The state in the southwest of the United States brings together some of the most extraordinary natural spectacle in the world with an impressive cultural diversity and an excellent infrastructure that makes traveling a relaxed pleasure. Arizona offers dramatic canyons, blooming cacti, ancient settlements of the native, fascinating landscapes and unforgettable experiences.
Whether you want to experience the unique panorama of the Grand Canyon, dream of rafting tours through secluded canyons, shopping in bustling cities or explore the golf courses and spas, Arizona guarantees a fun vacation.
On Feb. 14 2014, Arizona will turn 102. To celebrate, below is an Arizona bucket list:
- Take a tour of Taliesin West. Located at the intersection of Cactus Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard (the equivalent of 114th Street) in northeast Scottsdale, Taliesin West was architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school in the desert from 1937 until his death in 1959. He alternated living at Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Taliesin West, just as many “snowbirds” of today divide their time between two states. Guided tours are available almost every day of the year and range from one to three hours long. As a word of warning, half the tour is outside and half inside so be prepared with hats and water.
- Shop, eat or drink on Prescott’s Whiskey Row. Named for the bars and saloons that used to line an entire block, Whiskey Row is a well-known landmark in the Mile-High city. In 1900, the block was destroyed by fire but was later rebuilt. Today, Whiskey Row hotspots include the Bird Cage Saloon, Hotel St. Michael, Jersey Lilly, and Hooligan’s.
- Hike Havasu Falls. The blue-green waterfalls of Havasu Canyon are among Mother Nature’s greatest works. Havasu is one of four major waterfalls in the heart of the Havasupai Tribe’s homeland. Although located within the Grand Canyon, this picturesque desert oasis is not in Grand Canyon National Park, but rather on the Havasupai Reservation. Havasu Falls offers a variety of year-round adventure for all types of people.
- Explore Kartchner Caverns near Benson. Unlike most caves open to the public, Kartchner caverns are alive. The cavern contains stalactites and stalagmites fashioned by mineral deposits left by water that has been dripping underground for millions of years. A great day trip or addition to any travel in southern Arizona. All tours are guided and lead by park rangers with a good understanding of the cave, its creation and its surroundings. Tours are frequent and you can order tickets on line. Note- NO Photos’ are allowed in the cave.
- Uncover the mystique of Mystery Castle. If you like something different, odd, and way over the top, this is a must see for you. The history is as unique as the house is and it is worth the time to see it. This eclectic castle was built by a father for his daughter after he mysteriously left Seattle following a diagnosis of TB. The tour involves a walk through the 18 rooms of the castle and time is spent explaining many of its idiosyncratic features. This eclectic and at times bizarre dwelling is not universally appealing although if you have a taste for the eccentric be sure to pay a visit. As an adult, Mary Lou moved into the castle and conducted tours until she died in 2010. Today, friends continue the tradition, offering tours Thursdays through Sundays.
- Go big at the Grand Canyon. An Arizona bucket list isn’t complete without a Grand Canyon tour. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon National Park, stretches to its full extent in the northwestern part of Arizona. The Canyon, formed by the Colorado River, has immense proportions. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles, with a depth of 6,000 feet. For their Grand Canyon vacation, visitors have the choice between three different target areas: the historic southern edge (South Rim), the further outlying northern edge (North Rim) and the western edge (West Rim). Numerous side canyons with green vegetation, wildlife, waterfalls, roaring rapids and quiet, glassy water basins can be found at any of these sites.