25 Best Things to Do in Arizona | 2024 (with Photos)

Natalija Marković

Natalija Marković - Travel Writer

Published: July 3, 2023

Hey there! I'm Natalija, a passionate traveler and adventurer. Through my own experiences exploring Arizona, I've curated a list of the top 25 must-visit destinations in this incredible state, accompanied by captivating photos. Get ready for an unforgettable journey in Arizona!

 Monument Valley

Arizona is a mesmerizing state that offers a wide array of thrilling adventures for travelers seeking an unforgettable trip.

From stunning natural wonders to vibrant cultural experiences, there are countless things to do in Arizona that are sure to leave you with lasting memories.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking unique experiences, Arizona has something for everyone.

Here, we've compiled a list of 25 exciting things to do in Arizona that will make your trip truly unforgettable.

Most Recommended Thing to Do


Top Choice Hotel

Enchantment Resort

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Elote Café

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Sound Bites Grill

Best Time to Visit

Mild temperatures, less crowds - Spring and Fall.

Average Temperature

Dry and hot climate, averaging around 75 degrees.

Transportation Options

Cars, bikes, taxis, shuttles, tours, walking, hiking, horseback riding

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Sedona, a breathtaking city nestled in the United States, offers a vibrant blend of natural wonders and spiritual experiences. Spend your time exploring the Red Rock State Park, where majestic crimson cliffs and sparkling creeks create a serene atmosphere perfect for hiking and relaxation.

Indulge in the rich heritage of Sedona by visiting the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, a hidden gem featuring charming streets adorned with art galleries, boutiques, and delectable local cuisine - a perfect spot to immerse yourself in the local culture and flavors.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes.
  2. Sunscreen.
  3. Hat.
  4. Water bottle.
  5. Camera.
  6. Layers of clothing.
  7. Cash and/or cards.
  8. Map or navigation aid.
  9. Snacks or food.
  10. Travel guide or information booklet.

What Not to Miss

Hiking in Red Rock State Park, exploring the Chapel of the Holy Cross, visiting Slide Rock State Park for swimming and picnicking, experiencing the stunning views from the Airport Mesa, browsing the art galleries and shops in Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, taking a Jeep tour to explore the rugged landscapes, visiting the Sedona Heritage Museum, embarking on a hot air balloon ride for an unforgettable view, and relaxing at the Mii amo Spa.

Where to Eat and Drink: Elote Cafe for Mexican cuisine, The Hudson for American comfort food, Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill for Latin American flavors, Creekside American Bistro for riverside dining, Oak Creek Brewery and Grill for craft beer and pub fare, Hideaway House for pizza and Italian dishes, and The Heartline Cafe for a cozy and romantic atmosphere.

Overall, Sedona offers a range of outdoor activities, breathtaking views, art and culture, and delicious dining options, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for a unique and personal experience.

What to Avoid

Crowded touristic spots Overpriced souvenir shops

1. Grand Canyon National Park: A Must-Visit Destination for an Unforgettable Trip to Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Visiting Arizona would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a breathtaking marvel of nature.

Located in northern Arizona, this natural wonder is a breathtaking display of geological marvels, with its vast, colorful canyon walls carved by the mighty Colorado River over millions of years.

Spanning over 1.2 million acres, the Grand Canyon offers awe-inspiring panoramic vistas, thrilling hiking trails, and unique cultural experiences with Native American tribes.

From sunrise to sunset, the Grand Canyon is a mesmerizing spectacle that promises an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to marvel at the beauty of our planet's natural wonders.

Visitors can go on helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon that start from the South Rim offer a breathtaking and unforgettable adventure.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a more secluded and tranquil experience. The North Rim Visitor Center, located less than 60 miles from Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, serves as a gateway to this breathtaking area.

Although the North Rim Visitor Center closes during the winter due to snow, it offers an opportunity to explore the stunning beauty of the Grand Canyon from a different perspective, away from the crowds of the South Rim.

2. Saguaro National Park: Discover the Beauty of the Desert

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, located in southern Arizona, is a unique and stunning desert landscape that is home to the iconic saguaro cactus, which can reach heights of up to 60 feet.

Don't just focus on the saguaro cactus because the park boasts diverse wildlife. From elusive coyotes to slow-moving desert tortoises, the park is teeming with animal life.

Visitors can explore the park's towering cacti forests, rugged mountains, and picturesque valleys while learning about the rich cultural history of the area and the significance of the saguaro cactus to the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, among many other exciting things to do in Arizona.

Saguaro National Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty and diversity of the Arizona desert.

3. Step Back in Time at Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, located in northeastern Arizona, is a captivating destination that offers a unique glimpse into the ancient past and is a National Historic Landmark.

Known for its colorful petrified wood, ancient fossils, and striking geological formations, this park is a fascinating blend of natural wonders and cultural history.

Visitors can explore the park's scenic drives, hiking trails, and iconic landmarks, such as the Painted Desert and the petrified logs that have turned to stone over millions of years.

With its otherworldly landscapes and intriguing exhibits, Petrified Forest National Park is a must-see destination for anyone interested in geology, paleontology, and the wonders of the prehistoric world.

4. Unleash Your Sense of Wonder at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Visit to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of many exciting activities in Tucson, Arizona. This immersive museum celebrates the diverse flora, fauna, and culture of the Sonoran Desert.

This outdoor living museum spans 98 acres and combines a zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum to provide visitors with an interactive and educational experience.

Visitors can encounter native animals, such as desert bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and hummingbirds, as well as explore beautiful desert gardens showcasing a variety of cacti, succulents, and other desert plants.

With its engaging exhibits, knowledgeable staff, and stunning desert landscapes, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum offers a one-of-a-kind experience for nature lovers and those seeking to learn about the Sonoran Desert's unique ecosystem and cultural heritage.

5. Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is a stunning showcase of the unique flora and fauna that thrive in the desert environment, and it is one of the many great things to do in Arizona.

Spanning over 140 acres, this living museum features a diverse collection of desert plants from around the world, including cacti, succulents, and wildflowers, as well as an array of wildlife that call the desert home.

Visitors can wander through scenic trails, experience vibrant seasonal displays, and learn about the importance of desert conservation and sustainability.

With its striking beauty, educational exhibits, and serene ambiance, Desert Botanical Garden offers a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and those seeking to appreciate the wonders of the desert ecosystem.

6. Marvel at the Majestic Beauty of Monument Valley

 Monument Valley

Monument Valley, located on the Arizona-Utah border, is a mesmerizing and iconic landscape that has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and photographs.

Known for its distinctive red sandstone buttes that rise dramatically from the desert floor, Monument Valley offers a breathtaking panorama of natural wonders that seem to defy gravity.

The towering monoliths, sculpted by millions of years of erosion, create a surreal and awe-inspiring scene that has captivated visitors for generations.

With its stunning vistas, rich Navajo cultural heritage, and opportunities for hiking and photography, Monument Valley is a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the beauty and grandeur of the American Southwest.

7. Unleash Your Inner Scientist at Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center, located in downtown Phoenix, is a dynamic and interactive museum that ignites curiosity and fosters a love for science in visitors of all ages.

With four floors of hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, planetarium shows, and immersive experiences, the Arizona Science Center offers a diverse range of engaging activities that inspire learning and discovery.

Visitors can explore the wonders of physics, chemistry, biology, space, and more, while participating in interactive exhibits that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

From digging for fossils to conducting experiments, the Arizona Science Center provides a fun and educational environment that promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of science, making it a must-visit destination for families, students, and science enthusiasts alike.

8. Sublime Beauty of Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon, located in northern Arizona, is a world-renowned natural wonder that showcases the awe-inspiring beauty of sculpted sandstone walls and stunning light play.

This narrow and winding slot canyon, carved by water over millions of years, features smooth, curving walls that display mesmerizing patterns, textures, and colors.

Known for its iconic sunbeam and light shafts that filter through the narrow openings above, Antelope Canyon offers a surreal and breathtaking visual experience.

Visitors can take a guided tour of Upper Canyon, marveling at the intricate rock formations and capturing stunning photographs of the ever-changing light and shadows that dance along the walls.

Antelope Canyon is a must-visit destination for nature and photography enthusiasts, offering a truly mesmerizing and otherworldly experience.

9. Experience the Ultimate Venue for Sports and Entertainment at State Farm Stadium

State Farm Stadium

State Farm Stadium, located in Glendale, Arizona, is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose venue that serves as the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals and hosts a wide range of world-class events, making it one of the many exciting things to do in Arizona.

This massive, retractable-roof stadium is known for its cutting-edge design, innovative features, and unparalleled fan experience.

With a seating capacity of over 63,000, State Farm Stadium offers a thrilling atmosphere for football games, concerts, conventions, and other large-scale events.

The stadium boasts top-notch amenities, including premium seating options, advanced technology, and an impressive array of food and beverage offerings.

State Farm Stadium is a must-visit destination for sports fans, concert-goers, and event enthusiasts alike, providing unforgettable experiences in a world-class setting.

10. The beauty of Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu, located in western Arizona, is a picturesque and popular destination for water recreation and outdoor enthusiasts.

This large reservoir, created by the Parker Dam on the Colorado River, spans over 19,000 acres and offers crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and stunning desert landscapes.

This lake is known for its warm climate, making it an ideal spot for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water-based activities.

Visitors can also enjoy hiking, camping, and wildlife watching in the surrounding areas. One of the main attractions of Lake Havasu is the famous London Bridge, which spanned the River Thames in England before it was relocated in the 1960s and has become an iconic landmark.

Whether you're looking for relaxation or adventure, Lake Havasu offers a beautiful and diverse natural playground for all to enjoy.

11. Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit at Glen Canyon

 Glen Canyon

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located in northern Arizona and southern Utah, is a stunning and diverse natural wonder that offers breathtaking landscapes and recreational opportunities.

This scenic area encompasses the vast Glen Canyon Dam, which spans over one million acres and includes the iconic Lake Powell.

With its towering red sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, serene desert landscapes, and shimmering waterways, Glen Canyon is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors can indulge in activities such as boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, and exploring the numerous side canyons and unique rock formations.

Glen Canyon is a must-visit destination for those seeking awe-inspiring natural beauty and thrilling outdoor adventures.

12. Visit the Magical Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls, located within the Havasupai Indian Reservation in northern Arizona, is a breathtaking waterfall that is renowned for its stunning turquoise-blue waters and dramatic cascades.

This hidden gem is tucked away in a remote and rugged canyon, accessible only by hiking or horseback, which adds to its secluded and pristine allure.

The falls plunge over 100 feet into a series of captivating pools, creating a paradise-like oasis amidst the arid desert landscape.

The vibrant hues of the water, combined with the lush vegetation and towering red cliffs, make Havasu Falls a truly mesmerizing and unforgettable sight.

Camping and swimming at Havasu Falls are highly sought-after experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of this unique destination.

13. Visit Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument, located in central Arizona, is one of the most historic things to do in Arizona, as it is a unique and well-preserved cliff dwelling that offers a glimpse into the ancient history of the region.

This impressive five-story limestone structure, built into a sheer limestone cliff, was once home to the Sinagua people over 800 years ago.

The castle-like structure, with its intricate masonry and intriguing design, is a testament to the ingenuity and engineering skills of the Sinagua civilization.

Today, visitors can explore the ruins, learn about the rich cultural heritage of the area, and marvel at the stunning natural setting that surrounds Montezuma Castle National Monument. It is a captivating destination that offers a window into the past and a chance to connect with the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the area.

14. Embrace Adventure at Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is one of the many fantastic things to do in Arizona, as it is a renowned destination in the American Southwest, offering an unparalleled combination of stunning natural beauty and thrilling recreational activities.

Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and camping are just some of the activities that draw visitors to this popular destination.

Exploring the hidden coves, slot canyons, and sandy beaches of Lake Powell is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts. The unique geology and dramatic vistas make Lake Powell a must-see destination for those seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery.

15. Visit the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, is a fascinating landmark that draws visitors from all over the world, and walking on London Bridge is one of the things to do in Arizona that people come for.

It is a unique and unexpected sight, as the original London Bridge was dismantled in England in the 1960s and transported to Lake Havasu City, where it was reconstructed brick by brick.

Today, the London Bridge serves as a major attraction, spanning across the Colorado River and connecting the mainland to an island in Lake Havasu. It has become an iconic symbol of the city, with its distinctive architecture, scenic views, and interesting history.

The narrow lake is home to numerous secluded coves, embraced by the stunning painted desert canyons and mesas.

Visitors can stroll along the bridge, enjoy the surrounding lake views, and learn about the intriguing story behind this unexpected piece of British heritage in the heart of the Arizona desert.

16. Dive into Adventure at Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park, located in Sedona, Arizona, is a unique and exhilarating natural water park that offers thrilling fun for the whole family.

The park is famous for its stunning red rock formations, cool creek, and natural water slides that are formed by smooth, slippery sandstone.

Visitors can slide down the natural water slides, splash into refreshing pools, and sunbathe on the smooth rocks.

The park also offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and ample opportunities for nature photography. Slide Rock State Park is a popular destination for those seeking outdoor adventures, adrenaline-pumping fun, and breathtaking scenery amidst the picturesque landscapes of Sedona.

17. Visit Africa Wildlife Park for Up-Close Encounters with Exotic Animals

Africa Wildlife Park

The Africa Wildlife Park, located in Camp Verde, Arizona, is one of the many fun things to do in Arizona, as it is a unique and immersive wildlife sanctuary that offers visitors the opportunity to observe and interact with a variety of exotic animals from Africa, including giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and more.

The park provides a thrilling safari-like experience, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures in a natural and protected environment.

18. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway is a historic and iconic railway that runs from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

It offers a nostalgic and scenic journey through picturesque landscapes, providing visitors with a unique and memorable way to reach one of the world's most renowned natural wonders.

The railway is known for its vintage steam locomotives, comfortable passenger cars, and immersive experiences that transport passengers back in time to the golden era of train travel.

19. Experience the Majestic Beauty of Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park, located in Sedona, Arizona, is a breathtaking natural wonderland known for its stunning red rock formations, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife.

The park offers visitors an opportunity to explore scenic trails, learn about the unique geology and ecology of the area, and immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the red rock landscape.

It's a must-visit destination for those seeking tranquility amidst the striking beauty of Arizona's red rock country.

20. Explore the Ancient Wonders of De Chelly National Monument

De Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, located in northeastern Arizona, is one of the most interesting things to do in Arizona, as it is a stunning landscape of towering sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and ancient Ancestral Puebloan ruins.

The monument offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the Navajo Nation, with a guided tour providing insights into the ancient dwellings, rock art, and landscapes shaped by time.

With ancient ruins, rock art, and scenic vistas, Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a destination that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

21. Experience the Breathtaking Beauty of Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a mesmerizing natural formation located near Page, Arizona, that has become an iconic landmark of the American Southwest.

Horseshoe Bend features a dramatic U-shaped bend in the Colorado River, with sheer red rock cliffs rising up to 1,000 feet above the river's turquoise waters.

The contrast between the deep red rocks and the emerald green waters creates a stunning visual spectacle.

Visitors can hike to the overlook and gaze down at the horseshoe-shaped bend, capturing awe-inspiring photos and taking in the grandeur of this natural wonder. It's a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

22. Explore the Wild at Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo is a popular attraction in Arizona, USA, home to over 3,000 animals from around the world.

Spanning 125 acres, the zoo offers a unique experience for visitors to learn about and observe a wide variety of animals, including endangered species like Sumatran tigers and orangutans.

With engaging exhibits, interactive experiences, and conservation efforts, Phoenix Zoo provides a fun and educational outing for families and animal enthusiasts alike.

23. Go to Papago Park for an Enchanting Outdoor Adventure

Papago Park

Papago Park is a picturesque desert oasis located in Phoenix, Arizona. Spanning over 1,200 acres, the park offers stunning landscapes, unique geological formations, and diverse recreational opportunities.

With hiking trails, picnic areas, a zoo, botanical gardens, and iconic landmarks like Hole-in-the-Rock, Papago Park is a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

24. Visit the Heard Museum

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum, located at 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Arizona, is a renowned institution dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, history, and culture.

Established in 1929, the museum boasts an extensive collection of over 44,000 artworks and artifacts, including pottery, textiles, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, and more.

The Heard Museum offers engaging exhibits, educational programs, and cultural events that showcase the rich heritage and diversity of Native American communities.

Visitors can explore the museum's impressive collections, learn about Native American history and traditions, and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistic and cultural contributions of Native peoples. The Heard Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American Indian art and culture.

25. All Aboard the Pacific Railroad

Pacific Railroad

Exploring the remnants of the Pacific Railroad, also known as the First Transcontinental Railroad, is one of the most unique things to do in Arizona, as it was a historic railway that connected the eastern and western coasts of the United States in the 19th century.

It was completed in 1869, revolutionizing transportation and commerce, opening up new opportunities for settlement and trade, and shaping the growth and development of the American West.

FAQs About Exciting Things to Do in Arizona

We are going to answer some of the most asked questions about things to do in Arizona.

What is the number one attraction in Arizona?

The unique and colorful landscape of Grand Canyon draws millions of visitors every year, making it one of the must-see tourist attractions for anyone visiting the Grand Canyon State. Whether you hike on the island trail, take a scenic drive, or explore the canyon's many trails, the Grand Canyon offers an unforgettable experience for adventurers, and sightseers alike.

What are some popular activities in Arizona?

From the Wild West era to the ancient civilizations of the Ancestral Puebloans with its incredible history, Arizona offers a unique and complex tapestry of activities. You can have an Old West experience by going on a horseback riding activity at McDonald's Ranch.

What are some famous Arizona attractions?

Most popular tourist attractions include the Phoenix art museum, Flame Museum, Grand Canyon, the historic Route 66, the picturesque Oak Creek Canyon, and The Science Center which is just a few blocks from the Children's Museum of Phoenix.

Are there a lot of things to do in Arizona?

Yes, you can go on a guided tour of Mount Lemmon, go mountain biking on one of the numerous biking trails, go horseback riding, or go rock climbing. Children can have an adventure at national parks by participating in the Junior Ranger program offered by the National Park Service.

Summing up: Best Things to Do in Arizona

There are so many great things to do in Arizona. From going on the exclusive behind-the-scenes tour in Arizona to discovering the hidden gems and untold stories of this diverse and fascinating state or visiting the Jerome Arizona Ghost Town to the Wild West charm and adventures of the Rincon Mountain District, there are so many Arizona attractions that you can enjoy.

Arizona has something for everyone, whether you're an outdoor adventurer, a culture enthusiast, a city dweller, a wellness seeker, or a family looking for fun activities. With its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and unique attractions, Arizona is a destination worth exploring.