Number One: Experience the Grand Canyon: A trip to Arizona would not be complete without a visit to the state’s signature landmark – the Grand Canyon National Park! Whether you take a scenic flight with one of the companies that operate out of the Greater Phoenix area, or explore in your own vehicle, the Grand Canyon is an experience not to be missed. Nothing compares to seeing the Canyon – from the popular South Rim; the less traveled North Rim;
Skywalk on the western side or from the Colorado River rafting experience.
For the rest of the year:
Mittens: Leave them at home for your time in the sun in both the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas where the average daily temperature is 65 degrees … Bring them along if you want to visit the beautiful northern Arizona ski areas – still lots of sunshine guaranteed. The best news is you can enjoy both in ONE DAY!
Bring Your Clubs: With more than 300 golf courses,choose from rolling green fairways to cactus-studded desert landscape … Golfing in Arizona is unparalleled. Live the Arizona golf experience by playing one of the state’s reasonable public courses or experience an incredible resort course to find something for everyone at all skill levels.
Play Ball: An entire month of Cactus League Spring Training games in the sunshine of the desert …. 15 Major League Baseball teams to watch, including the World Series Champions, San Francisco Giants. And with extraordinary March weather, pick the outdoor activity of choice or if you prefer, indulge in some pampering at a world-class resort and spa.
Discover a Dose of Culture: Arizona’s culture and heritage is as diverse as is in the unforgettable landscape that defines it….from Hispanic to American Indian to the Wild West. Throughout the state you will find a vibrant array of fine-art venues, historic theatres, colorful galleries and renowned museums. We promise that you will find it hard to choose from the many artistic arts and crafts for gift -giving or for taking home to keep!
Take A Hike: Love the outdoors? Arizona boasts some of the world’s most scenic and diverse hiking trails from the Greater Phoenix area to the red rocks of Sedona, Sabino Canyon in Tucson, the White Mountains and Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks with horseback riding and mountain biking for all ability levels. You can experience stunning and diverse geography, lush cacti forests, desert wildlife, Ponderosa Pines, mule deer and elk. Based on the abundance of choices, you can easily squeeze some outdoor activity into each day.
Hit The Road: One of the best ways to see the state is on one of Arizona’s 22 Scenic Roads. See the beauty of Sedona from the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Drive …. Drive along the Apache Trail which mimics the course of the Salt River as the road zigzags through a volcanic landscape of agave and cacti. Or reminisce on ol’ Route 66. There are more than 200 miles of the Original Route 66 remaining in Arizona today with sights and attractions along the way…still interesting to explore or to simply enjoy a nice long drive in the open air of the old west.
Family Fun: Bring all of the family, kids to grandparents, for an amazing Arizona summer vacation. Water sports abound from Lake Havasu and the Colorado River activities around Yuma to Lake Powell on the Utah border where you might enjoy renting a houseboat. If you want to cool off, mountains in the north and the south are also calling.
Go Native: Arizona is proud to be home to 22 American Indian tribes, together offering a wide variety of exciting experiences… from tradition and culture and breathtaking scenery, to must-have arts and crafts. Touring tribal lands is both educational and entertaining.You will meet friendly and accommodating people who welcome the opportunity to regale you with the history of their tribes and ancestors. Another interesting feature is that the tribal lands are the only areas in Arizona offering casino entertainment.
Savor Arizona Wine: The Grand Canyon state now boasts 44 active wineries with 650 acres of wine grapes located throughout the north central and southern parts of the state. Follow the Verde Valley Trail, the Sonoita/Elgin Trail to get a taste of Arizona’s unique wine offerings. And if you find yourself in the Willcox area the end of the month, be sure to include a visit to the Salsa Trail for one of the best Mexican food celebrations around.
Relax and Rejuvenate: If cheering on your favorite football team leaves you exhausted, check into one of the state’s luxurious spas to recharge. Arizona spas run the gamut when it comes to pampering. The state offers innovative spa treatments inspired by desert plant life and regional American Indian traditions, as well as cultures throughout the world.
Shop ‘til You Drop: Getting ready for the holidays? Come to Arizona to find exactly what you are looking for to delight family and friends. There are hundreds of indoor and outdoor malls, antique stores, clothing boutiques, gift shops and art galleries – each offering the latest fashions and gifts that are uniquely Arizona. Scottsdale Fashion Square is the largest shopping center in the Southwestern U.S. and will keep serious shoppers entertained all day. The newly opened Tanger Outlet Mall in Glendale boasts 90 luxury outlet stores for shoppers to treat themselves. And for antiques, the rural communities offer amazing opportunities.
Paint The Town Red for the Holidays: Don’t let Arizona’s laid back image fool you. When the sun sets, things really start to come alive in the metro areas. Arizona is home to several James Beard award-winning chefs and Food and Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs in America” and their culinary talents can be sampled in restaurants throughout the state. The party does not end after dinner, as the night clubs, jazz bars and cantinas continue in the revelry. And if you are planning to be here for the holidays, be sure to take the family to the North Pole Adventure in Flagstaff where you can ride the Polar Express in Williams or celebrate in Prescott or Yuma’s holiday villages.
We are delighted to be able to share just a few of our amazing favorites and invite you to join us and discover your own Arizona treasures. For more information about year-round activities, please follow our website: ArizonaGuide.com.
We wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you in Arizona.
Sherry Henry is the Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. She can be found exploring unique communities and events all over the state. She is passionate about travel and tourism, and proud to live in the great state of Arizona.