Arizona Region Guide
Northern Arizona is home to an amazingly wide variety of different landscapes, each with its own special charm. The Colorado Plateau, with its gorgeously colorful rock formations and vivid green pine trees, is a year-round delight. Located in the area are several interesting landmarks, including the Painted Desert. The beauty and the sheer size of the rock formations in the Painted Desert lend the area an aura of compelling mystery; at the Petrified Forest National Park located close by, the mystery can be unraveled via a number of fascinating exhibits and displays.
For those who’d rather spend their vacation time exploring the cities of Arizona, the city of Phoenix has much to offer. A whole host of interesting art galleries, museums and other historical sites, as well as great shopping and fine dining, await you in the state capitol. Head to the Phoenix Center of the Arts or the Shemer Art Museum to see works by both international and local artists, or visit some of the many historical sites in the city—from the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, to Heritage Square, and the Pueblo Grande Museum, there’s something to interest everyone.
If you want to spend a day or two in the pursuit of outdoor fun, there’s plenty to do in the greater Phoenix area—golfing, hiking, day-trips to nearby towns and villages, and even hot-air ballooning! At the Salt River and Verde River Reservoirs (east of the city), a wide variety of water-sports are on offer—whether you’re a keen angler or a water-skiing fanatic, you’re sure to find something to tempt you out on the water. No less than four major ski fields are located within a few hours of Phoenix, too, including the Arizona Snowbowl and the Sunrise Park Resort. Prefer to shop or be entertained? No problem—great shopping is here, both in Phoenix and nearby Scottsdale, and shows and entertainment venues are numerous in the state capitol.
Within 100 miles or so of Phoenix, there are many Ghost Towns, which make ideal destinations for day-trips if you’re staying in the capital city. One of the most popular is Jerome, perhaps the most famous Ghost Town in the state. Once home to nearly 3,000 people, Jerome is now a State Historic Park with many original nineteenth century buildings still in existence.
If you’d love to spend a vacation recapturing the spirit of the Old West, Arizona is a great place to do it. With fully operational dude ranches offering adventure trips on horseback of varying lengths, this can be an especially refreshing way to spend a vacation. With trail rides, cookouts and more at ranches such as the D-Spur east of Phoenix, as well as several other ranches all over the state, here’s your opportunity to get in the saddle and experience a taste of life on the range!
Just a few hours drive from Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is a simply amazing sight that is not to be missed. Seeing the Grand Canyon is something that should definitely make your “to do” list if you plan to be in the area. Take in this awe-inspiring sight from a viewing platform, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, travel one of the hiking or biking trails to see the canyon close up—it’s even possible to camp below the rim of the canyon overnight, or take a guided trip on the Colorado River through the canyon itself.
Arizona is a popular destination for hunters and anglers, too—and with good reason. From big game animals such as wild-tail deer, antelope and elk, to Canada Geese and several species of duck, there is abundant wild-life to please any hunter. The south-eastern reaches of the state—Jacques Marsh and the White Mountains—are particularly excellent places to hunt both big game and smaller animals. For the angler, there are many lakes and rivers located in National Parks that provide abundant opportunities for bass and trout.
Tucson, located in the south of Arizona, is a world-famous spa destination. Whether you’re yearning for a relaxing mud massage, a steam bath, or hydrotherapy, a Tucson resort is sure to have just what you need. A long list of resorts and spas provide the newest beauty treatments and relaxing therapies to delight all the senses. Some resorts even offer ancient Native American treatments as well as modern therapies. Whether you’d like to spend several days relaxing at a Tucson resort, or simply book treatments for a single day, Tucson is the place to go!
Unbeknownst to many people—even those who live in the state—the southern regions of Arizona are home to no less than thirteen wineries, making this a fantastic place for any amateur vintner to visit. The town of Elgin, located around 50 miles from Tucson, is an excellent option as a base for a wine-oriented vacation, with several wineries located in the area. Also close by is the town of Patagonia. At first glance this unassuming town of just 1,000 residents may not have much to offer, but in fact is it an internationally-renowned bird-watching location, with nearly 300 species of birds seen in the area of the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve alone. Guided tours are available here on weekends, or you can walk the 2.5 mile trail on your own, enjoying the natural beauty of the area and the opportunity to see a wide variety of avian species.
No matter what your preference for a vacation—whether it’s a relaxing week in Tucson or days spent seeing the historical sights and natural wonders in the north of the state, or an unforgettable overnight ride in the style of the Old West—Arizona is definitely a great place to do it all.
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