Must See Destinations in Arizona – The Top 10

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Top 10 Arizona Sites

The state of Arizona has a population of over 7 million people. The Saguaro cactus blossom is the official state flower, and the best time of the year to visit is the Spring. OK, that last line was my own opinion. But, if you want to see the cactus bloom and not melt from the hot dry heat, that is the best time to go.

If you need help planning transportation and lodging, refer to my post entitled Travel Planning Sites – the Top 5. Below is a list of the top 10 must see destinations in Arizona.

Grand Canyon

Visit the Grand Canyon National Park and absorb all of its beauteous wonder! The canyon began to take shape roughly 70 million years ago, but what we see today did not begin to form until a few million years ago. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that declared the Grand Canyon as a National Park in 1919. You can sign up for paid tours and camping or just take a day trip. There are over 500 species of animals with several major ecosystems.  If you enjoy bird watching, make sure to bring your binoculars! The Grand Canyon is one of the must see destinations!

Monument Valley

Monument Valley Tribal Park houses sandstone rocks towering from 400 to 1000 feet in height. It is one of the most photographed places in the world. The natural structures are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, trees and shrubs. It took 50 million years of wind and water to erode the land and slowly strip away the surface of the plateau. There is a visitor center, souvenir shop and a restaurant specializing in Navajo and American cuisines. It should certainly be on your bucket list.

Starry night over Monument Valley, Arizona.


Sedona, Arizona. Red Rock country! It is a span of desert near Flagstaff, surrounded by red-rock buttes and pine forests. It is home to a vibrant arts community. The rock formations are created by natural erosion, there are no actual mountains. Sedona is known worldwide for its vortexes (vortices). It is believed that the vortexes are active centers of energy flowing among multiple dimensions. They are known places for meditation, self-exploration and personal healing. Boynton Canyon is supposedly the location of one of the most powerful vortexes, which is why this is one of the must see destinations. If you want to spend some time in Sedona, open this link for direction to another site.

Travel in Sedona, scenic landscape panoramic view, Arizona, USA
Slide Rock National Park in Sedona

Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam in Arizona was named after President Hoover. It remains today as the largest hydroelectric power facility in the Unites States of America.  Since 1936, it has been considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Industrial World. According to the official website, it provides 4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.


Tombstone is a historic mining town located in southeastern part of Arizona. If you are an American history buff, you know it is home to the famous O.K. Corral. An outdoor theater company re-enacts the infamous gunfight of 1881. The historic Bird Cage theater is still bullet-ridden from the 1800’s. It is rumored that Doc Holiday dodged one of those bullets in a heated poker game. The Boot Hill Cemetery houses outlaws from 1878. The town was nicknamed “Tombstone – the town too tough to die” due to rebuilding after enduring 2 separate fires, one in 1881 and the second in 1882, destroying most the town on both occasions. Out of this entire list, this is one of the most historical must see destinations in terms of cowboy history. You may also want to take some time to plan your outfit ahead of time to prepare for all the dust and dirt. Start thinking about travel clothing and accessories now.

October 22, 2011, in Tombstone, Arizona. A stagecoach welcomes tourists to historic Allen Street and the OK Corral.

Lake Mead

If you are an outdoors enthusiast, Lake Mead is your dream vacation destination. It has more than 290 square miles of water surface. Enjoy fishing, boating and swimming in the bright blue waters. Or stay on land for camping and hiking. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area spreads 1.5 million acres, reaching through both Arizona and Utah. Words alone do not due this location any justice. Go to the official site and take virtual tours of all it has to offer.

Sunset on the Lake Mead national recreation park, Nevada.
Red rock sandstone in the lake mead national recreation area, Nevada, USA


Phoenix is the capital of Arizona with over 1.6 million people. Also known as Valley of the Sun, it is rich in culture and history. Visit Roosevelt Row, downtown Phoenix’ walkable art district, take a grid bike art tour then indulge in the downtown nightlife.

Phoenix, Arizona, USA downtown cityscape at dusk.

Saguaro National Park

Located in Tucson, Arizona, Saguaro National Park is home to the Nations largest cacti. Whether you know what it’s called or not, the Saguaro reflects the American west. Driving, hiking and camping is available for your viewing pleasure. Please note, this is a desert, so you have to take personal precautions to remain well hydrated and safe if you partake on any adventures. The best time to visit is the spring, as you don’t want to miss the stunning blooms! This absolutely has to be one of your must see destinations, as the Saguaro is the hallmark of the American west!

Mountain Landscape Saguaro National Park Sonoran Desert

Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest National Park is located in southeastern Arizona. On the southern edge you find the Rainbow Forest, full of colorful petrified logs. According to the national website, “there are fossils, badlands, buttes and mesas, ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and wildflowers, and vast vistas for more than a hundred miles”. Go to the official website for information regarding pricing.

Petrified logs in the Painted desert and Petrified forest national park, Arizona, USA

Meteor Crater

Roughly 50,000 years ago a meteor collided with the earth, landing in the American Southwest. Located near Winslow, Arizona, you can find the most well persevered meteor crater in the world. Try to absorb the idea of what it destroyed among impact. Found in the visitor center is information and facts about the event and the devastation it left behind. Remember to plan ahead for changing weather conditions no matter where you travel in Arizona. I’d recommend you pack variable hiking gear to meet all the needs of the terrain and weather.

View of the Meteor Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona

Happy Travels

As you can see, Arizona is another beautiful state in the USA that must be on your bucket list. This list is my no means conclusive. There are so many places to visit, it can be truly overwhelming. Once we can kiss COVID 19 goodbye and happily hop back onto airplanes, add Arizona to your list of sites to see.

Feel free to print this FREE lodging planner printable. It is important to plan ahead your lodging expenses as this is one of your greatest travel expenses.

I hope you find these recommendations helpful and useful. Please leave me a comment if you have visited these places or of other places to add to this list. And don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a post!

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