Saddle up, adventurers! Arizona isn’t just the Grand Canyon State; it’s a playground for those craving unforgettable desert escapades.
Whether you’re a saguaro enthusiast, a Wild West aficionado, or just love chasing sunsets, Arizona has something that will make your heart race faster than a roadrunner. From the vibrant cities to the breathtaking natural wonders, we’ve corralled the top 10 best places to visit in Arizona.
So, dust off your boots, throw on a hat, and get ready for a journey through a land where every cactus tells a story and every sunset paints a masterpiece!
1. Grand Canyon National Park: Nature’s Grandeur
Embark on a journey to the majestic Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, where nature’s grandeur unfolds. Beat the lines at the South and East Entrances by pre-paying entrance fees at the Visitor Center, ensuring swift access with credit cards accepted.
Explore the diverse entry options, from private vehicles at $35.00 to regional shuttles for $8.00 per person, and enjoy free admission for those 16 and under. Commercial tours spanning 100 miles or more have tailored fees, providing accessibility for all.
Experience the park’s breathtaking landscapes with a 7-day pass granting access to both the South and North Rims. Marvel at the canyon’s immensity, shaped by eons of geological wonders. Remember, only credit/debit cards are accepted, ensuring a seamless entry into this natural wonder.
Your visit to the Grand Canyon promises not just a sightseeing expedition but an immersive encounter with one of Earth’s wonders. Embrace the vastness, appreciate the pricing transparency, and create memories etched against the awe-inspiring backdrop of this iconic park.
2. Sedona: The Enchantment of Red Rocks
Discover the enchanting red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, where every vista is a masterpiece. Plan your daily budget of $165, covering meals, local transport, and hotels.
Sedona’s charm lies not only in its scenery but in its diverse activities. Expect an average of $19 per day for sightseeing and entertainment, well below the national average of $55.
Indulge in a Four-Hour Sedona Vortex Tour, immersing yourself in the mystical energy of the red rocks. From the Grand Canyon Sunset Tour to a private custom exploration, Sedona offers experiences for every traveler.
Budget-friendly options like the 3-Hour Sedona Spirit Journey and Vortex Tour at $222 ensure affordability. Explore this artistic haven, where every corner is a canvas, and the spiritual energy captivates the soul. Sedona beckons, promising a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.
3. Monument Valley: Nature’s Sacred Tapestry
Embark on a captivating journey to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, an iconic landscape straddling the Utah-Arizona border.
Nestled on the Navajo Nation Reservation, it’s a scenic three-hour drive from Moab, under an hour from Bluff, and approximately five hours from Phoenix. Ensure a smooth visit by checking current conditions and entrance fees in advance.
Experience the majesty of Monument Valley with a modest fee of $8 per person per day, while children 7 and under enjoy free admission. The Visitor Center awaits you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round, providing insights into the rich cultural heritage.
For lodging options, consider Mexican Hat, a quaint town a short drive northeast on U.S. 163. Continue to Bluff for additional choices, or explore accommodations in Kayenta, south on U.S. 163. Goosenecks State Park, near Mexican Hat, offers a charming campground with scenic views. Plan your Monument Valley visit, where cultural richness and natural wonders converge in a mesmerizing tapestry of red-rock landscapes.
4. Bisbee: Artistic Haven in the Desert
Welcome to the charming town of Bisbee, Arizona, a hidden gem with a rich mining history and vibrant cultural offerings. Explore top attractions like the Copper Queen Mine, where an engaging tour takes you deep into the earth, guided by experts like Ken, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
Delve into the town’s history at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Here, artifacts, photographs, and captivating displays chronicle Bisbee’s mining legacy, providing insights into its evolution. The museum’s small size belies its vast impact in preserving the town’s heritage.
Quench your thirst at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company, offering the best beer in a sophisticated setting. The outdoor seating area provides a relaxed atmosphere, complemented by a super cool staff. Consider a longer stay in one of the brewery’s apartments for an immersive experience.
Bisbee beckons with its unique blend of history, culture, and craft. From the depths of Copper Queen Mine to the curated exhibits at the museum and the delightful ambiance of Old Bisbee Brewing Company, this town promises an enriching escape.
5. Tombstone: The Wild West’s Eternal Flame
Step into the Wild West charm of Tombstone, Arizona, where the streets echo with tales of the past. No admission fee welcomes you to this historic town, but each attraction, tour, or museum carries its own unique cost.
Explore the iconic O.K. Corral, where the legendary gunfight unfolded. Witness daily reenactments, immersing you in the drama of the Old West. Stroll down Allen Street, lined with historic buildings and quirky shops, capturing the essence of the 1880s.
Delve into history at the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, where artifacts and exhibits bring the past to life. Engage with costumed interpreters and discover the stories etched in Tombstone’s legacy.
While there’s no fixed admission, each Tombstone experience is crafted by individual business owners, setting ticket prices for their attractions. Expect an authentic journey into the Old West, with tales of outlaws, lawmen, and the indomitable spirit of Tombstone awaiting your exploration.
6. Flagstaff: Gateway to Natural Harmony
Discover the captivating charm of Flagstaff, Arizona, where the stunning landscapes and rich cultural offerings await your exploration. The highlight? The awe-inspiring Meteor Crater, a must-see natural wonder.
Embark on a journey through time at the Meteor Crater, where admission prices cater to various visitors. Adults at $29, seniors at $27, juniors at $20, and non-active duty U.S. military/veterans can experience this geological marvel for $20.
Beyond the Meteor Crater, Flagstaff beckons with its vibrant downtown, featuring historic architecture, unique shops, and diverse dining options. Wander through the charming streets, where the past seamlessly blends with the present.
Expect an immersive experience in Flagstaff, surrounded by the beauty of the Coconino National Forest. From outdoor adventures to cultural exploration, Flagstaff offers a perfect blend, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and history aficionados alike.
7. Tucson: Desert Symphony
Embark on an adventure in Tucson, Arizona, where the captivating landscapes of Saguaro National Park beckon. The park’s RMD front gate welcomes you from 5:00 AM to 8:30 PM, providing ample time to explore its wonders.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Saguaro National Park, which is always open except for emergencies. Summer and winter bring different Visitor Center hours, ensuring a warm welcome from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (June 1 – September 30) and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (October 1 – May 31), respectively.
Explore the majestic saguaros with entrance fees of $25 for private vehicles, valid for 7 days. Motorcycle permits are $20, while bicyclists, pedestrians, and equestrian riders enjoy entry at $15.
Tucson’s Saguaro National Park promises an immersive desert experience, blending natural beauty with accessibility for all.
8. Phoenix: Urban Mirage
Explore the vibrant city of Phoenix, Arizona, and make a beeline for the cultural haven, the Heard Museum. Situated just north of downtown, it opens its doors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Heard Museum, renowned for its Native American art and culture exhibits, invites you on a captivating journey. Delve into rich traditions and contemporary expressions, with admission priced at $22.50 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $9 for kids aged 6 to 17.
Expect an immersive experience as you navigate through galleries showcasing indigenous art, jewelry, and vibrant exhibitions.
The museum beautifully weaves together the past and present, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper understanding of Native American heritage in Phoenix.
9. Jerome: Artistic Haven on the Hill
Embark on a journey to Jerome, Arizona, a captivating town perched on a mountainside. Dive into the rich history at Jerome State Historic Park, where admission prices cater to all.
Wondering about ticket costs? They’re wallet-friendly: free for ages 0-6, $4.00 for ages 7-13, and $7.00 for 14 and above. The museum welcomes you daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., a perfect window to explore Jerome’s fascinating past.
Stroll through this historic mining town, now an artistic haven, and witness the blend of old-world charm with modern creativity. Jerome offers picturesque views, quirky shops, and delightful cafes, creating an ideal getaway for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike.
As you navigate the town’s cobblestone streets, the charm of Jerome State Historic Park unfolds. With a nominal entrance fee of $7/day for adults, immerse yourself in a day of exploration, discovering the essence of this mountainous gem.
10. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument: Nature’s Tapestry Unveiled
Embark on an adventure to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, where a myriad of captivating experiences await. Traverse the iconic Navajo Bridge, a historic route offering the only access to the Grand Canyon’s northern rim for 600 miles.
Driving along Highway 89A, immerse yourself in the 19th-century Old West ambiance, following the footsteps of early pioneers. Marvel at Vermilion Cliffs’ grandeur from the Antelope Pass Scenic Overlook and Navajo Scenic Overlook, capturing panoramic views of the Kaibab Plateau.
Explore Coyote Buttes, a hiker’s haven within Vermilion Cliffs, where the mystical Wave awaits with undulating sandstone formations. Hike the Plateau trail near mileposts 557 and 558, offering a glimpse of the Escalante-Dominguez historic marker.
Marvel at the vastness of Vermilion Cliffs, where primitive camping under the stars adds the perfect finale to an enchanting day. Best of all, entry is free, allowing you to savor the wonders of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument without any admission fees.
11. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona: Ancestral Embrace
Embark on an exploration of the mesmerizing Canyon de Chelly National Monument, a destination that welcomes you with open arms, and best of all, no entrance fees to worry about.
Begin your journey at the park’s Welcome Center, where a wealth of information awaits, guiding you through the wonders that lie ahead. Delve into the heart of the canyon through two scenic rim drives boasting a total of nine overlooks. Traverse the paved North Rim Drive, dedicating a leisurely 2 hours to absorb the morning light, capturing the canyon’s essence in three picturesque overlooks.
As the day progresses, venture to the South Rim Drive, a 2-hour odyssey featuring six overlooks ideal for afternoon photography. Let the canyon unfold its tales as you witness the ever-changing landscape beneath your gaze.
For an immersive experience, consider guided canyon tours offered by private companies, each providing a unique perspective through hiking, horseback riding, or vehicle exploration. Remember, these adventures necessitate backcountry permits and authorized guides, ensuring a safe and enriching journey into the heart of Canyon de Chelly.
12. Horseshoe Bend: Nature’s Meander
Embark on a journey to the iconic Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, a natural marvel carved by the majestic Colorado River. While the National Park Service generously offers free admission to this breathtaking site, keep in mind that parking in the city-owned lot comes with a nominal fee—$10 for vehicles or RVs and $5 for motorcycles.
As you approach the bend, the awe-inspiring panorama will unfold before your eyes, revealing the striking curvature of the Colorado River, creating a horseshoe-shaped spectacle against the backdrop of towering cliffs and rugged terrain.
The view is nothing short of a photographer’s dream, with the changing hues of the canyon providing a mesmerizing canvas.
For a more immersive experience, explore nearby attractions such as Red Heritage or embark on a Tse Bighanilini Tour, both offering unique perspectives and insights into the rich cultural and natural tapestry of the region.
13. Havasupai Falls: Nature’s Cascade of Love
Embark on an enchanting journey to Havasupai Falls, a hidden oasis nestled within the Grand Canyon that promises an unforgettable experience.
Ensure you plan ahead, as day hiking is not allowed. Securing reservations in advance is crucial, with entrance fees ranging from $100 to $125 per person/night, covering all taxes and environmental fees.
Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of Havasu Creek and its iconic turquoise waterfalls. The newly implemented rules now require campground reservations for a minimum of 3 nights and 4 days, accommodating up to 12 people per booking. The pricing structure is comprehensive, encompassing permits, fees, and taxes, with an estimated total cost of $375 per person for a hiking adventure.
For an elevated experience, consider adding a touch of excitement with round-trip helicopter transportation, an additional $200 to your budget. As you traverse the canyon, prepare to be captivated by the ethereal landscapes, pristine waters, and the sheer wonder of Havasupai Falls, making every penny spent a worthy investment in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
14. Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Aquatic Serenity Unveiled
Prepare for a journey of aquatic wonders at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona, a haven for adventure seekers. The standard entrance pass, ranging from $15.00 to $25.00, unlocks a realm of natural marvels waiting to be explored.
As you traverse this aquatic wonderland, anticipate fees for various modes of entry—$25.00 for a private vehicle, $20.00 for a motorcycle, and $15.00 per person. Acquire your passes conveniently online or at the entrance stations, ensuring a seamless start to your Lake Mead adventure.
Be captivated by the scenic grandeur of Lake Mead, a haven for water enthusiasts. Engage in water activities, from kayaking to fishing, against the backdrop of stunning landscapes. Your investment in this recreational treasure promises an immersive experience, making each fee a gateway to unforgettable moments.
Indulge in the splendor of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where the desert meets the waterscape, and let the rhythmic waves echo the essence of a revitalizing escape. Discover the extraordinary balance of nature and recreation, an investment in an idyllic retreat.
15. Petrified Forest National Park: Nature’s Timeless Elegance
Embark on an enchanting journey at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, where nature’s ancient artistry unfolds. The standard entrance pass, priced between $15.00 and $25.00, opens a portal to prehistoric wonders.
Indulge your curiosity and traverse this mesmerizing landscape for $25.00 per private vehicle or $20.00 for a motorcycle. For solo adventurers, the per-person fee is $15.00, unlocking an exploration of fossilized wonders that transcend time.
Frequent visitors can elevate their experience by investing in the annual pass, a mere $45.00 key to unlimited access. Wander through petrified wood forests, witness vibrant painted deserts, and immerse yourself in the geologic tapestry shaped by millions of years.
Your investment is not just a pass; it’s a gateway to a realm where ancient mysteries whisper through the winds, and the colors of the past paint a canvas of unparalleled beauty. Petrified Forest National Park beckons, promising an odyssey through Earth’s captivating history.
16. Chiricahua National Monument: Nature’s Sculpted Haven
Embark on an awe-inspiring adventure at Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona, where nature’s sculptural masterpiece awaits, and entry is absolutely free. Lose yourself in the intricate rock formations that earned this wonderland the nickname “Wonderland of Rocks.”
Camp beneath a star-studded canopy for a nominal fee of $20 per night or $10 if you’re an Interagency Senior or Access Pass holder. Group camping is a steal at $3 per person per night, ideal for a communal rendezvous beneath the towering hoodoos.
Navigate the serene trails adorned with towering pinnacles, balancing rocks, and whimsical spires. Capture the ethereal glow of sunrise, painting the landscape in hues of gold, a spectacle reserved for those who venture into this geologic haven.
Chiricahua is more than a park; it’s an outdoor gallery, a testament to nature’s artistry, where every trail unfolds a new chapter in the story of Earth’s geological evolution. Experience the allure of Chiricahua, where time stands still and the rocks whisper tales of eons past.
17. Montezuma Castle National Monument: Ancient Love Nest
Prepare to be transported back in time at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona. Your $10 entrance fee grants you a 7-day pass to marvel at the ancient cliff dwellings and immerse yourself in indigenous history.
Discover the remarkable preservation of Montezuma Castle, a five-story ancient dwelling built into the limestone cliffs. This architectural marvel, crafted by the Sinagua people over 600 years ago, is a testament to human ingenuity and adaptability in the desert landscape.
As you explore, envision the daily lives of the Sinagua, who thrived in this arid region. Wander the trails, where the whispers of the past echo through the ruins, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry woven into the landscape.
Bring the family, as children aged 15 and under, enjoy free admission. Montezuma Castle is not just a monument; it’s a time portal inviting you to connect with the legacy of the Sinagua and experience the marvels of ancient architecture.
18. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Desert Symphony of Serenity
Embark on a desert adventure at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, where a $25 private vehicle fee grants you access to a breathtaking landscape.
Traverse miles of hiking trails, unveiling the secrets of the Sonoran Desert’s diverse seasons—spring wildflowers and summer cactus blooms, accompanied by unparalleled opportunities for wildlife photography.
Whether camping under starlit skies or exploring the desert by car or bike, Organ Pipe Cactus offers a myriad of activities for all. Ranger-led programs during winter deepen your understanding of this unique ecosystem. Experience the desert’s vibrant birdlife, and for equestrian enthusiasts, discover the beauty of horseback exploration.
With camping options ranging from developed to backcountry, and temperatures varying by season, Organ Pipe Cactus beckons year-round. Immerse yourself in the wonders of this national monument, where each visit unfolds a new chapter in the mesmerizing story of the Sonoran Desert.
19. Antelope Canyon: Nature’s Cathedral of Light
Embark on an enchanting journey through Antelope Canyon, Arizona, where nature’s artistry comes alive in captivating sandstone formations.
Tours, ranging from $40 to $90, guide you through the surreal beauty of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, revealing mesmerizing light play and intricate rock sculptures.
The price often covers taxes and the $8 Navajo permit fee, ensuring a seamless experience. Book an unforgettable stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites Page – Lake Powell or indulge in the rustic charm of The Bear’s Den B&B. For a unique experience, consider the Shash Dine’ Eco-Retreat, blending modern comfort with Navajo cultural immersion.
Antelope Canyon promises a visual symphony of colors and shapes, a testament to the forces of wind and water sculpting nature’s masterpiece. Whether capturing the perfect photograph or basking in the spiritual energy, Antelope Canyon is an unmissable destination for all seeking awe-inspiring beauty.
20. Lake Powell: Majestic Reservoir
Embark on an adventure to the breathtaking Lake Powell, Arizona, where azure waters blend with towering red rock formations. A day pass, priced at $25 per car, grants access to the captivating landscapes for a memorable 7-day experience.
Visit between May and October for the optimal Lake Powell experience, with warm waters peaking from July to September. Immerse yourself in the myriad activities, from houseboating to thrilling water sports.
Glide across the pristine waters on a paddleboard or kayak, embracing the serene beauty that surrounds you.
As the day transitions to night, indulge in stargazing, witnessing the celestial wonders above the tranquil Lake Powell. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or serene moments, Lake Powell promises an unforgettable escape into nature’s grandeur.
21. Prescott: Historic Oasis
Discover the charming allure of Prescott, Arizona, a hidden gem inviting you to explore its rich history and vibrant culture. Immerse yourself in the heart of the city at Courthouse Plaza, open year-round from 8:00 to 17:00 on weekdays.
The plaza is a hub of activity, hosting diverse events and festivals that showcase the town’s artistic spirit. Admire the iconic Yavapai County Courthouse, a stunning architectural gem at the heart of the plaza, surrounded by picturesque gardens and inviting benches.
Prescott is known for its historic Whiskey Row, a lively street filled with saloons and shops, providing a glimpse into the town’s wild west past. Stroll through the Prescott National Forest, offering a refreshing escape into nature with its lush trails and breathtaking vistas.
With its captivating blend of history, nature, and culture, Prescott beckons you to uncover its treasures, making it an ideal destination for an enriching and memorable getaway.
Conclusion: 21 Best Places to Visit in Arizona this 2024
Wow, Arizona’s beauty has left us speechless; from the grandeur of the Grand Canyon to the cultural vibes of Sedona’s red rocks—21 treasures have been explored! But hold onto your sunhats because there’s more to uncover.
Hop over to our blog for other must-visit spots that will ignite your wanderlust. We thrive on your insights, so keep sharing and keep this adventure rolling!