ARIZONA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
If you love scenic driving then Arizona is the place for you, with sweeping scenic panoramas set under blue skies. The Ajo Mountain Drive and the Puerto Blanco Drive are particularly recommended.
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1.2 million unique visitors per year
On your travels make sure to visit Arizona's Grand Canyon one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Breathtaking vistas make this Arizona's top tourist attraction. The meandering Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon over thousands of years making it the most impressive natural attraction in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon visitor center has a wealth of tourist information to help you enjoy your visit. Air or river tours are recommended to get the best views of the beauties of the Grand Canyon . For the more adventurous take a raft & shoot the rapids of the Grand Canyon !
Arizona is cowboy country so check out those dude ranches, pine cabins, beans & coffee brewed over the open fire. Bucking broncos are not recommended for the faint hearted ! However, don't miss the many rodeos, much safer to get your thrills watching from the stand !
Southwestern Arizona, on the frontier with Mexico, is famous for its Organ Pipe Cactus up to 23ft high ! We have all see them in the movies so go see! There are some 30 different species of cactus, the Organ Pipe Cactus blooms from May to July with flowers opening after the sun has gone down. This is also a great area for the hiker with many trails to explore.
The Painted Desert in Northeast of Arizona is so named after vivid red and blue coloring of the sandstone .In this desert is found The Petrified Forest National Park
which dates back to the Mesozoic era . Fallen trees in swamps absorbing minerals over thousands of years resulted in the wood turning into rock .Fascinating..a must see..great educational value for the kids who are learning about the world without knowing it ! Happy kids means happy parents!
Another important Arizona attraction is Casa Grande Ruins National Monument at Coolidge. The Casa Grande was built by the prehistoric Hohokam Indians. It is the largest remaining structure of their civilization some four stories high and 60 feet long. Many ancient races worshiped the sun and moon and the Hohokam Indians were no exception. The Casa Grande incorporated this religion belief .The ruins of a walled village surround the Casa Grande.
Another important National Monument in Arizona is The Canyon de Chelly some 100 miles northwest of Gallup, New Mexico. It is noted for its series of steep-sided 1000 ft deep canyons .
The Spider Rock is the most striking rock formation, and the White House (constructed c. 1050), is one of a hundred cliff dwellings. Communities occupied the site for almost a thousand years from around AD 350. Other important cliff dwellings are the Antelope House and Mummy Cave in the Canyon del Muerto.
In 1864 , 300 Navajo were besieged & starved by Kit Carson's men in the tall cliff known as the Navajo Fortress. This is now deemed a sacred place not open to white people. This is a wonderful place to visit with your children where they can learn first hand the history of early America . Don't miss the informative archeological museum in the Visitor Center.
Don't forget Arizona's St Patricks Day Parades & Fun Runs.
National Historic Trails in Arizona :
Whilst the American War of Independence was being fought in the East , Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza was founding San Francisco in the West ! He pioneered the 1200 mile long route in 1775 from New Spain To San Francisco. The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail links Nogales in Arizona to San Francisco.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail journeys through Arizona linking Santa Fe to Los Angeles. A Mexican trader Antonio Armijo in 1829 pioneered the route to deliver goods to the Los Angeles . Santa Fe developed into the trade centre for commerce between Mexico and United States. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail flourished until 1848 whereupon other routes developed as the United States expanded westward.