While its neighbors, Nevada and California, are some of the biggest tourist hotspots in the West, Arizona makes a compelling case as a worthwhile travel destination. The desert landscape makes for some warm summers and mild winters, with around 300 days of sunshine per year.
You’d be hard-pressed to discern the difference between a local and a tourist in Arizona, as both parties can be found sporting a camera at all times, capturing the beautiful scenery found around every corner of the 48th state. While its best known for the iconic Grand Canyon, Arizona is home to much more than just this wonder of the world.
The Grand Canyon
No vacation in Arizona would be complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River is a great place to start. It’s unreal views of awe-inspiring cliffs and picturesque mountain trails make for some truly amazing memories. Be sure to keep your camera on hand, as no verbal explanation of what you saw will do this location justice.
A great way to experience the Grand Canyon would be to take a traditional mule ride through some of the best trails the natural wonder can offer. Canyon Trail Rides offers the only ride experience in the Grand Canyon, as well as horseback excursions through the beautiful Zion National Park. Canyon Trail Rides also offer an amazing trip through the scenic Bryce Canyon.
The Grand Canyon isn’t the only otherworldly formation of ancient rock and water in Arizona. Aravaipa Creek is home to the perennial San Pedro River, an 11-mile long waterway flowing between sky-high limestone cliffs and beautiful vegetation. This picture-perfect location makes for a great hiking trail during warmer weather.
Come at the right time and you can experience the world’s most iconic stretch of road with over 800 classic vehicles at your side during the three-day long Fun Run rally. Even if you decide to head out solo, you can expect plenty of Instagram-worthy views, classic restaurants, and delicious milkshakes on your journey along the Mother Road.
Jerome Mining Town
If you’ve ever wanted to see a real ghost town in all its former glory, the mining town of Jerome is your best bet. While long abandoned by its original inhabitants, this destination has since been converted into a classic tourist spot, with lots of tasty restaurants and unique shopping opportunities along the main road.
If you plan on extending your stay long enough to take in all the views Jerome has to offer, hotels are available throughout the year. History buffs will love the Gold King Museum, which details the rich history of this mining town. The aptly named Sliding Jail is also worth a visit, even though it’s now located 2,500 feet from where it was first built.
These are just some of the many amazing locations that Arizona has to offer. Regardless of where you plan to spend your stay, rest assured you will experience some beautiful scenery, rich history, and great people. Just be sure to bring some sunscreen.
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