Best things to Do in Arizona Bucket List

Planning a trip to Arizona?

While we haven’t explored nearly as much as all the incredible Arizona attractions, we have visited quite a few.

Arizona is one of our favorite states for it’s rugged, desert beauty, iconic attractions, and outdoor adventures.

Here are some of our favorite things to do for your Arizona Bucket List.

In this post, you’ll find links to our content on each region of Arizona that includes things to do, best tips, recommended hotels, tours and deals.

All of our content is based upon personal travel experience, not desk research. We walk our talk so can give you the most relevant and personal recommendations and stories.

It’s not complete and we are looking to add to it as we continue to explore the USA.

What other places in Arizona do you suggest beyond that? What else is Arizona known for?

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand canyon sunset

Grand Canyon National Park

The most well known US national park is beautiful any time of the year.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

More Arizona Icons

While planning a trip to Arizona, be sure to include this iconic places.

Arizona Travel Video Playlist

We can’t wait to read about your insider tips on things to do in Arizona!

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I’ve never been as excited about a trip as this one.

When it comes to travel, the diversity of America has always blown us away with its staggering range of possibilities.

Arizona Car Rental

Arizona is a fantastic road trip destination. If you have your own car, keep on reading.

If you don’t, is our most trusted source for car rental. (We’re affiliate partners with them as a result!)

Click here for prices on rental cars from Phoenix

Booking Arizona Accommodation

Each of the posts below have accommodation recommendations specific to the destination and from our personal experiences + ones we have thoroughly reviewed.

We recommend the following two booking sites (it’s the ones we use the most)

Share with us below some of your favorite destinations and things to do in Arizona!

60 thoughts on “Best things to Do in Arizona Bucket List”

  1. I’m so excited to see what you guys end up getting up to! A long term road trip of the USA is a dream of ours so this will definitely be inspiration!! Good luck with the planning!

    1. Thanks Emily, we’re excited too. Nothing like a great American road trip. And the most practical way for a family like ours to explore a destination properly. Keep your dream alive!

  2. Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon can easily be done in a day. While you are in that area, take the one day float trip through Glen Canyon from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry…you will float right through Horseshoe Bend! Lake Powell is right there too, and you can take an excursion from Wahweap Marina to Rainbow Bridge, one of the largest natural bridges in the world.

    If you plan far enough in advance, go for a whitewater rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Seven days is the minimum I would recommend. There is a reason this trip consistently ranks as one of the top adventures in the world: it is truly amazing! I might be biased though: I was a river guide in the canyon for several years. 🙂

    Wander around downtown Flagstaff, have a delicious Mexican breakfast at Martan’s and then drive through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. The drive alone is amazing! Jerome is a fun old mining town, as is Bisbee!

    Kartchner Caverns is a sight to behold, and Tombstone is campy, but fun for kids.

    Arizona is a truly remarkable state, with so many beautiful hidden gems, it’s impossible to list them all…no matter what you choose, this state will take your breath away!

    1. Hi Sarah, that float trip through Glen Canyon and Horseshoe Bend sounds cool. And had never heard of Rainbow Bridge so thanks!

      What is the age requirements for the Grand Canyon rafting? And what category are the rapids? 7 days would be incredible but not sure how we would juggle this with our kids currently being 8 & 4. May have to wait a few years??

      Appreciate the other tips and will be referencing them as we plan further. From the photos we’ve looked at so far, Arizona does look remarkable!

  3. If you happen to be taking Route 160 during any point in your trip (which is a good option if you visit Four Corners), you have to check out Dinosaur Tracks outside of Yuba City. It is quite possibly one of the coolest places I have visited. Literally marked by an old wooden roadside sign, this place is a throw back to the dinosaur ages. Amazing, clear tracks from so many dinosaurs, fossilized dinosaur eggs and an excavation site from where they dug up a full skeleton of a dinosaur that is currently on display at the Natural History museum in Flagstaff. No building or services here. No cost. Just a few Navajo that guide you around the site and tell you about what you are seeing. My 7 year old loved it. We spent so much time just exploring as there os so much left undiscovered out there. Do remember that you are on tribal land and please give a tip to your guide.

    Google Dinosaur Tracks in Arizona to see more about it.

    1. Yeah I always get confused about the location of Monument Valley, does it span across the borders of both states? Because it’s mentioned on the Arizona tourism website. And sounds great about those other three things in one day. Cheers Erin!

      1. I’m pretty sure it’s just in Utah, but given how close it is to Arizona, I can see why Arizona would want to claim it as it’s own! Monument Valley is completely awesome. I could have spent the entire day there! Definitely a top five highlight of last summer’s cross-country road trip.

          1. Just wanted to say it’s on the border of both states! I just went back there in winter and couldn’t see anything due to a snow storm so try to go when it’s clear… haha. Enjoy!

    1. Hey Bianca, I have seen many photos of Havasu Falls online and it looks incredible. Can’t wait to see it with our own eyes! And thanks for the tip about the Marble Canyon!

      1. Craig, I have hiked and camped at Havasu Falls 4 times and it is very beautiful magical place! This would be a very long 8+ mile hike for your girls and I would not recommend it for them. They do have other options to get to the bottom, horses and a helicopter ride. If you do hike/camp, I recommend paying for a mule to carry your tent, sleeping bags, ice chest etc. it is well worth it! Havasupai Indian Reservation has some good information and links to making your reservation, also or 928-448-2121 by phone. Reservations are recommended 3 to 4 months in advance. April, May and October are great months to go.

  4. Seeing your bucket list brought back great memories from our first trip on the road. We saw the Grand Canyon, Tucson, Phoenix, Sedona and so much more.
    It was breathtaking and yet there was so much more to explore.

    Try to make it to the Gem show in Tucson. It’s huge show that just takes over the city.

  5. Best wishes for you and family Craig, for your Arizona and US trip. These photos remind me of photos from your Sydney post. Beautiful! So much like Australia isn’t it? I just love open spaces and rugged terrain. wonderful. Have fun. I am sure to follow how your journey across America unfolds.

    1. Thanks for the well wishes Carmen. We love the outdoors too and Arizona seems like it’s going to be awesome. Those landscapes!! Looking forward to sharing our journey with you 🙂

  6. That’s a great start! As others have said, Lake Powell is a great thing to do while you’re in Page, and the Grand Canyon is a must do as well, at least for a few days so you can hike down into it. Flagstaff is another great place to visit for hiking and enjoying a more verdant area of the state. Can’t wait to read about the road trip, I’m sure it will be amazing!

    1. Wow Page sounds like the area to be. Definitely planning on several days if not weeks around the Grand Canyon and do as many hikes as possible. And thanks for the tip on Flagstaff Tim.

  7. Felicia Taromino

    Sedona! The place is beautiful and full of gorgeous landscape. I lived there for half a year and will never forget my visit to the lovely area. Make sure to stop there!

  8. I was going to recommend Petrified Forest, but it looks like you have it on your list!

    As for a few less famous things…I have fond memories of visiting Meteor Crater when I was a kid — it’s just a big dent in the ground where a meteor landed long long ago, and you can walk around the perimeter. It’s near Winslow, so you won’t be able to get the Eagles song out of your head. If you or the kids are into cacti, you might want to check out Saguaro National Park, near Tucson. Also near Tucson is the Biosphere 2, if you are into science. I visited the original Biosphere a long time ago and it was pretty cool — and educational!

    As for eats, I haven’t been in a long time, but I am going to Phoenix in May to see if the Alpine Valley Bread Company is as good as I remember it! All kinds of delicious, organic, healthy breads!

    1. Hey Kristin, really appreciate the tips on visiting Meteor Crater and Saguaro National Park. Sounds interesting. And the Alpine Valley Bread Company in Phoenix sounds perfect for us!!

      1. I was at Saguaro National Park this week after visiting the Sonoran Desert Museum. I think your family would really enjoy this museum. It is a combination of a zoo and botanical garden with reptiles, aquarium, lion, bear, ocelot, beaver, parrots etc.
        for hiking in Tucson, I recommend Sabino Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains. You can ride a tram with a narrated tour and get off at different stops to explore. I took the tram to the last stop #9 and hiked back to #1 on the Telephone Trail. Very nice views overlooking Sabino Creek. Taking a drive up Mt Lemmon (2,792m) is a real treat! Have lunch at the top at The Iron Door. I am an avid hiker so I keep thinking of more places to go. On the North side of Mt. Lemmon is The Peppersauce campground and caves! The caves are a little tricky to find but very cool! Kartchner Caverns isn’t too far away but requires advance reservation.

  9. I’ve traveled to all 50 states and after my home state of North Carolina, my second favorite state is Arizona. My favorite place is the Grand Canyon – I’ve been 30+ times over the decades – mostly as a camper. Here’s a few of my other favorites: 1) I did a 17 day raft trip down the Colorado through the entire length of the Canyon so I’m glad to see that on your bucket list. 2) I volunteered at the Tuba City Boarding School on the Navajo Reservation – try to find a way to dive a little deeper into the Navaho and Hopi Native American cultures – they are a remarkable people. A good road guide book is Native Roads by Fran Kosik. 3) my favorite town is Flagstaff – great brewery and coffee shops. 4) Second favorite town is Bisbee – east of Tucson. 5) best museum is the Heard in Phoenix. 6) hiking around the Dells near Prescott. 7) hiking around Sedona – tons and tons of trails. Town is touristy but the scenery of Oak Creek Canyon is stunning. 8) while Route 66 through AZ is good – make sure you put the entire 600 miles of Rt. 66 through Oklahoma on your OK bucket list – longest intact stretch of the “Mother Road” thru any of the states. 8) Saguaro National Park is fav after GC. 9) craziest thing is the actual London Bridge at Lake Havasu City – they brought it over and reconstructed it – about as touristy as you can get but in a nutty way. 10) sunsets and sunrises anywhere in the state – hard to beat. Maybe I’ll see you on the road!

    1. Amazing Danielle…30+ times to the Grand Canyon, is that a record, lol. Fantastic tips, really appreciate you taking the time to write all this out. And yes, maybe we will see each other on the road. How cool would that be?!!

  10. I highly recommend visiting the beautiful Canyon de Chelly, you can do a short hike into the canyon where you can see ancient ruins, also the Navajo National Monument has some amazing ruins you can hike to with a Ranger. Sedona is incredible and is very popular with New Agers and I really liked the Route 66 Museum in Kingman

    1. Love the sound of Canyon de Chelley and the Navajo National Monument Katie. Short hikes work well for us with our kids, although we’ve done 10 kilometres around Uluru 🙂

      Cheers for the tip on the museum in Kingman!

  11. You should most definitely visit Flagstaff in the north – it’s on route 66, so you’ll probably pass through it on the way to the Grand Canyon. It’s a high altitude pine tree oasis, and has incredible mountains that you can hike. The downtown area is super cute. Don’t miss Sedona either, which is just 45 minutes from Flagstaff. It’s a small village in the middle of red rocks, known for hiking and spiritual retreats. Enjoy!

  12. Craig and Caz,
    I follow your travel blog and attended the recent webinar. I am so excited to know you will be in my beautiful state of Arizona! I have lived here for 30 years and travel/hike extensively ( I would love to meet you, show you around or whatever you may need. I live in Phoenix. A campground I know you would love near Sedona and Cottonwood is called LoLoMai Springs. We stay in small cabins there when we go hiking in Sedona. I look forward to hearing more about your plans to visit AZ. I can’t wait to visit your amazing country some day soon!

    1. Would love to meet you in person Lisa, hangout, and learn more of your local tips for Arizona. And that campground sounds perfect! Will be referring back to this post when we get close to your home state!

  13. I came blazing through Arizona both times I’ve been through it. I’ve managed to see the Grand Canyon and Sedona, but not much else. I always seem to be out of time by the time I get there. I need to make a special trip to AZ as a destination.

  14. Sedona is great and as far the the Grand Canyon goes spend as much time as you can the. I’ve seen pictures of it all my life and it still took my breath away seeing it in real life. My real recommendation though is a tiny town called Crown King about two hours north of Phoenix. It’s a tiny old west town with a restaurant, a saloon and post office that seems frozen in time. The restaurant is surprisingly good! There is also great hiking camping and four-wheeling in the whole surrounding area. I was there many years ago but it stuck in my mind. Here is a more recent blog post by someone else that gives some more details:

    1. Hey Eric. I think we could spend a week at the Grand Canyon, easily, and would love to see it in different seasons actually. And thanks for the tip about Crown King, sounds like a fascinating place, can’t wait to discover small towns like this!

  15. We would definitely recommend doing some hikes around Sedona. We did Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge both in the same day. Also, Oak Creek Canyon was a beautiful drive between Sedona and the Grand Canyon. We did a few posts on our Arizona Road trip on our blog.

    Have fun!

  16. You might enjoy visiting Prescott. The first settlement in AZ. Became Fort Whipple, was the place to stop during the westward movement of covered wagons to re-stock supplies and water. Several old time bars “The Bird Cage”, etc.; a beautiful town square County Courthouse surrounded by well maintained 1800’s retail buildings; beautiful hiking trails and lakes; at an elevation of one mile high, and the same latitude as Los Angeles, it has mild seasons.

      1. Hey Craig, while you are hiking in Sedona check out the west fork of oak creek canyon trail! Not sure what time of year you will be visiting AZ but it is gorgeous in spring, fall and winter (haven’t tried summer). Other fun things are to climb cathedral rock and visit slide rock state park!

        1. Thank you Jennifer for your tip on the west fork of oak creek canyon trail. Added to our growing list of things to do in Arizona. Not sure what time of year we will be there, but probably not summer 🙂

  17. South of Flagstaff is a state park called Slide Rock State Park. It is an absolute must do to add to your list. Our boys were 14 and 12 at the time but younger kiddos were there too. I have never experienced something like it and it was probably one of our favorite days while in Arizona. Enjoy!

  18. Definitely take a detour to Bisbee- this quirky old mining town is fun and has a lot of history- we did a blog post about it if you want to learn more. Flagstaff is a great base for exploring northern Arizona. We used it for Grand Canyon, Route 66, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert. Great little city.

  19. this list was very useful. I always wanted to go to horse shoe bend. there is so many nice places to go in Arizona . just make sure you bring lots of water lol!!

  20. Hi guys!

    I would add the following to your list and those others have posted:

    1) See The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs – also goes into Utah
    2) Chiricahua National Monument – the “wonderland of rocks” in the SE part of the state
    3) Montezuma’s Castle just north of Phoenix
    4) Spend time in Sedona – don’t just drive to it. It’s well worth it.

    Kristi aka The Trippy Tripster!

  21. If you haven’t already been to AZ, you’ve gotta add visiting some of our Wild West ghost towns like Tombstone, AZ. Also Bartlett Lake or Lake Pleasant are both family friendly! And if you are in Phoenix during the first the Friday/Saturday of the month, downtown Phoenix has what’s called First Friday, which is basically food trucks and street performers and nighttime entry at the museums! Also we have hot air balloon rides going almost every day, it’s a staple here! Since you are visiting the Grand Canyon you absolutely need to take the train that goes from Williams to the GC! I hope your trip to AZ is fantastic, and of course the best town is my own, Cave Creek/Carefree (we have a beautiful tea room that is great for kids and families!-called the English Rose Tea Room)

  22. Lovely list! In addition to all these wonderful places, y’all should visit Ajo, Arizona, a quaint & quirky tri-cultural border town in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. Stay at the Sonoran Desert Inn and Conference Center, a beautifully restored historic elementary school reimagined into a 21 room non-profit inn that focuses on art and authenticity in a laid back peaceful desert setting. Plenty to do around town: hiking, biking, birdwatching, and photographing in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge, visiting the old copper mine pit and museum and historical museum, exploring the galleries in town, and just bottom line escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city.

    1. Hi Charlotte, appreciate the extra tip to visit Ajo, sounds lovely with some cool activities! And the desert inn sounds very interesting!

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