Grand Canyon State Park sets the tone for your bucket list adventures in Arizona. But there are also multi-layered canyons, vast deserts, and dense forests that make the state one of the best places to visit in the American Southwest.
Last updated: February 3, 2024
Top 6 Places to Visit in Arizona
Hello, Arizona, the land of the great canyons and deserts! Until recently, this is exactly how I pictured the 14th most popular state in the USA. Images of the barren landscapes with little to no vegetation, endless desert roads, and occasional mountains and hills were rising to the top of my head every time I heard the name of this state. Surely, not very flattering illustrations unless you plan to film a Western.
I’d probably live with these preconceived beliefs about Arizona for who knows how long. But our almost spontaneous road trip to the home of the famous Grand Canyon a few weeks ago completely changed my views.
From the moment we crossed the border of Arizona, the state did not stop to amaze me. I couldn’t help but gaze in awe at its uniquely-shaped sandstone structures and cherish every moment of our journey. Arizona was definitely beautiful, awe-inspiring places to explore here were endless.
If you are like me and feel a little bit skeptical about this state, grant me the pleasure to dispel your views and show you six places you must visit when in Arizona. Before we dive in, though, I’d like to share one valuable advice. A road trip is the best way to explore Arizona. You can drive your own car or use RV Rental Arizona for a convenient “home on wheels” experience.
THE 6 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ARIZONA
1. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, can easily be the single most important reason to visit Arizona. Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon spreads over 277 miles in length, 18 miles in width and is over a mile deep.
This most important attraction of the region takes on the responsibility of representing the whole state. No surprisingly, “Welcome to Arizona, The Grand Canyon State” signs greet you upon your entry whether you drive from California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, or New Mexico.
2. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon, one of the most unusual places in Arizona, is a scenic slot canyon consisting of two stunning sections: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Both of these canyons present unique photo opportunities and can be accessed only via guided tours.
3. Horseshoe Bend
Just 4 miles southwest of Page, another incredible natural wonder astounds all nature enthusiasts visiting Arizona. A horseshoe-shaped meander on the Colorado River, called Horseshoe Bend, is a picture-perfect bucket list destination. The area doesn’t have any admission fee and is free to visit throughout the year.
A short, relatively flat trail starts at a parking lot and takes the hikers all the way to an observation area with spectacular views of the natural wonder below. You can also extend your hike and walk from U.S. Route 89. Make sure you get a ride to this point as parking anywhere along the highway is not allowed.
Looking for a way to enhance your Grand Canyon experience? The Skywalk is the answer to your query. A horseshoe-shaped glass bridge hanging 4,000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon excites and overwhelms at the same time. Seeing the deep chasm under your feet can intimidate even the most experienced travelers.
5. Lake Powell
The second largest man-made reservoir in the United States, Lake Powell in one of the best places to visit in Arizona for those who want to indulge in never-ending vacation activities. From diving to fishing and hiking, the lake knows how to entertain you to the fullest.
6. Hualapai Mountain Park
Hualapai Mountain Park is one of the most protected natural treasures to visit in the northwestern corner of Arizona. Better known as the Sky Island, the Hualapai Mountains are an isolated mountain range surrounded by a vast desert.
The unique landscape of the area not only makes the place look like a green garden in the middle of the desert, but also shapes its diverse flora and fauna. Needles to say, it’s one of a few places in Arizona where you can have snowball fight when the rest of the state already endures excruciating heat.
Final Thoughts on the 6 Best Places to Visit in Arizona
It took me a few visits to see how beautiful and unique Arizona is. Its deep canyons, stunning landscapes, and historic sites impress me beyond my expectations. By sharing with you these 6 bucket list places, I hope I’ve inspired you to embark on your own Arizona adventures.