Arizona Top 10 Attractions

Arizona may have been the last of the 48 contiguous United States, but it offers plenty of options for visitors from near and far. The fame of the Grand Canyon draws in visitors, but the remaining natural features, museums, and family attractions encourage them to stay longer.

You can enjoy outdoor adventure, play a round of golf, relax in a spa, go shopping, appreciate Native American culture, or catch your favorite sports team in action. Arizona offers attractions for families and individuals alike, making it the perfect option for groups of any size and all ages. Here is an overview of the top places to visit in Arizona.

1: Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/faunggs photos

This vast natural formation, often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is actually a gorge carved out of the region's sandstone bluffs by the Colorado River.

Visitors can access the Grand Canyon on either the North or South Rim; the former is more remote, and the latter provides tourists with a variety of ways in which to take in this breathtaking formation.

Mule rides are a popular way to experience the Canyon, though visitors also enjoy the many hiking trails that are available.

Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Website: www.nps.gov

2: Sedona

Sedona
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Mitch Heider

People flock from all over the world to experience Sedona's gorgeous sandstone formations. In the rosy glow of sunrise and sunset, the rocks appear even more brilliant.

Combined with the arid desert atmosphere, Sedona's environment lends itself to spiritual practices and draws thousands of people each year for yoga festivals and synchronized meditation.

More conventional spirituality resides in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a chapel built into the surrounding rocks. There are also a variety of music festivals, including bluegrass, jazz, and chamber music, held each year.

Address: Sedona, AZ

3: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Make some memories at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona! This is a red sandstone National Park that has become a fond Arizona staple mark over the years.

Here you can hike through golden red sand formations and explore a national park entirely unique from anywhere else in the world. It is also a Navajo reservation, which means that it is well maintained sight of respect.

To really get the most out of your hike through Monument Valley, check out the visitor’s center and maybe opt for a guided tour. There is so much to see in this tribal park, that you’re going to want someone experienced to tell you what the must see items are.

Here you can find hikes that take you all the way up the inclines to look out over the area, or simple footpaths that wind and steep through the beauty of Arizona.

Address: US-163, Monument Valley, UT 84536

4: Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Mobilus In Mobili

This feat of modern engineering was constructed in 1931 and completed during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was constructed as a means by which to contain the flooding of the Colorado River, as well as to provide water to the desert inhabitants surrounding it.

There is no shortage of impressive trivia regarding this structure. It contains enough concrete to run a two-lane road across the entire United States from Seattle to Miami, is thicker at its base than two American football fields put end-to-end, and stands taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

Address: Hoover Dam, Nevada 89005
Website: www.usbr.gov

5: Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Martin Ely

This privately owned non-profit zoo is the largest of its kind in the United States. Animals in the zoo's collection hail from various regions of the world, including Africa and the tropics, and even featuring a section dedicated to the animals of Arizona.

Visitors experience these different regions via trails that make up 2.5 miles of walking area throughout the zoo. Arguably the zoo's most famous resident, Ruby the Elephant gained a reputation in 1973 for her ability to paint with a brush and canvas.

Address: 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

6: Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/shilo2006

This striking waterfall stands nearly 100 feet high, cascading down from blood-red sandstone into a beautiful blue pool. People who come to visit Havasu can explore the site on their own or avail themselves of one of the many guided tours around the park.

The nature of the sandstone means that the falls are subject to a greater degree of change when floods and rains occur. The park's website features a picture of the falls when it was known as Bridal Veil, and a picture of its current appearance. No matter how it changes in the future, it is always a beauty to behold.

Address: Havasu Canyon, Supai, AZ 86435

7: Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Joe Parks

Divided into two districts, this national park prominently features its namesake cactus, the saguaro, as well as many other species native to Arizona. A variety of other flora and fauna, including coniferous forests and endangered species of bat and owl, can also be found here.

The Tucson Mountains and the Rincon Mountains both reside within the borders, which also features 150 miles of hiking trails. Backcountry campsites are available to hikers wanting to spend more time in the arid beauty of this gorgeous park.

Address: 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail, Saguaro National Park, AZ 85730
Website: www.nps.gov

8: Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ken Lund

This breathtaking canyon epitomizes the American West. Its sandstone walls contain evidence left by ancient indigenous people, making it a prized piece of history.

The most striking feature here is known as Spider Rock, which figures into Navajo folklore as being the home of Spider Woman, the creator of the world. Whether or not you believe it, the area reverberates with energy.

Take a tour deep into the park and explore Mummy Cave, featuring different types of structures built at various points throughout history.

Address: Chinle, AZ 86503
Website: www.nps.gov

9: Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center

Explore the world of science like never before! Arizona is the proud home to one of the best science museums in all of the the U.S.! Do more than just educate: explore! Here interested parties can immerse themselves in the wide worlds of mummies, flight, planetariums and everything in between.

It is truly a family fun paradise as all of the exhibits find new and interactive ways to engage with patrons of all ages. No one can be bored as you stroll through the halls of history, and point out some things you’ve never seen before. The Arizona Science Center is proud to be one of a kind.

Generally, tickets for adults are $19.95, children between the ages of 17 and 3 are $14.95, and anyone under 2 is free. However, there are a couple different ways to save money here. Firstly, buy online! Here adults pay $18 and children are $13.

There are also special events hosted during off times that drastically reduce the price. For example, Mummies After Hours and Lunchtime Express are two events wherein you can save money by attending the museum for special exhibits.

Otherwise, the Science Center hours are every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No matter what time you enter, you’re sure to leave with a newfound passion for all things spectacular science.

Address: 600 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

10: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jöshua Barnett

Visitors to this part of the United States who are eager to learn more about the area's native wildlife would do well to visit this museum. Comprised of an aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, and art gallery, it is a comprehensive collection of the flora and fauna of the surrounding desert and its various climates, assembled for visitors to examine and understand more completely.

Big cats, raptors, and reptiles are on display, and there is a cave in which to explore fossils and geological features. A trip to this museum is a fine complement to your visit to the desert.

Address: 2021 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85743

Arizona Travel Guide

Explore Guide