Arizona

Things to do in Arizona

Peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon and lolling by a pool in Phoenix may be the most common things to do in Arizona, but there are plenty other great (and downright unconventional) experiences to be had in the Grand Canyon State. Explore win country in the Verde Valley, about a half hour drive from Sedona. It gets good buzz for its wines, such as those at Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. Tombstone in southeastern Arizona is most famous for being the legendary site of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—and exploring the Wild West history here is one of the most common things to do in Arizona. Don’t leave without getting a whiff of the world's biggest rose tree.
Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa and Boynton Canyon are the red-rock locations in Sedona that are said, by new-age enthusiasts, to contain the most energy. You can walk to them yourself, but you can also take guided tours for a more educated look (or feel) for the phenomena. A fun (and streamlined) way to do the Grand Canyon is by making it a day trip on the Grand Canyon Railway, a scenic train ride from Williams, where you can bundle in a hotel stay. The weeks before Christmas offers a mini low season in Arizona, which offers a nice chance to avoid winter elsewhere do some holiday shopping and see some great lights.

One of the town’s best galleries also has a sculpture garden.

Three-day rafting trips along the Colorado River, from $725 per person.

Originally opened in 1877 along the town’s Whiskey Row, this saloon once served as a hub for men looking for work, an election meeting point, and mineral transactions.

The two-and-a-half-hour Canyons Adventure Cruise of the Lake and its surroundings departs from Wahweap Marina. Tours depart three times daily from April through October and cost $65 for adults and $42 for children.

Kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals near several departure points, including Antelope Point, Wahweap Marina, and more.

Instead of a poolside lounge or round of golf, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s former studio and retreat (now home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation). Daily guided tours are kept small and last from one to three hours.

Pick up a fishing permit (or an ice fishing permit, in the winter) at a reasonable $6 per day. The one-stop shop also carries bait.

On the Arizona side of the border town of Nogales (locals cross over seamlessly on an almost daily basis), this boot maker has been around since the 1950’s and sells handcrafted pairs from $500.

Go beyond the touristy town center to the northern boundary of town to see the burial site of many of Tombstone’s most infamous outlaws: the Clanton’s, McLaury’s, and more.

Day trips to Rainbow Bridge National Monument and other sites can be arranged through Aramark, which operates the Lake Powell’s five marinas.

Even if it didn’t house one of the world’s premiere collections of Native American art, you’d want to hang out in this space. The Spanish Colonial-style architecture harkens to 1929, when the Heard family’s then-modest collection of Native American crafts opened to the public.

Tour the stunning Mission San Xavier del Bac, also known as the White Dove of the Desert; it’s often cited as the finest intact example of Mission architecture in the Southwest.

Cruise out to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, a 290-foot-tall sandstone arch that’s the world’s largest known natural bridge. Day trips from the centrally located Wahweap Marina can be arranged through Aramark (which operates five of the lake’s marinas).

With more than two decades of experience, travel agent Betsy Donley uses firsthand knowledge to craft luxury African trips and fly fishing expeditions for clients of Camelback Odyssey Travel. One of Donley’s top travel recommendations is hunting the tiger fish at Chiawa Camp in Zimbabwe.