Arizona offers many cities with outdoor, cultural or historical attractions.
Known for its desert climate and the Grand Canyon, Arizona offers many recreational options. The state features historical attractions and stunning geological formations. Arizona also provides many cultural opportunities as well through museums, music and theater. Many cities in Arizona offer attractions for both residents and visitors.
As the largest city in Arizona and the fifth largest city in the United States, Phoenix features diverse activities and attractions for tourists and residents. Phoenix offers many outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, biking and golfing. The city also features upscale shopping and dining, professional sports, and several resorts and spas. To get a feel of the southwestern desert, visit the Desert Botanical Garden, which covers more than 145 acres and includes exhibits highlighting native desert plants. Located in downtown Phoenix, the Heard Museum includes American Indian art and cultural exhibits. In the center of Phoenix, you will find Papago Park, which features large sandstone formations with miles of hiking and biking trails.
Located in the southeastern part of Arizona, Tucson is one of the oldest cities in the United States and the second largest in Arizona. With the Saguaro National Park on one side and the Santa Catalina Mountains on another, Tucson embodies the southwest desert. Tucson also offers premier golf courses, art galleries and upscale shopping. For a slice of Tucson history, you can tour the San Xavier del Bac Mission. The mission was established in 1692; its existing church was built in 1797 and is one of the oldest buildings in Arizona. The mission offers tours daily and also features a museum detailing its history.
Rated in Money Magazine as one of the country’s best places to live, Scottsdale features numerous golf courses, eclectic restaurants and an active nightlife. Some of the area’s premier resorts are located in Scottsdale including the Phoenician, Fairmont and Four Seasons. Old Scottsdale offers upscale shopping, art galleries and fine dining. Also located in Scottsdale is Taliesin West, the winter home of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Tours of the large home are available daily and include visits to such features as the Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion and Wright’s personal office and studio.
Often referred to as “Red Rock Country,” Sedona is surrounded by tall red rock formations, mountains and national forest. A popular tourist destination, Sedona offers many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding and includes such outdoor attractions as Oak Creek Canyon and Cathedral Rock. Hundreds of artists reside in Sedona, and the city contains more than 40 art galleries featuring work from local artists. In addition, some people visit Sedona to experience vortex meditation sites. The vortex sites have inspired many metaphysical healers and spiritual guides to call Sedona home.
Located in northern Arizona, Flagstaff was named in Kiplinger’s best 10 cities list. Situated at almost 7,000 feet and surrounded by mountains and the Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff offers four distinct seasons–unlike cities in the central and southern portions of the state that offer warm temperatures year-round. Flagstaff offers many outdoor recreational opportunities including skiing, hiking, camping and biking. Flagstaff also provides easy access to nearby attractions like the Sunset Crater National Monument and Wupatki National Monument. Flagstaff is also home to Northern Arizona University and the Lowell Observatory. Flagstaff also serves as a gateway to the Grand Canyon, which is just over 80 miles away.