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Arizona Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Arizona travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

Known for its picturesque desert, Arizona is one of the top destinations in the United States for nature lovers.

The state packs 24 national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and historic trails into 113,990 square miles, including Grand Canyon National Park, one of the most visited in the country.

If you’re looking for a taste of the old west, you’ll definitely find it here. From the iconic cacti of Saguaro National Park in Tuscon to the instantly recognizable rock formations of the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park, Arizona is full of one-of-a-kind sites.

If you took a family vacation to the Grand Canyon as a kid and are looking for a different view of the Arizona desert this time around, give Canyon de Chelly National Monument a try.

Located in the Navajo Nation and managed jointly by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service, the canyon is home to incredible scenic views, 5,000 years of history, and some of the world’s best hiking trails.

Tour the canyon by car, horseback, or on foot to learn how families have made their homes in the canyons for millennia.

Want to cool off from some of the harsh desert heat?

Head to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (home to Lake Powell) or Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Both offer acres of space for boating, fishing, and swimming among truly gorgeous landscapes.

You can even take a boat out to some of the uninhabited islands in each lake — such as Antelope Island in Lake Powell and Channel Island in Lake Mead — for a fun excursion.

Arizona also has tons of great cities to explore when you need a break from the desert.

The state capital of Phoenix is home to world-class art and history museums, gorgeous botanical gardens, unique shops, and a delicious culinary scene.

Further north, you can explore the galleries and boutiques of Sedona, an artistic and eclectic desert oasis. It’s the perfect spot for a spiritual or wellness retreat, boasting tons of top notch spas, yoga studios, and opportunities for healing treatments such as reiki and hypnotherapy.

And in Tuscon, you can discover the state’s Spanish colonial history and relive the Wild West while exploring the beauty of the southern desert.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Arizona in the United States.

Note: This ultimate Arizona guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Arizona Map

Use this Arizona tourism map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Arizona map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Arizona Travel Guides & Experiences

These Arizona tourism guides can help you plan the perfect trip!

Best Arizona Tours

Explore local culture with a Arizona tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Small-Group Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff
  • 45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan
  • Classic River Run on the Verde Guided Kayak Tour from Cottonwood
  • Half-Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon (Self Drive) from Willow Beach
  • Grand Canyon West Rim Adventure by Plane with Skywalk from Phoenix
  • Scottsdale Greenbelt E-Bike Tour

Renting A Car In Arizona

Need a rental car for your Arizona trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Public Transportation In Arizona

Getting around Arizona by train, bus, or ferry?

Omio is a must! You can use this tool for all of your public transportation needs when traveling around Florida.

The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.

They even offer flight and car deals!

Arizona Hotels

Click here to browse the best Arizona travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local properties:

Arizona Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on an Arizona tour. When visiting Arizona — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Arizona travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Arizona Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in Arizona.

Q: What is the best month to visit Arizona?

The best time to visit Arizona definitely depends on your itinerary.

If you want to visit some of the higher elevation destinations in Arizona such as Sedona, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon, spring is probably the best time to go. These destinations can get quite cold (and even experience snow) in the winter, so don’t expect too much desert sun during those months.

Summer is peak season for the Grand Canyon, so if you’re trying to avoid crowds, spring and fall are your best bets.

In the warmer parts of the desert (i.e. Phoenix, Tuscon and Scottsdale), winter is peak season. You’ll run into a fair amount of crowds during this time as visitors from northern parts of the country escape the snow.

Spring and fall are great times to visit if you want to avoid the crowds as well as Arizona’s signature triple-digit summer temperatures.

And if you want to see the desert wildflowers in full bloom, plan a trip for some time between March and May.

Q: What are the best places to stay in Arizona?

There are a few cities to consider as “home base” destinations for a trip to Arizona.

The state capital of Phoenix offers easy access to many of the state’s top attractions as well as a lively metropolitan area with great dining, museums and more.

The Grand Canyon, Jerome and Saguaro National Park are just a short drive away and all make for great day trips from Phoenix.

Phoenix also has lots of great hiking trails within city limits such as Piestewa Peak.

Golf lovers will also want to visit neighboring Scottsdale, a desert oasis featuring over 200 gorgeous, challenging courses.

If you’re planning on spending a few days in the Grand Canyon or just want to spend most of your time outdoors, book a stay in Sedona, a gorgeous city in the red rock mountains.

Sedona is just a two hour drive from Grand Canyon Village, making it easy for you to stay close to the famous national park while exploring a beautiful and unique desert city.

Additionally, Sedona offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring energetic vortexes (if you’re into that sort of thing).

The city is also home to many incredible artists whose work you can find at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, a Mexican-style village filled with boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.

Want to spend some time in the Sonoran Desert? Head down to Tuscon, or the “City of Sunshine”.

Tuscon is a perfect destination if you’re looking to visit Saguaro National Park, where you can see the tallest species of cacti in North America and get up close with desert animals like lizards and jackrabbits.

The city is also home to plenty of well-preserved examples of Spanish colonial architecture like those found in the El Presidio Historic District and Mission San Xavier del Bac.

Staying in Tuscon also offers you easy access to top attractions like the old Western town of Tombstone and the arts destination of Tubac.

Q: How much money do you need for a trip to Arizona?

Your budget for a trip to Arizona will depend on your itinerary, but most travelers tend to spend about $120 USD per day on transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and other travel expenses in Arizona.

Q: How many days do you need in Arizona?

If you want to do a full tour of the state of Arizona, plan for about a week away.

A seven-day road trip will give you enough time to visit many of the state’s top destinations and attractions, including Phoenix, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.

If you’re short on time, you can still see many of these sites in a five-day trip by spending a bit less time in the cities and focusing on your must-see attractions.

Q: What are the best things to do in Arizona?

No USA travel guide would be complete without mentioning Arizona, and here’s why:

One of the best things to do in Arizona is to enjoy its many natural wonders.

Visiting the Grand Canyon is high on the bucket lists of many travelers and absolutely should not be missed, of course.

But Arizona is home to so many other incredible parks that you’ll have to see to believe.

Monument Valley Tribal Park, located on the Navajo Nation Reservation, is an iconic desert site featuring colossal red sandstone buttes that will take your breath away.

You can experience the desert landscape in all its glory at Sagauro National Park in Tuscon, a perfect spot for hiking and exploring the desert flora. This park is truly home to some of the best hiking trails in the world!

And you’ll definitely want to bring your camera along as you explore the out-of-this-world beauty of the slot canyons at Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ.

Arizona is also home to plenty of remnants of the Old West that will satisfy any Western fan.

The town of Tombstone keeps the Wild West alive with museums, recreations of old saloons, and stage coaches rolling through the streets. You can even witness a gunfight twice a day at the OK Corral and Historama.

For a look at Arizona’s mining past, head to Bisbee, located just off the U.S.-Mexico border. Here, you can learn about the town’s history at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, tour a former Phelps Dodge Mine, or just wander the streets of the Old Town and Lowell neighborhoods, featuring plenty of mid-century style.

And if you like your history with a side of the supernatural, head to the town of Jerome.

Once a bustling mining town, Jerome’s population dwindled after the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1953 and the town was declared a ghost town and National Historic District. Today, you can visit the remnants of the old town or try and commune with some of the spirits that still call Jerome home.

Q: Where is Arizona?

Located in the southwestern United States, Arizona is a landlocked state bordered by Mexico (south), New Mexico (east), Colorado (northeast), Utah (north), Nevada (northwest), and California (west).

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Arizona?

Credit cards — mainly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Arizona. That being said, it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in Arizona?

While the water is technically safe to drink, there are certain chemicals that have been found in the water in certain areas that may make you consider filtered water. It’s recommended to do your own research based on where exactly you’re going and your personal preferences.

Q: What is the local currency in Arizona?

The local currency in Arizona is the US Dollar (USD).

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