Top Attractions in Arizona
The Grand Canyon
When it comes to visiting Grand Canyon National Park, there are statistics and there are sights, and both are sure to leave you in awe. With an average width of 10 miles, a length of 277 miles, and a depth of 1 mile, the enormity of the canyon is nearly impossible to fathom. Most choose to view the spectacle from the South Rim, although the North Rim also offers an amazing perspective. Whether exploring the area on foot, by mule, by raft, or by plane, the journey is one worth savoring.
Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert
The Painted Desert takes on hues that range from blood-red to the purest pink throughout the day. View a forest of trees that stood with dinosaurs at the Petrified Forest, as well as ancient dwellings and fossils. The pieces of petrified logs look deceptively like driftwood cast upon an oceanless beach. You can enjoy the entire national park in less than a day and take in a bit of nostalgia with Route 66's vestiges in nearby Holbrook along the way.
Loved for its majestic red rocks, its spiritual energy, and its fantastic resorts and spas, Sedona is unlike any other town in America. The fracturing of the western edge of the Colorado Plateau created the red-rock buttes that loom over Sedona, and this landscape has attracted artists, entrepreneurs, and New Age followers from all over who believe the area contains some of Earth's most important vortexes of energy. Take the active route and explore Oak Creek Canyon and the surrounding area on foot or by bike or Jeep, or indulge in the luxe life at a world-class spa or restaurant.
The West's most Western town, modern Scottsdale is equal parts kitsch and overt opulence. Resorts, spas, and golf can easily absorb an entire vacation. Stroll through art galleries and Western boutiques in Old Town during the day, and discover chic nightlife and fine cuisine at night. The weekly Art Walk and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West are a great introduction to the local artistic scene. Scottsdale is part of the Valley of the Sun, along with Phoenix, Tempe, and some 20 other communities.
The Heard Museum
One of Phoenix's cultural treasures, the Heard proudly features one of the most comprehensive collections of Native American art in the world. Interactive exhibits are alongside a staggering amount of Southwestern pottery, jewelry, kachinas, and textiles. Plus, the museum gift shop is one of the best places in town to find authentic souvenirs worth cherishing.
One of the most familiar sights of Arizona—thanks to dozens of Hollywood productions and the keen eye of Ansel Adams—the fantastic sculpted red-sandstone buttes, mesas, and rock formations of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park are yet another reminder of the abundance of nature's handiwork in the Grand Canyon State. Take a Navajo-guided tour to appreciate the nuances of the area.
Desert Botanical Garden
While there are stellar museums and preserves across Arizona, none is like the Desert Botanical Garden, 150 acres just outside Downtown Phoenix dedicated to the diversity of the desert. With more than 4,000 species of cacti, succulents, trees, and flowers, visitors discover the variety and breadth of this mysterious landscape—all in the comfort of America's sixth-largest city.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's