10 Top Tourist Attractions in Arizona

Martina Rosado
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Heard Museum, Phoenix

AZ.

The Heard Museum is a renowned cultural arts institution open to the public, with a mission to preserve, exhibit, interpret, and present the Native American culture of the southwest.

The Heard Museum is the largest of its kind in the western United States, with over 60,000 square feet of gallery space. From more than 700,000 historic objects, the Heard Museum presents a comprehensive overview of the cultures of the Southwest. The museum’s permanent collection includes important artifacts and artworks from the indigenous pueblos of the area, as well as artifacts from the Spanish and Mexican colonial era.

The permanent collection is displayed throughout two galleries, the ground floor and the first floor.

The museum’s welcome center, which opened in 1998, provides visitors with a first impression of the Heard Museum’s collection. Related educational exhibits of cultural significance complete the museum’s new welcome center.

The Heard’s new welcome center houses the museum’s research library and archives, as well as smaller exhibits.

The Heard’s main galleries feature exhibits on Navajo history, contemporary native women, and archeology.

For the most part, the museum does well in showcasing Native American culture.

The museum’s website hosting and Internet access services are also very helpful.

Barringer Crater

Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle National Monument is an ancient cliff dwelling (abandoned by the Sinagua Indians) located in Oak Creek Canyon, approximately 45 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona. This area was inhabited by the Sinagua, an ancient tribe who lived in our area as far back as the 1,200s. The Sinagua were a group of stone-age people who migrated to the area from Mexico, around the 12th century.

Montezuma Castle NM dates from early 1200s and was occupied until the late 1200s. At its peak, the Sinagua inhabited an estimated 20 cliff dwellings in the area from Old Oraibi to the Salt River.

The walls of the cliff dwelling were constructed using large boulders. Two cuplike towers were either used as lookout points or as home to corn and bean granaries. The main living area was protected by three low walls. In the middle of the dwelling is a fire pit and cooking area, surrounded by a nine-foot-high wall. The dwelling’s entrance faces westward toward the sun, a common Sinagua custom.

The photos shown below are from the visitor center.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation of northeast Arizona. Canyon de Chelly was voted one of the most beautiful places in America by National Geographic. The region offers four canyon systems, the most famous being Canyon de Chelly.

Canyon de Chelly is a deep canyon cut by the water of the Little Colorado River into sedimentary red and gray sandstone. The canyon provides evidence of some of the earliest human inhabitants of the Americas. Canyon de Chelly is one of the longest remaining exemplary examples of multistory cliff dwellings in North America.

The cliff dwellings are made of split-stone masonry, and they are the first cliff dwellings that visitors will see as you enter the park. The canyon contains more than 150 multi-room dwellings, which were occupied by the Navajo people until about 1880. The canyon is sacred to the Navajo people, who consider it to be a place of refuge.

Hoover Dam

Saguaro National Park

Established in 1893, Saguaro National Park sits on the east side of the city of Tucson, and it’s a great place to visit for those interested in the history of the city. This national park is perfect for exploring the desert…the terrain is lush and green, it’s a great place for bird watching, and there is even an opportunity to see wildlife.

Saguaro National Park is known for its spectacular cacti and the unusual rock formations that are found there. One of the most popular places to visit in the park is the Cholla Garden. The Cholla Garden is home to more than sixteen hundred varieties of cactus, as well as other plants and flowers.

Another popular place in the park with visiting tourists is the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument; it’s an area that is home to a whole host of cacti. Organ Pipe National Monument offers a truly unique opportunity for visitors. They have an opportunity to see Catalinaî Spine Mountain, a mountainside that’s made up of three distinct rock layers of different colors.

Other than discovering the beauty of the plants in the park, visitors can also catch live music and traditional dances.

Havasu Falls

Dry Falls

Built in the mid-1800s to support the huge influx of people moving into this area of Arizona, Havasu Falls was originally a hydraulic mining operation and a water-intake and storage facility for an experimental irrigation water system. Today it is known as one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the state. The falls are breathtakingly beautiful, but they are unique in that they are actually dry. Because rain never falls here, the falls are not fed by the water that has eroded the canyon walls. Instead, water necessary to sustain the falls flows through a pipe system that has been installed and diverted from the nearby Colorado River.

The Havasu Falls has been featured on television shows such as Ghost Adventures and MonsterQuest. Not only do the beautiful falls draw in thousands of tourists every year, but the surrounding area is also full of other wonderful sights, from a tour of a sunken Ghostbuster ship to “blue” and “red” petroglyphs. The area has been designated as a state park and is also surrounded by two national forests.

This popular tourist spot is even known for its annual four-day festival, which is full of music, workshops, and activities. The festival was initiated in an effort to create a year-round destination that includes live music, art, dining ways, and educational events for participants of all ages.

Monument Valley

This striking landscape was created by the erosion of a meandering stream. The valley stretches for nearly 175 square miles and is home to the red-rock stone formations that gave the area its name. The valley is also home to numerous tribes of Native Americans who live in harmony with the land and the creatures that live and play there.

The land is home to artesian springs that feed Lake Powell, “America’s largest man-made reservoir.” The valley is spectacular no matter what time of year you visit, but the fall and spring are the best time to catch the changing colors of the sky and the striking pink, yellow and orange hues in the wildflowers.

With more to see than Brown’s Park, you will want to bring more than a few hours to explore this beautiful area.

Sedona

Ranked as the second best tourist attraction in Arizona, the extraordinary Sedona has mystified many people for years. It’s well known for its tie to the metaphysical, with its impressive red rock formations. It is a place of great mysticism and is a favorite among gurus and other spiritualists.

Many people feel as if they have been touched by the supernatural when they visit Sedona. It’s fair to say that Sedona is one of the most unique and intriguing places in the world.

No matter what your spiritual ability or lack thereof, Sedona will leave you with a lasting impression.

Grand Canyon

National Park:

The Grand Canyon is one of the most prominent UNESCO World Heritage sites and was recently voted one of the earth’s top ten natural wonders. The Grand Canyon is a physical geologic feature and a gorge (or deep, narrow valley) carved by the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is revered for its sublime beauty and its importance to American culture and the American way of life.