Do you need Arizona Vacation Ideas as you plan your trip to Arizona? Looking for what to do this weekend in AZ? Our Arizona Travel Guide blog features the best things to do in Arizona!
You’ll find plenty of ideas for the perfect Arizona Vacation, curated by our Arizona Travel Experts and Writers. We know Arizona’s hidden gems and can’t wait to share our ideas with you! Arizona KEY has answered Travelers’ question — “How do I plan my trip?”.
Showcasing pre-planned Arizona vacation ideas and itineraries — outdoor adventures, perfect romantic getaways, and everything in between! You can even watch our KEY Videos of Arizona to Put Yourself There!
TravelCrog showcases some of Arizona’s Most Memorable Experiences. So go ahead, start making those memories of a lifetime! We look forward to having you in Arizona, and we are positive you will fall in love with everything Arizona has to offer. Welcome to the Grand Canyon State!!
It can be hard to figure out all the things to do in Arizona this weekend or during your next visit due to the sheer wealth of options – but we have you covered.
1. MIM – MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM
RATED THE #1 ATTRACTION IN PHOENIX ON TRIPADVISOR
Experience music as never before at the world’s only global musical instrument museum.
“I am supremely inspired and overwhelmed by MIM.” – Carlos Santana.
Music comes from deep in the heart. In every country, in every culture, it gives voice to the human spirit, expressing both joys and sorrows in a common language that knows no borders. Until now, no museum has celebrated this rich diversity of music in one place.
The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, is a museum-like no other. Founded to bring together the world’s music on a scale never seen before, it inspires visitors through its extensive displays and immersive experience. MIM is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and sharing musical instruments and music from every country in the world.
MIM VIDEOS: PUT YOURSELF THERE
“MIM is my favorite museum in the world. Everyone needs to see it.” – Tony Bennett
Music’s beauty and diversity are expressed through the devoted craftsmanship of musical instrument makers worldwide. Their artistry is on display in open exhibits that allow for close encounters with familiar and strange instruments, including many rarely seen.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the experience using the wireless guide PORT system that connects them with the instruments’ sight and sound on display.
MIM MUSIC THEATER
Instruments come to life in the magnificently designed Music Theater, a state-of-the-art venue for all music types. Performers worldwide take audiences on a journey to different lands in an intimate and acoustically superb setting.
From the African kora and the classical violin to jazz, rock and roll, and gospel, the world’s musicians are equally at home on MIM’s stage. A thriving destination for music, the MIM Music Theater is the region’s musical passport.
“This Theater and this Museum are second to none.” Allen Bailey, Founder, Harlem Gospel Choir
MIM ARTIST GALLERY
In the Artist Gallery, guests can view the treasured instruments and artifacts of musical masters – from George Harrison’s first Rickenbacker guitar and the last guitar Elvis played in concert, to costumes and props from Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” tour.
MIM EXPERIENCE GALLERY
The adventure continues in the Experience Gallery, where guests of all ages can play instruments from around the world. All are invited to pluck, strum beat, and bang as they experience first-hand the joy of making music.
MIM invites all to discover the rich diversity of the world’s music, experience the sounds and stories of music from every corner of the earth, and share in this sustaining gift of humanity.
“MIM is a new American treasure. It’s like walking into the soul of mankind.” David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet
MIM – the World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum
MIM HOURS AND VISITOR INFO
Museum admission includes the use of user-friendly wireless headsets to enjoy MIM’s galleries. Guests are welcome to bring their own personal headphones for use during their visit. Thanks to Arizona’s Museum admission of being a geological hotspot, some of the best things to do in Arizona is to check out the art and music.
TIP: Many guests spend nearly four hours at MIM. Please allow plenty of time to enjoy the MIM galleries and amenities fully.
Hours and prices are subject to change. Please call 480.478.6000 for more information or visit the website.
Sunday–Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Labor Day 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Veterans Day 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day Closed
Christmas Day 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
2. Pink Jeep Tours
Pink Jeep Tours is the longest-running and the largest off-road adventure company in the United States. Since 1960, hundreds of thousands of passengers have headed into the high-desert outback, witnessing spectacular places they could never have imagined.
Over the last five decades, it is unimaginable how many miles Pink Jeep Tours has logged. With over 200 miles of dirt roads that crisscross Red Rock country, every trail, every turn and dip in the road, each low-gear climb up a protruding rock face, and every hiking trek through pristine juniper forest…each has a story to tell.
If you’re looking to see Sedona like never before, let Pink Jeep Tours guide you to new heights and widen your perspective to the most beautiful views in the southwest. A Pink Jeep Tour is synonymous with experiencing Sedona and continues to provide visitors with their longest-lasting impression of the red rock country. You Gotta Do It!
Pink Jeep Tours Videos: Put Yourself There
Popular Pink Jeep Tours – Things To Do in Arizona
Broken Arrow Tour
See all Outdoor Activities Best Seller Sonoran Desert Jeep Tour. This is Pink Jeep Tour’s most popular off-road tour in Sedona. You will see Sedona’s famous red rock formations like Submarine Rock, Chicken Point, Mushroom Rock, Bell Rock, and more. The best part… The heart-pounding descent down The Road of No Return! This thrilling 4×4 adventure is a must-do when visiting Sedona!
Diamondback Gulch Tour
Get ready for an exciting off-road 4×4 adventure that takes you down Sedona’s most rugged trails. The Diamondback Gulch Tour snakes you through Sidewinder Trail and the Greasy Spoon for unbelievable views of red rock formations like Lizard Head, Capitol Butte, Chimney Rock, and Doe Mesa. Hold on tight because the main attraction is the Diamondback Gulch itself.
Ancient Ruins Tour
History buffs will love the Ancient Ruins Tour as Pink Jeep Tours takes you back in time on a wild archaeological excursion through a Native American cliff dwelling built in the 12th Century AD. During this tour, you will explore the site on foot, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Tours to the Grand Canyon
Pink Jeep Tours invites you to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon in luxurious comfort. Their custom-built vehicles are equipped with plush leather captain’s chairs and a flat-screen DVD player for the ultimate and grand touring style.
Your professional and knowledgeable guide narrates your journey from start to finish ensuring an incredible Grand Canyon experience. It’s among the top things to do in Arizona!
Pink Jeep Tours Visitor Info
To book a tour with Pink Jeep Tours, please call 800-873-3662 or visit them online. Pink Jeep Tours customer care center is open seven days a week to answer your questions and assist you with your tour reservations. To see more photos and videos of Pink Jeep Tours, be sure to visit their website today.
3. Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Your Best Family Adventure! Bring your family for a day of adventure, education, and face-to-face interaction with beautiful wild animals. One price covers all regularly scheduled shows and tours at Out of Africa Wildlife Park.
Share kisses with the affectionate giraffe, Kibo or Pilgrim. Or count the stripes on the growing family of zebra, including Diligence, the herd leader. Don’t forget to stop at the full-flight Aviary, home to more than 100 beautiful birds.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park® is home to hundreds of animals, including big cats like lions, tigers, and leopards, along with hyena, sable antelope, ostrich, and many more exotic creatures that occupy our 104-acre preserve. They’ve developed exciting tours and shows to help you enjoy the park.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park Video:
Put Yourself There
African Bush Safari
The African Bush Safari is an authentic African photo safari, narrated by expert guides where visitors encounter giraffes, zebra, gemsbok, sables, and other hooved animals. In the wilderness preserve, park guides provide educational tours on trams. Visitors may also take their time and walk the preserve. The park features photo platforms throughout the park with unobstructed views of the predators.
Shows at Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Predator Feed is not to be missed! On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 3:00 p.m., follow animal caretakers as they feed 800 pounds of raw meat to eagerly waiting for carnivores.
The Giant Snake Show
The Giant Snake Show happens at 2:15 p.m., Monday through Sunday, and features a giant anaconda, python, or boa constrictor.
Tiger Splash™ is the most popular show ever at Out of Africa Wildlife Park! Tigers and caretakers play and swim in a 2,000-seat arena daily at 1:15 p.m.
Behind the Scenes VIP Tours available for an additional fee. An owner or expert caretaker conducts the tour. Reservations are required.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park Hours & Visitor Info
Out of Africa Wildlife Park is Open 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas day
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Admission closes at 4 p.m.)
For more information, please call 928-567-2840 or visit the website.
VISITOR TIP: We suggest you allow at least five hours to experience all the shows, tours, and exhibits that the park has to offer.
4. Arizona Scenic Tours – Plan Your Adventure!
Arizona Scenic Tours provides day trips and multiple day tours to many of the best sites in Arizona and the Southwest. The tours include pick-up and drop-off at many locations in the Phoenix area.
Whether visiting a Phoenix-area hotel or resort or staying with friends, you can be picked up at your choice of locations. The tour vehicle will have cold soft drinks and bottled water available to you.
The tour itineraries are flexible and can be planned based on your touring desires. Whatever interests you most is where we can focus the day. Scenic drives, historic spots, outdoor activities, galleries, shops & dining, or a combination of everything.
There is a DVD System in the small group tour vehicles, so children can bring along their cartoons and favorite DVDs or choose from our library of movies to keep them entertained on the longer stretches of road.
Arizona Scenic Tours offers day trips to many locations throughout the state. Sedona, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Prescott, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Jerome, and Tombstone are just a few.
The majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon. The unique views of Sedona, Lake Powell, and Monument Valley. The rough and tough history of Prescott, Tombstone, and Jerome. We offer single-day tours to any Arizona destinations that interest you.
Have a bit more time and want to see more? We’ll design a multiple-day excursion based on your sightseeing desires, and we’ll make all of the arrangements for you! Stay in a Bed & Breakfast in Bisbee…… a historic hotel in Flagstaff…… or a resort in Sedona….. whatever level of accommodations you desire, we’ll get it done for you!!
Arizona Scenic Tours – How to Book Your Tour
To book a tour with Arizona Scenic Tours, please visit the website at www.arizonascenictours.com for more information, or call today at 480-459-7144. With Arizona Scenic Tours, you are in control of your tour!
5. Spa at Sedona Rouge
Luxury Spa in Sedona
The Spa at Sedona Rouge, set apart from the main hotel, is an oasis of relaxation and pampering. The Spa offers a vast array of luxury facilities and treatments, focusing on caring for the body, centering the mind, and connecting with the spirit, all in a dramatically beautiful setting.
Specializing in individually crafted treatments, the Sedona Rouge Spa offers various massages, body treatments, and facials. Some of the unique body treatment options include the Sedona Rouge Shea Butter Cocoon Wrap, the Desert Clay Body Mask, an Ayurvedic Samadhi treatment based on traditional Eastern Indian theory.
And several divine couples treatments such as the Pas de Deux, a bathing ritual that allows couples to experience the magic of giving and receiving, and other custom couples massages and treatments. Massages range from traditional Swedish massage to Cranial Sacral massage, Reiki Energy Work, and Reflexology.
Spa at Sedona Rouge Reservations
To make a reservation for the Spa at Sedona Rouge Hotel, please call 928-203-4111 / 866-312-4111 or please visit their website.
6. HOT AIR EXPEDITIONS
THE BEST BALLOON FLIGHT IN PHOENIX FOR 21 YEARS BY FODOR’S TRAVEL
The Sonoran Desert is one of the foremost areas for hot air ballooning in the entire world. Come and see why! Hot Air Expeditions has been rated the “Best Balloon Flight in Phoenix” for 21 years by Fodor’s Travel.
Your journey begins with viewing the balloon’s inflation, where you will first get a glimpse of how large these gentle giants are up close and personal! Upon the inflation conclusion, your pilot will whisk you away in the basket for your approximate one hour flight.
During the breathtaking journey, you will enjoy floating at different elevations, from up to 5,000 feet in the air for a gorgeous overview of the Sonoran Desert, to within feet of the ground and the giant saguaro cacti that scatter the valley of the sun, to catch a glimpse of local wildlife and plant life. It is very common to see jackrabbits, quail, coyotes, and even javelinas.
Upon landing you are greeted traditionally with flutes of chilled champagne, and almost magically tables with linens and china appear, right in the heart of the desert – a hint to the treatment you are about to enjoy! Post-flight you will enjoy cuisine catered by the award-winning Vincent’s on Camelback, and be presented with flight certificates to take home to commemorate your journey.
Morning flights are available daily, year-round, and afternoon flights are available seasonally from November – March. FAA certified, uniformed, insured. Individuals and groups are welcome, hotel transfers available.
HOT AIR EXPEDITIONS VIDEOS
PUT YOURSELF THERE
HOT AIR EXPEDITIONS: SAFETY IS THE #1 PRIORITY
Your safety is always their number one priority, and Hot Air Expeditions is committed to only flying in safe conditions and balloons. They will not launch a balloon when it is too windy, or in unstable weather conditions. Each Hot Air Expeditions pilot has hundreds of hours of hot air balloon flying experience, as well as a Federal Aviation Administration Certified Pilot’s License. So, rest assured, you are in great hands!
HOT AIR EXPEDITIONS: BOOK YOUR TOUR
To make a reservation with Hot Air Expeditions, please call 480-502-6999 or 1-800-831-7610 or you can visit them online. Morning hot air balloon flights are available daily, year-round, and afternoon flights are available seasonally from November – March. Hotel transfers are available so, be sure to let them know what hotel you are staying at.
7. Stellar Adventures Hummer & ATV Tours
Arizona’s Most Unique Sonoran Desert Tours
Since 1997 Stellar Adventures has specialized in off-road desert adventures. Tame the rugged landscape on an H1 Hummer or Military M1009 (M-10-oh-9) 4 x 4 experience – all powered by BIODIESEL! Experience the thrill of navigating through seasonal creeks, sandy washes, rocky riverbeds, and rugged desert trails on a fully automatic ATV. Choose from a guided ATV tour or explore on your own with a rental.
Test your marksmanship with the Stellar Shooting Experience alongside our NRA Certified Range Safety Officers. Learn to safely shoot a 9mm Glock and an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle. Spot the nocturnal Arizona wildlife on a night-vision adventure.
Or let our professional astronomer take you on a tour of the universe on a breathtaking Stargazing experience. No matter how you take in the Sonoran Desert, let Stellar Adventures help you experience this hidden treasure of the southwest.
Stellar Adventures Videos
Address: ADDRESS IS NOT THE ATV/UTV MEETING LOCATION###, 3102 South Roosevelt Street ###THIS, Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: (602) 402-0584
8. Talking Stick Arizona
A Cultural and Entertainment Destination in Scottsdale
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community proudly welcomes you to Talking Stick: A Cultural and Entertainment Destination. This dynamic destination is conveniently located in the Salt River Indian Community at Indian Bend and the 101 Freeway.
They are just 15 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Scottsdale and Scottsdale Airpark. Talking Stick invites you to shop, stay, play, and dine.
Enjoy a multitude of amenities in an open-air atmosphere and unparalleled panoramic mountain views. See all the amazing places below that are part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Talking Stick Resort
Talking Stick Resort is the premier luxury hotel of the Valley of the Sun. Located in the Salt-River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation in Scottsdale, Arizona, it rises out of the desert landscape with its 200-foot tower. It offers so much to do that you’ll never want to leave.
At the heart of Talking Stick Resort is its world-class gaming. It offers a massive 98,000 square foot casino. With a variety of dining and a luxurious spa, Talking Stick Resort has something for everyone.
The Pavilions at Talking Stick
The Pavilions at Talking Stick is a shopping and entertainment district featuring over 60 retailers including an 11-screen multiplex theater and various restaurants.
It’s also home to the Talking Stick Visitor Center (see below). The Pavilions at Talking Stick also host several family-friendly events like the McDonald’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Car Show every Saturday.
Talking Stick Golf Club
Talking Stick Golf Club features two uniquely distinctive golf courses, both providing excellent options to golfers of all play levels.
Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the North and South courses blend perfectly with their tranquil desert surroundings, providing a serene yet challenging day of golf.
Recognized as a top public golf course by Golfweek magazine, Talking Stick Golf Club boasts the largest public practice facility in the valley to ensure you have the best opportunities to warm-up and practice your swing.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Salt River Fields is the Spring Training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Situated on a 140-acre site, visitors will enjoy panoramic views of some of central Arizona’s most iconic mountain ranges.
Outside of spring, Salt River Fields hosts many other events large and small. From food festivals and concerts to corporate functions and birthday parties, Salt River Fields has something for all.
Butterfly Wonderland is a truly unique destination in the heart of the Talking Stick Community. Home to thousands of butterflies, this amazing facility features a magnificent glass atrium that provides the ideal tropical rainforest habitat for the butterflies.
Kick-off your adventure by watching the Flight of the Butterflies in 3D. Along with the atrium, Butterfly Wonderland includes a 1,800 gallon Touch Tank, interactive insect exhibits, a gift shop, and a cafe.
The Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River is the first Marriott on US Tribal Land and features custom artwork throughout the hotel from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.
Each guest room features a small refrigerator and microwave as well as complimentary wired and wireless internet. At the center of it all is The Bistro, your destination for a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner plus it includes Starbucks and happy hour specials.
Located along the Scottsdale/101 corridor, it’s right in the heart of the Talking Stick community. SPECIAL EVENT: Every Friday you can enjoy a variety of Food Trucks at the Talking Stick Food Trucks Roundup that takes place at the Courtyard Marriott October through April.
Topgolf is the premier golf entertainment complex and the ultimate venue for fun. Players hit microchipped golf balls at targets on an outfield. Just picture a larger-than-life-sized outdoor dartboard – but for golf. And for a little friendly rivalry, the high-tech balls instantly score each shot’s accuracy and distance.
Topgolf offers a food and drink menu that would put any sports bar to shame. No golf skills are required to have fun at Topgolf!
Talking Stick Visitor Center
The Talking Stick Visitor Center is located at the Pavilions shopping center near YC’s Mongolian Grill, and features an area concierge service, a mini-museum display from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, information on all the tourism entities located in the Talking Stick area, and monthly art, dance and/or traditional food demonstrations. For more information, please call 480-362-2700 or visit their website.
9. MacDonald’s Ranch
Best Horseback Rides in Phoenix / Scottsdale
MacDonald’s Ranch is the premier horseback riding stable in the valley of the sun. Located in the tranquil Sonoran Desert just north of Phoenix in Scottsdale, Arizona. MacDonald’s Ranch offers activities for individuals, small parties, large conventions or corporate gatherings.
Choose from guided Horseback rides, Hayrides & Cowboy Cookouts, Stagecoach Rides, and also available are many varieties of Entertainment. Find out the Top 3 reasons why they are the best place for horseback rides in Phoenix. Read Below!
MacDonald’s Ranch Videos: Watch and get a sneak peak
MacDonald’s Ranch: Top 3 Reasons they are the Best Place for Horseback Rides in Phoenix
LONG HISTORY & DEVOTION TO THEIR HORSES
From the beginning, MacDonald’s Ranch was a horse and cattle ranch in the late 1950s. The Richardson Family is still working that land to this day. MacDonald’s Ranch is devoted to their horses ensuring each horse is in its top condition.
They breed the horses themselves so that they develop their gentle behavior. The herd is a combination of mares and colts, and their studhorse “El Tivo” makes sure they have new offspring every year.
All of the babies are born on a desert pasture; which allows them to grow up healthy naturally, develop great bone structure, and learn about the desert from day one.
It is this upbringing that makes them used to the desert vegetation and the unpredictable desert climates.
CATER TO YOUR RIDING ABILITY
No matter what your riding ability may be, just tell the wranglers how much riding experience you have and they will choose a horse you will enjoy based on your riding ability.
Even if you have never ridden a horse before, they have the right mounts for you! Private rides are also offered for experienced riders and other levels as well.
Whether it is just your close family and friends with a wrangler to enjoy the scenery; or if you would like to take the time to get more comfortable on a horse without the company of other riders, then they recommend a private ride.
THE GORGEOUS SCENERY
MacDonald’s Ranch is located in the tranquil Sonoran Desert just north of Phoenix in Scottsdale. You will enjoy the peaceful, scenic, and serene Sonoran Desert as you ride the trail. Towering cactus, desert flora, and gorgeous mountain views will have you smiling during your entire horseback riding adventure.
MacDonald’s Ranch: Special Events & Activities
MacDonald’s Ranch offers activities for individuals, small parties, large conventions, or corporate gatherings. Choose from guided Horseback rides, Hayrides & Cowboy Cookouts, Stagecoach Rides, and also available are many varieties of Entertainment.
MacDonald’s Ranch Annual Pumpkin Patch
Every October, MacDonald’s Ranch features their Pumpkin Patch, an annual tradition in Scottsdale enjoyed by locals and visiting families every year! The Pumpkin Patch features a petting zoo, hay maze, panning for gold, hayrides or train rides to the pumpkin patch, pedal cars for kids, and much more! Visit their website for the latest information.
Stagecoach Rides & Cookouts
Enjoy the scenic stagecoach ride followed by breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The stagecoach is an intimate setting that is ideal for small groups, so get your family together, your co-workers, or just a group of friends and go on a picturesque ride at MacDonald’s Ranch! See the hawks, owls, and coyotes while they roam through the beautiful desert flora! Your 45 minute to 1-hour ride will end at the Headquarters site where your meal will be waiting for you! This is a great activity for groups of 8 to 12.
MacDonald’s Ranch Visitor Info
MacDonald’s Ranch is located in the tranquil Sonoran Desert just north of Phoenix in Scottsdale, Arizona. They are close to all modern conveniences, minutes from most Valley resorts, hotels, and airports, easily accessible. Please visit their website or call today for an experience you will never forget – 480-585-0239.
10. Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art
Recently Named “25 Best Galleries in America!”
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art is one of the largest fine art galleries in the world. For the past fifteen years, Exposures International Gallery has earned a reputation as a national trendsetter.
The owners and creators, Marty and Diane Herman are passionate about presenting art with honesty, integrity, and love.
They have perfected the unique paradox of maintaining the feeling of a family-owned business while presenting sophistication on par with the finest art museums in the world.
Marty and Diane’s approach, along with their professional art consultants and management staff, is to add a personal touch to the task of viewing and choosing artwork for the home or office, whether indoors or outdoors, private or commercial, small maquettes or monuments.
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art: Watch a Video
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art: Visitor Info
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art is located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. For customer service, please call 1-877-ART-SITE (278-7483)
Hours of Operation:
7 days a week
10:00am – 5:00pm
They are closed on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and New Year’s Day.
11. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Get Immersed in the Story of the American West
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West celebrates the art, history, culture, and unique stories of the 19 states comprising the American West. The rotating exhibitions feature hundreds of Western artworks, rare historic artifacts, and cultural treasures on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutions.
The contemporary, 43,000-square-foot building is an architectural gem that meets the highest standards for sustainability and conservation of natural resources. Visitors also will enjoy the beautiful outdoor sculpture courtyard, museum store, and inspirational film “Spirit Is.”
Scottsdale Museum of the West Videos
Scottsdale Museum of the West Exhibitions
Current exhibitions include “Inspirational Journey: The Story of Lewis and Clark Featuring the Artwork of Charles Fritz.” Through 100 paintings, bronze sculptures, and informative video kiosks, the Corps of Discovery journey and the expedition members’ individual stories are brought to life.
The A.P. Hays Spirit of the West Collection features hundreds of quintessentially Western items from the 1,200-artifact collection. This includes authentic Old West badges, spurs, firearms, cowboy gear, and saddles.
Other exhibits include Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Martin Grelle, Paul Calle, and Lindsay Scott. A selection of rare Navajo Chief’s blankets, plus Kit Carson’s pistol and leather message pouch are also on view.
Nov. 7, 2015, through May 31, 2016, the museum will present the “Cowboy Artists of America: 50th Anniversary Exhibition.” This retrospective exhibition will feature one artwork by every artist who has ever been a member of the Cowboys Artists of America.
Downtown Scottsdale’s Arts District
Located in downtown Scottsdale’s arts district, Western Spirit is within easy walking distance of numerous art galleries and restaurants.
Nearby attractions include Old Town Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale Stadium (Cactus League Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team), the Scottsdale Waterfront, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Scottsdale Museum of the West Hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:
9:30 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
12. Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
Doing Time at Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
In 1876, seven inmates built a prison in the desert in southwestern Arizona. Today, the foundation they built still stands and it offers you a glimpse into Arizona’s unique history. It’s Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park and it’s well worth a stop on your next Arizona vacation.
The prison was operated for 33 years and in that time it gained a fearsome reputation. It housed a total of over 3,000 inmates. The inmates were mostly men but counted about 30 women among their ranks.
Many of them were notable criminals like gunslinger Pete Spence and stagecoach robber Pearl Hart. Their crimes were various, ranging from larceny and polygamy to cold-blooded murder. Today, the prison is a living museum of the Old West.
Despite its fearsome reputation and desolate environs, the prison was quite humane. In fact, it was a model of modernity in its time. It had electricity, running water, and flush toilets, which were unheard of in prison institutions at the time.
Some people even referred to it as “The Country Club on Colorado.”
Things only got inhumane when prisoners acted out. Once captured, Escapees were put into an old-fashioned ball and chain to ensure they wouldn’t be running again any time soon. Violent inmates were kept in a solitary room, known as “the darkroom,” a part of the facility so eerie that many modern-day visitors don’t even want to enter it.
Doing Time in Yuma
Today, the prison has been rebuilt and refurbished to give you an idea of what it really felt like to be inside its four walls back in its heyday. The main gate at the front is the only original adobe structure that still stands. But a walk through its hallways and cells gives you a feeling of actually being there.
In addition to tours through the facility, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park is full of educational information about the prison, its inmates, and old Arizona. The exhibits are exhaustively detailed. There is no lack of information here. The exhibits bring the prison to life.
Things to Do at Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
The park’s entrance fee is extremely reasonable, especially considering that it’s an attraction where you can easily spend an afternoon. There are guided tours where you can learn about the prison or take a self-guided tour and experience it yourself.
Several events are held at the park. There’s a regular gun show where actors dress up and shoot it out. The gun show has a full storyline with an ending that will surprise you. It’s especially fun for kids. The Old West reenactment event Gathering of the Gunfighters is also held here.
Once you’ve toured the prison, there are many other things to do here. You can walk around the prison cemetery. No inmates were executed here, but 111 died while serving time. There is also a hiking trail, picnic area, and gift shop.
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park offers a truly unique Arizona experience and it’s conveniently located near other southern Arizona attractions. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
13. Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park Offers a Look at Frontier Life
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park shows you what it was like to live in Arizona in the 19th Century. It also offers a quick getaway from hectic modern life, where you can enjoy the desert beauty and history when it was a simpler time.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River, Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park is an important place in Arizona history. In the 1870s, this was a major supply center. Goods were shipped here from the Gulf of California to be distributed to various areas in the Southwest.
At the gulf, goods were loaded onto steamboats that then traveled up the river to Yuma. Supplies were unloaded here and then shipped to other points in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada, either along the river or overland in wagons pulled by 20-mule teams.
At any given time, the depot was supposed to hold six months’ worth of supplies so that the southwest regiments could weather any problems they faced.
Goods stored at the depot included food, clothing, ammunition, and basically anything else the soldiers and citizens might need. Today, the park is quiet and serene, but the depot at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park was a bustling scene of much activity in its heyday.
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historical Park consists of winding paths that make their way through nine acres of rebuilt buildings.
Of the five original buildings still standing here, four have been turned into museums that house the exhibits on display. The result is a walk through history that offers a lot to see.
The exhibits in the museums teach you about a variety of aspects of area history. You’ll find exhibits about the Colorado River’s mighty steamboats and the famous mule wagon trains used to ship goods in the storehouse.
The depot quartermaster’s house contains a reconstruction of the depot back in its day, along with displays about the weather and telegraph stations built here.
But the commanding officers’ quarters give you a real feel for what it was like in its heyday. The interior of the quarters is reconstructed to look just as it would’ve back in the 1870s.
In addition to the corral house, with its biological exhibit of the various fish found in the Colorado River, there are also many outdoor exhibits including a steam boiler, an encampment of wagons, and a reservoir built entirely of stone.
Things to Do at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
In addition to the exhibits and recreations, there are many other things to do at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. The area is very scenic and presents many photo opportunities.
There’s a hike of the area with many views of the Colorado River, as well as a picnic area. Events, entertainment, and workshops are sometimes held at its stage and amphitheater.
There are many reasons to visit Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park and experience its glimpse at Arizona history. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
14. Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
Things to Do at Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
Verde River Greenway State Natural Area is a stretch of pristine natural beauty that follows the Verde River as it cuts through North Central Arizona near Cottonwood. Here are three reasons you should check out the park during your next Arizona visit.
1. Activities for the Whole Family
There is plenty to do at Verde River Greenway State Natural Area for the entire family. The park is known for its canoeing, picnicking, fishing, and laid-back good times wading in the cool water.
Rafting, kayaking, and swimming are especially popular. The river, which flows along gently all year round, is the perfect venue for all of these fun activities and the dense foliage along the riverside provides the perfect backdrop.
2. Lush Forests and Pristine Beauty
You don’t need to participate in any of the area’s activities to enjoy the park fully. Its lush riparian forests offer plenty of natural beauty and fresh air for nature lovers.
There are hiking trails that wind through the park where you can enjoy the terrain. The elevation of 3,300 feet gives it mild temperatures throughout the summer that make its hikes a pleasure.
The river itself is gorgeous. It’s one of Arizona’s last free-flowing rivers. It offers a rare sound here in the dry high country – the gentle music of a trickling stream. Another thing that’s rare here in Arizona is the seasons.
Verde River Greenway State Natural Area changes with the seasons, offering seasonal colors and changing plant life all year round.
3. Sport Fishing
Along the river, you’ll find plenty of excellent spots for casting from Tuzigoot Bridge all the way down to Camp Verde. The river is full of all kinds of fish, the most common of catfish, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass.
In the winter, Arizona Game & Fish stocks the river with trout at several locations.
Things to Do at Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
There are many things to do at Verde River Greenway State Natural Area in addition to the water fun, hiking, and fishing. The area has an abundance of wildlife and plant species.
Animals that call the park home include coyotes, mule deer, raccoons, beavers, hawks, toads, and more. There are also around 20 threatened or endangered species that you can see. These include bald eagles and river otters.
The park’s special programs are especially popular. Special programs are held throughout the year and they include the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival, Verde River Days, Verde River Clean-up, and weekly ranger-led hikes all year except the winter.
The Verde River Greenway State Natural Area isn’t just a great place to visit when you’re looking for things to do in Arizona. It’s actually a very important area for the preservation of nature.
The 180-mile long Verde River is an important resource for Arizona, providing a large wildlife population and wild riparian area. When you enjoy the park, you can see nature at work.
Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
15. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Experience Spanish Colonial History at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is a tiny gem located in southern Arizona. Most people don’t even know that this park with its living history is hiding here, tucked away 45 miles south of Tucson. But if you’re interested in Arizona and the Old West’s history, this is a great place to visit.
A Glimpse of Spanish Colonial History
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park offers a unique glimpse into Spanish colonial history. The settlement here was the oldest Spanish fort and the first European settlement in all of present-day Arizona.
It was originally built as a Spanish mission. After an uprising among the natives, the desperate and panicked Spanish built the mission to control and ultimately convert the natives to their old-world religion.
The settlement was originally called Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac. It was official in 1752, although Spanish settlers began moving into the area as early as the 1730s. At Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, you can get a look at the earliest days of European settlement in Arizona and the new world.
Things to See at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
The most interesting part of Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is its underground archaeological exhibition. This part of the park was first excavated in 1974 by archaeologists from the University of Arizona, who found the presidio’s original foundation deep in the earth. You can enter this underground area and see the original foundation for yourself.
There are many other things to see at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park as well. There is a preserved schoolhouse that was originally built in 1885.
It still contains desks, chalkboards, a potbelly stove, and more. Another historic building to check out is Otero Hall, a public building built in 1914 after the Arizona Territory became a state. Near the park, you can also see St. Ann’s Church, which was built over the ruins of Iglésia de Santa Gertrudis.
2,000 Years of Arizona History
If you visit Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and see the ruins and old buildings, don’t forget to stop and check out the museum.
The museum offers exhibits and information about every era of the park, including the pre-Spanish native inhabitants and their history, the Spanish colonial era, its time as part of the Mexican Republic, and its incorporation into Arizona Territory and the United States. As a result, the museum covers nearly 2,000 years of the area’s history.
People visit Tubac Presidio State Historic Park for its vibrant history, but there’s also natural beauty to be enjoyed here as well. The park is set in a beautiful rolling grassland landscape on the Santa Clara River’s rugged banks.
If you’re into hiking, you can enjoy a part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
Near the park is the trailhead of the Tubac-to- Tumacácori portion of the trail. You can go hiking on your own or enjoy group nature walks.
When you visit, be sure to spend some time in the area enjoying all that it has to offer. There are events and educational programs here that showcase desert wildlife, architecture, local food, arts and crafts, and more.
16. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park – One of Arizona’s Best Kept Secrets
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a tiny park, tucked away in a hidden valley obscured by a forest of towering pines. One of Arizona’s little known secrets, it’s an excellent park to visit during your Arizona trip. Here are three reasons to check out Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
1. A Bridge Built by Nature
The Tonto Natural Bridge State Park gets its name from its most famous and impressive feature – a massive limestone bridge formed by rock, wind, and time.
The bridge at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge globally. “Travertine” means that it’s made of limestone deposited by mineral springs.
The bridge, which stands 183 feet over the gently flowing Pine Creek, was thousands of years in the making. It truly makes you feel like a tiny spec in the grand scheme of things.
Under the bridge, in the canyon lined with grottoes and springs, is a 400-foot long tunnel, which is 150 feet wide at its widest point.
2. Beautiful Canyon Hikes
The canyons here are steep and much of the area is inaccessible. But there are hiking trails located throughout the park that allow you to get a closer look. Some trails take you up to the bridge and offer a scenic look down into the canyon. Other trails take you through its massive tunnel. There’s one trail that takes you to Waterfall Cave, another interesting feature of the park.
The trails at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park offer hours of exploration of the canyon and the bridge.
3. A Look at Arizona History
Humans, not wind and limestone made another attraction at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. This is the Gowan family lodge. The Gowans were the original owners of the land before it became a state park. Their historic lodge is preserved here on a flat, grassy area near the bridge.
The lodge, which is accessible by one of the park’s easiest and shortest trails, offers a glimpse into an earlier time in Arizona history. This is also where you’ll find the gift shop.
The Natural Beauty of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Whether you’re exploring the trails or checking out the lodge, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park offers stunning desert beauty. There are two sides to the valley and they receive different amounts of sunlight.
As a result, each has its own unique vegetation. The valley has a variety of wildlife as well. Many bird species call the park home and birdwatching is a popular activity here.
There is no campground here but there are plenty of places to enjoy the afternoon. There are picnic tables, a recreation area, a dining room at the lodge, and a ramada.
There are some places where you can swim in the creek. The park also offers educational programs where you can learn more about the area’s nature and history.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is only an hour from Phoenix and close to some of Arizona’s best camping. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
17. Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
Get a Glimpse of History at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
Tombstone, Arizona, is the “Town Too Tough To Die.” It earned this nickname because of its violent past, but it also reveals something else true about the town – It’s still here after all these years, offering Arizona travelers a glimpse into the state’s Wild West past.
At the center of the town is Tombstone Courthouse State, Historic Park. Here are three reasons to make this attraction a stop on your next southern Arizona trip.
Experience the History of Arizona
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is alive with history. Walking through its old courtroom, you get a sense of what life was like during the old west.
This town swelled to 10,000 people in just ten short years. They came here looking for an opportunity but many of them faced their fate in this very courthouse.
When you look out the courtroom windows you can see the swinging gallows, which shows you just how close justice and death were.
If you’re an Old West history buff, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is a definite must-see. Your trip to see the town where the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral took place would be incomplete without looking inside the old courthouse.
Old West Historical Exhibits
The courthouse was built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross. It housed the local government and the town jail. Now, it’s been turned into a museum that’s packed full of exhibits about the area’s history.
Exhibits include a preserved sheriff’s office, artist drawings of the fabled gunfight, images of Wyatt Earp, a saloon and gaming room, exhibits about the mining of the area, and lawyer’s offices that are perfectly preserved.
There are also exhibits that show you what everyday life was like for the citizens of Tombstone.
Learning about the Old West
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is a great place to learn about Tombstone and all of the Old West. You can experience what it was like to be alive back then in the early days of Arizona. It offers an excellent opportunity for people of all interests and ages.
Things to Do in Tombstone Arizona
In addition to the exhibits in the courthouse, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park also has a gift shop full of things to take home, as well as two shaded picnic areas where you can relax or enjoy a meal.
If you decide to visit the park, make sure that you make time to see the rest of Tombstone’s town as well. There is a great deal to see and do here. You can experience its history by strolling down Allen Street, the main drag that was once teeming with fortune seekers and outlaws.
There is a whole array of tours that teach you about the history of the town. They include mine tours, coach tours, walking tours, ghost tours, and more.
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is a great destination for anyone interested in what the Old West was really like. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
18. Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Experience the Beauty of Arizona at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is a scenic park that surrounds Patagonia Lake State Park and offers the best natural beauty Arizona has to offer. Here are three reasons why Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is a great stop on your Arizona vacation.
Seven Vegetative Communities
What makes Sonoita Creek State Natural Area unique is its seven types of vegetative communities. You can see everything from semi-desert grassland to humid deciduous forest at this one park, and some of the trails wind through several different types.
The sheer variety of natural beauty you can see here is amazing. Each type of community has its own unique flora and fauna, and you can learn about them here at the park.
An Arizona Mountain Stream
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is home to one of Arizona’s few permanently flowing streams. The water comes down from the peaks of Mt. Wrightson, which is 9,000 feet above sea level.
The creek is fed by the winter snow and summer rain that collects there. You can rarely enjoy the sound of a trickling stream in southern Arizona, and this is one of the reasons so many people visit the park.
A Wide Array of Plant and Animal Life
With its many types of natural communities, the park offers a great deal to see wildlife and plant life. It’s one of southern Arizona’s best parks for birdwatching with over 300 bird species, many of which you can see only here.
A number of bird species that call the park home are endangered and very rare. There are also many fish, butterflies, and mammals.
The variety of plant life you can see in the park is also incredible. Commonly seen plant species include Huachuca water umbel, Santa Cruz beehive cactus, and Santa Cruz striped agave. Some of the trees in the park’s forests are among the oldest and largest in all of Arizona.
The Best Camping in Arizona
Many visitors choose to stay in the park for several days to enjoy all it has to offer. Sonoita Creek State Natural Area has some of the best comping in Arizona, but it’s rough and rugged.
The park has just three camping sites available and you have to hike into them. They’re near the trailhead and put you right in the middle of the natural beauty.
More Things to Do at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
The natural beauty is the main reason people visit Sonoita Creek State National Area but there is even more to do than enjoy nature walks.
Sonoita Creek was one of the first parks in the state and it has historic and cultural relics you can see on your visit. One trail in particular, the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad Trail, takes you by the old railroad used to run through the area.
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is close to the state’s major wine regions. Southeastern Arizona is dotted with small wineries where you can enjoy the local wine Arizona produces.
The park is also close to Tucson and other Arizona attractions. Click here for unique things to do at Arizona State Parks!
19. Slide Rock State Park
If you want some relief from the hot Arizona sun, why not enjoy the ice-cold waters of Slide Rock State Park? The park is like a natural water park right in the middle of the beautiful high desert country near Sedona. Here are three reasons why you should check it out.
1. Mother Nature’s Water Slide
Folks travel all over Arizona in the sunny summertime to throw themselves down human-made water slides, but here is one provided by Mother Nature herself. As Fodor’s Travel says, “There’s pretty much one reason and one reason only to visit Slide Rock State Park, seven miles north of Sedona: to slip down the smooth, red-sandstone water slide and be carried over the surface by a cooling creek into the swimming hole below.”
Of course, there’s more to do here, but the slide is the main attraction. After all, the park is named after it. Slide Rock is a stretch of slippery creek bottom that’s so well suited for the human behind that it’s a wonder some early explorer to the area didn’t cut it out of the rock for us to enjoy.
2. Water Fun in the Sun
However, there actually is much more to Slide Rock State Park than just the Slide Rock. There is a big swimming area of the creek that you can enjoy on a hot Arizona day. There are also various areas where you can jump into the water and at some of these points, it’s as much as ten feet deep.
Of course, if you’d like a more laid-back time lying around in the sun, that’s also an option. There are plenty of shallow areas where you can dip your toes in while the rest of your body soaks up the sun. Bring snacks and soft drinks because you won’t want to leave.
3. Plenty to Explore
If you can tear yourself away from the water for a little while, there is also fantastic scenery to enjoy. The area is full of little trails to explore and the hiking is easy.
One trail, in particular, goes along the ridge overlooking the swimming areas, offering fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. Exploring the area around the creek, you can easily see why it has been used to set several Hollywood movies.
Natural Beauty and Water Slide Fun
Slide Rock State Park is a little-known Arizona attraction that even many people in the state don’t know about. It’s located close to Sedona, which makes it a convenient place to spend an afternoon. It also offers something a little different; “water fun” isn’t a term usually associated with Arizona.
As you can probably imagine, Slide Rock State Park is extremely popular with kids. If you plan to visit, bring water shoes because the rocks can get slippery and plenty of sun protection. And come early because this park is popular.
20. Patagonia Lake State Park
Patagonia Lake State Park is located in the gently rolling hills of southeast Arizona. It’s one of Phoenix and Tucson folks’ most popular getaways and offers a great place to enjoy out-of-staters’ Arizona vacations. Here are three reasons people love Patagonia Lake State Park.
1. Things to Do at Patagonia Lake
The centerpiece of the park is Patagonia Lake, a pristine 250-acre lake nestled in the hills. The lake offers a wealth of activities including swimming, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating.
Boat rentals are available. It’s also a great spot for fishing. The lake is stocked with crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish.
If you’re making a quick visit to the lake and don’t want to get wet, there’s a nice beach and picnic area where you can enjoy the view.
2. Hiking Patagonia Lake State Park
The park has a 1/2-mile hiking trail that’s perfect for getting views of the lake and the surrounding desert beauty. It’s an easy hike and it takes you through the park to Sonoita Creek.
It includes a very popular birding area where you can see Inca doves, vermilion flycatchers, canyon towhees, black vultures, and other species native to the area. You can also catch glimpses of whitetail deer roaming the hills and great blue herons on the lake.
If you’re up for more hiking, the trail offers access to other trails that wind through the bigger Sonoita Creek State Natural Area.
3. The Serene Sonoran Desert
Beyond the lake, another great reason to visit Patagonia Lake State Park in the Sonoran Desert’s beauty. As you enter the park, you’ll travel through semi-desert grassland with rolling hills covered with scrub oak, yucca, and ocotillo.
While a narrow forest surrounds the lake itself, you’ll find rocky hillsides with yucca and cacti beyond the forest.
Adding Patagonia Lake State Park offers the Best Camping in Arizona
If you want to stay at the park, there are over a hundred campsites in its campground. The sites are spacious and many have their own ramadas. Most offer views of the lake through the spaces in the trees.
Although the park is pristine and rugged, the campsite is paved and offers full services for RVs.
The park is very well-maintained and due to its popularity, upgrades and changes are constantly being made. 12 campsites are only accessible by boat. The campground at Patagonia Lake State Park offers some of the best camping in Arizona.
There is also a picnic area you can enjoy if you’re just stopping for the day. It’s covered to protect you from the sun and easily accessible for disabled travelers.
Patagonia Lake State Park makes a great place to stop on your Arizona trip because it’s located a convenient distance from many other southern Arizona attractions.
You can set up camp at Patagonia and then take day trips to other attractions like Kartchner Caverns or Tombstone’s historic town.
Patagonia Lake State Park is a great place to enjoy a quiet getaway in southern Arizona.
21. Roper Lake State Park
Natural Arizona Beauty at Roper Lake State Park
Roper Lake State Park is a small but gorgeous park located in southeastern Arizona. There’s plenty to do at the park and here are three reasons why it’s worth a visit on your next trip to Arizona.
Natural Hot Springs
Roper Lake State Park offers natural hot springs that are inviting and invigoration. There’s nothing nicer after a long day of hiking than to sit and relax in the hot water. There is an all-natural hot tub where water has been diverted from the springs to a comfortable tub for your enjoyment.
Just how hot are the natural springs at Roper Lake State Park? Temperatures are over 100 degrees. The springs are spacious and relaxing, with the biggest measuring six feet across and several feet deep.
The centerpiece of the park is the lake itself, Roper Lake. The park is built around the lake and there are plenty of activities to enjoy there. There is a boat ramp for boating and the lake allows boats with small motors. Swimming and other kinds of water fun are available.
Roper Lake is also a great spot for fishing. The lake is stocked with bass and trout and there are several fishing docks if you’d rather cast your line there than on a boat. The fishing here is great for kids and beginners as well as seasoned anglers.
Hiking Trails at Roper Lake State Park
Several hiking trails wind their way through the gorgeous Gila River Valley in which the park is located. The trails offer spectacular landscapes and mountain views.
The peaks of the Pinaleño Mountains and the towering Mount Graham offer a scenic backdrop. The trails offer you a chance to see the abundant vegetation that’s native to the area.
One of the best things to do at Roper Lake State Park is birdwatching. The hiking trails offer up-close looks at Gamble’s quail, heron, and other birds. There is a total of five miles of natural trail that wind through the park.
Best Camping in Arizona
The campground at Roper Lake State Park offers some of the best camping in Arizona. You can camp in pristine natural beauty under a canopy of Arizona stars. In addition to campsites, there are also cabins for rent that are clean and very well maintained. The campground staff is friendly and helpful.
If you don’t want to stay in the park, you can make it a day trip. There are picnic areas available and you can enjoy the many trails. In addition to Roper Lake, the park also includes Dankworth Pond, which offers even more fishing, picnicking, and hiking.
Roper Lake State Park offers an excellent getaway with some of the best camping in Arizona. There is plenty to do in and around the lake and it’s close enough to civilization that you don’t have to travel far to enjoy it.
22. Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park
Among the iconic red rocks of Sedona, you’ll find Red Rock State Park, which has some of Arizona’s most beautiful and unique country. Here are three reasons you should make Red Rock State Park a stop on your Arizona vacation.
1. A Symbol of the Southwest
Red Rock Crossing, located in Red Rock State Park, is the most photographed place in all of Arizona. The red sandstone canyon and its Cathedral Rock and other rock formations are iconic symbols of the Southwest.
This makes the area around Sedona a favorite spot for artists and why it has appeared in over 60 Hollywood films.
If you drive south from Flagstaff to Phoenix, you’ll see these towering rock formations like Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. But Red Rock State Park gives you a closer look.
You can enjoy its many hiking trails that wind through the park and give you “off the beaten path” views of the iconic scenery.
2. Alive with Flora and Fauna
The area around Red Rock State Park is a kind of meeting point between two very different climates, the low desert of the Valley of the Sun and the arid high country of Northern Arizona.
As a result, it offers a wide range of flora and fauna. Glimpses of rare wildlife are common and guided tours show you the unique plant life of the area.
The area is full of velvet mesquite, net leaf hackberry, and alligator juniper trees, along with tamarisk, Johnson grass, and tumbleweed.
Wildlife includes cougars, coyotes, mule deer, river otters, and collared peccaries. The birdwatching is especially spectacular here with many kinds of hawks, warblers, vultures, swallows, and more.
3. Easy Access
What’s especially nice about this unique Arizona gem is that it’s so easy to reach from so many places. It’s not even an hour from Flagstaff and only a little more than an hour from the Phoenix area. You can head down here for a side-trip when you’re at the Grand Canyon, and it’s not too far of a drive from Las Vegas as well.
Things to Do at Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park is a nature preserve and environmental education center located near Sedona. The waters of Oak Creek flow through the park, feeding its rich plant and animal life diversity.
The park celebrates the area’s unique natural history, and there are guided tours and other educational activities where you can learn about the area.
The trails are easy to hike and there are plenty of spots for viewing the scenery and snapping pictures. You can also enjoy mountain biking and horseback riding on the park’s many trails
There are hotel accommodations nearby and all of the attractions of Sedona to enjoy. You can take in the park’s hiking trails by the day and spend the evening enjoying one of Sedona’s excellent restaurants or checking out its art galleries. It’s also a great jumping-off point for seeing other sights in Northern Arizona.
23. SHOPS gainey village
Shopping Centers in Scottsdale
Welcome to the SHOPS gainey village, a distinctive blend of one-of-a-kind local boutiques, trendy eateries, and fine dining destinations.
This outdoor shopping district is conveniently located in the heart of Scottsdale at the intersection of Scottsdale Road on Doubletree Ranch Road.
Enjoy the beautiful weather Arizona has to offer while leisurely strolling from shop to shop and discovering an exclusive selection of merchandise not found in any of the large malls!
SHOPS gainey village: Luxury Shopping in Scottsdale
Whether you are shopping for yourself or for others, there is something sure to please everyone. From the incredible selection of fine jewelry and timepieces; handcrafted designer clothing and handbags; casual and evening wear for men and women, luxury bedding and home decor, whimsical handcrafted gifts, designer pet clothes, collars, and toys; to an Italian Market and Mozzarella Bar.
The center’s specialty retailers offer quality and high-end brands such as Venali, Donald J Pliner, 7 for all Mankind and True Religion jeans, Fresh Laundry, Crea, Lauren Vidal, Bryn Walker, and Kiehl’s. Not to mention a selection of gifts and accessories created by American artists and unique souvenir items to remember your stay in Scottsdale.
The winding sidewalks lined with palm trees and flower pots, and café’s and coffee shops throughout evoke the feel of a village. One of the differentiating features of the center is the availability of parking. And should you choose not to walk you can park close to your destination for ease of shopping.
Spend the day leisurely shopping, lunching, and pampering yourself at the salon. And for the brides-to-be, you won’t want to miss the bridal and spa selections with special accommodations for parties and events.
SHOPS gainey village: The Restaurants
Although the shops themselves are not open most evenings the energy of the center continues after dark. From French cuisine to an Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, Thai, Seafood, and Burger bars, visitors can choose from a smorgasbord of restaurants.
Some of the restaurants offer happy hour deals and specialty selections nightly. In addition, a bakery, health-food focused café are also available.
Special Events in Scottsdale at the SHOPS gainey village
Special events at the center include Cars and Coffee in conjunction with the Ferrari Club. Every first Saturday of the month from 8:30 am-10:30 am, guests enjoy coffee and breakfast items while browsing vintage and new Ferrari and Porsche vehicles throughout the center.
Every second Sunday, Gainey hosts an Art Festival featuring local artists, live music, food, sweets from local bakeries as well as drawings for prizes.
SHOPS gainey village Visitor Info
The SHOPS gainey village is located at 8787 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, AZ 85258. It is open from 10:00am – 6:00pm Monday-Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm – 6:00pm. (Tenant hours may vary. Restaurants have extended hours.).
24. Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park consists of two different parks, located on two different mountain ranges on opposite sides of Tucson, Arizona. Marana is the closest city to the western part of Saguaro National Park, while the eastern part of the park is only an hour’s drive away.
Saguaro National Park West is also known as Tucson Mountain Park because it is located in the Tucson Mountains. The western portion of the park covers approximately 25,000 acres and extends from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum at its southern boundary to the town of Marana in its northeast corner.
The eastern portion of Saguaro National Park includes the Rincon Mountains, also known as the Rincon Mountains District.
It is close to two major attractions in southern Arizona, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (a world-renowned zoo and botanical gardens) and Old Tucson, a 1930s film location and the site of many movies and television shows.
Today it’s a charming family-friendly western theme park with things to do for kids young and old.
Interesting facts about the Saguaro cactus
The saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the United States. Saguaros can live up to 200 years (although some sources say they can live even longer).
They grow very slowly, barely an inch a year. A 10 year old plant can be only 5 cm long. Many, but not all, saguaros grow in arms. The saguaro cactus blooms from mid-May to early June.
At the time of our visit on June 12, all the cacti had finished blooming. The inside of the cactus is made of wooden ribs that look like the trunk of a tree.
Above these ribs grows a green, fleshy bark that absorbs and stores water. Cacti absorb liters of water during the summer monsoon and use this stored water during the rest of the year.
We just pick a few places. There are a lot more amazing places and things to do in Arizona. Here are some place recommended by my friend from Arizona:
Some of the top things to do in Arizona is to go and explore the attractions it offers.
Nataliesfinest Says: Lakeside Rock mandala art experience: Looking for a fun experience in person or virtually? Nataliesfinest offers many art classes…rock mandala, acrylic pour, canvas. Also, see below the Airbnb experiences offered
Jessica Burton says: Jerome, Sedona, hiking the Superstition Mountains.
Carolyne Shawn says: Tubac – just north of the border. In our village, we have Tumacácori National Historical Park, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Museum, are located on the Anza Trail that goes from Mexico to San Francisco, the north flowing Santa Cruz River, we’re a top birding destination in the world. Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory – “FLWO”, lakes, a great golf course, so many art galleries, shops, and restaurants too. Check out Tubac Area Events for more info.
Stacey Rogan Says: I know it is closed now but definitely Antelope Canyon. I grew up here and had never heard of it until 2 years ago. A must-do. Hiking to swimming holes along Oak Creek. Also, I think Canyon Lake is a must-do for my pontoon or kayak.
Buddy Duke Says: Hot air balloon off the carefree highway in the am for the sunrise!
Hello, I am Molly Martin. I am from California and have been working in a company that manages money for wealthy people for the past 6 years and decided to leave my job because it wasn’t doing anything for me other than making me feel stuck. So now after going on a trip around the world that made me feel empowered and coming back things weren’t as they used to be at work or anywhere else so I want to change everything again. I left my job six years ago because I wanted to do something for myself and then went on a 3 month trip around the world which not only helped me realize how much more there was out there but also made me feel empowered because it was different than what everyone else does!