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Top 10 Things to See and Do in Arizona

By Edited Jun 6, 2016 7 10

Arizona is home to a lot of amazing places including the World famous Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is on this list of course, but there are also 9 other places that I highly recommend people visit if they get the chance to. Regardless of which part of Arizona you visit, there will be something on this list nearby.

10. Phoenix Raceway

The Phoenix Raceway is home to numerous racing events including NASCAR events. 

9. Chloride Arizona

Chloride Arizona

Chloride is an old Ghost town, however unlike many other Ghost Towns Chloride was never entirely abandoned. There have always been people living in Chloride since it was founded. This fact makes it technically not a Ghost Town even though this town is often referred to in such a way. This area is most well-known for the so-called Chloride Murals which were originally painted in the 60’s but have since been restored to look the same as they did when they were first painted.

8. Sonoran Desert

Sonoran Desert(92403)

The Sonoran Desert is a 120,000 square mile Desert that is located in both Mexico and the United States. A large portion of Arizona is covered by the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert is home to the beautiful Saguaro Cactus. Sonoran Desert Saguaro Cactus Thefts are becoming extremely common. The Sonoran Desert is definitely one of the top 10 things to see in Arizona.

If you plan on hiking any trails in the Sonoran Desert region then make sure that you carry plenty of water and hike extremely early in the morning. During the summer months the days can be extremely scorching hot and then at night the temperatures can rapidly drop. You do not want to suffer heat stroke when you attempt to hike the Sonoran Desert during the daytime.

7. Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix

If you do not want to risk hiking the Sonoran Desert Trails then you can visit the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. There are numerous displays, classes, and events held at the Desert Botanical Gardens. One of the most popular displays at the Desert Botanical Gardens is the Spring Butterfly Exhibit. Children love the Butterfly exhibit because they are able to see hundreds of butterflies fluttering about around them. This is a great place to come and spend half a day when you are in Phoenix and needing something to do. If you have a long layover in Phoenix then you might consider taking a taxi down to the Desert Botanical Gardens and passing some time.

6. Blue Ridge Reservoir

Blue Ridge Reservoir

The Blue Ridge Reservoir is a strong contrast to the Sonoran Desert region. Instead of a Desert we have green trees growing all over in a forest like setting along the Blue Ridge Reservoir. The Blue Ridge Reservoir is truly one of the most beautiful settings in Arizona. The closes town to the Blue Ridge Reservoir is Strawberry. Although the Blue Ridge Reservoir is not near any large towns, it is easy to get to and would make a good trip to camp out for the night in a tent.

5. The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

I know you were expecting the Grand Canyon to be the number 1 place to visit in Arizona, but not on my list. The Grand Canyon is definitely one of those must see places in Arizona, however there are a lot of other cool places besides the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one place you do not want to forget to take your camera when you visit it.

4. Tumacacori Mission

Tumacacori Mission

The Tumacacori Mission is located in the Tumacacori National Historical Park. The entire park has a lot of Spanish Mission ruins where you will be amazed at the architectural structures the ancient the people devised and lived in. The highlight for many people is the Tumacacori Mission.

The Tumacacori Mission was originally built around 1691; however the Tumacacori Mission was moved to a new location in 1751. This is the location that the Tumacacori Mission is today. When you are there make sure you also visit the Tumacacori Museum. You can learn a lot about this are and its fascinating history by a trip to the Tumacacori Museum.

3. Page, Arizona

Hoodoo Near Page Arizona

Page, Arizona is a super cool little town. It is near the Glen Canyon Dam and bridge. It is also near Lake Powell. Page has been used to film numerous Hollywood movies including the Original Planet of the Apes, The remake to Planet of the Apes, Broken Arrow, and Hulk. Although the Hulk movie truly sucked, the town of Page is still awesome.

The town of Page is relatively new. It began in 1956 with a few buildings built to house the workers who were beginning to build the Glen Canyon Dam. After the Dam was complete many of the workers stayed in the area and brought their family to live with them. The town has remained prosperous ever since, albeit it is still low in population. Tourism to the Glen Canyon Dam brings in countless visitors to Page each year.

The Rock formation above is called a Hoodoo. This Hoodoo is located near Page.

2. Superstition Mountains

Superstition Mountains

1. Monument Valley

Monument Valley

The Navajo Word for Monument Valley means the “Valley of Rocks”. The Valley of Rocks is a great description for this scenic and inspiring area. Monument Valley is located in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Yep, watch out for the nearby polygamists. Monument Valley has also been used as the backdrop for multiple movies and television shows.

No visit to the Great State of Arizona can be complete with a tour of Monument Valley. In Monument Valley you can drive in on a self guided tour from the comfort of your car. If you are feeling more adventurous you can always pay extra and tour the area on horseback.

Regardless of how you ultimately see Monument Valley, it is definitely a must see place in Arizona.

Arizona is a State that has a lot of interesting History. The State is large and very diverse. Make sure you plan a visit to see some of the stuff on this list the next time you get to visit Arizona.

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Comments

Mar 31, 2012 7:57am
askformore
Grand article! The Grand Canyon is really Grand!
Mar 31, 2012 7:58am
Ernie
Thank you for the comment. I love the State of Arizona.
Mar 31, 2012 12:19pm
Millie
The photo of Chloride is a bit creepy. It reminds me of the film 'the hills have eyes'
Apr 4, 2012 2:15am
Ernie
It does look a little creepy. As long as no chainsaws started up at night time I would be good to go.
Apr 6, 2012 12:03am
southerngirl09
Monument Valley - an excellent choice for #1. Great read.
Apr 7, 2012 4:18pm
Ernie
Thanks for the read! I love Monument Valley and think it is much cooler to visit than the Grand Canyon.
Apr 10, 2012 1:48pm
Ascentive
Great article and wonderful images. I went through Arizona once and hope I can spend more time there and explore it :)

Thanks for sharing!

~Anja~
May 26, 2013 3:21am
mikerobbers
Nice article and pictures. Arizona is certainly a worth visiting destination and all the sights you included in your list deserve a visit as well. I'm really fond of the harsh, deserted landscape. Looks magnificent.
Nov 20, 2014 5:22am
Marlando
Hi: Once again you've taken your readers on a fine journey (great pixs too). One feels your enthusiasm as they travel highways with you. And so two big thumbs up and yep, a rating too
Nov 20, 2014 7:43am
Yindee
We loved Arizona - just been there and taken the same pictures. You have added some valuable information that everybody intending to visit the area should read.
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