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What to Do in Arizona Anytime...
Want a great idea for something to do in Arizona? Explore an Arizona City or Town with a unique Walking Tour! Where is it you're staying, or planning a trip?
What others have said:
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This company puts together a wonderful Quest.... Everything is well designed.... I highly recommend the Urban Adventure Quest!
A really fun game! My daughter and I played it on Mother’s Day and had a great time. It is a fantastic way to learn history of the city, meet nice people, get exercise. We loved that we could do it at our own pace. We could stop for a leisurely lunch.
So many areas available to go 4-Wheeling to see awesome Arizona sights! Wherever you are on your Arizona Travels, find a great Off-Road Tour. We have super suggestions for you, from tame to chilling! From breathtaking to inspiring. Take a look...
Ski Arizona! - Arizona is home to the Southernmost ski area in mainland U.S., in the Catalina Mountains, adjacent to Tucson. That's not the only one. Where can you go to enjoy the Arizona Skiing Lifestyle?
Snowbowl - North of Flagstaff, the largest Ski area in Arizona. Activities year-round! Stay at the Lodge or in cabins. Or in Flagstaff's many accommodations suiting all budget needs. On the Western side of Mount Humphreys, Arizona's highest. With 55 runs, for beginners, experts, and in between! Eight lifts. Winter season: Mid November til April's end. More information: (928) 779-1951
Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley - From Tucson, Take Catalina Hwy. to Mt. Lemmon Hwy., bypass Summerhaven up to the ski resort at road's end. Two chairlifts and one tow. Five beginner, nine intermediate & eight expert slopes. A ski school has group or private lessons. Equipment rentals, plus half-day rates after 12:30 pm. Breakfast or lunch Thursday thru Monday at the Iron Door Restaurant. Shops & ski lift rides open in summer.
Elk Ridge Ski Area - Formerly known as Bill Williams. Ownership transition now, currently not open. Near Williams, AZ, on the north side of Bill Williams Mountain. We'll add more when it reopens.
Yuma Territorial Prison - Yuma is a fabulous place to be in winter. Escaping overwhelming cold weather, but still in range for visiting Flagstaff if you're missing it! Yuma Territorial Prison State Park connects to Tombstone Arizona, holding that famous prisoner, “Buckskin” Frank Leslie. Sheriff John Behan also was Superintendent for a time. Plus it held some infamous women, like the Bandit Queen, Pearl Hart. But what else can you do there, at the prison or in Yuma?
Visit the Yuma East Wetlands
Learn about the Yuma High School at the Yuma Prison
The Great Oatman Bed Race - Here's a kinda weird thing to do in Arizona! Held the 3rd Saturday in January. Come watch the fun. Or join up with a five-member team (minimum age: 18) four to push & one rider. $50 team entry. Your metal-framed bed on wheels supplied. The hitch: teams make up the bed with sheets, pillow cases, etc. before the finish line. For details (928) 768-6222.
Things to Do in Arizona in February
Visit Congress AZ
See a few interesting things in this small community Outside of Wickenburg:
See the Congress Frog & Skull Rock - Drive Hwy. 89 about 1/2 mile North of town for this iconic local landmark! It's about 16 feet high, probably weighs 60 tons, and he's quite green! Another famous local rock is off Hwy. 89. Turn onto County Road 62 (aka Date Creek Rd.). Drive just over 6 miles to see this huge boulder painted white with skull markings. Decorated this way since 1900, they say!
Visit Old Congress Pioneer Cemetery - Circa 1887. Quite a few childhood graves, some unmarked graves. The old Congress Ghost Town in view from here. Not much left. Also near the old mine. The Cemetery is South of Hwy. 93, off Ghost Town Road.
Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial - About 7 miles from Congress, this memorial Arizona State Park (free entry) honors the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters (see the film: Only the Brave) who lost their lives while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire June 30, 2013. It's something to do in Arizona that combines a thoughtful, striking memorial with a hike. Trek about 3.5 miles from the trailhead to the Fatality Site. Then loop back, totaling about seven miles. Allow four to six hours. Bring lots of water. Interspaced markers give background on each firefighter. Yarnell has a shuttle bus to the park. Or drive two miles south of Yarnell on State Route 89 to the park entrance.
Things to Do in Arizona in March
See Organ Pipe Cactus - A National Monument dedicated to this special columnar cactus. Organ Pipe cactus grow to about 15 feet tall. They're somewhat rare, so roam this park to see them! They don't grow any further North than this. You could wait until May to visit, when their creamy white flowers start blooming. A glorious, showy Organ Pipe visual! But doing this, anticipate the heat. It may be in the 100s there by then. Take the Park's Ajo Mountain Drive, very scenic! Follow Hwy. 86 West (Ajo Rd.) out of Tucson. Turn left onto Hwy. 85 at the town of Why.
Tonto Natural Bridge - An Arizona State Park specifically for this attraction. Erosion formed this natural tunnel through rock, creating a bridge over Pine Creek and canyon. In 1877 David Gowan located it when hiding from Apaches. Many caves are around here also. From Payson, go 10 miles North on Hwy. 87. Turn onto NF-583A.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day - Always falling on March 17th. But for St. Patrick's Day things to do in Arizona, it's often celebrated on the Saturday just before/after. Tucson has a parade & downtown park festival. But the Phoenix Area has larger celebrations:
Downtown Phoenix has a Parade & Irish Faire at 10 am., along N. 3rd St. Then head over to the Irish Cultural Center at Hance Park for Irish Music, Stepdancing, pipers, Food, brews & more.
Glendale has the Irish Kilt Run, ending with the St. Patrick’s Party at McFadden’s Bar & Grill. Also hear Irish bands at the Leprechaun Village. Padre Murphy’s sets up a gigantic tent for live music, corned beef & cabbage & so much more!
Rula Bula in Tempe is a hub for live Irish entertainment & decor. Chompies award-winning bakery & deli serves all kinds of Irish treats: Leprechaun cupcakes, green & white cookies & green bagels. For dinner: corned beef, cabbage, boiled red potatoes & Irish soda bread. Fat Tuesday on Mill Avenue teams with El Hefe & Handlebar, hosting a massive Irish block party.
Clancy’s Pub in Scottsdale starts a few days early with corned beef & cabbage + live Irish music on the patio.
Try the Pot of Gold Festival in Chandler: two-day music festival of rock, alternative, & ska punk. Seamus McCaffrey’s fences off for a big St. Pat's celebration: Irish bands, step dancers, pipers all day!
In Fountain Hills the Fountain Park fountain is dyed green, honoring the day. Watch out! They're known to have an Irish party there, too. With Irish foods, brews & music.
Things to Do in Arizona in April
Tombstone AZ - 2 for 1!
Starting with the blooming rose bush, the World’s largest rose bush, called a "Rose Tree" (go see it, you'll understand!). In the Guinness Book of World Records. It's in Tombstone. Has a historical, romantic story attached! Read More>
Named the Lady Banksia Rose. Although it blooms throughout the Springtime, the Rose Festival happens on an April weekend. Friday evening they crown the Rose Queen and her court. Saturday is the big day: parade, dinners, dances, etc. Saturday morning's Rose Festival parade on Allen St. Some parade pics:
Today's Town Marshals are Often on Horseback!
The Rose Queen's Court
A "Picture Perfect" Rose Float!
Tombstone's Four Deuces Beers 'n' Balls
The Annual Beers ‘n’ Balls at the Four Deuces Saloon – Corner of Third & Allen Streets in Tombstone AZ
Part of Third St. roped off for the band. Tables & dancing area there. Arm-band ensures only over-21. No cover charge.
Walk West along Allen Street to the Four Deuces Saloon. That's where we were on this particular special Saturday, to sample a unique meal!
Some of our friends said “Never!” Some said: tried once, one-and-done!! Only one said he’d had ’em before, it was alright, he’d do it again. We talked with a visitor, rancher from Texas who said they did it all the time when it was that time of the year!
You may have heard them called "Rocky Mountain Oysters." Ranchers castrate calves and don't let that meat go to waste. They save the testicles for food usage. They’re skinned, ground up, and turned into various food delicacies!
Our friend Kate was one of the cooks. They get about 30 pounds of the, ummm – balls – for preparation. She prepared two different meals. Her husband Dan helped her with the skinning!
That's what this event, this kinda crazy thing to do in Arizona, is all about. Kate always encouraged us to come sample these delicacies. We were a bit leery, but decided to give it a try. We looked over everything before choosing the platter. Gene even let me try a little of his sample before actually purchasing. I thought okay, not bad.
Kate Offering Sliders and Spaghetti & Meat-Ball Cups
Another friend, Gene, had deep fried poppers. Hot sauce optional!
The platters were our lunch/dinner. Bill tried a couple items, then started on the chili. I started alternating the poppers & other bite sized bits (slowly) with the slider. I figured the slider was most like a favorite of mine, a good burger.
Bill thought the chili was pretty good. He ate it all. He ate most of his plate. But he said, one time! Not something he’d want to do again.
Me? With each bite, I liked it less and less. It may have been mind over matter (I've taught an anatomy course which included reproductive anatomy, that may have contributed!) But I couldn’t eat more. I sampled around the plate. I did have ketchup on the slider. But I only ate about a quarter of it. I probably ate about a fifth of the rest of the plate, and two spoons of the chili.
When Bill finished, I said "I’m done too! I just can’t eat any more of this." I just couldn't complete it, phew!! So it was, we were: One And Done!!
But the whole event is a kickin' time! Four Deuces also has regular grilled food (burgers/dogs) on hand, for the squeamish. [That's what we'll do now!] Bands play from the afternoon until closing. Because this event takes place on the same day as The Rose Festival, the Rose Court often puts in an appearance! All in all it's a great time. Definitely a to-do, if you're looking for an unusual thing to do in Arizona!
Bill starts on his sampler – I started on mine, too!
A sampler contained something from each of the six cooks – including a bowl of chili. We chose that so we could try everything.
The Oldest Trading Post - In Northeastern Arizona,at Ganado. The Hubbell Trading Post was begun by John Lorenzo Hubbell in 1878. On the Navajo Nation, the oldest continuously operating trading post there. Tour the historic Hubbell homestead: on your own, or Ranger-led. The Navajo Nation, unlike the rest of AZ, does observe Daylight Savings Time. To get there: from I-40 take U.S. Hwy. 191 North. Then Hwy. 264 West to Ganado.
Old Chiricahua Apache Homeland - Now the Chiricahua National Monument in Southeastern Arizona. South of Willcox. Take the scenic drive going to altitudes from 5000 to 7000+ feet. You'll see wonderful rock formations. If you're into camping or hiking, gorgeous availability is here. Drive to Massai Point for stunning overlooks. There's a pioneer homestead called Faraway Ranch. Take Hwy. 181 out of Willcox. Follow signs to the turn-off onto Rt. 181 taking you to the entrance at E. Bonita Canyon Rd.
Stop Your Car - And Hike a Chiricahua National Monument Trail!
Things to Do in Arizona in June
High Country Time! Flagstaff area for a variety of great adventures. This hottest desert month, means it usually ranges from 70s to low 80s daytime temp in Flag! Great time to visit.
Flagstaff Hullabaloo - In downtown, Wheeler Park, 211 W. Aspen Ave. Celebrate summer at this fun community festival, raising funds for local non-profits. Starting with a bike parade on Saturday, 9:30 am. There's a large kid-centered section with trampolines, face painting, lots more! Continuous live-music on-stage. Luscious food booths & satisfying beverages. Costume contests, clowns, roving characters, so much more! First weekend in June. Check their website: flaghulla.com or call (877)4.FLY.TIX (435.9849).
Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival - 2nd Saturday in June at Continental Driving Range, 5000 Old Walnut Canyon. Featuring blues acts, Grammy award winners, and microbrew stands. Also a children's area, arts & craft booths, and food vendors. Kids 12 & under FREE, but must be with an adult. See flagstaffblues.com or call (928) 606-5601.
Lake Mary - An enchanting pine-surrounded, narrow, but outstretched lake. Actually in two sections, Upper Lake Mary and Lower Lake Mary. Reservoirs made from a dam constraining waters of Walnut Creek, running out of Walnut Canyon. Named for Mary Riordan, daughter of founding Flagstaff Territorial lumberman. The larger upper section is known for good fishing, the lower not so much. Large elk populations in the area, as well as deer. It's a good birding spot. Upper has two boat launches, no restriction on motor size. Popular for water skiing. Picnic areas have tables, ramadas, barbeque grills, and toilets. Lake Mary Recreation area has three campgrounds and three picnic areas. Take Lake Mary Rd., off I-17. Read More>
Lower Lake Mary in July
Things to Do in Arizona in July
A great time to be in the White Mountains!
Alpine Worm Races - Another quite out of the ordinary thing to do in Arizona! Held the first week in July at the Ye Olde Tavern. A rip-roarin' time that started for focusing on the fantastic area fishing. It's become a fun tradition. New owners, Laura & William are continuing it. Find them at 42640 U.S. Hwy. 180, near the Hwy. 191 South Junction.
Alpine Area Artisans Festival - Held the first week in July, on multiple days surrounding Independence Day. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street. Crafts-people show their works: Paintings • Baskets • Jewelry • Beading • Weaving, Collages • Quilting • Photography • Clothing • Wood-Works • Knitting/Crocheting • Amulets, Clay • Journals • Home Decor, etc. Free Admission, Free Parking. Information: Alpine Chamber of Commerce: (928) 339-4330.
Sunrise Park Resort - It's a Ski Resort in the winter. But a great place for summertime mountain play! The season begins Memorial Day weekend. Ride the Ski Lift for phenomenal views along Sunrise Mountain: 10,700 ft. elevation. Take the Mountain Bike Lift: get off on top & bike downhill: what a thrill! Try some archery, hone your skill. What else? For 6+ year olds: Sunrise Super Slide, two levels for the Airbag Jump, Bungee Trampoline Jump, and Rock Climbing Wall! Take younger ones on enchanting walks on appealing trails. Then visit the Eagle’s Nest Cafe for good eats. Anything you need at the General Store. Come by Greer, Hwy 260 east to Hwy 273. Turn right to get to Sunrise Park.
Cottonwood/Sedona/Prescott areas - Summertime here is a little warm, but the elevations make it a bit cooler than the heated up desert floors. You can expect it to be in the 90s in the daytime, cooling into the 70s after sundown. So an ideal time for outdoor summer activities, or some indoor ones. This is monsoon time. So remember to watch the weather forecast. Don't get caught out in a thunderstorm! What's so nice about Monsoon, is the cooling effects of the clouds and rainstorms.
Verde River Greenway State Natural Area - Swim, take a canoe or kayak trip, or try a little fishing. Swimming is allowed anywhere along the river. No lifeguards, so at your own risk. For river crafts, put in at the Tuzigoot bridge & take out at Dead Horse Ranch; or put in at Dead Horse Ranch & take out at 89A. Check water levels before your trip. Use caution for the abundance of twists & turns. For fishing, a valid AZ license is required for age 10 & older. Remember if you pack it in, pack it out, for minimal impact on the environment. No loud nuisance noises. No overnight camping. No fires. Off road vehicles are prohibited. Pets must be leashed. This area is next to Dead Horse Ranch State Park, at 2011-B Kestrel Road in Cottonwood. Campsites, cabins & facilities are in the State Park.
Experience a Vortex!Sedona is known for the mystical side of life! Are you into that? Believe in it? I think there's validity to it. We've traveled to Sedona quite often. Have gone to 3 of the 4 major vortexes there. Some are very easy to get to. Others a little more difficult. A Sedona trip is a must-to-do in Arizona for everyone anyway, we think! It's an amazing place. What is a Vortex? You say! It's a place of natural energy source. A kind of spiritual, or psychic, or subconscious type that swirls centrally in a specific spot. Some people can sense it. Others can't, it seems. Here the Sedona Vortex List in order of ease of access, to more difficult:
Airport Mesa - We've been here & had an amazing experience. The parking area is small. So getting a spot: timing will have to be right! Then take the main trail off to the left out to the cliff's edge. Get there: From the roundabout of Hwy. 89A & 179, go West on 89A, away from Uptown. In 1 mile watch for the left turn onto Airport Rd. Go up hill about 1/2 mile, you'll see the parking on the left.
Boyton Canyon - We've been near this one, but never did go directly to the vortex area. Go west on Hwy. 89A out of Uptown. Three miles out at the Dry Creek Rd. traffic light, make a right onto Boynton Pass Rd. At the end, turn right to Boynton Canyon Rd. Go just 1/10 mile to the trail's parking area, turn in on the right.
Cathedral Rock - This is one we have yet to try. It's a short hike, but very steep. The vortex is in the saddle, between the spires. The trailhead is at 500 Back O Beyond Rd., accessed from Hwy. 179 going toward Uptown Sedona, at the roundabout after passing Bell Rock. Another place where caution is needed.
Bell Rock - We've also been to this great place. Amazing! Lots of parking, lots of ways to access it. Right along Hwy. 179, just past the Village of Oak Creek. A trail loops around the front, along the highway. From there you can make your way to the hill, climbing up as you wish: up along stair like ledges. Use caution.
The Parking Area, Just East of Bell Rock
Arizona Cowboy Poet's Gathering - Cowboy poets, singers & musicians get together in this yearly tradition in Prescott. Hear them present the culture of the American Cowboy. Thursday, Friday & Saturday in early August, on Yavapai College campus. They're a 501(c)(3) organization working to preserve American West culture and heritage. For information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (928) 713-6323.
Things to Do in Arizona in September
Winslow - Have you stood On the Corner there? Join in! And see what else is in the area...
La Posada Hotel - A stop you'll want to make, and perhaps make it your overnight stay. Beautiful grounds, gorgeous rooms at reasonable rates, book store, library, and gift shop. Fred Harvey built this hotel, of the famed "Harvey Girls" system of travel accommodations. Architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was asked by Harvey to design the hotel, this "resting place" finished in 1929. Designed to be the finest in the Southwest. After the stock market crash, at times the hotel and building barely survived. From 1994 to 1997 efforts began to save it and restore it. In the 1930s, it was a favorite stop for the Hollywood stars. Other notable figures have stayed here as well. Maybe you'd like to? It's right on Rt. 66, toward the Eastern outskirts of town. Call (928) 289-4366.
"Standin' on the Corner" Park Festival - Come on over! Be a fine sight!! At the Eagle Pavilion, 523 W. Second St. on the last Friday & Saturday of the month. Live bands, arts & crafts, food, live auction, beer garden, dancing, kid's play area, fire truck tug & more fun. $5 entry. For further info: (928) 289-3434.
Here I am - Standin' On the Corner! Do You Remember the Rest of the Song?
9-11 Memorial Garden - Remembrance dedicated to September 11, 2001 and the promise: “we will never forget.” On the corner of E. 3rd St. & Transcon Lane, take Exit 255 from I-40. The garden's centerpiece is wreckage from the World Trade Center. The 14 & 15 ft. beams were bestowed to Winslow citizens by the City of New York.
Homolovi State Park - Picnic sites available. Camp if it's your preference. But definitely view the archaeological sites by taking the available trails. Read More>
Things to Do in Arizona in October
Check out the Florence AZ Area:
St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery - A beautiful desert oasis built by monks in 1995. Take the self guided tour. Check in at the bookstore as you enter. Be warned to have proper attire: conservative, modest, nothing sheer. Women must wear a skirt & have scarf-type head coverings, but not hats. Men must wear a hat. Some borrowing-wear is available, if you brought the wrong items. No smoking on the premises. No speaking with the monks. Also, photos are allowed, but not of the monks. It's off Rt. 79, 12 miles South of Florence. Take Paisano Road to 4784 North St. Joseph’s Way. The grounds and architecture are worth it!
In Town - Florence has true Old West history. About 140 buildings are historic, from as early as Territorial Days. Check the Visitor Center, a historic building itself & a state park. It's downtown, at the corner of Main & Ruggles, where you can get a self-led walking tour. It includes the historic courthouse and the Silver King Hotel.
Tom Mix Memorial - Driving North from Tucson to get to Florence, you'll likely take Hwy. 79, Pinal Pioneer Parkway. Along here, on October 12, 1940, Western film star Tom Mix had a car accident. After a flash-flood, a barrier was in the road. He swerved to avoid it, his car flipped, a suitcase flung into his head from the rear. His neck broke, and he died. The nearby wash is named for him. Check for the rest-stop between Mile Marker 15 & 16. There you'll find the monument in his honor, 15 miles before arriving at Florence. He was a friend to Wyatt Earp, a pall bearer at his funeral in 1929.
Tom Mix at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris in 1925
Things to Do in Arizona in November
See what's in Kingman AZ:
Walking Tour - Jim Hinckley, author & historian, hosts this Rt. 66, heart of historic Kingman tour. Taking 2 hours, costs only $15. But a group minimum totaling at least $50 needed for the tour to go. Call the Kingman Visitor Center for info/details: 866-427-RT66 (7866)
Monolith Garden Trail - Multi use: hikers, horseback, mountain-bikers, runners. Loop trails wander amidst seven miles of Mohave Desert vegetation and volcanic rock formations. Very little shade, have lots of water. To Trailhead: From I-40, take U.S. Hwy. 93 exit (W. Beale) West. Drive 0.1 mile, after Fort Beale Dr. on the right, take next left: Metwell Drive. Then to a right turn on a dirt road, about 50 yards to the trailhead.
Visit the Andy Devine Room - Kingman's native son has a special place at the Mohave Museum! Although born in Flagstaff, he moved to Kingman in his 1st year. You'll see the street named for him when you get to town. Once a semi-pro football player, his first show-biz gig was the Jack Benny Show. Many baby boomers knew him from his series "Andy's Gang" with his famous line: Plunk your magic twanger Froggie! Well known as Cookie, the sidekick of Roy Rogers in 10 movies. Another famed role was Jingles P. Jones, Wild Bill Hickok's pal. He played a sidekick in about 400 movies, Westerns in particular. While there, check the other exhibits, like the outdoor display of ranching & mining machinery & a 1923 railroad caboose. Located at 400 W. Beale St., right in Historic Downtown Kingman.
Andy Devine as Jingles in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (circa 1956)
Things to Do in Arizona in December
Do you think "it's the most wonderful time of the year"?
Verde Canyon Railroad - A rare treat! Ride through this remarkable canyon on a vintage restored train. Travel 20 miles, four hours, and be astounded at the sights, while you're treated as a privileged guest. Leave at the depot Near Sedona, in Clarkdale. Many options are available for your trip. Including every weekend evening from Dec. 1 - 23, guests have a bird’s eye view of a Magical Holiday Village, plus a light-show special on the decorated train during a special nighttime run to Santa’s workshop. For more information email them at email@example.com or call (800) 582-7245.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights - Plan for a Tucson stay! A great winter holiday vacation spot! While there, this is an extraordinary holiday treat. Residents of the Winterhaven community, near Country Club & Fort Lowell, decorate their homes and yards for the holidays. They go all out, voluntarily! Most of the neighborhood participates as a gift to the community and city. Walk through or take a wagon ride, bus trolley, or a pedal-powered group bike. Driving permitted only on one drive-thru night. 5:30 to 10 pm. It's free to enter, but a donation for the Food Bank is asked. Usually ongoing from the 2nd week in December until the day after Christmas. Keep informed of details on their Facebook Page.
Annual Boat Parade of Lights - In Lake Havasu City, along Bridgewater Channel beginning in Thompson Bayand, continuing under London Bridge, to the Channel's north end. Then turns around at Windsor Beach and goes back. It starts at 6:30 pm until 9 pm, the first Saturday in December or the last Saturday in November, depending on how it falls in the year. For specifics: (928) 486-4159.