Beyond the Grand Canyon 9 of the Best Things to Do in Arizona

You’ve bought your plane tickets and are ready to have your nice, relaxing week at the Grand Canyon. Before you spend your entire vacation in one place, consider some of the other attractions around the state.

While the Grand Canyon is certainly the most popular spot for tourists, it’s not the only thing that Arizona has to offer. You can go on a hot air balloon ride, spend an evening stargazing, take a wine tour, go hiking, or even explore a ghost town.

With all these unique things to do in Arizona, you’ll have an itinerary that’s full of fun. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Swim in the Havasupai Falls 

If you travel a small distance from the Grand Canyon you’ll come across the Supai village. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to take a swim in the blue Havasupai falls. When we say that it’s blue, we mean it. 

Many people who have been in the water describes it as being the same color as blue Gatorade. One thing to keep in mind is that the falls belong to the Havasupai people. They only let certain people gain access to their village and make the hike to the falls. 

If you want to go here during your trip, you’ll need to fill out an application well in advance. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to take an adventurous leap into the water below or stick to the smaller pools located toward the top.  

2. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride 

Arizona has its fair share of hot air balloon companies located around the state. These hot air balloon trips are one of the best ways for you to see all the beauty that Arizona has to offer. The most popular one is probably Rainbow Ryders located in Phoenix.

You’ll be able to choose if you want to take a sunrise or sunset tour. If you don’t want to be elbow to elbow with other tourists you can book your own private tour.

You can even get married in the sky if you want to. Not only will you have a memorable wedding service but they send you home with commemorative wine glasses as well.  

3. Stargazing in Sedona 

Sedona has scenic red mountains as far as the eye can see. You shouldn’t end your trip to Sedona with the mountains, however. Taking an evening star tour will leave you breathless. 

The company provides high tech equipment that will allow you to catch a rare glimpse at stars, planets, constellations, and even galaxies. If the weather is clear enough, you may get to see Saturns rings as well.  

4. Verde Valley Wine Trail 

Once you’re done taking in the stars, you can hit up the Verde Valley Wine Trail. There are four wineries that you can navigate yourself through using a map. 

If you would rather have an experienced guide take you through, you can arrange to be picked up and taken to any of the wineries that you want. 

5. Camelback Mountain 

The more adventurous people in your group may enjoy taking a hike through Camelback mountain. There are two trails that you can pick from. Echo Canyon is steep and Cholla is long. 

Whichever trail you decide to go down, be sure to bring your camera. There’s a lot of unique fauna around the area that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. 

6. Petrified Forest 

The name sounds like something out of your favorite fantasy novel but we promise that Petrified Forest is a real place. It’s also not as scary as it sounds. 

It’s located a little over three hours away from Phoenix. As the name suggests, the desert is scattered with petrified logs. If that doesn’t catch your attention then the Painted Desert located in the forest will. 

The Painted Desert is a collection of Badland hills that range in a wide array of hues from red to black. The best time to see these colors in their full glory is around 5 in the afternoon.  

7. Waste Management Phoenix Open 

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a huge golf tournament that thousands of people in Arizona attend each year. If you’re a golf fan it will be an experience that you’ll never forget. 

If you don’t like golf, don’t worry you can still have fun. It’s a golf tournament this is true, but it’s one of the best sporting events for those who aren’t fans.

This is because it’s more like a giant party than a tournament. There’s even a musical guest who comes out to perform each year. 

8. Jerome, Arizona 

Do you find specters and supernatural phenomena fascinating? If so, you won’t want to leave Arizona without taking a trip through the abandoned mining town, Jerome. 

Jerome is home to a jail that once sat on the clay slick. Over the years, it’s plunged thousands of feet from its original placement. Once you’re done viewing the jail, you can head to the Barlett Hotel ruins. 

9. Saguaro Cactus 

When you visualize a cactus in your mind, you’re probably thinking of the Saguaro Cactus. It’s pretty much a state icon even though there are only certain places around the state where you can see them. 

The best place to get a picture is Saguaro State Park. You can take a relaxing day hike around the park. After night falls and you’ve filled your camera with pictures of the cactus, there are areas where you can camp for the night. 

There Are a Million Fun Things to Do in Arizona

When families head to Arizona the first place they go is the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world but they’re not the only attraction the state has to offer. 

If you don’t take advantage of some of these other fun things to do in Arizona, you’ll be missing out on an adventure of a lifetime and unique sights that you won’t see anywhere else.  

Did you enjoy your relaxing vacation in Arizona? It’s not the only destination that houses hidden gems. Check out our blog daily for more articles like this one.