Arizona is one of the states in the American Southwest most known for its stark beauty and many popular tourist attractions. Whether you live here or are just passing through, there are certain must-see spots you won’t want to miss. Here are a few suggestions.
By the way, several of these attractions are national parks, so you might want to pick up a park pass that will let you in and out of all the parks without having to pay the entrance fee every time. You can order these passes online, or just buy one at the gates of the first park you go to.
- The Grand Canyon – The Grand Canyon is one of the Southwest’s, not to mention one of Arizona’s, most famous attractions. Known for its size and beautiful scenery, visits to the Grand Canyon can range from a short visit and photography op, to a week or more spent exploring all the park has to offer. There is plenty to do: a railway, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, observation points for photography, even helicopter and airplane tours. There is also a wide selection of accommodations for those staying a little while, ranging from basic cabins and rooms within the park, to a number of hotels just outside the park.
- Oak Creek Canyon – The second most popular tourist attraction in Arizona after the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon is a gorgeous 12-mile stretch of canyon, with lots of picturesque scenery. The canyon is located in the Coconino National Forest, and is home to many activities such as hiking, fishing, and the popular Slide Rock State Park, which boasts a natural water slide.
- Four Corners – Four Corners is the spot where the corners of four of the big square states meet. Arizona meets up with Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico all in one place. This spot is a popular tourist destination because of the unique opportunity to be in four places at once — literally!
- Montezuma Castle – Arizona boasts one of the best-preserved native ruins in the American Southwest. Montezuma is a magnificent 5-story cliff dwelling with 20 separate ruins.Although visitors haven’t been allowed to enter the ruins since about 1950, this is one sight you won’t want to miss! The park also offers lots of hiking, exploration, and photography opportunities.
- Tombstone and the O.K. Corral – One of the most famous events in the Old West happened in the O.K. Corral located in Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and his friend Doc Holliday have become legendary figures in the history of the American West, and as a result, Tombstone is now a popular tourist location. For a chance to see how the town looked in the 1880s when the famous gunfight occurred, and even to see a reenactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral, be sure to include this exciting attraction in your plans!
Whether you are from out-of-town or a tourist in your own state, there is plenty to see in Arizona, a little something for everyone. Many of the local attractions have to do with the arid and starkly beautiful landscape here, as well as the area’s fascinating history. You will be amazed to see the beautiful sights the state has to offer!