If you are looking for a place to spend your summer vacation, Arizona is an excellent choice. With a warm, dry climate, plenty of outdoor activities, and a wide variety of tourist attractions, Arizona is a perfect destination for the summer months.
From enjoying the lakes and rivers to exploring the national parks and monuments, there is something for everyone in Arizona. In addition, larger cities such as Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff offer many entertainment options, including museums, theaters, shopping, and restaurants.
If you’re looking for a break from the daily grind and want to explore what Arizona has to offer during your summer vacation, read on to learn more about the best activities and places to visit.
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Must-Visit Places to Visit in Arizona
Visiting Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of Arizona’s most popular tourist destinations, especially during the summer. If you are planning a visit, you should know a few things to make the most of your experience.
First, you must decide which side of the Grand Canyon you want to visit. The south side is the most popular and is open all year round. The north side is closed during the winter due to snow.
You should also consider the weather: temperatures in the Grand Canyon can vary greatly, so be sure to bring appropriate clothing and check the weather forecast before you travel.
Once you get to the Grand Canyon, there are many things you can do. You can hike the trails, take a helicopter tour, ride horseback, or even raft down the Colorado River.
If you prefer something more relaxed, you can enjoy the panoramic views from the overlooks or visit the Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center.
Several lodging options are available if you plan to spend the night at the Grand Canyon. You can camp in the park or stay in one of the nearby hotels.
If you decide to camp, reserve your site in advance, as campsites can fill up quickly during the summer.
Remember that the Grand Canyon is a highly visited place, especially during the summer, so it is important to plan ahead and be patient with the crowds.
But with a bit of planning, you can enjoy an incredible experience in one of the most breathtaking places in the United States.
Camelback Mountain: A Hiking Adventure in Arizona
If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure in Arizona, you have to visit Camelback Mountain.
This iconic mountain is one of Phoenix’s most popular attractions, and it’s not hard to see why. With panoramic views of the city and a rewarding physical challenge, Camelback Mountain is a unique experience you won’t want to miss.
The length of the hike to the top of Camelback Mountain depends on which trail you take. The Echo Canyon trail is the most popular, with an out-and-back distance of 2.5 miles and an ascent of over 1200 feet.
Due to its difficulty, this hike can take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and pace.
Before you start your adventure, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, make sure you choose the right season to hike.
The mountain can be dangerous in summer when temperatures can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, consider hiking in the spring or fall, when the weather is cooler and more pleasant.
In addition, it is important to remember that Camelback Mountain is a challenging hike that requires good physical condition.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and appropriate clothing, such as hiking shoes and sun protection. It is also advisable to start early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day and the crowds.
Explore the Mining Town of Bisbee
Bisbee is a small town in southeastern Arizona that has a lot to offer visitors. Here are some things you can see and do in Bisbee:
Historic Downtown: Bisbee has a beautiful historic downtown, filled with Victorian and art deco buildings dating from the city’s mining boom in the 1880s. Many of these buildings have been restored and now house stores, art galleries, and restaurants.
Bisbee Copper Mine: For over 100 years, Bisbee was a major mining town, and the Bisbee Copper Mine was one of the largest and most productive. Today, you can visit the mine and take a guided tour to learn about the history of mining in Bisbee.
Bisbee Museum: also known as the Bisbee History Museum, is located in the historic downtown area and features an exhibit detailing the city’s history, including the mining history and culture of the area’s native peoples.
The Bisbee Staircase: Known as the “Grand Staircase,” this series of 1,000 steps connects Bisbee’s historic downtown with the surrounding hills. The staircase offers breathtaking views of the city and is a great place to exercise.
Hiking and biking: Bisbee and the surrounding area offer many opportunities for hiking and biking in the Arizona desert. You can hike trails in the nearby Huachuca Mountains or in the nearby San Pedro Riparian Nature Reserve.
Take a Road Trip to Sedona
Sedona is a northern Arizona city known for its impressive red rock formations and laid-back atmosphere. One of the best ways to experience Sedona is on a road trip.
From Phoenix, take I-17 north for approximately 2 hours to Sedona.
Along the way, be sure to stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument, a Native American archaeological site.
You can also stop in the town of Jerome, a historic mining town known for its art galleries and antique stores.
Once you arrive in Sedona, there are many options for exploring the city and surrounding area.
- RECOMMENDED READING: Tips for visiting the United States
Best Things to Do in Sedona
Sedona is a city in northern Arizona known for its natural beauty and unique rock formations. Here are some things you can see and do in Sedona:
Rock formations: One of Sedona’s main attractions is its unique rock formations, such as Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Snoopy Rock. You can explore these rock formations on hiking and biking trails, or simply enjoy the view from one of the many lookout points in the area.
Red Mountains: Sedona is located on the edge of the Coconino National Forest and is surrounded by the Red Mountains. You can explore the area via hiking and biking trails, or just enjoy the view from one of the many overlooks.
Slide Rock State Park: This state park is known for its natural pools and natural slides formed by a stream flowing through the rock formations. It is a great place to swim, hike and enjoy the natural scenery.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village: This arts and crafts village is located in downtown Sedona and features stores and art galleries featuring works by local and national artists. It is a great place to buy souvenirs and local art.
Sedona Vortexes: Sedona is known for its vortexes, which are energy points believed to have healing and spiritual properties. There are several vortexes in Sedona that you can visit, such as the Cathedral Vortex and the Airport Vortex.
If you plan to spend the night in Sedona, there are many lodging options, from luxury hotels to campgrounds. There are also many restaurants and stores in town to browse.
Salt River Rafting
If you are looking for adventure in Arizona, don’t miss the opportunity to raft the Salt River. This river offers the opportunity to raft in the Sonoran desert, which makes it a unique and unforgettable activity.
Rafting on the Salt River is an exciting and refreshing activity to do during the summer.
With the sun shining and the waves splashing, you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery and saguaros cactus. This trip is suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters and is an excellent activity to enjoy with family or friends.
There are several companies that offer rafting trips on the Salt River. Trips range from one day to five days and are ideal for large or small groups. Prices vary depending on the length of the trip and the company you choose, so be sure to compare before booking.
The Salt River is known for its Class III rapids, which means you will have the opportunity to experience strong thrills while navigating the river.
Be sure to follow the guide’s instructions and use the proper safety equipment to ensure a safe and fun experience.
Visiting Monument Valley
Monument Valley is an iconic region of the western United States located on the border between Arizona and Utah. Here are some things you can see and do in Monument Valley:
Park tour: One of the best ways to see Monument Valley is to take a tour of the park. Tours are available by jeep or horseback, and take you through the park to see the stunning rocky landscapes and unique geological formations.
Stargazing: Monument Valley is an ideal place for stargazing due to its remote location and lack of light pollution. You can take a guided night tour and view the night sky through telescopes.
Hiking: There are several trails in the park that take you through the canyons and rock formations. The most popular trail is the Wildcat Trail, which takes you around the West Mitten Butte rock formation.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center: The park’s visitor center is an excellent place to learn about the Navajo culture and the history of the region. You can also view displays of Navajo arts and crafts and shop for souvenirs.
Photography: Monument Valley is an iconic place to take photographs due to its breathtaking rocky landscapes and natural beauty. You can take pictures from the viewpoints of the park or your own tour of the area.
Attending a Concert at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
The fairgrounds host a number of concerts during the summer, making it a popular destination for music lovers throughout the state.
One of the best things about attending a concert at the fairgrounds is that there is something for everyone. From tribute band performances to big-name artists, the fairgrounds has a wide variety of concerts to choose from.
In addition, to live music, the fairgrounds also offer a wealth of entertainment and activities for the whole family. From fairground rides to games and contests, there is something for everyone at the fairgrounds.
If you plan to attend a concert at the fairgrounds, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. Ticket prices vary by concert, so be sure to check the concert details online before purchasing your tickets.
Join Summer Day Trips in Arizona
If you’re looking for something exciting to do in Arizona during the summer, join one of the many day trips available throughout the state. Here are some options that might interest you:
Slide Rock State Park: Spend an afternoon sliding and splashing down a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park in Sedona.
Grand Canyon National Park: Visit one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders and enjoy the sights and activities at Grand Canyon National Park.
Lake Powell: Cool off in the water at Lake Powell, where you can swim, kayak, paddleboard and more.
Camelback Mountain State Park: Take a hike at Camelback Mountain State Park in Phoenix for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
These are just a few of the many options available for day trips in Arizona during the summer. Be sure to do your research and choose the one that best suits your interests and skills.
Remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and always follow the rules and regulations of the park or area you are visiting.
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Spend a day at Lake Pleasant or Saguaro Lake
If you are looking for a refreshing activity to do during the summer in Arizona, spending a day at Lake Pleasant or Saguaro Lake is an excellent choice. Both lakes are located in the Sonoran desert and offer a wide variety of water and land activities.
At Lake Pleasant, you can rent a boat for fishing, water skiing or just enjoy a day on the water. There are also hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic areas to enjoy an outdoor lunch. If you prefer to spend the night, there are campsites available in the park.
On the other hand, Saguaro Lake is a popular place for kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. It is also a great place to fish, with a variety of fish such as largemouth bass, carp and rainbow trout.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are hiking and biking trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Explore Sabino Canyon Park in Tucson
If you’re looking for summer adventures in Arizona, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Sabino Canyon Park in Tucson. This park is known for its breathtaking views of the red rocks and the opportunity to escape the summer heat in its natural pools.
The park has 14 different trails, each with its own level of difficulty and length. If you are looking for an easy trail, we recommend the Cactus Trail, which is only 0.25 miles long.
If you are looking for a challenge, the Seven Falls trail is an excellent choice. With a length of 8 miles, this trail will take you through canyons and waterfalls until you reach the impressive Seven Falls.
In addition to the trails, the park also has a shuttle service that will take you throughout the park, which is ideal if you want to enjoy the views without having to walk too far. Picnic areas are also available for you to enjoy lunch with panoramic views.
If you’re looking to escape the summer heat, be sure to visit the park’s natural pools, such as Hutch’s Pool and The Crack. These pools are perfect for cooling off during hot summer days.
Visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix
If you are looking for an activity that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and nature in Phoenix during the summer, the Desert Botanical Garden is an excellent choice.
Located in Papago Park, the garden features an impressive collection of desert flora, including cacti, trees and flowers from around the world.
The garden is one of 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, which means it is a high-quality venue with a wealth of educational and cultural resources.
In addition, the garden offers a variety of activities for all ages, such as guided tours, workshops and special events.
One of the garden’s most popular attractions is the nature trail, which takes you through a breathtaking landscape of cacti and other desert plants. There are also several themed gardens in the garden, such as the butterfly and southwestern plants.
If you visit the garden during the summer, be sure to bring comfortable clothing and sunscreen, as the weather in Phoenix can be very hot. You can also take advantage of the early morning or late afternoon hours to avoid the extreme heat of midday.
The cost of admission to the garden varies according to the season and the visitor’s age, with discounts available for students, military, and seniors over 60. Children under 3 years old are free.
Arizona is a perfect place to shop during the summer. There are many options both indoors and outdoors. If you prefer shopping in a mall, there are many places in Arizona where you can find what you are looking for.
Some of the most popular shopping centers in Arizona are:
- Scottsdale Fashion Square
- Biltmore Fashion Park
- Kierland Commons
If you prefer to shop outdoors, there are many markets and fairs in Arizona during the summer.
One of the most popular is the Mesa Flea Market, which is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are also many arts and crafts fairs throughout the state during the summer.
If you’re looking for something unique and authentic, consider visiting one of Arizona’s many craft towns. These villages are known for their handmade crafts and local products.
- Here’s another idea of what to do and see in Arizona: What to see in Kingman, Arizona: Route 66 and more
Flagstaff is a city in northern Arizona that offers a wide variety of outdoor and cultural activities. Here are some things to see and do in Flagstaff:
Lowell Observatory: Lowell Observatory is an important astronomical research center and one of the oldest observatories in the United States. You can take a guided tour and observe the night sky through their telescopes.
Grand Canyon National Park: Flagstaff is located about an hour and a half drive from Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders.
You can explore the canyon trails, take a raft ride down the Colorado River or just enjoy the view from the overlooks.
Route 66: The famous Route 66 passes through Flagstaff, and there are many tourist attractions and souvenir stores in the city that pay homage to this iconic highway.
Flagstaff Arboretum: The Flagstaff Arboretum is a botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plants native and exotic to the region. You can enjoy a walk along its trails and learn about the local flora.
Museums: Flagstaff has several interesting museums, including the Flagstaff Museum of Science and the Museum of Northern Arizona, which feature exhibits on the natural history, culture and science of the region.
Skiing and snowboarding: Flagstaff is located in the San Francisco Mountains, and there are several ski and snowboard resorts in the area, including the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort.
Jerome is a small town in Arizona that sits on the slopes of a mountain and is known for its historic charm and art. Here are some things you can see and do in Jerome:
Historic Downtown Stroll: Jerome’s historic downtown is a well-preserved historic district with stores, art galleries and restaurants in historic buildings. It is a great place to walk and explore the unique architecture of the city.
Jerome State Historic Park: This state park features the Douglas Mansion, a historic house that is now a museum featuring the history of Jerome and mining in the area. You can also enjoy panoramic views of the city and mountains from the park.
Art Galleries: Jerome is known for its vibrant art scene, and there are several art galleries and artists’ studios in town. You can see works by local and national artists and buy unique souvenirs.
Jerome Winery and Vineyard: Jerome Vineyard is a working winery located on the outskirts of town. You can do a wine tasting and enjoy the view of the vineyards and the mountains.
Jerome Cable Car Ride is a popular tourist attraction that takes you from the city to the top of the mountain. You can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape from there.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona is known for its impressive petrified tree formations and beautiful desert landscape. Here are some of the things you can see and do in this park:
Visit the Rainbow Forest Museum: This museum is the park’s main visitor center and offers information about the geological history of the area and the Native American culture that inhabited it. Fossils and artifacts from the region are also on display.
Hike the Long Logs trail: This trail takes you through a series of extremely large petrified tree trunks that were preserved for millions of years.
Visit the area of the Rock Painting: Here you will find petroglyphs that represent the culture and history of the ancient inhabitants of the area, dating back more than 2000 years.
Drive Route 66: Petrified Forest National Park is also home to a section of the iconic Route 66, which is a unique experience you can enjoy while visiting the park.
Seeing the desert landscape: The park also offers stunning desert landscapes, such as sand hills, rock formations and canyons that are ideal for exploring by hiking or driving.
This beautiful sandstone rock canyon is located near Page, Arizona, and is known for its impressive rock formations and natural light coming through the canyon’s openings.
Barringer Crater is a meteorite impact found in northern Arizona and is one of the largest meteorite impact craters in the world.
A stunning man-made lake located on the border of Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is a popular spot for boating, water skiing and fishing.
Summer events in Arizona
If you’re looking for fun things to do during summer vacation in Arizona, don’t worry. There are many event options for all tastes throughout the state. Here are some of Arizona’s most popular festivals you won’t want to miss.
Willcox Watermelon Festival
Do you love watermelon? Then don’t miss the Willcox Watermelon Festival. This annual event is held in July and features tons of fresh watermelon, watermelon eating contests, live music and activities for the whole family.
You can even take a tour of the watermelon fields and learn about the growing process!
Tucson Beer Festival
If you’re a beer lover, don’t miss the Tucson Beer Festival. This annual event is held in June and features more than 50 local breweries offering hundreds of different craft beers.
There is also live music, delicious food and fun activities for all ages.
Snowflake Lavender Festival
Looking for something a little more relaxing? Snowflake’s Lavender Festival is perfect for you. This annual event is held in June and features lavender fields in bloom, live music, food and drink, and a host of local artisans selling lavender products.
You can also take a tour of lavender farms and learn about the history and uses of this beautiful plant.
Payson Cherry Festival
If you love fresh fruit, don’t miss the Payson Cherry Festival. This annual event is held in June and features tons of fresh cherries, live music, activities for children and adults, and a host of local vendors selling products made from cherries.
You can also tour the cherry farms and learn about the growing process.
These are just a few of the most popular summer events in Arizona. Be sure to check out the local events calendars to find more fun things to do during your summer vacation!
Arizona Summer Activities
Need ideas for your Arizona vacation? I tell you all about it here.
Arizona is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. From easy hikes to challenging mountain ascents, there is something for all skill levels.
You can explore the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Tonto National Forest and many other places.
If you like water activities, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride. You can take a sightseeing tour of Lake Powell, enjoy a day at Lake Havasu or go on a Colorado River tour.
Arizona has many lakes and rivers where you can fish. You can fish for trout in the Green River, bass in Lake Roosevelt or catfish in Bartlett Lake. Be sure to obtain a fishing license before heading out.
Arizona has many scenic biking trails. You can hike the South Mountain trail, enjoy the scenery on the Tempe Dam trail or take a tour of the Coconino National Forest.
Of course, many of these routes are not for beginners.
Beat the Arizona heat in the Swimming Holes
If you want to escape the summer heat, head to one of the many Swimming Holes in Arizona. You can visit Fossil Creek near Camp Verde, Slide Rock in Sedona or Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon.
If you like to spend time outdoors, there’s no better way to do it than camping. Arizona has many beautiful campgrounds to choose from, from woodland to desert campgrounds.
Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular campgrounds in Arizona. You can also camp at Coconino National Forest or Homolovi State Park.
If you like adventure and excitement, rock climbing is an excellent option for you. Arizona has some of the best climbing in the United States.
Coconino National Forest and Tonto National Forest are two of the most popular rock climbing locations in Arizona.
Arizona is a state rich in history and culture, with a wide variety of museums, historic sites and art to explore. If you are a culture lover, here are some activities to include in your summer itinerary.
Arizona has a large number of museums offering a wide range of exhibits.
The Phoenix Art Museum is one of the most popular, with an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art. You can also visit the Heard Museum, which focuses on Native American art and culture.
Another interesting museum is the Arizona History Museum, which tells the history of the state from prehistoric times to the present day. The Phoenix Children’s Museum is an excellent choice for families, with interactive and educational activities for children.
Arizona has a rich history and there are many historic sites to explore. Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the most impressive, with ruins of an ancient Native American village dating back to the 12th century.
You can also visit Fort Bowie, a historic fort that was used during the Indian Wars and the Civil War.
Another interesting place is the Tumacácori National Historical Park, which has the ruins of an 18th-century Spanish mission.
You can also visit Casa Grande National Historical Park, which features the ruins of a massive adobe structure built by Native Americans more than 800 years ago.
Art and Culture
Arizona is a state rich in art and culture. The Scottsdale Performing Arts Center is a great place to enjoy a live performance, from plays to classical music concerts.
You can also visit the Scottsdale Art Gallery, which features an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art.
Another interesting place is the Phoenix Farmers Market, where you can enjoy local food, crafts and live music. You can also visit the Phoenix Arts District, which features a variety of art galleries and artists’ studios.
Tips for Traveling to Arizona in Summer
Summer in Arizona can be scorching, so it is important to dress appropriately to protect yourself from the sun and keep cool. Wear light, light-colored clothing, preferably cotton or linen.
It is also advisable to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the sun.
Drink plenty of water
It is very important to stay hydrated during your summer trip to Arizona. Carry a bottle of water with you and drink frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can further dehydrate you.
Avoid peak heat hours
Peak heat hours in Arizona are usually between 11 am and 4 pm. Try to avoid being outdoors during these hours, especially if you plan to be physically active. If you must be outdoors, seek shade and rest frequently.
Book in Advance
In the summer, Arizona is a popular tourist destination, so it is recommended that you book your accommodations and activities in advance. This way, you can ensure you have a place to stay and avoid long lines and waits at tourist attractions.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your summer trip to Arizona. Always remember to take care of your health and safety, and enjoy the wonders this state has to offer.
How to Get Around Arizona During Summer Vacation
If you plan to visit Arizona during the summer, it is important to know how to get around the state. Here are some options:
Renting a car is a good option if you want to have the freedom to go anywhere at any time. There are several car rental companies in Arizona, such as Hertz, Avis and Enterprise. Be sure to book in advance to get the best rates.
2. Use public transportation: If you prefer not to drive, you can use public transportation in Arizona. Most cities have bus systems, and Phoenix has a light rail system called Valley Metro Rail. Check schedules and routes online before departure.
3. Use ridesharing services: Uber and Lyft are popular options in Arizona. You can request a ride anytime, anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about driving or parking. Keep in mind that prices may increase during times of high demand.
4. Walk or bike: If you are in a city, walking or biking can be a good option to get around. Many cities have bike paths and wide sidewalks.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection if you decide to hike or bike during the summer in Arizona, as temperatures can be very high.
5. Take a tour: If you want to explore Arizona in a more organized way, you can take a tour. Many companies offer tours by car, on foot, bicycle, and jeep. Research the options and choose the one that best suits your interests and budget.
Remember that during the summer in Arizona, temperatures can be very high. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection wherever you go.
Also, if you are driving, be sure to check your car’s air conditioning system and take a map or GPS with you.
Where to Stay in Arizona
There are many lodging options to choose from in Arizona during your summer vacation. Whether you are looking for a luxury resort or a rustic cabin, there is something for every taste and budget.
If you’re looking for something luxurious, the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is an excellent choice. This resort features luxurious rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, spa and an award-winning restaurant. In addition, it is located in a stunning natural environment, surrounded by mountains and deserts.
If you prefer something more rustic, consider staying in a cabin in the woods. Glamping Hub offers a wide selection of luxury cabins throughout Arizona. From lakeside cabins to desert cabins, there is something for everyone.
In addition, many of these cabins have modern amenities, such as air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
If you are traveling with the family, there are many family resorts in Arizona that offer fun activities for all ages. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is one of the most popular family resorts in Arizona.
This resort has a wave pool, water slides, an 18-hole golf course and a children’s club. It is also close to many popular attractions, such as the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo.
Plan Your Trip to the United States
- Tips for visiting the United States
- How to drive in America
- Everything you need to know about Route 66
- What to see in Arizona’s Petrified Forest, Route 66
- What to See in Kingman, Arizona: Route 66 and More
- 15 Ghost Towns on Route 66
Last Updated on 6 September, 2023 by Veronica