The Best Road Trip Sights in Arizona
Collected by Joseph Cyr , AFAR Local Expert
While on a road trip across Arizona, from canyon to canyon and ranch to restaurant, make sure to stop and take in some of the best sights along the way. With all of its wide-open spaces, Arizona is synonymous with long drives, but if you take the time to get out of the car, your legs will thank you and you'll return home with experiences, not just a checked-off list of landmarks. Road trips should be remembered for more than just the road, and Arizona is the perfect terrain for travel memories.
Page, AZ 86040, USA
I saw this place in so many photos before but when I got there and saw it in person it was such an overwhelming experience. Getting there is easy. You take the Interstate 89 South from Page and after 7 minutes you get to the parking lot. The road...
17843 E Peak Ln, Picacho, AZ 85141, USA
As you speed through the desert on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, consider getting off at Exit 219, especially if you have kids in the backseat... ...and even if you don't have kids in the backseat, feeding ostriches and lorikeets is FUN! This...
Payson, AZ, AZ, USA
Petroglyphs are always worth a stop. About 40 minutes north of Globe, on US 60/AZ 77, as the highway winds down through its hairpin curves to the bottom of the Salt River Canyon, stop at 'Hieroglyphic Point.' (It'll be on your left.) This pull-off...
4070 S Avenida Saracino, Hereford, AZ 85615, USA
Last April, I spent a morning hiking along the San Pedro River, just NW of Bisbee, AZ; the caterpillars were astoundingly abundant. When I stopped, I could hear them munching on leaves all around--a surround-sound of crunching, the aural fecundity...
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...
6 Main St, Bisbee, AZ 85603, USA
In the backstreets of the mile-high mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, some unlikely art: a stencil of Mona Lisa? blindfolded? framed by Buddhist philosophy? This is some of the street-art that inspires residents in this SE Arizona town to display...
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...
Dateland, AZ 85333, USA
In an otherwise flat and forlorn section of desert between Tucson and San Diego, exit 67 on I-8 is a sweet pit stop: Dateland! A grove of date palms was planted beside the railroad tracks here in the 1920s. Today, it's more than just a typical...
1891 I-19 Frontage Rd, Tumacacori, AZ 85640, USA
The wording is irresistible: "Get a taste of history." On the grounds of one of the oldest Spanish missions (est. 1691) in Arizona, tortillas cooked over a mesquite fire, in the shade of mesquite trees, steps from an adobe church--this is...
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403, USA
After the Grand Canyon, Arizona's second-biggest sightseeing destination is...London Bridge. And unlike many 'world landmarks' from up the road in Las Vegas, this is actual Old World stonework, meticulously de-constructed, transported, and...
37615 E Arboretum Way, Superior, AZ 85173, USA
An hour east of Phoenix, or just 90 minutes north of Tucson, is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. No matter which city you might be visiting, this desert oasis is one of the best day-trips you can take....
Payson, AZ, AZ, USA
Driving between Globe and Show Low in the White Mountains east of Phoenix, US 60 curves and descends dramatically into the Salt River Canyon. Some call it the 'mini Grand Canyon.' The highway snakes down some 2000 feet before climbing back up......
1580 Duval Mine Road, Green Valley, AZ 85614, USA
Visitors flock to southern Arizona for sun and saguaros... ...but for a hole in the ground? Other than the ones on golf courses? From the 1960's to the 1980's, Tucson was ringed by eighteen steel-and-concrete-reinforced holes in the ground--highly...
230 South Sonoyta Way, Ajo, AZ 85321, USA
Why, Arizona. You just have to stop. And even though it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, in one of the hottest deserts in the U.S., it's on the way if you're headed to see the natural wonders of Organ Pipe National Monument...or if you're...
Crazy symphonies of prickly arms--nowhere else in the United States can you find these unique living sculptures, Unlike their more well-known Saguaro cousins, Organ Pipe cacti branch out from ground-level. They can grow to the height of nearly a...
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