RV Road Trip

100 Best Things to Do in Arizona

Arizona is the 48th state in USA, having achieved statehood on February 14th, 1912. The state of Arizona is known for the desert climate, meaning hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona has mountains, and forests, as well as deep canyons and ski resorts. Apart from the Grand Canyon, there are numerous national forests and parks, many of them with monuments to see.

One quarter of the state is Indian reservation land, housing the 27 tribes of Native Americans. The largest tribe is the Navajo Nation, with a citizenship of over 300,000 people.

The population of Arizona boomed after the introduction of refrigeration soon after WWII, and it is now the sixth largest state in area.

Many people believe that the name comes from a Basque word meaning ‘place of oaks’, while the Papago Tribe translate it as ‘place of the little spring’. Whichever translation you adopt, the state will amaze you with some of the sights and places of interest to explore.

1. The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon runs for 277 miles and is up to 18 miles wide at some points. It is over a mile deep, and has a well-earned reputation of the most spectacular rock formations.

The Colorado River runs through the canyon, and you will be able to see ancient caves and settlements where Native Americans built primitive houses and villages. It is regarded by some tribes as a holy site.

If you enjoy hiking, walking, or just looking at the rock formations, then this should be on your list.
Plan to spend a few days in the area. There are many towns which you can use as a base to start exploring from.

2. The Desert Botanical Garden

You will find the garden in Papago Park, Phoenix. The garden contains over 21,000 plants, with over 130 of them being rare, endangered, or threatened.

As you would expect in a botanical garden in Arizona, there are plenty of agave, and cacti to be found. You will also be able to see collections of plants from other climates such as the semi-desert grassland, and the upland chaparral. Some of the less hardy plants have been placed under shade to protect them from the sun.
Plan to spend a full day here as there is plenty to see. You can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. Make sure you take water with you, especially if you visit in the hotter months.

3. Camelback Mountain

The mountain is so called because of the shape which resembles a camel kneeling down. It is a very well-known landmark in the Phoenix area. You will find the mountain between the towns of Arcadia and Paradise Valley.
This is a very popular place for hiking and rock climbing.
Make sure you wear sturdy shoes, and trousers which cover your legs as there are many plants which have thorns. Be sure to take plenty of water and nourishment with you, as there are no water stops in the area.

4. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

You will find this museum in the Old Town district of Scottsdale, near Phoenix. The museum exhibits collections about modern art, design, and architecture. The building is very minimalistic in design by Phoenix based architect Will Bruder.

The museum is run by the Scottsdale Arts Company, which is a non-profit organisation.

Allow yourself a half day to see the museum, and then spend some time looking around the area.

5. Arizona State Capitol


You will find this building in Phoenix. One section of the building is now a museum which focuses on history and culture of Arizona.
Be sure to check the hall with artefacts from the USS Arizona. The giant silver and copper punch bowl service and the bronze sculpture were used on the table during state dinners where the ship was docked. These two items remain after the ship was sunk because they had been taken off to be cleaned. The punchbowl is the only one of its kind in existence.

Be sure to check out upcoming exhibitionsand plan your day around them.

Allow yourself a half day to look through the museum, but be prepared to stand in line if anything special is exhibited.

6. The Heard Museum

In this private museum you will be able to see many things related to American Indian Art. The museum works with American Indian artists to provide visitors with an insight into the art of the native people. Particularly impressive is the collection from the Southwest.
Allow a half a day here, although there is plenty of other interesting things to see in the area.

7. London Bridge

This is the bridge that was built in the UK in the 1830’s, and used to be across the Thames. In 1967 it was dismantled and shipped across to Arizona. Every single block was numbered so that it could be built back in the original state.
The bridge now spans the Colorado River, with the town of Lake Havasu City on the one bank. Many people come to this place so that they can say they have stood on the bridge in both continents, once before it was dismantled, and once in Arizona.
It is worth spending a full day and possibly a night in the town as there is a lot to see, and many good restaurants where you can eat while looking over the river.

8. The Phoenix Zoo


This is the largest non-profit zoo in the USA, and it is situated in Papago Park, near Phoenix.
You will find over 1,400 animals here along with 2.5 miles of walking trails, which will show you typical southwest flora and fauna. There are four trails which you can take, namely the Arizona Trail, the Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail, and the Children’s Trail where you will find a petting zoo.
The zoo is also home to some of the last remaining Oryx. They have now included a sanctuary for endangered or unwanted animals.
Plan on spending a day here, there is a place where you can stop and get something to eat. Be sure to take enough water if you visit in the warmer months.

9. Montezuma Castle National Monument

You will find this in Camp Verde, which is north of Phoenix. They are well-preserved homes which were built between 1100 and 1425 AD by the Hohokam people.
The houses, which are built right into the rock face, were abandoned more than 40 years ago, and does not really look anything like a castle, although it is well worth taking the time to see this.
The main part consists of twenty rooms over 5 stories, and slightly resembles a high-rise block.
This will take a half day to see. Be sure to take sturdy shoes as you are walking in the desert where there are thorns and cacti around every corner.

10. Biosphere 2


This is situated in the town of Oracle. The complex has been owned by the University of Arizona since 2011. It serves as a research centre, teaching people about the earth and the living systems.
The complex covers 3.14 acres and is the largest closed system ever to be built and maintained.
The original idea was to prove that life could be sustained in a closed ecosystem for as long as eight years. It was used twice for this, once in 1991-1993, and then again from March to September 1994.
Spend a half a day here, and learn how life could be like living in a huge bubble!

11. The Painted Desert

This is an area rather than a place. If you head north out of Phoenix, up to the Four Corners area, you will find the desert area at the east end of the Grand Canyon.
It was named the painted desert because of the magnificent colours of the rock formations. Much of the area is within the Petrified Forest National Park so is protected, and roads are restricted at some points. Be sure to stick to the designated off-road areas, which is normally only allowed with permits.
Try to be there in the evening hours to see the colours on the rocks.
Spend a day driving through the area, try to be there when the sun sets and the colours change, and you will not be disappointed! Make sure you take water, not only for yourself, but also for your car!

12. The Musical Instrument Museum

This museum is the largest of its type in the world. It is located in Phoenix and houses over 15,000 musical instruments and objects related to music. You will find a collection of items from nearly 200 countries in the world, and certainly from every continent.
Some of the exhibits from countries such as Mexico, China and Brazil have multiple displays of different types of music, namely folk, tribal, and ethnic.
Prepare to spend at least a half day here, and then spend some time in the area which has many small coffee shops and unique boutiques to see.

13. Tovrea Castle

This interesting building was originally intended as a landmark for a large resort, although now it is part of the Phoenix Parks commission. The park now has over 5,000 individual cacti in 100 different species, and it is all maintained by volunteers.

If you want to see inside the castle, you will need to buy tickets. It is best to do this online to avoid the lines.

The building is made of wood and stucco, and constructed in a three-tier style, looking very much like a wedding cake. If you pass it at night, you will find that it is illuminated along the roof and the fence.
The tour will take two hours, although you should spend some time in the garden.

14. Old Tucson

This is where many old movies have been made, and it is located just west of Tucson. It was built in 1939 and used for movies since 1940. Most of the movies have ben westerns such as ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’, and ‘El Dorado’.
You can go on the guided tour and learn about how the movies were made, and how the stunts were carried out.

Allow a day to see this, and explore the surrounding area.

15. Tempe Centre for the Arts

If performing arts appeal to you, then you should be sure to visit here. The building itself is very different with a complex geometric shaped roof which is clearly visible from some distance away.

Locally produced programmes feature heavily at the centre, and you may be able to see the Wednesday night Open Mic Night, or the Poetry in April event.

Tempe Symphony Orchestra plays there often, although you will need to book to see them.

It is best to check out their site online and see the list of upcoming events. Some are free, some must be booked in advance, but all will be worth watching.

16. Arizona Science Centre

The centre is located in the heart of Phoenix in Heritage and Science Park. You will find over 350 permanent exhibits, most of all are hands-on.
The centre also hosts travelling exhibits and daily demonstrations. You will be able to see the Dorrance Planetarium, and the giant IMAX theatre.

There are often special education programmes for youngsters, as well as a summer science camp.

While the centre gets very busy in the summer season, you will not have to deal with large crowds. Plan to spend at least a half day there, although if you have children, this may take longer.

17. The Lowell Observatory

You will find this in Flagstaff, which is north of Phoenix. It was built in 1894 and is one of the oldest in the USA. It was here that the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930.

You can see the original telescope which is still in use for public education.

About 85,000 visitors come each year to see the night sky as it is often very clear in that area.
There are guided tours through the day, as well as at night. You should check online to see when the night tours take place.

Depending on when you want to look at the sky, you may spend a morning or a whole day and evening there. If you choose to visit at night, you will find many places locally where you can stay overnight. This is also a great place to take an RV and stay a few days.

18. Papago Park

This park in one of several in the city of Phoenix which is a municipal park. It was named as a ‘Phoenix Point of Pride’ some years ago, and it is a great place to walk or hike. Joggers often use the park to run, and it is common to see many people out at the weekends, enjoying the fresh air and views.

There are many different trailsthrough the park that suit all levels of hiker.

Make sure to visit ‘Hunt’s Tomb’, which has been listed as an historical place of importance.
Be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes, and take water with you, then enjoy a few hours in the park.

19. Grand Canyon Village

In 2010 this village had a population of 2004 inhabitants, and it has not grown much since then. It is to be found on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

The main reason for the park to be in existence is to take care of tourists who visit the area, although the origins can be traced back to 1901 when the railway was completed.

The village has numerous interesting buildings to see. It is a perfect base to start your exploration of the Grand Canyon.

This is ideal for taking your RV and setting up base while you hike in the area.

20. Hole-in-the-Rock

This is a huge chamber which was formed millions of years ago out of sandstone. Entrance to the chamber is through the hole in the wall – hence the name. The view over the city of Phoenix is well worth the effort to get there.
It is quite a climb to the summit, and can also be reached by climbing the rock face. Either way, this is not something for children or anyone who is not fit and healthy.
It is constantly windy as the wind blows right through the openings in the rock, so be sure to take adequate clothing, and water for there and back.

21. The Children’s Museum, Phoenix


There is everything a child could ever want right here in this museum! It is one of three in the country and is literally filled with things designed to stir the imagination, and creativity of every child who visits.
In this museum, children are encouraged to touch and feel everything, to play, and experiment with anything on display. It is literally a perfect place for a child!
There are over 300 play stations, with regular classes and programmes being held ranging from music to yoga, mathematics, and science, and even art.
The museum is located in downtown Phoenix, and you should be prepared to spend most of the day there!

22. Taliesin West


This was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home until he died in 1959. The architect designed it to compliment the Arizona culture and style, but still be in keeping with his own views on style. It has since become the main campus for the School of Architecture.
The house is open to public tours, and you should check online to be sure of opening times and days. You will find the house in Scottsdale.
The tour will take no longer than a morning, but spend some time in the gardens and the surrounding area.

23. Antelope Canyon

This canyon falls on Navajo land and is east of the town of Page. There are two sections to the canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, which is also known as the ‘Crack’, and ‘Antelope Canyon’, also known as the ’Corkscrew’.
The name means ‘place where the water runs through the rocks’, and it is very popular with hikers.
Care should be taken when hiking there in the rainy season as flooding can occur unexpectedly.
Be sure to wear suitable hiking gear, and take provisions with you.

24. Tempe Town Lake


The lake is part of the Salt River, which passes through the city of Tempe. There is a playground set on 1 acre for kids to have fun in the water.
There is a baseball field at the lake which has hosted both baseball and softball games. At one end you will find the amphitheatre which holds 5,000 people and is used for concerts or trade shows.
ASU Sailing Club, AZ Yacht Club and many private boat owners use the facilities of the marina on the north bank.
Be sure the check online for a schedule of events.
There are many events which take place here through the year, and it is also a great place to pack a picnic basket and spend an afternoon.

25. Canyon de Chelly National Monument


This monument is a tribute to the longest continuously inhabited landscape in North America. It lies in the Four Corners area and is inside the boundaries of the Navaho nation.
The area covers 83,840 acres and was eroded by the waters from the Chuska Mountains which lie to the east.
This is a paradise for walker, ramblers, and hikers. It is the perfect trip for an RV, where you can park for a day, and hike to your heart’s content, coming back at night to watch the sun set over the mountains.
Make sure to take enough water and provisions, and stops are few and far between in that area.

26. Monument Valley

You will find this area up near the Arizona-Utah border. The name means ‘Valley of the Rocks’.
You may recognise the rock formations from some films as this is very often chosen for the ‘Wild West style’. Many movies have been made against this backdrop.
If you enjoy hiking then this is a good place to head. Better still, take an RV and spend some time exploring the area.

27. Petrified Forest National Park

The park covers about 230 square miles, and is known for the deposits of petrified wood. You will find the entrance to the park 26 miles east of Holbrook. The park is situated slightly into the Painted Desert, and was declared a national monument in 1962.
This is a very popular area to visit, with over 643,000 people coming there every year. Photographers, hikers, and backpackers, come in droves in the cooler months. There are over 400 types of plants, along with different types of grasses. Fauna includes snakes, deer mice, lizards, and there are over 200 types of birds, some of which are migratory.
Particularly interesting are the fossils which date back 225 million years.
This is a great place to plan a camping trip, either in a tent or an RV.

28. Horseshoe Bend

This is a very clear horse-shoe shaped bend in the Colorado River, near the town of Page.
It is very popular for hiking, in fact that is the only way to access the views of the bend. There is an access road which will take you most of the way, so good hiking boots are essential.
The summit for the best views is at 4,200 feet, and there is a drop of some 1,000 feet to the river.
The colours come from the minerals of the walls which are hematite, platinum, and garnet. Take your RV, or tent and stay a few days to explore the area and see the colours at different times of the day.

29. Kartchner Caverns

This is a state park located 9 miles south of the town of Benson. The caverns were discovered in 1974 by a group of hikers and cavers, and since then they have been a preserved site.
You will find the interiors made of limestone, and filled with amazing rock formations which date back 50,000 years. The caves are preserved and maintained to ensure they stay natural.
The town of Benson has plenty of places where you can stay overnight and so get an early start to the caves. You must book online as only a certain amount of people are allowed in at a time. This is not suitable for very young children.
Allow a half day to see the caves, and then look around the town and surrounding area.

30. Four Corners Monument


This is the area where four states meet, namely Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. It is the only place in the USA where four states meet.
While in the early days there was some confusion as to the exact spot, it has now become recognised as the ‘spot’.
This is one of the most unique spots in the area.
It will not take too long to see this, although it is worth spending some time in the area, as the Painted Desert is close by, along with Meteor Crater. There are places in the town where you can stay, or park an RV for a few days.

31. Glen Canyon Dam

You will find the dam near the town of Page, easily noticed for the very big arch. It was built between 1956 and 1966, and has a series of gorges. The water levels fluctuate depending on the rain so care must be taken for unexpected flooding.
The canyon is known for great boating and fishing. Water skiing is also very popular there, as well as houseboat trips. Millions of tourists come there every year for water activities.
You can hire boats and water skis, for a great day out. Take care that life jackets are worn when on the water. There is camping in the area, as well as RV parks so pack up and head out for some time on the water, in a beautiful area.

32. South Mountain Park

This is the largest municipal park in the USA, as well as being one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is preserved in a natural state with 25.5 square miles of native desert vegetation.
South Mountain used to be known as Salt River Mountain, and you will find the lookout point at over 1,000 feet above the desert floor. The park is famous for cycling, hiking, and horseback riding.
Make sure to ask directions to the Mystery Castle. Most notable in the park are the ‘Chuckwallas’ with an average of 65 of them per hectare. The area has the greatest population ever reported.
Pack a picnic lunch, hire some bikes, and spend a day here.

33. Salt River

This is an area rather than one spot. The Salt River is the largest tributary of the Gila River. It is about 200 miles long.
This is the perfect spot to take your canoe, rubber tubes, and swimsuits. It is a great family day out.
There are guided trips from one – five hours, which will show you the area. There is also a tube rental, and shuttle service to get there.
You should plan to spend a full day here.

34. Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

This park is found near Lichfield, north west of Phoenix. It contains Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals. The kids will enjoy the train which rides through the park, giving them a bird’s eye view of the enclosures. There is a boat which will take you through the Australian section, and several amusement rides.
The aquarium holds 180,000 gallons of water and contains many interesting specimens.
Some of the animals include Spotted Hyena, Springbok, Spider Monkies, and African lions, to name a few.
There is a restaurant where you can have lunch, so plan to spend the day there.

35. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The recreation area has been specially created for tourists, with access to Lake Powell. There are 5 marinas, two small airports, 4 campgrounds, and a houseboat rental concession. This area was opened in 1972, and provides enjoyment for the public, all year round.
You will be able to buy provisions at the store, and enjoy barbeque in designated areas.
The area borders Capitol Reef National Park on the north and is accessible via Route 89 and 98.
This is the perfect holiday destination, especially if you enjoy water sports and the wide-open areas around the lake.

36. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

You will find this south of Utah state line. The cliffs are steep and formed mostly from sandstone, siltstone, limestone, and shale, some of which are 3,000 feet tall. Erosion shows off the magnificent colours of the rocks, and there are many canyons and streams where you will find different wildlife.
If you are a bird spotter, you will be on the lookout for Raptors such as Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and hawks. If you are very lucky you will spot the California Condor, which was recently introduced there.
This is a good place if you enjoy fishing, you might be lucky to spot a speckled dace or a flannelmouth sucker.
Make sure you take a camera because the scenery is unlike anything you have seen before.
This is a good place to camp or RV, although be sure to take water as you may not find too many places along the way.

37. Phoenix Art Museum


This is the largest visual arts museum in the southwest. The building is 285,000 square foot and has displays of international collections as well as works from American artists.
The museum holds frequent events such as live performances, art films, and educational programmes. There is also a section devoted to children with an interactive space for them to experiment and play.
It will take you a half day to see the museum, although with children this may take longer. The museum is in the centre of the city so it is a good idea to spend a day there as there are many other things close by to see, as well as plenty of places to eat.

38. Coconino National Forest

This forest is found near Flagstaff, which is north of Phoenix. The area was designated as a National Forest in 1908, and contains a diverse vegetation of deserts, pine forests, flatlands, and volcanic peaks.
The forest surrounds the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff where you can book into a hotel and stay a few days while you explore the area. Hiking, walking and rambling, along with cycling are very popular activities here.
You will find plenty of RV and camping areas, which makes this an ideal place to take family and stay a few days.

39. Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium

This performing arts centre is on the main campus of the ASU. The auditorium is a design by Frank Lloyd Wright, and considered to be one of his finest designs.
The Gammage is one of the largest supporters of performing arts which is situated on a university campus in the USA.
Through the year you will find events of all kinds, so it is best to check their website online. Some events will need to be pre-booked.
Some events are suitable for children, while others are held at night and may not be suitable, so be sure to check beforehand.

40. The South Kaibab Trail

You will find this hiking trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. The trail begins at Skeleton Point where you will find 360-degree views of the canyon. The trailhead can be reached either by the Rim Trail or by taking advantage of the free shuttle bus.
There is a steep descent down through the canyons upper layers of limestone. The trail is a maintained dirt path and is well defined, although there is very little shade along the route.
Be sure to give uphill hikers the right of way, and expect the trail to be icy in the winter months.
A point to note here is that you may encounter mules along the way, so be prepared to give way to them. There is absolutely no water along the way so make sure you carry enough.
This is not suitable for children or anyone who is unfit.

41. Lake Pleasant

You will find this dam 35 miles from Phoenix. It is a water lovers’ paradise! There are 116 miles of shoreline. The average depth of the water is 70 feet, although it is deeper at the dam.
You can rent houseboats, or bring your own canoe. Jet ski is very popular, as is kayaking. Bring a barbeque and picnic on the shores.
You may be lucky and spot a nesting Bald Eagle or an Arizona Bobcat.
This is regarded as a family resort and safety is strictly reinforced.
Plan to spend a day here.

42. Grand Canyon Skywalk


This is something for those who have a good head for heights! It is a glass horseshoe shaped bridge which allows you to walk out over the canyon. You will be at an elevation of 500 feet above the floor of the canyon. The views will be the most spectacular, with the colours changing throughout the day.
The skywalk is just east of Meadview, with Kingman also being close by, if you wanted to stay the night in the vicinity.
It will not take you long to visit this, although it does get very popular in the summer months so be prepared to wait in line, although the view will be worth it.

43. Lake Powell

Over 2 million people visit this lake every year. It is situated on the reservoir between Arizona and Utah.
Boat hire is available, as are jet skis and kayaks. In the vicinity there are some scuba diving schools which make use of the lake. If you plan to scuba dive there, you must make sure to have all your certifications with you.
There are plenty of barbeque and picnic spots on the shoreline, and places where you can buy food and refreshments.
It is a good idea to plan a full day here. Make sure that children are supervised at all times because of the water and boats.

44. Slide Rock State Park

This park is so called because of the natural water slide which is formed by the bed of Oak creek. You will find the park in Oak Creek Canyon, which is 7 miles north of Sedona.
Look out for the tall red rock formations which are typical in this area. There is also a 43-acre working apple farm which you can visit.
The park has been used in the making of movies, namely Broken Arrow (1950), Drum Beat (1954), Angel and the Badman (1946), and Gun Fury (1953).
Slide Rock is known as the 5th best swimming hole in the country.
If you enjoy hiking, then you will find three trails here, all relatively short and moderately easy.
Plan to spend a full day here. You can bring an RV and stay in the area for a few days while you explore.

45. Lake Mead

The Hoover Dam forms this reservoir, and is the largest in the USA. It is 24 miles from Las Vegas, and falls into both Arizona and Nevada.
You can lease boats of all kinds, along with jet skis and canoes. There are plenty of attractions for the children, and lots of good walking along the shoreline.
There are a good selection of restaurants and gift shops, and some scuba diving companies use the lake to dive in.
This is a great place to park an RV, there are plenty of places where you can stay overnight.

46. Celebrity Theatre

You will find the theatre in Phoenix. It is 196 feet in diameter and used as a multipurpose centre. The stage is 30 feet in diameter and completely round so everyone in the audience can see the full stage all the time. The stage rotates completely four times at a speed of 0.5 rpm, and none of the seats is more than 70 feet way at any point.
There is an orchestra pit, and many events are held through the year. Notable people who have played at the theatre are Nat King Cole, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr, Diana Ross, David Bowie, to mention a few.
You must book in advance to see any of the shows, so plan to spend a full night there. Perhaps check into a hotel and stay a few days as there is plenty to do in Phoenix.

47. Red Rock State Park

You will find the park outside Sedona. It serves as an educational environment for private and public schools, as well as being very popular with hikers.
Be sure to check out the different types of trees along the way. You will find varieties such as Fremont Cottonwood, Arizona Sycamore, Velvet Ash, and Arizona Alder.
For bird watchers, keep a look out for the common black hawk and wood duck. You may also come across mammal such as the cougar, coyote, deer, and river otter.
Check out online for any upcoming events in the park.
The park is famous for the red rock formations, and it is a wonderful place to take children. Take enough water with you, and be sure to wear sturdy shoes, then spend a day exploring the park.

48. Zapara Vineyard

Surprisingly there are vineyards in Arizona! This is one of them. You can take a tour and then sample the hand-crafted wines, which are on sale in the shop, or online.
The vineyard is near the town of Wilcox. The vineyard does not open on Sundays.

49. Lost Dutchman State Park

The park is to be found near the Superstition Mountains, and is named after the ‘Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine’, which is a famous tale of the wild west.

There are very good camping facilities, with day to day parking, and the spot acts as a base to start some of the many trails that head into the Tonto National Forest.

There is not much to do other than hike or ramble, but if this appeals to you, then make sure this is on your list. You will find the area typically desert vegetation, so wear good shoes and trousers to keep your legs covered as there are areas which are full of cacti.

Take plenty of water with you as there is none once you have left the camp site.

50. Tempe Diablo Stadium

This famous baseball field is found in Tempe. It is the spring training ground of the Los Angeles Angels, and often hosts night games for the home team of Tempe Angels.
The stadium holds 9,558 people and on some events, is filled to capacity.

If baseball is what you enjoy watching, then make sure you go and watch a game here. For most local games, you do not need a ticket in advance, but on bigger games, you are advised to buy one beforehand to save disappointment.

51. Grand Canyon Railway

This is the passenger train which runs between the town of Williams and Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim.
The trip takes you through some of the most spectacular areas of the park, and brings you back at the end of the day.
The town of William is a delightful place to stay, there are hotels where you can overnight, take the train in the morning, and then return to the town later. The town will remind you of the wild west and is worth spending a day exploring.
It is also possible to take an RV up to the town, and stay for the train trip, then head off and explore the surrounding area.

52. Mission San Xavier del Bac

You will find this Spanish Catholic Mission just 10 miles south of Tucson. It is on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, and was founded in 1692 in the middle of the Indian settlement.
The mission is one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the USA, and it is very popular with tourists. Around 200,000 visitors come each year to visit it.
Translated, the name means ‘place where the water appears’, and this is because there used to be natural springs in the area.
The Santa Cruz River is dry for most of the year, but in the rainy season it is likely to flood unexpectedly .so care should be taken is walking along it during this season.
You will find that the history of the area is fascinating.
The Mission is a designated Pilgrimage site, and so you will find many visitors arriving on foot or horseback through the year.
Allow yourself a half a day to see the mission, and have a walk along the river.

53. Walnut Canyon National Monument

You will find this about 10 miles southeast of Flagstaff. There is a trail of 1.4 km which descends 185 feet into the canyon, and passes 25 cliff houses which were originally built by the Sinagua Tribe. These people lived in Walnut Canyon from 1100 to 1250. You will find other examples of their houses in Tuzigoot, and Montezuma Castle National Monuments.
Make sure you wear good walking shoes, and take water and provisions with you, as there is none along the way. Also, remember that in the winter months the area gets a lot of snow and the paths can become icy.
This trail is not for children or unfit people as the ascent and descent is steep.

54. Arizona Snowbowl

This is the exact opposite to what you think about when you imagine Arizona! Gone are the cacti and desert heat. You will find cool pine forests, and snowy peaks.
The Snowbowl if located on the San Francisco Peaks which stand at 9,500 feet above sea level.
No matter what time of the year you arrive, you will be able to ski. It is a year-round ski resort, which allows you to escape the heat for a while.
You can rent skis and take to the slopes, or just enjoy the cool air and take a walk around the area.
There are many places where you can stay overnight, and plenty of restaurants to get meals at, making it a great place to take a family who enjoy the snow and outdoors.

55. Wupatki National Monument

You will find this near Flagstaff. There are three buildings, and another 29 structures which make the site a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is no longer occupied but it is still well maintained. It used to be the home of the Wupatki Tribe. You can see traces of the excavations which discovered many artefacts such as pottery and bowls.
While it may not take you too long to see the site and the monument, it is worth a visit because the area is very stunning. It is popular with walkers and hikers. You might be lucky enough to see – or feel – the spirits of people who lived and died there. The Hopi believe that they are still there.
Allow yourself a day to explore the area.

56. Bisbee

This town is far south in Arizona, almost near the border with Mexico. It used to be a mining town, but now it is mostly an artist colony. Many of the houses you see there are in fact, old miners cottages.
You will find a great selection of eclectic shops and cafes, with many different styles of arts and crafts to buy.
For a small town, there are many guided tours and interesting things to see.
This is a good day trip from Tucson.

57. Pima Air & Space Museum

The museum is in Tucson, and is one of the world’s largest aerospace museums. On display are over 300 aircraft over 80 acres. The museum has been home to the AZ Aviation Hall of Fame since 1991.
Many of the aircraft are displayed outside, although there are four hangars which house collections. You will be able to see an A-10 Warthog, an SR-71A Blackbird, and a mock-up of a control tower, to name a few of the exhibits.
Adjacent to the museum is the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which also houses the ‘graveyard of Planes’. Buses leave from the museum several times a day to the graveyard. They run Monday to Friday, but not on holidays.
Allow yourself a full day here, and try to include the tour to the graveyard. There is a restaurant where you can get lunch, and a shop where you can buy souvenirs afterwards.
If you finish early at the museum, you will find the Titan Missile Museum is not far away, and that is also worth a visit.

58. Havasu Falls

This waterfall is on the Havasupai land, and is found in the Grand Canyon, about 2 miles from the town of Supai. There is one main fall which drops about 100 feet into some plunge pools. The vivid green colouring is due to the high calcium carbonate which is found in the water.
The area gets flash floods occasionally and this gives the impression that the pools change in shape.
This is a great area to take a picnic lunch and spend a day. There are tables set out along the side of the creek, and you can easily cross to the other side by following the water line.
You can swim behind the falls and find the little shelter which is behind the water. You must take care if you try this, as people have drowned there. Children should be supervised at all times in case of unexpected flooding.

59. The Chapel of the Holy Cross

You will find this in Sedona. It is an ancient Roman Catholic Chapel. The chapel was completed in 1956. It was voted as one of the 7 man-made wonders in the state, and the church has been visited by many people of all faiths and beliefs.
The chapel itself has been built right into the rock, with the tall cross being visible from quite a distance away.
The interior is simple and not at all fancy, but wherever you sit inside you will find that your eyes are drawn to the cross in the centre. The enormous windows at the back give the most amazing views.
Allow yourself a morning to look at the chapel, then enjoy a walk in the area, and prepare to be amazed at the views, and rock formations.

60. The Titan Missile Museum


The museum is located about 40km south of Tucson. You can see the inactive missile still inside the silo. There are some of the original launch items in the silo.
There are three levels to the silo, with the top level giving views of the missile doors.
Note that the walls are concrete reinforced steel which are 8 feet thick!
The tour of the inside of the bunker is guided, and you will find yourself standing right under the missile at one point.
There is plenty to see on the ground, and there is a lift for people who cannot manage the many stairs up and down.
Allow a half day to see the museum, although you may want to spend longer in the area, and visit other places.

61. Cathedral Rock

This is possibly one of the most photographed landmarks in the state. You will find it near Sedona. It is in the Coconino National Forest. The top of the rock stands at 4,967 feet tall.
There are many hiking trails up and around the rock, some of which are moderately easy, and others which are rated as very difficult.
Whichever trail you follow, the views are spectacular! It is recommended that you wear hiking boots with grips. There is a hiking fee of $5 per day, and a small store where you can stock up on water before you leave.
The park gets very quiet in the winter months, but can get busy with hikers in the summer season.
This is not a good idea for anyone who is unfit.

62. Superstition Mountain

This mountain range is located on the east side of the city of Phoenix. Look out for ‘Weaver’s Needle’, which is a good landmark popular with rock climbers. It is a very tall piece of volcanic rock. Locals will tell you the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, and this landmark plays a part in that.
There are trails which will take you close to Weaver’s Needle, where the views are amazing.
The wilderness vegetation is very popular with hikers. As with any parks in the low desert areas, the summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, so many people leave this until the cooler months. The top of the mountains is at 6,200 feet above sea level, so even in the summer, it is bearable higher up.
It is interesting to read how the mountains got their name.
Plan to spend a day if you are going to hike the mountains, and make sure to take your own provisions.

63. Meteor Crater

You will find this landmark about 37 miles east of Flagstaff. There is a small museum on the site, where you can see exactly how the crater occurred, and see a large piece of the meteor. The museum claims that the crater is the best preserved in the world.
The hole is about 3,900 feet in diameter, and 560 feet deep. There is a shop on the site where you can buy all sorts of interesting things such as meteor samples and such like.
It will take a half a day to see the museum and then walk around outside looking at the crater.

64. Oak Creek Canyon

This canyon is located between the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff. Like the Grand Canyon, it is spectacular. The canyon is in fact second most popular place to be visited in Arizona, the first being the Grand Canyon.
Hiking, climbing, and rambling make this a great attraction, along with the cooler temperatures when it gets too hot in the city of Phoenix.
As with any hiking in the desert, be sure to wear good shoes, and take water and provisions with you, as there are none along the way.
This is also a good area to take an RV and spend a few days exploring the canyon. This will give you the opportunity to see the sunsets and sun rises, and the colours on the rocks.

65. Mesa Arts Centre

This complex is situated in downtown Mesa. It was completed in 2005, and to date is the biggest arts complex in the state.
There are four different areas to the complex, along with housing Mesa Contemporary Arts which is where you will find a further 5 art galleries.
You will note that the architecture is very modern, with sharp angles, glass walls, and sloped roofs.
If you plan to see any productions here, then be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Plan to spend a day here, or an evening for most performances. You will find many places where you can stay overnight.

66.Lake Powell

Lake Powell has its shores on both Arizona and Utah. It is regarded as a great holiday resort, which is visited by over 2 million people every year.
The lake is very popular for watersports enthusiasts, so if you enjoy any water activities then this should be on your list of things to do.
You will find that the water is warm, the days are sunny and not too hot, and the scenery is spectacular. You can rent a houseboat, camp where you please, park an RV, or book into a guest house. Guided tours are available, and you should book them in advance.
This is an ideal spot for a family holiday. Plan to spend a few days there. Unwind, enjoy the area!

67. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

This houses a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, art gallery, and natural history museum. You will find it west of Tucson.
The museum holds over 230 species of animal, and 1,200 different types of plants.
The museum prides itself on being open every day of the year, and is very popular with tourists who come from afar to visit.
Allow yourself a full day here, as there is a lot to see. You may even need to come back a second day.

68. Big Surf

This was the first wave pool in the USA, and you will find the waterpark in Tempe.
If you have always wanted to learn to surf, then this is the place to go. Lessons are held early in the morning, before the park opens to the public, and again between 5-6pm. You need to book your lessons in advance.
Spend a day here, have a lesson then ride the waves for the afternoon.
You can get food and refreshments, or bring your own with you.

69. Enchanted Island Amusement Park

This amusement park is in the middle of Encanto Park, Phoenix. It has nine rides and many different attractions.
It used to be called Kiddieland, but the name was changed when it closed for remodelling in 1986.
The train ride is a copy of the original C.P. Huntington train, while the carousel is the oldest working one in the USA, being brought into service in 1948.
Children will insist that you stay the whole day, and you can get snacks and drinks while you are there, so allow a full day here.

70. Apache Trail

You can follow the original apache trail where the stagecoaches used to run through the Superstition Mountains. It starts at Apache Junction, near Phoenix.
Most of the trail in gravel road and can be quite winding through the desert mountains. You will pass Canyon Lake, and Apache Lake.
If you plan to do this trail, then choose a suitable car, as it is not suitable for SUV’s or large RV’s. If you rent a motor home, make sure that the company allows you to do the trail. The roads are narrow, with steep drop offs, and very few barriers.
You will be rewarded by some spectacular scenery along the way.

71. Mystery Castle

This is in South Mountain Park. The castle was built in the 1930’s by Boyce Luther Gulley. He moved to Phoenix when he found out that he was suffering from TB. The house is constructed entirely from used, found and cheap materials. After Gulley died, his wife and daughter lived in the house.
Be sure to look at the cantilever stairs which will take you to the top of the house. There are guided tours of the house now, so make sure you check and book in advance.
Allow a half day in the house, although you may want to spend a little longer looking at the garden.

72. Hohokam Stadium

If you love Baseball, then make a trip here! You will find the stadium in Mesa, it is named after the Hohokam Tribe who used to live in that area.
The stadium seats over 10,000 spectators and is the training ground for the Oakland Athletic team.
A point to note is that the scoreboard is the largest in the Cactus League. It measures 12 x 16 feet.
Take a day to enjoy a game at this iconic field. There are plenty of concessions where you can get food and refreshments.

73. Saguaro National Park

As the name suggests, the main feature of this park is the Saguaro cactus, which you will see in thousands, in all states of growth. It is very much a desert landscape, so you can expect to see desert animals and flora.
The park is near Tucson. You will find many hiking trails through it, and you can also drive along some routes.
You will find picnic areas, and bicycle routes, and may even meet up with horse riders as this is popular with them. Rangers do guided tours, which you must book in advance.
Camping is strictly forbidden in the park although you can stop overnight in many campsites outside the park.
Make sure you check the weather conditions before setting out.
Depending on what you plan to do, plan at least a full day to get around the park.

74. Camelback Ranch

This stadium is home to the Arizona League Dodgers and is located in the city of Glendale. The stadium holds 13,000 spectators, and has many concession stands, where you can buy food during the games.
You will also find that the Los Angeles Dodgers hold their spring training there, as do the Chicago White Sox. So, if you want to collect some autographs, then make sure you time your visit to when they are training.
If you plan to watch a game, then allow yourself time to park your car and get a seat. Arrive early, as some of the games are sold out.

75. Bell Rock

This interesting rock is north of the town of Oak Creek, and the top is 4,900 feet high, you simply cannot miss it!
The mountains in the background are the Mingus Mountains, where the movie ‘Out of Africa’ was filmed.
You will see birds and animals from all over the world, as well as some reptiles common to the area.
There are local companies where you can sign up to join safari tours, and walks in the wild. If you prefer to explore the area on your own, be sure to take provisions. Be aware that the whole area is a conservation project and to remove anything is not allowed.
Allow yourself a full day at least. You will find places to stay overnight in the area. There are campsites where you can park an TV or pitch a tent.

76. Jerome

This village is to be reached via a very winding road! You need to take care when driving, and stick to the speed limits. Once you arrive at Jerome, you will be delighted at the old town! There are many interesting stores, and of course the view over the valley is amazing.

There are some ruins you can visit, and a museum called the Gold King Mine Museum, which is well worth a visit.
The Jerome Hotel has the most breathtaking views, as it stands at 2,500 feet high. It was built in 1927.

Even if you are not able to get into the hotel for a night, spend a day in the town. The museum is excellent, and so are the small coffee shops.

77. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

This is right down near the border of Mexico. You will find that there are three different vegetation zones, and over 30 different types of cactus. The organ pipe is the most profuse, and grows to about 25 feet. If possible try to plan your trip in May – July as this is when the cacti bloom. You need to be there in the cooler part of the day for the flowers to open, so try to stay after sunset to see the area at its best.
You can drive through the park, and stop wherever you like to take photographs, or follow one of the many hiking trails, which are well sign-posted.
If driving, there are two routes, namely the Ajo Mountain Drive, and Puerto Blanco Drive. Both will give you an excellent chance of seeing the cacti in bloom.
There are no facilities in the park, so be sure you have enough water before you head out.

78. Tumacacori National Historical Park

There are ruins of three early Spanish missions here, just south of Tucson. The two oldest are Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, and San Jose de Tumacacori, which were built in 1691. The third building was built in 1848, and this is the San Cayetano de Calabazas.
The area was declared a national monument in 1908, after it had been left abandoned due to harsh winters and apache raids.
Allow a half day to see these buildings, although try to spend longer in the area as there are other things to see there, such as the Titan Missile Museum.

79. Tubac

The town is now an artist colony, and you will find many eclectic boutiques and studios to look at. It is very popular because it is an easy day trip from Tucson. The summer gets very busy with tourists. It is a very small town, so do not expect to be able to stay in an hotel, although you can park an RV outside the town.
Many people come to the town to buy artwork and crafts, and there are places where you can eat and get refreshments.
You will find over 100 unique shops in the high street and also down the side roads.

Allow yourself a day out from Tucson.

80. Mogollon Rim

You will find this near Payson, although the town of Sedona is also quite close by. The cliffs are limestone and sandstone, and it is this that gives the amazing colours to the creeks and canyons. There are cool pine forests to walk in, and trails which you can follow. Fossil Creek Canyon is very popular, as is Pine Canyon.
There are camping areas in the vicinity, and RV spots with hookups. The area is excellent if you enjoy the cooler climates and want to see some spectacular scenery.
Try to spend more than a day here, as the colours change in the sunset and sunrise. This is worth staying to look at.

81. Desert View Watchtower

The tower was constructed in the early 1930’s to pay homage to the Anasazi Tribe who first inhabited the area. You will notice that there are two round buildings, a big one and a smaller one.
Take time to look around inside them and you will find many petroglyphs. The tall tower stands at five storeys high.
You will find the towers at the east gate to the Grand Canyon, and the view is of the Colorado River and south rim of the canyon.
If you are coming from Flagstaff the trip will take you 90 minutes, although if you stay in the Grand Canyon Village (where you can take RVs), it will only take you 40 minutes.

82. Verde Canyon Railway Tours

The train tootles along at a grand rate of just 12 miles per hour! The route meanders through the wilderness and you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. The trip takes almost 5 hours to go from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and back again.
Perkinsville is a ghost ranch, so don’t expect any refreshments there. On the way, you will go through tunnels and climb up passes, with cliffs and views to delight you.
Look out for Bald Eagles, and other birds of prey who nest there. The train weaves its way through two national forests with magnificent views in both directions.
Allow yourself a day to do this as you may want to spend some time in Payson on your return. You can get to the Railroad from Sedona, and it takes about 35 minutes.

83. 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group

If aircraft and all that comes with them appeal to you, then you must head here! Davis-Montham is the largest aircraft graveyard in the world! You will find this near Tucson. It is also called the ‘Boneyard’. You will find almost every plane ever flown in the US Armed Forces since WWII, as well as many retired planes.
The planes were parked there to be used for spare parts, and it has grown ever since then. You will find the remains of everything ranging from B-29 to C-74 here. B-52 bombers lie next to F-4 fighters.
An interesting fact is that the Defense Dept reckons that by utilising replacement parts from the site, for every $1 they spend, it saves them $11 by using reclaimed parts.
Another reason the planes are stored in Tucson, is because the high altitude and dry conditions ensure that rust and deterioration happens at a much slower rate than anywhere else.
Many action movies have been filmed here, with the backdrop of the graveyard.
Plan to spend a full day here. You could visit Pima Air Museum, and then combine it with a visit to the graveyard.

84. Casa Grande Ruins


The ruins are found in Coolidge, which is very near to the town of Casa Grande. These are known to be the tallest ruins in the country. They were built in 1350 and inhabited by the Sonoran people. Very little is known about the tribe, apart from the fact that they were farmers. They left no writings anywhere.
With the advent of the railway in 1880, the area became a tourist attraction with many people taking souvenirs, and vandals leaving graffiti on the ruins. After petitions in 1889 the ruins became a preserved site.
Shelters were built for the ruins in 1901, and again in 1931.

Make sure you take care near the shelters as they are also out of bounds to touch.

It will not take more than an hour or two to look at the ruins, but the town of Casa Grande is worth looking at. It is still very much like an old wild west town.

85. Boothill Graveyard


You will find the graveyard just outside Tucson. Many of the dead were hanged or shot, most of the graves have a tale behind them, and you may recognise some of the names.
Some of the original wooden grave markers are still in place, although others are reconstructed.
There is a small shop where you can buy drinks and souvenirs, and a craft shop where you can pick up some typical Indian blankets at good prices.
This will only take an hour or so to go around, by the you can head into Tombstone and look around the town. There is plenty to see there. Preferably stay a night so you can see all there is to see.

86. Old Town Scottsdale

This is a good example of what the original ‘old town’ looked like. The area is very popular with tourists who arrive in buses to look at the iconic shops and boutiques. The old section is in fact the cultural hub of the city, where fine dining, and eclectic shopping, along with nightlife, is the order of the day.
You will find fine examples of Indian crafts and jewellery in the area, with galleries and sculptures within walking distance.
Scottsdale’s Museum of Contemporary Art is worth visiting, as is the city historical museum.
You can go on a guided tour of Old Town, or just take the time and look around yourself. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, and hotels is you want to stay a night.

87. The Wigwam Village

Wigwam Village is in Holbrook. Here you will also find Wigwam Motel where you can spend the night in an authentic wigwam – with all the home comforts.
There are 15 wigwams, along with a small museum. You will also be able to look at two mini wigwams which were originally used at an ole Texaco Station as bathrooms.
You will find the accommodation clean and cheap, exactly what roadside accommodation should be like!
These are a great idea for a family to spend the night in, not many kids can boast to sleeping in a wigwam!
Stay a night in one of these, have your breakfast, and be on your way!

88. Sea Life Aquarium

The aquarium is located near Phoenix and is home to over 5,000 sea creatures. It is a great family day out. The reason for this is that not only do you look at the animals, but you also interact with them. You can listen to educational talks about the animals, and watch them at feeding time. This is particularly popular when the sharks and rays are fed.
Keep an eye for Loki, the giant octopus, as Zival, the first green turtle in Arizona.
Plan on spending the full day there. You can stop for a bite to eat in the snack shop half way through the day.

89. Sedona

Sedona is in the northern part of the state, the main attraction being the red rock formations. They are at their best at sunrise and sunset. The area is very popular with hikers, walker and in fact anyone who wants to escape the heat.
The town is full of interesting things to see, and places to visit. Many unique shops fill the high street, and restaurants and coffee shops abound.
Many guided tours start from the town, such as desert trips which you can take in jeeps and land rovers.
No matter what the age group this town has something for everyone.
There are plenty of hotels so staying a few nights should not be a problem, although it is always better to book in advance as the summer months brings many people from Phoenix who want to escape the desert temperatures.

90. Jack Rabbit Trading Post

This huge souvenir shop can be found along the I-40, west of Joseph City. It used to be on the old Route 66, and was opened in the 1940’s.
The sign indicating where the shops are, is a large hand-painted jackrabbit design. It is one of the few from Route 66 that are still around, and gets faithfully repainted each year.
The trading post was filmed in the making of the movie ‘Cars’, although an interesting fact is that in the movie, the sign did not have a jackrabbit, but a Ford Model-T.
Even an avid shopper will not take more than an hour or so to look around here, but it is a part of history of Arizona and deserves a mention.

91. Rose Tree Museum

This is the largest rose tree ever grown, and you will find it in Tombstone, in a small museum, along with a collection of historic items.
The rose, a Lady Banksia, was planted in 1885 from cuttings that came from Scotland. The rose has been trained upwards into a spreading vine, so that you can stand underneath it and see the mass over your head.
There is a platform that you can climb up to see over the top of the bush, and the time to visit is when the rose is in bloom. Looking over the top is like looking at a sea of white flowers.
There is a small café on the premises where you can have your lunch under the rose canopy.
It will only take an hour to see the rose and the museum, but allow yourself a day or even two, as the town of Tombstone has plenty to offer.

92. Bird Cage Theatre

The theatre was open from 1881 – 1989, and comprised the theatre, a saloon, and a brothel. The name of birdcage refers to the little rooms where the ladies sat during performances, which resembled cages.
Famous people like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday frequented the theatre, drank, and played cards there. Bullet holes in the walls indicate that a certain amount of murder was carried out there, and it is said that ghosts still appear from time to time.
Legend has it that there are 26 ghosts that appear in the theatre, so if you are brave enough, go and see it at night. You may be lucky to meet a ghost or two!
It might not be a good idea to take young children there at night, but there are other things that they can see in Tombstone during the day.

93. Tonto Natural Bridge

This is the only natural travertine bridge in the world, and it classed as a geological wonder. An interesting point is that the average size person can stand with feet on the base of rhyolite, and upstretched hands on travertine, so spanning millions of years from top to bottom.
The bridge is 180 feet high, and is amazingly beautiful. If you are a hiker, you can get there by one of the three trails. There are many tunnels along the way, but take care as the algae gets very slippery.
There are viewpoints at the top, with views that will leave you stunned.
This will not take more than an hour or two, but spend some time in the area, as the scenery will not disappoint you.

94. Surprise

This is a relatively new city north west of Phoenix. Possibly the thing to see there is the stadium, which is home to the spring training team of Texas Rangers, and Kansas City Royals.
The stadium has a ‘home town’ feel’ to it, with grassy verges where you can sit and watch the games, if you do not want to pay for seats.
There are concession stands where you can buy food and drinks.
The stadium also hosts little league games, along with high school and college tournaments.
The town has everything you may need to stock up your RV before heading north up to the Grand Canyon.

95. McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope

This telescope is to be found on top of Kits Peak, and is the largest telescope is the world used for looking at the sun. It is also strong enough to look at bright stars at night. Some of the discoveries which have been made using the telescope in the detection of water vapor in the Sun, and seeing laser waves in the atmosphere around Mars.

There are guided tours around the observatory, where you can read about the invention of the telescope. One of the reasons for the area of Kitts Peak is that the night skies are very clear, most of the year.

Allow a half day to see the observatory.

96. Yuma Prison

This is Arizona’s first prison, and you can walk all the way through the iron cells and solitary confinement cells.

The first prisoners arrived in 1876, and over the years the prison has housed over 3,000 prisoners.
Notable guests were Pearl Hart and her brother. They committed the last stagecoach robbery in the state, robbing the Globe coach.

There were very strict rules in the prison – no fighting, gambling, or weapons were allowed. Failing to take a bath was also against the rules.

Punishment for breaking the rules was having to wear a ball and chain, while serious offenders would be sent to the ‘dark cell’.

See what prison life in the desert was really like!
While older children may be okay with this visit, it may not be suitable for younger children.
Allow a half day to see the prison.

97. Luke Airforce Base

The base is found 15 miles west of the city of Phoenix. It is a major training base for pilots, with the most popular plane used being the F-16 Falcon.
Once a year the base opens to the public with a weekend of air displays. Public is then allowed to walk around the base and look at the planes.
Prepare for crowds, and also expect to have any handbags searched on entry. It can be a long day, but there are places where you can buy refreshments and food between displays. Overall, it is well worth going to. You can check online for the exact weekend of the show.

98. Humphreys Peak

This very odd shaped peak is the highest point in the state. The top is normally snow topped as it sits at 12,633 feet above sea level.

It is very popular with climbers and hikers, while in the winter months it is a major ski destination. There are ski lifts at the base.

Care must be taken as the trail is prone to avalanches, and can get very windy in the spring. Summer is the season which is most popular with skiers.

Be sure to check that there is snow, if that is why you are visiting the mountain.

99. Richard F. Caris Mirror Laborator

You will find this manufacturing laboratory under the east side of the Stadium in Tucson. The company constructs giant mirrors which are used for telescopes throughout the world.
One of the telescopes which they have supplied the mirrors is the Magellan Telescope at the Smithsonian Observatory.
There are guided tours of the plant and you must be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
While this will only take a half day, try to spend the rest of the day in the city of Tucson. You will find plenty of interesting shopping malls and food places.

100. I-19 Interstate

The I-19 is the only metric interstate in the USA!

This is not an actual spot to see, rather a whole highway! Every sign you see along the route which is metric is the only concession the country made to metric conversion. Back in 1975 Congress passed the act to change, thinking it would be better. I-19 was the only interstate to comply.

If you drive the interstate, you must remember that speeds and distances are worked out in kilometres and metres, and adjust accordingly.

There are areas along the interstate where you can stop for petrol or diesel, as well as get food and drinks.

Summary

Arizona is a state full of both outdoor and indoor things to see and do. There are interesting places to visit in almost every town. The climate in the lower part can be brutally hot in the summer months, while the higher places provide perfect conditions for winter activities. With the most amazing rock formations in the world, Arizona truly is a cornucopia of sights, sounds and smells. There is something in the state that will appeal to everyone.

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