Fun Things to Do in Arizona
Antelope Canyon: “The Crack” of the Two Slot Canyons
Prepare to be wowed by Antelope Canyon, a jaw-dropping slot canyon in Northern Arizona. Swirling, orange sandstone and ethereal light beams (which typically appear in the summer months) make for a magical, otherworldly destination. Travelers must sign up for a guided tour to access this area, which is part of the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park. If you'd like to stay in the area overnight, you’ll find accommodation options like the Best Western Plus at Lake Powell and the Comfort Inn & Suites Page at Lake Powell in the nearby town of Page, Arizona.
Location: Antelope Canyon, Indn Route 222, Lechee, Arizona, 86046, USA
Saguaro National Park: Giant Saguaros in Their Native Environment
If you'd like to check another national park off your bucket list, visit Arizona's Saguaro National Park. Located about 14 miles northwest of Tucson, the park features a giant forest of saguaro cacti, some of which stand up to 50 feet tall and date back more than 200 years. But the park boasts more than plant life; be sure to look out for animals like coyote and desert tortoises during your visit. Stay overnight at upscale properties like the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort or the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa. Or, for a more rugged experience, go camping in the Rincon Mountain District.
Location: 2700 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, Arizona, 85743, USA
Jerome: The Wickedest Town in the West
Jerome, Arizona is a historic mountain town that is sometimes referred to as the "wickedest town in the west." Back in its prime, the village had 37 bars and four churches. In the 1920s, when it was a booming mining town, Jerome was the largest producer of copper, silver, and gold in Arizona. When the mines shut down in the 1950s, Jerome became a ghost town.
Today, it has been somewhat restored for tourism, but with historical accuracy. Visitors can enjoy specialty shops, unique bed and breakfasts, and art galleries—a must-stop spot on any trip to Arizona.
Location: Jerome Artists Co-Op: 502 Main St, Jerome, AZ 86331
Lake Mead: America's First National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is a man-made lake that sits on the Colorado River's main stem and was formed by the Hoover Dam. It is located in Black Canyon, east of Las Vegas. The largest reservoir in the United States, it's worth carving out time in your itinerary for a visit.
Enjoy walking around Lake Mead National Recreation Area with its stunning views. Entrance is affordable with a non-commercial 7-day park pass costing $15 if you're entering on foot or $25 with a vehicle. While you're in the area, also be sure to check out the incredible Hoover Dam and take a dip in the hot springs.
Location: Visitor Center: 10 Lakeshore Rd, Boulder City, NV 89005
Desert Botanical Garden: Discover the Tranquil Vibrancy of Desert Plants Nestled Amid the Red Rocks of the Papago Buttes
Stroll the winding paths of this 140-acre venue that showcases the world's finest collection of arid plants — from towering saguaros to delicate blooms — from deserts of the world, all in one unique, outdoor setting. The garden has more than 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five thematic trails that illustrate such topics as conservation, desert living, desert wildflowers and plants and people of the Sonoran Desert. Please note: Advance ticket reservations for the garden is required.
Facts about the Garden: 140 acres; 92,150 total herbarium specimens; 4,482 species in the Living Collection; 485 rare and endangered species in care at the Garden
Location: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008