Winter is probably one of the best times to visit the beautiful and diverse desert state of Arizona. Areas such as Tuscon and Phoenix will offer mild weather and sunny days, while spots in Northern Arizona are only a few hours away and are perfect for traditional winter activities such as snowboarding. Here are the top 7 off-the-beaten-path places in Arizona to visit this winter.
1. Sedona, Arizona
This charming small town is known for its high-quality day spas as well as the gorgeous red rock formations that surround it. In the winter, temperatures do get chilly here, so if you’re looking to escape snow to some desert heat, this might not be the option for you.
However, Sedona is a gorgeous town that’s home to countless shops in addition to day spas. And for those who don’t mind bundling up in a sweater, if you’re lucky enough to visit the area after a snowfall, the red rocks that surround the town look uniquely stunning when frosted in fresh snow.
2. Flagstaff, Arizona
Snow and Arizona might seem to be polar opposites to those unfamiliar with the state, but higher elevations, as well as the Northern regions, get plenty of snowfall. And If you enjoy winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing, Flagstaff is a great place to visit! Head over to Arizona Snowbowl to hit the slopes, then warm up with a delicious meal from Tinder Box Kitchen or browse locals shop such as those at Old Town Shops.
3. Montezuma Castle National Monument
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon, consider heading out to Montezuma Castle National Monument. Located about an hour and a half from Phoenix, Arizona, Montezuma Castle National Monument is home to a set of well-preserved cliff-dwellings. The park is open daily, though the visitor center does close early on holidays.
4. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona is a great choice for those looking to enjoy generally warmer weather without all of the hustle and bustle a larger city like Phoenix can bring. You can look forward to winter temperatures in the low 70s range during the day, perfect for getting out and enjoying the beautiful surrounding desert.
Located about an hour from Phoenix, Arcosanti is a truly one-of-a-kind place to visit. Starting as an experimental town, Arcosanti aims to explore arcology (the intersection between ecology and architecture). This goal has resulted in a community that’s unique in both appearance and feel. Arcosanti is currently home to about 70 full-time residents. However, you’re able to visit – or even stay for a few nights!
6. Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone, Arizona is a small town that’s brought its historic roots into the future with a variety of old West-themed attractions and styling. This includes storefronts that would look at home in a Lone Ranger episode, reenacts of gunfights, and stagecoach rides. This is a great option for kids and adults alike. Tombstone is located about an hour and twenty minutes from Tucson.
7. Kartchner Caverns State Park
Another pretty unique place to visit in Arizona is Kartchner Caverns State Park. The park is home to an expansive limestone cave, which visitors have the option of touring. Information about tours is available online.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com