Six of the most beautiful places to visit in Arizona
Published Date: January 6, 2023
With cactus-dotted deserts landscapes, winding canyons, stunning national parks and ponderosa forests, Arizona is simply bursting with natural beauty. Put on your hiking shoes, grab your camera and prepare to be amazed by the flora, fauna and landscapes of the Grand Canyon State. Not sure where to begin? Here are six jaw-dropping destinations you just have to add to your Arizona itinerary.
The Grand Canyon
More than 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year, and for good reason. With its deep ravines, colorful cliffs, winding river and simply massive footprint, the Grand Canyon inspires awe, whether it’s your first visit or your 50th. The canyon is a mile deep, 18 miles wide and an incredible 277 miles long. The South Rim is the most popular stop for visitors, and it’s just 90 minutes from Flagstaff. The more rugged North Rim is less crowded, and it’s open seasonally. Another popular spot is the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a cantilevered, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge extending 70 feet over the rim of the canyon some 4,000 feet below. Other than the requisite standing and marveling at the beauty of the canyon, visitors also enjoy hiking, rafting through the canyon floor on the Colorado River, scenic helicopter rides, camping and more.
Among the most famous slot canyons in the world, Antelope Canyon is a wonder to behold. Shaped by millions of years of water and wind erosion, this winding sandstone canyon is a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers. Located in northern Arizona near the town of Page and the Utah border, Antelope Canyon is on private Navajo Nation land, which means you’ll need to visit with an authorized tour operator. Choose between Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. The former has easier hiking terrain while the latter attracts a more adventurous set. No matter which route you choose, you’ll marvel at this incredible natural sculpture.
People from all over the Southwest (and far beyond) are drawn to Sedona for its natural beauty and famous vortexes. Located about 90 minutes north of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Sedona wows with red rock landscapes, pristine wilderness and a milder climate than much of the state. Sedona has a long history as a spiritual place, both in the Native American culture and among those interested in the metaphysical, many of whom visit to experience vortexes, swirling centers of energy thought to help healing, meditation and self-exploration. Sedona is also the perfect home base for nature lovers, as myriad hikes, mountain biking trails, horse trails and fishing spots are just a stone’s throw away.
Saguaro National Park
To get up close and personal with the beauty of the desert, take a trip to Saguaro National Park. The giant saguaro cactus is an Arizona icon found only in a small corner of the United States, including at this vast park. The park has west and east sides, with the city of Tucson in the middle. Both sides offer ample opportunities to take in the desert scenery, with the west side featuring more of the namesake cacti and the east side with plenty of opportunities for hiking and camping. Can’t decide which side to visit? Go with both! The drive between the two sides of the park is only about 30 minutes.
Arizona isn’t all deserts. The west side of the state is home to Lake Havasu, which offers 400 miles of coastline and an enviable 300 days of sunshine a year. Affectionately known as Arizona’s “West Coast,” Lake Havasu offers warm, clear waters and endless watersports. From boating and swimming to fishing and kayaking, there’s nothing quite like taking to the water surrounded by the beauty of the desert. To escape the crowds, spend a day exploring either the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, a fan favorite area for birdwatchers.
Flagstaff is an outdoor lover’s dream destination, located on the western edge of the Colorado Plateau and nestled in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the continental U.S. Unlike many destinations in Arizona, Flagstaff enjoys four unique seasons, including an average of 108 inches of snow in the winter. Surrounded by crisp mountain air, outdoor lovers can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, camping, rock climbing and more. Flagstaff is also Arizona’s closest major city to the Grand Canyon.
Surround yourself with the beauty of Arizona
Mother Nature puts on an impressive show in Arizona, from west to east, north to south and in all four seasons. Give yourself ample time to take it all in by owning a second home in Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Tucson, Sedona or Lake Havasu. Browse Pacaso listings in Arizona today!