12 Must-Do Experiences in Arizona
Collected by Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
Nature, culture, food, weather—there's just so much to do in Arizona, and the sun shines down on it all. From dude ranches to spring training to Native American ritual, Arizona's Anglo-Hispanic-Native mix produces a sense of place unique in North America. Experience it all while soaking up the warmth of the culture that the Grand Canyon State's landscape inspires.
Gates Pass, Arizona 85745, USA
Residents and visitors alike drive out to the western edge of Tucson on most evenings. The area averages 350 sunny days a year, so viewing the sunset is almost always a possibility. Summer evenings are predictably hot, but you're in for a...
5201 S 12th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85706, USA
Come to "El Güero Canelo" if you're in southern Arizona. It's a Tucson institution where you can get the best "Sonoran/Mexican hot dogs" north of the border... But what's a Sonoran hot dog? It's a wiener wrapped in bacon(!), served atop beans in a...
311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705, USA
El Charro sits in a converted set of historic houses & buildings a block off Tucson's old town district—the same location where it began serving food in 1922. We had lunch here, at a big old wooden table in a warmly decorated dining room. Ask to...
Catalina Hwy, Arizona, USA
Downpours are isolated but intense during a Tucson summer. The mid- to late-summer "monsoon" in the Desert Southwest of the U.S. can be the most uncomfortable time to visit, if you're only considering the thermometer. So often, though, the vast...
Mt Lemmon, Arizona 85619, USA
On the northern edge of Tucson, you can drive through a condensed version of western North America's ecosystem in about half an hour. On the way up the Mount Lemmon Highway (also known as "Catalina Highway" or "Sky Island Scenic Byway"), you...
Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Every March, a temporary tent city sets up for one weekend on the grassy Mall in the center of the campus of the University of Arizona. Over 100,000 people gather under the palms. In just five years, the Tucson Festival of Books has grown to...
Hohokam Road, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
Just beyond the western edge of Tucson, you'll find these Hohokam petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park. No one knows precisely when they were carved into the rocks, but Hohokam settlements in the Sonoran desert date back almost two thousand years....
7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA
If you can imagine baseball heaven—a lush green field nestled between mountaintops and perpetual sunshine—Salt River Fields just might be what it looks like. Spring training season offers a high concentration of the best American...
34631 N Tom Darlington Dr Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
Bringing together the elements of feng shui, a Zen-like ambience, and its Sonoran Desert environs, Spa at the Boulders is a 33,000-square-foot escape where you can easily spend an entire day. Besides the 24 treatment rooms and a running list...
Jerome, AZ 86331, USA
Jerome commands big-sky views from its mile-high perch on Cleopatra Hill: look out over red rock mesas and volcanic peaks while standing above a network of 88 miles of mine shafts descending over 4,000 ft. Founded in 1876, Jerome's population fell...
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