The city of Phoenix is the hub of the Valley of the Sun, a region that buzzes with fun activities and vibrant Southwest culture. The area’s many skyscrapers can’t begin to rival the surrounding mountain peaks, and that’s good news for hikers, cyclists and nature lovers eager to explore. Sports enthusiasts can take in an Arizona Cardinals football game in winter or an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game in springtime. The mild winter temperatures make it possible to enjoy your own athletic and recreational activities outdoors while much of the nation is shivering in the cold. A large metropolitan area like this offers something for everyone, with entertainment, shopping and museums at every turn.
Spectacular geological wonders give northern Arizona vistas you won’t find anywhere else. Sedona’s stunning red rock formations provide a beautiful backdrop to the shops and museums of this artsy town, and trails beckon adventurous hikers. To the north, the down-to-earth town of Flagstaff sports snowy mountain peaks soaring above towering ponderosa pines. Many small towns flourished along Route 66 as it passed through Arizona, including the town of Williams, which serves as a gateway to the Grand Canyon. Snowbirds can catch the epic vistas of this incomparable national park during the quiet season.
A black silhouette of a saguaro cactus stands against a fiery-colored sky as the sun sinks below the peaks and ridges of the surrounding mountains. This vista exists only in south-central Arizona, where desert beauty surrounds Arizona’s second-largest city, Tucson. Explore the heritage of this vibrant town by sampling the Mexican cuisine and touring historic adobe architecture. But Tucson isn’t stuck in the past—today’s visitors will find plenty of modern shopping and entertainment options. Then, escape to the quiet, desert landscapes with a visit to cactus-rich Saguaro National Park or the stunning Sabino Canyon.
In the heart of the Sonoran Desert, cacti and yucca emerge from the sandy landscape. Off in the distance, you may spot sand dunes and mountain peaks. This landscape seems deserted, but life abounds in the unique plants and wildlife that have adapted to survive here. Civilization can also be found in several small towns located in this region of western Arizona. You’ll find historic sites, ghost towns and recreational areas to explore. The clear waters of Lake Havasu offer a scenic contrast to the dry land, as well as a great place to cool off. Stop by the historic London Bridge and learn how the landmark structure was transported brick by brick to this oasis in the desert.