Arizona might be known for its heat and deserts, but this desert state is home to so much more as well. From ghost towns to indoor rainforests, here are the top 10 unique places to see in Arizona for your next trip.
1. Visit Jerome
Jerome, Arizona was once a bustling city – one of the largest in the state in the early 1900s. The town was home to large copper mines, which the economy depended on. As demand for copper went down, Jerome gradually went from a popular city to a lonely ghost town. However, though the permanent population of the town today is only around 400 people, it has become a popular destination for travelers and is home to a variety of attractions, including tours of the ghost town.
2. Learn Local History At The Arizona Museum of Natural History
Arizona was once a hot spot for dinosaurs, gold mining, and so much more! A visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History will allow you to learn all about the rich history of the state. Advance reservations are currently required.
3. Spend The Day At Lake Pleasant
Arizona might be a desert, but it’s still home to a few notable and fun bodies of water! Lake Pleasant is a large lake near Maricopa County that is a popular spot for water activities such as boating and fishing. You can look forward to a variety of activities as well, including nearby kayak rentals!
4. Explore Ruby Ghost Town
While Jerome might be one of the best-known ghost towns in Arizona, it’s far from the only one! If you’re looking for more spooky places to visit, check out Ruby Ghost Town. Less developed than Jerome, this is a great option if you’re looking for a historic site with less of a tourist feel. Potential visitors should be advised – permits are required, and while camping in the remote area is allowed, campsites are primitive (no running water, showers, etc).
5. Visit Flagstaff
While much of Arizona is a desert, if you head up towards northern Arizona that state is actually home to some beautiful forests! Flagstaff is located in one of those forests. A popular spot for skiiing in the winter, Flagstaff doesn’t lack things to do in the summer months either. You can look forward to camping, hiking, or exploring museums on your next trip to the area!
6. View Marble Canyon
If you’re looking to get a taste of Arizona’s natural beauty, consider heading over to northern Arizona to check out Marble Canyon. This stunning canyon was formed by the Colorado River thousands of years ago. Today you can look forward to taking in some breathtaking sights and taking some memorable photos at the canyon!
7. Explore The Arizona Science Center
Here’s one for the curious-minded and science lovers alike! Also a great option for families with kids, the Arizona Science Center is located in Phoenix. The science center features exhibits such as the Dorrance Planetarium and the Science Behind Bubbles. Masks, as well as the advance purchase of tickets, is currently required.
8. Visit Grand Canyon National Park
No list talking about memorable places to see in Arizona would be complete without mentioning the Grand Canyon! In addition to viewing the famous canyon, you can also look forward to a variety of hikes, including those among the rim and some that descend into the canyon. If you do choose to go on a hike, make sure to bring plenty of water with you!
9. Check Out Goldfield Ghost Town
Experience history coming to life at Goldfield Ghost Town, an attraction that is both a ghost town and a living museum. Goldfield sets itself apart from other ghost towns on this list by offering unique historical experiences such as a gunfight reenactment or a ride on a narrow-gauge train.
10. Visit Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2 is a research facility with an interesting history. Originally built for use in a science experiment, today, Biosphere 2 is home to several indoor biomes, including a rainforest. In its current phase 3 reopening plan, visitors can embark on an app-guided tour of the facility for a truly memorable and unique experience.