If you want to escape the burning heat of Arizona, head to Lake Mead! This lake is split between Arizona and Nevada, so you can hit two states at once when you visit. This is one of Arizona’s most popular places to enjoy watersports of all types. Paddle off in a canoe, zoom away on skis, or just hang around and wait for the fish to bite.
This state park is often forgotten by tourists, but it’s one of the best destinations in Arizona. Drive away from the busy, expensive Sedona downtown area to find red rock views that are just as stunning and even more rugged! If you look closely, you’ll find many unique activities to do here. My favorite is a tour of Palatki National Monument, which is the site of two ancient pueblos and an incredible volume of petroglyphs. There are also countless pueblo ruins accessible by hiking. Take a short drive to Oak Creek Canyon for lovely natural views and fishing.
Surprise! The London Bridge is in Arizona. And no, it is not falling down. You can see the real deal when you visit Lake Havasu City. The community purchased the bridge and shipped it all the way from the U.K. in order to add a taste of the exotic to their man-made lake and resort town. Stroll across the bridge and imagine all the history that has passed over its stones!
The Arizona desert is anything but flat and lifeless. In fact, the rising hills in the Phoenix area add character and adventure to the city. Phoenix is famous for having the best urban hiking in the United States! While you won’t have time to conquer all the peaks, you can take the trek up to the highest point in the city: Camelback Mountain. There are two trails you can take, and both are pretty challenging despite the well-kept trails. Expect to spend a few hours for the entire hike. The top is worth it—you’ll get awesome views all year and even butterflies in the spring! Here’s a local tip: the parking for Camelback is very confusing. Don’t get frustrated! For the southern trail, you just park on the street in the neighborhood. At the northern trail, there is a small parking lot that fills up quickly.
Of all the museums in Phoenix, the best is Heard Museum. There aren’t many other museums like this anywhere! It is dedicated entirely to Native American history with a focus on Arizona tribes. You’ll get a whole new view of Arizona Natives’ experience and learn many interesting facts about Native history. Every tribe has contributed a display to the museum, so you can get a broad range of perspectives.