Collected by Andi Fisher , AFAR Local Expert
Parents retired to this state, so lots to new spots to explore!
9121 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, AZ 85749, USA
The view from Windy Point on Mount Lemmon, near Tucson, Arizona is simply breathtaking. As elevation increases, the ecology becomes markedly different, going from arid desert to forest, while the geological formations rising like pillars add to an...
301 Little Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
There's no place for renewal like Sedona, Arizona. The city surrounded by stunning red rocks is the perfect base for hiking, yoga, and pampering yourself at its many spas. The spa at L'Auberge de Sedona has always been known for its excellent...
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, 5402 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Camelback Inn is offers my dream staycation. This AAA 5-Diamond hotel has maintained its excellence since it first came around in the 1930's. it has an old pueblo-style feel that really exemplifies Southwestern culture. You'll get the most amazing...
2616 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Not many places do blueberry pancakes as well as the Blue Willow. They're crispy and tender, with blueberries inside and on top, and just enough big enough that one isn't enough and two is almost too much. Order them with a side of thick cut...
771 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
After a hard day of hiking the myriad trails through Sedona's gorgeous red rock country, my friend and I earned a dining experience where calories did not count. Everyone recommended Elote Cafe. Thank you, everyone, for one of the finest meals...
6300 N Swan Rd, Tucson, AZ 85718, USA
At the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains is the ten-acre complex, the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. A national historic district, the grounds are a blend of natural desert garden, adobe architecture, and museum—all the vision of one man. Ettore...
4402 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, USA
Lux has the best vibe in town. Jeff built the coffee shop in such a central location to be near the soul of creative Phoenix. The coffee is hand-roasted in house, and you can pair it with a seasonal pie or a bear claw, or even a full-fledged meal....
Lake Powell, United States
My uncle and I stood with my tripod on the lakeshore behind our houseboat, trying desperately to capture the massive red rock wall before us. It was one of my first lessons in night photography, and it wasn't going great: there just wasn't enough...
699 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Every January, Tempe, Arizona, serves as the finish line for the thousands upon thousands of runners participating in the Arizona Rock'n'Roll marathon and half-marathon. And so, the question: "Where to eat after the race?" Mill Avenue is the main...
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...
Brown & Stetson Business, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The owners of FnB—James Beard Award semifinalist chef Charleen Badman and front-of-house manager Pavle Milic—were early champions of Arizona wine and produce, curating a wine list that includes lots of Grand Canyon...
12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA
The city’s most famous snowbird, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, spent winters at his home and architecture school in the Sonoran Desert. Taliesin West brings the horizontal lines and organic materials of Prairie School design to the desert...
15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ 85658, USA
No matter how posh, there's always a place for something deep-fried to go with drinks, eh? Tucked into its own private canyon on the far northwestern edge of Tucson, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort is the epitome of understated desert...
11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85737, USA
There's more than sand in the southern Arizona desert. Come mid-winter through spring, or after the mid-summer monsoon rains, and you'll find flowing water and reflecting pools among the cacti-studded hills. On the northwest flank of the Santa...
5700 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
Many who have not visited Arizona think that its saguaros grow in a Sahara-like setting...but the mountainous desert around Tucson hides many lush spots, like this riparian canyon on the NE edge of the city. Late fall paints the cottonwoods along...
380 S Meyer Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Just south of downtown Tucson is a reminder of the city's Hispanic-and-adobe past: the Barrio Viejo. One of the most eye-catching buildings is the Teatro Carmen, which opened in 1914. For the rest of the teens and on into the mid-1920s, this venue...
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...
119 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Mexican-Korean fusion has arrived in the desert! Every few weeks, all the food trucks in Tucson converge in different neighborhoods for a 'food truck roundup' fiesta, and now, Mafooco (the Mexican Asian Food Company) is among them. Folks in ...
375 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Casa Vicente is an institution in this desert city—Tucson's outpost for tapas a la española. Just south of the downtown core, a couple of blocks from the neo-Baroque façade of the Cathedral of San Agustín, this restaurant also features live music...
5425 N Kolb Rd #115, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
A little over a mile from where the deer roam in the saguaro-studded foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, sit down for some izakaya-style dining. Japanese "tapas" might not be a completely accurate description for this genre of shareable...
929 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA
Welcome Diner may be new to downtown Phoenix but it has quite a history. Built in the 1940's in Kansas, it was trucked over to Arizona where it operated on Route 66 for 25 years before it moved to its current location on Roosevelt. By partnering...
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...
1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746, USA
Just to the southwest of Tucson, on the San Xavier Reservation, sits the late XVIII-century Mission San Xavier del Bac, one of the finest examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the U.S. The combination of late Baroque and Moorish-inspired...
2041 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA
America’s Taco Shop (named for owner America Corrales) is exactly the kind of place you want to find when looking for a quick, fresh, and authentic lunch in Phoenix. It is an easy-going place with a limited menu of great food. When I say limited,...
408 AZ-80, Tombstone, AZ 85638, USA
Wander around the Boothill Graveyard and you will see famous Westerners wherever you turn. The tombstones are really interesting to read, some of the nicknames will have you rolling! It will also illustrate just how dangerous the wild, wild west...
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
With two hiking trails ascending 1,280 feet to its peak, Camelback Mountain is a great option for nature-fiends who like a challenge. Both the Echo Canyon and Cholla trails exceed a mile in length and are accented with steep grades. Average hiking...
15205 N Kierland Blvd Suite 150, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local, sustainable farm that produces some of Arizona’s best olive oil. Oils & Olives by Queen Creek, situated in Kierland Commons, allows you to shop local when you visit the region. Sample...
15024 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
NoRTH Italian Farmhouse is a delicious and modern local treat with a casual family feel. Good for a night out or a family meal, NoRTH has something for everyone. I can only hope that my kitchen feels as warm and inviting as the one at North....
15191 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
6902 East Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
If you're simply a local in need of a relaxing night out, the Muddle Bar at Deseo is just what the doctor ordered. Arrive during "descansar," the relaxing hour, to catch a glimpse of Cuban artist Nelson Garcia-Mirando. Every week he shares his...
17025 N Scottsdale Rd #140, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
Thankfully I worked in North Scottsdale so I had plenty of great options for an adult refreshment after a long, hard day at work. Uncorked is in a bit of an obscure location compared to other Scottsdale standouts. It offers a nice low-key vibe...
2899 N 87th St #110, Scottsdale, AZ 85257, USA
It took me two years to find this slice of heaven in the desert. One of the best local hang outs on a Saturday morning. A retreat really. Singh Meadows is known for the very best organic veggies, hand-raised right out of the soil and plucked...
525 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Want to hang where the locals do? Come to The Duce. This place has everything you could possibly want, including a soda pop fountain, a bar serving Prohibition-era cocktails, an old-school clothesline, a boxing ring, hula hoops, a coffee stand,...
100 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
Surely, a college town at the base of skiable mountains on the way to the Grand Canyon must boast a memorable place to caffeinate...or imbibe something more relaxing...right? Flagstaff, Arizona, has its fair share of coffee shops and bars, but...
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