While there are numerous travel destinations around the world, the distinctive landscapes of Arizona poise a different charm, you probably cannot afford to miss this incredible exploration. It is a unique place with a lot of unique experiences. There are many interesting activities that you can enjoy only in Arizona, and we are going to list down all of them for you. Looking for activities, attractions, and experiences is always a great idea to make sure that you come home with something worthwhile. Read further with us and know more about the best experiences in Arizona.
Things To Do In Arizona Only
1. Ride A Mule Into The Grand Canyon
Mules had been used commonly for transporting visitors from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, moving across the Bright Angel Trail. It would be a guided trail, taking you across skinny rock passageways and steep slopes, including the suspension bridge over the Colorado River. Make sure to grab the most on the trip to Phantom Ranch. It will be a 5.5 hour trip with several places to stop by.
As you reach the base, you will find hot showers, bunk beds, and cabins. Stew or steak is generally served as dinner over a family-style round picnic table. However, this exploration is likely to be quite tiring. Therefore, remember to take a good rest. As the next day begins, steer your mule upwards in the canyon.
2. Bird Cage Theatre, Tombstone
The silver mining bust of the Bird Cage Theatre continues to keep its originality and uniqueness despite the fire of 1882. From 1881 to 1889, this bordello was known to house the "soiled doves," who were women that came far from the East Coast in search of adventure as performer prostitutes. It was the time when Tombstone's streets used to bustle with gunfire and money.
The museum-like parlor is packed with strange relics like poker paraphernalia, mythic merman, and Victorian-era wooden birds. Well, they're quite pricy and private affairs. Most of the tourists wish to go for ghost hunting tours that offer some distinctive experiences.
3. Visit The Restructured Ghost Town Of Jerome
Amid the Black Hills of Yavapai County, perching 5000 feet up the Cleopatra Hill near Sedona, sits Jerome, the old copper mining town. It used to be booming up till 1953when the population here dwindled from 15,000 to 100 faster than one can imagine. This happened after the copper deposits ran dry.
The present population here constitutes of chefs, writers, artisans, and craftspeople. Jerome has now transformed into oenophile's and artists' dream place with various art galleries and places with delectable cuisines. You will love to taste the locally made wine here. Vestiges of the mining period can still be seen in and around the town and streets. Wandering around here would be fun.
4. Explore Sedona's Vortexes
Exploring the crumbling spires, red sandstone buttes, towering mesas, the desert city of Sedona would be one of the most stunning experiences in Arizona. Sedona's vortexes are where the hidden beauty of this place lies. The heightened fields of cosmic energy radiate the earth's power like a tornado. It looks like water swirling down a drain.
This phenomenon here facilitates meditation, prayer, and healing of soul and body. The two-hour drive towards the north seems to be different from the fussy city life and actually "cleaning out" its residues. Visit the four vortex location of Sedona during sunrise or sunset for the best experiences. The subtle variations seen here may look different from different locations. This natural light show would be absolutely enticing.
5. Step Inside The Mission San Xavier Del Bac
The Roman Catholic Priests founded a series of missions when the Spanish colonists started moving northward from Mexico to Arizona, claiming the land for New Spain. This is one of them, in fact, one of the most beautiful out of them. Situated 8 miles towards the south of Tucson, Mission San Xavier Del Bac is a worthwhile visit in Arizona. Most of it has been built by Tohono O'odham people under the orders of Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit explorer.
It has now become a pilgrimage site, witnessing thousands of visitors every year. Exploring the gift shops around you would be a great idea. You would come across silver charms shaped like different body parts like heads, hearts, arms, eyes, etc. These magical charms are known to represent the ailing body part; people buy these and then leave them at the base of the Virgin's statue. The adjacent hilltop is one of the best places to catch up with worthwhile views of the mission.
6. Take Up a Road Trip To Explore "The Thing"
The Mystery of the Desert or The Thing is an interesting museum situated an hour's drive away from Tucson. It has many amazing stories to tell, including the dinosaurs, Winston Churchill, and the aliens. The exhibitions here are really good and the best things to see in Arizona, and you can only believe them when you see them.
The one that asks, "What if we are alone in the universe?" is well known. "The Thing" is a perfect place to finds the lost history of the sideshows that fed macabre curiosities. As the name of the place suggests, you will be able to find answers to various questions like: is it actually true? how did it happen? etc.
7. Visit The Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest American architects of all time, would be an interesting man to know. The American Institute of Architects decided to convert his winter home and studio into the Sonoran Desert. It was built between 1938 and 1940 amid the foothills of Scottsdale's McDowell Mountains following Frank Lloyd Wright's philosophy of "organic architecture."
It has glass walls integrated indoor and outdoor spaces, and the foundation was laid using local stone. Taliesin West now operates as the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture. There are guided tours to explore the building every day.
8. Kitt Peak National Observatory
Holding on to the largest collection of telescopes, Kitt Peak National Observatory is one of the best places to visit in Arizona to explore. It sits on the apex of the 7000-foot Quinlan Mountains. It's just 25 minutes drive away from the base, boasting the most stunning views of Arizona.
However, the telescopes in the Nightly Observing Program seems to be the most intriguing when you could gaze at the starlit sky over the desert and several shooting comets. Except for monsoon, this program can be attended every night. There are various food vending areas owned by the locals. You may request them to offer you a night lunch.
9. Stay At A Haunted Hotel
Hotel Monte Vista had been known as one of the most haunted places on Route 66, Arizona. In downtown, Flagstaff's Heritage Square is the place where Mary Costigan hosted her daily broadcasts. She was the second woman in the world to have issued a radio license.
Planning your stay at one of the places here would be an interesting idea. Monte Vista had been a popular place to stay for prominent stars like Carole Lombard, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Clark Gable. There are many spooky activities witnessed here by visitors.
10. Explore The US Wine Region
With expansive vineyards producing intensely flavored, high-quality wine, Arizona's wine scenes are worth trying. The arid, sunny climate of the States helps in bringing up the best grapes of all times. We suggest you grab some great experiences at the Verde Valley Wine Trail. It has tasting rooms and four different wineries that stretch from Cottonwood to Cornville.
You can also sample the Syrah and Merlots at Oak Creek Vineyards and try the award-winning Zinfandel. The annual Prickly Pear Festival, off the wine trail, is also very interesting. Spend time learning to use the ruby-red cacti fruit at the traditional classes here and taste various drinks and dishes. Lay-back and enjoy local culinary, board games, and views at the self-serving wine bar, GenuWine.
11. All Souls Procession, Tucson
The All Souls Procession in Tucson is held in honor of Día de Los Muertos in Mexico. Although it's not mandatory to put on the traditional skull motif, if you do, it would be fun. You will come across skeleton bird puppets, mariachi bands, bagpipe players, community members and activists marching framed photographs of their loved ones; and the volunteers collecting prayer cards from random passersby.
This march moves forward and reaches a massive four-tiered platform that has a giant urn. The prayers are put to fire here, and the written prayers are released. During this time, various aerial performances are held, and drummers ring out and sing. It would be an amazing experience while you get to know a unique tradition and culture here.
You may already have many more fun things to do while you are exploring Arizona. However, the ones mentioned here are unique experiences that you can experience only here. Plan things well so that you are not confused at the end moment. Keep your list updated and create great memories.