From the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Painted Desert in the north on down to Phoenix’s up-and-coming arts scene, Arizona is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts with an eye for culture.
Early visitors were lured by the prospect of gold and silver, but now Arizona’s abundant sunshine attracts the hordes. Lavish all-inclusive resorts, like Phoenix’s Arizona Grand Resort and Spa, offer quiet relaxation in a perfect hideaway. The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale is a destination for duffers who want to tee up on the very links where Tiger Woods scored a hole-in-one in the 1997 Phoenix Open.
Phoenix, Arizona’s capital and largest city, offers conveniences and luxuries as well as the country’s largest municipal park. South Mountain Park and Preserve has more than 50 miles of trails for outdoorsy types who like to navigate spectacular landscapes on mountain bikes. Head downtown to catch a play or musical performance at the Herberger Theater Center, or take the family to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, where kids can spin through a tricycle carwash.
Two hours north of Phoenix, colorful Sedona welcomes visitors with a small-town vibe. The artsy community has more than 40 galleries, combined with a growing health and wellness scene. Bunk down in a comfy bed and breakfast or book spa treatments at a luxury hotel; this arts-and-culture enclave offers both. Surrounding red rocks add to the picturesque panoramas and make this Arizona outpost a must.
No visit is complete without an outing to the state’s biggest tourist draw. Formed over 17 million years ago and stretching 277 miles, Grand Canyon National Park has long astonished visitors. Travelers can experience this natural masterpiece by rafting down the Colorado River, soaring above on a helicopter tour, soaking up the view from the South Rim, or even competing in the Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon. Whichever channel visitors choose, there is no better way to cap off an unforgettable vacation in Arizona.