Things to see and do in Arizona
Arizona Tourism Office in the UKAddress: Hammersmith, 15 Bedford Street, London, WC2E
Telephone: +44 20 7240 4071.
Arizona Office of TourismAddress: 118 N 7th Avenue, Phoenix, 85007
Telephone: +1 602 364 3700.
Attractions in Arizona
Travel the Apache Trail (www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/apache_trail), an extraordinary scenic drive. Attractions include Goldfield Ghost Town and Mine Tours (www.goldfieldghosttown.com), Superstition Mountain Museum, Lost Dutchman State Park and Tortilla Flat (an old stagecoach stop offering 'killer' chilli and prickly-pear cactus ice cream).
Be dazzled by the gargantuan bubble that is Biosphere 2 (www.biosphere2.org) - a Plexiglas bubble laboratory containing five separate and self-contained ecosystems. Originally designed to help scientists colonise Mars, it is now leased by the University of Arizona to study climate and ecology. Guided tours are available.
Enjoy outdoor pursuits that include golf, hiking, rock climbing, tennis and mountain biking in the Lake Havasu area, or take desert jeep tours in the nearby Sonoran and Mojave Deserts or up into the Chemehuevi Mountains.
Visit the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon (www.nps.gov/grca), one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This massive rend in the earth cut thousands of years ago by the Colorado River can be experienced by helicopter or airplane, or the more adventurous can hike or ride a mule down to the canyon floor, then raft the Colorado.
Tour the Heard Museum (www.heard.org) in Phoenix. Founded in 1929, the museum is devoted to the art, anthropology, history and Native American culture of Arizona.
See the smaller Hopi Reservation, accommodating 7,000 Hopis. They have lived in the region for 1,500 years and are known for being talented farmers. The Hopis live in snug pueblo-style villages on top of three mesas. This area is treasured for its outstanding natural beauty.
Hire a houseboat and float past the scenic wonderland of red rocks on Lake Powell, the second-largest man-made lake in the USA. The Rainbow Bridge, a spectacular natural stone bridge on the Navajo Reservation, can be reached by tour boat.
Visit Lake Havasu City (www.golakehavasu.com), nestled amidst rugged desert peaks on the Colorado River. In 1971 London Bridge was dismantled stone by stone, brought over from England and reassembled in Arizona. It is now the focal point for an array of English-style shops, pubs and lodgings.
Monument Valley by air
Drift over spectacular Monument Valley, carved by wind and water, in a hot air balloon (www.monumentvalleyballooncompany.com).
Oak Creek Canyon
Explore beautiful Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona's Red Rock country (www.visitsedona.com). The canyon has natural swimming holes and lush forests beneath high sandstone cliffs. Prehistoric Native American ruins are nearby. Jeep tours, hiking and mountain biking are also available.
Tee off on one of the more challenging golf courses in Mesa, Phoenix or Tucson. The Phoenix-Scottsdale area, known as the Valley of the Sun, has a particular abundance of world-class golf courses and resorts, surrounded by desert and striking mountain scenery (www.golfarizona.com).
Raft the Colorado River
Shoot the rapids on a white-water rafting trip down the raging Colorado River; there are trips from short runs to two-week adventures.
Drive down empty roads and see huge cacti, spring wildflowers and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (www.nps.gov/orpi) in the Sonoran Desert. Journey through the vast Navajo Reservation, home to 250,000 Navajos. Purchase native artwork and silver jewellery and visit settlements where they lived in hogans (dome-shaped houses of log and adobe). Navajo guides lead horse rides in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument (www.nps.gov/cach) and jeep tours through Monument Valley (www.desertusa.com/monvalley), where many a Western was shot.
Visit famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright's home and School of Architecture at Taliesin West, near Scottsdale.
Tonto National Monument
See the Tonto National Monument (www.nps.gov/tont). The monument features well-preserved cliff dwellings occupied 500 years ago by the Salado Indians and examples of their weavings, jewellery, weapons and tools.
Discover the cultural heritage of Tucson (www.tucsonaz.gov), one of the USA's oldest towns and now one of its fastest-growing resort cities. Surrounded by a ring of five mountain ranges in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is known for its constant sunshine. Its proximity to the Mexican border is apparent in its architecture, cuisine, lively fiestas and festivals.
Watch re-enactments of famous gunfights in the Wild West mining town of Tombstone, site of the brief showdown at the OK Corral, and movies such as Wyatt Earp and Tombstone (www.tombstone.org). Explore restored sites and attractions like the Boot Hill Cemetery, the Crystal Palace Saloon (www.crystalpalacesaloon.com), and the Bird Cage Theatre.
Yuma Territorial Prison
Discover Arizona's most visited State Historic Park, the Yuma Territorial Prison, with its cells carved out of the rock. From 1876 to 1909, it housed many of Arizona's most dangerous and notorious criminals.