ARIZONA TRAVEL GUIDE

ARIZONA TRAVEL GUIDE

Navigate the Arizona travel guide:

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WELCOME TO ARIZONA!

State of Arizona image
State of Arizona
Arizona State Flag image
Arizona State Flag

Arizona – “The Grand Canyon State”, is the 6th largest state in the USA and home to 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Canyon National Park. Entered into the USA as the 48th state, Alaska’s capital, and largest city, is Phoenix.

Other popular Arizona destinations include Antelope Canyon, Sedona, Tucson, and Flagstaff.

Arizona is known for its canyons and hot desert climate, being one of the Four Corners states, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, Hoover Dam, having more mountains than Switzerland and more golf courses than Scotland.

Famous people from Arizona include Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Cesar Chavez, Barbara Eden, and Lynda Carter.

POPULAR THINGS TO DO IN ARIZONA

Arizona’s mountains, lakes, and rivers offer some of the best hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, fishing, wildlife watching, and boating in the USA.

ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION

Arizona has all forms of transportation, including Carpoolworld, Uber, Lyft, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.

Arizona also has regional buses and is part of the Amtrak train system.

ARIZONA HOLIDAYS

In addition to U.S. holidays, the Arizona may observe additional state or local holidays.  It may be a good idea to check what state or local holidays they celebrate to see if there are any public service, school, or other closures as this may impact your tourist itinerary, ability to obtain travel or other services, or it could mean more tourists and/or higher prices in your Arizona destination. Take a few moments to see if there are holidays specific to Arizona to better help you plan your trip.

TIPPING IN ARIZONA

See tipping guidelines in my USA Travel Guide for tipping in Arizona.

ARIZONA TRAVEL BOOKING

ARIZONA ECOTOURISM TIPS

There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Arizona. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.

ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.

Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Try to avoid flying in Arizona by taking a regional bus or the Amtrak train.

When booking a rideshare in Arizona, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Arizona.

ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS

Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:

Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for USA Green Global members.

Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.

Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.

LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for USA certifications.

Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.

GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.

Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!

ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Arizona has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.

Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Arizona. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.

MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS

There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel.  Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.

ARIZONA SAFETY TIPS

HOW TO TRAVEL ARIZONA SAFELY

Please see my U.S. travel tips. In addition, if you are planning on going hiking, backpacking or doing any other activity that will take you into remote places, please ensure you research the local travel and weather advisories in advance and respect warnings not to travel; let people know where are you going and provide them your itinerary; and, ensure you have safety and emergency measures provided for in your travel belongings.    

ARIZONA BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS

BEST TIME TO VISIT ARIZONA

Arizona’s high tourist season and most expensive time to visit is in the summer (June to August).  The least expensive time to go to Arizona is in the winter months (November to March). Summer can be very hot in Arizona so recommended times to visit for nice weather and avoiding the high prices and tourists are the shoulder season months (April, May, September and October).

PERSONAL STORY

In my humble opinion, the Western desert states either speak to you or they don’t.  Arizona definitely speaks to me.  There is nothing like the vastness of the desert with red rock buttes, the beauty of the Grand Canyon, or the mystical feeling of how those big, billowy, white clouds suspend lowly in the sky. 

Arizona’s landscape is also diverse.  If you are anywhere near the Grand Canyon, make sure you drive Route 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona.  You start at a higher elevation in pine tree Flagstaff and end up in red rock Sedona.  This drive was recommended to me 25 years ago and I am so thankful it was. I’ve driven many thousands of miles across this country, but this is one the most memorable stretches.  It is considered one of the best scenic drives in the U.S. for a reason. 

Visiting the Grand Canyon is a no-brainer – there is nothing else like it in the world. I’ve sat on the edge with my cousin drinking a beer while watching a lightning storm in the distance before camping for the night.  An amazing sight I will never forget. 

Although I’m not big on dams, I do recommend visiting the Hoover Dam simply for its engineering capabilities.  My bus broke down in Prescott, I’ve rescued a hitchhiker from his broken down car in the 110-plus degrees desert in the middle of nowhere, and drove through winding stretches of road where you go so slowly that tarantulas are noticeable on the asphalt.  Arizona is definitely a state to explore, not just go to the touristy areas.

ARIZONA PHOTOS

ARIZONA BLOG POSTS

How to Tour the Hoover Dam

Top Tips on How to Tour the Hoover Dam

(UPDATED 12/24/21) If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada, touring the Hoover Dam is a must, but can be a hassle unless you use my tips on how to tour the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas to get the most out

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