balance of how life can thrive in the desert with unique biodiversity in its collection of plant and animal life in Sonoran Desert. The National Monument offers many amazing hiking opportunities and scenic roads for driving.

10. Tumacacori National Historical Park

Not nearly as popular as other destinations located in Arizona, Tumacacori National Historic Park contains ruins from two of the oldest Spanish Colonial Missions in the Southwest.

Tumacacori National Historical Park, Arizona (11)
Photo Credit: Ken Lund

The Missions of San Cayetano de Tumacácori and Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi where established in 1691 but were abandoned due to conflicts with the Apache Tribes and worsening living conditions. The interlinking between Spanish Colonialism and the Southwest is undeniable and its historical significance can illustrate by a visit to the Tumacácori