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Things To Do In Arizona - Grand Canyon State:

Arizona is an interesting place, although most people think of it as a desert state it actually has a very varied terrain. In the north of the state is the largest ponderosa pine forest in the USA as well as Mount Humphries at well over 12,000 feet elevation. The west of the state has the Colorado river dammed in several places creating Lake Mead, Lake Mohave & Lake Havasu while in the north the Glen Canyon Dam creates the massive Lake Powell just above the Grand Canyon. In the east of the state the White Mountains are an escape from the heat in summer and a snowy scene much of the winter. Its possible to Ski out in the mountains and in the evening be back in Phoenix to swim in the outdoor pool...

The Sonoran Desert of Arizona is not that stereotypical barren desert - its actually surprisingly green (relatively), filled with wildflowers in the spring and most unlike the Sahara!

Of course in Phoenix & Tucson it is usually warm - and in the summer months it is quite brutally hot at times. But at least these desert cities are well accustomed to the heat and well provided for with good air conditioning in homes, cars, shopping malls etc.

It's more comfortable to be in Arizona's expected extreme heat than in a surprise hot spell in Europe!

Things to do in Arizona (our top picks)

   In Phoenix

   Nearby:  (within ~1 hour drive)

   Further A Field: (driving)

   Out Of State Options:

   Restaurants: (by distance)


In Phoenix

Orpheum Theatre,  Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix South Mountain Hikes & Mountain Biking

Rosson House & Heritage Square, Downtown Phoenix

Arizona Science Center, Downtown Phoenix

Arizona Center, Downtown Phoenix

Papago Park Hole in the Rock (a gentle hike)

Encanto Park (charming - old world - family park)

Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix

Phoenix Zoo (especially for the holiday "Zoolights")

Sunsplash Water Park, Mesa, AZ

Big Surf Water Park, Scottsdale, AZ

McCormick Railroad Park & Museum, Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale Civic Mall, Scottsdale, AZ

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Nearby:  (within ~1 hour drive)

Canyon Lake, Dolly Steamboat & Tortilla Flats, AZ

Schnepff Farm, Chandler, AZ

Goldfield Ghost Town, Apache Junction, AZ

Duncan's Family Farms in Goodyear, AZ

Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ

Biosphere II, Oracle Junction, AZ

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Further A Field: (driving)

Montezuma's Castle Indian Ruins (I17 en route to Flagstaff)

Sedona's Red Rock Country & Oak Creek Canyon (hiking etc)

Petrified Forest (wood turned to stone)

Canyon De Chelley (amazing unspoiled Canyon)

Navajo Reservation (largest tribal reservation in USA)

Monument Valley (the real western movie back-drop)

South Rim of the Grand Canyon (lodges/views/hiking)

North Rim of the Grand Canyon (lodges/views/hiking)

Phantom Ranch bottom of Grand Canyon (only way in is to hike/ride)

Havasupai Canyon - spectacular side-canyon of the Grand Canyon

Lee's Ferry & Glen Canyon Dam (tour)

Painted Desert (multi-colored striated rock)

Hualapai - Glass Floored Walkway (>1000m up over Grand Canyon)

Meteor Crater (massive meteor strike crater)

Walnut Canyon (Native American ruins/ cave dwellings)

Sunset Crater (Volcanic cinder cone)

Wupatki (Native American Ruins)

Colossal Cave near Tucson

Old Tucson Studios, Nr Tucson AZ

Lake Havasu City with London Bridge & Lake Havasu, AZ

Chiricahua NM - amazing Hoodoo formations near Wilcox, AZ

Karchner Caverns, Benson AZ

Casa Grande Ruins NM, near Coolidge, AZ 

Grand Canyon Railroad, Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon South Rim

OK Corral, Birdcage Theater, Tombstone, AZ (the real thing!)

Copper Queen Mine & Lavender Pit Mine, Bisbee, AZ

Morenci Mine - Clifton, AZ  (biggest copper pit in the USA - tours)

Titan II ICBM Silo Museum, Nr Tucson, AZ

Pima Air Museum ('parked' airplanes in the desert?... this is it!)

Tubac, AZ (artist community)

Sunrise Park (Skiing - Apache Reservation) Nr. Show Low, AZ

Snowbowl (Skiing), Nr. Flagstaff, AZ

Mount Lemmon & Ski Valley Nr. Tucson, AZ

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Out Of State Options:

Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Sonora Mexico (~ 5 hrs)

San Diego, CA (~ 5 1/2 hrs)

Palm Springs, CA (~ 4 hrs)

Los Angeles, CA (7 hrs)

Snow Summit Ski Area, Big Bear Lake, CA (~ 6 hrs)

Santa Fe, NM  (8 hours)

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Restaurants: (by distance)

Golden Swan Restaurant - Hyatt Regency Hotel Scottsdale, AZ

Palm Court Restaurant, Royal Palms Hotel, Scottsdale, AZ

Chaparral Room Restaurant, Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, AZ

Mary Elaine's Restaurant, Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

Top Of The Rock Restaurant, Buttes Resort, Tempe, AZ

Teds Hot Dogs, Mesa, AZ

Los Dos Molinos, Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Phoenix

Guedos Taco Shop, Chandler, AZ

Cafe Terracotta Restaurant - Tucson, AZ


Map information for National Parks Etc: Maps

Historic Route 66:

Travel Cyber Route 66 in Arizona

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