Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of southern Arizona attractions to plan a great day trip.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson 520-883-1380 The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place.
Bisbee 1 Main St., Bisbee 520-432-5421 In the 1880s, this was once an important mining center. Today, it flourishes as a tourist town.
Chiricahua National Monument 13063 E. Bonita Canyon Rd., Willcox 520-824-3560 ext. 302 The monument is a mecca for hikers and birders. Chiricahua plants and animals represent one of the premier areas for biological diversity in the Northern Hemisphere.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park 16721 E. Old Spanish Tr., Vail 520-647-7275 Colossal Cave, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, had been used for centuries by prehistoric peoples when it was discovered in 1879.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site 3203 S. Old Fort Bowie Rd., Bowie 520-847-25004 The site of the Bascom Affair, a wagon train massacre, and the battle of Apache Pass, where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers. It stands as a lasting monument to the bravery and endurance of U.S. soldiers in paving the way for westward settlement and the taming of the Western frontier.
Ironwood Forest National Monument BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson 520-258-7200 The 129,000-acre monument contains significant cultural and historical sites covering a 5,000-year period. Possessing one of the richest stands of Ironwood trees in the Sonoran Desert, the area encompasses several desert mountain ranges including the Silver Bell, Waterman and Sawtooth, with desert valleys in between. Elevation ranges from 1,800 to 4,261 feet.
Kartchner Caverns State Park 2980 S. Hwy. 90, Benson 520-586-CAVE (2283) Discovered in 1974, these caverns just recently opened to the public and feature stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Kitt Peak National Observatory Off of SR 86 on the Tohono O’odham Nation, Tucson 520-318-8726 Kitt Peak is the world’s largest working astronomical observatory. Open daily.
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson 520-258-7200 Designated by Congress in 2000, this 42,000-acre area consists of vast desert grassland and rolling, oak-studded hills with a diverse plant and animal life, including several threatened or endangered species. Las Cienegas contains cultural resources within its borders, such as Empire Ranch House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, mines and mining towns, and historic travel routes. Visitor activities include birdwatching, camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking and scenic drives.
Mission San Xavier Del Bac 1950 W. San Xavier Rd., Tucson 520-294-2624 Framed in the warm browns of the surrounding hills and the violet shadows of distant mountains, it rises, brilliantly white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage.
Old Tucson Studios 201 S. Kinney Rd., Tucson 520-883-0100 Arizona’s Hollywood in the Desert since 1939. This world-famous working film location offers fun for the whole family — guided historical set tours, live stunt shows, gunfights, and saloon musicals, plus rides for the kids! While you’re here, enjoy a scenic trail ride in the unique and beautiful Arizona Sonora Desert.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 10 Organ Pipe Dr., Ajo 520-387-6849 ext. 0 This scenic 516-square-mile preserve is filled with Organ Pipe Cactus, rare in the United States, scattered among mountains and plains.
Picacho Peak State Park Picacho 520-466-3183 Hiking, camping and picnicking 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, just off I-10.
Reid Park Zoo 1100 S. Randolph Way, Tucson 520-791-4022 Come visit Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo and have a wild time. Meet more than 400 animals — rhinos, elephants, anteaters, polar bears, lions and many more. Venture into the African, Asian and South American regions. Explore the Flight Connection — the full-flight, walkthrough aviary.
Saguaro National Park 2700 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson 520-733-5158 This national park protects more than 3,500 acres of native plants and animals.
San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson 520-258-7200 This 57,000-acre area contains 40 miles of the San Pedro River, which is home to more than 100 species of birds and more than 400 species of migrating and wintering bird species.
Tombstone Tombstone 520-457-3929 Truly a historical American landmark, Tombstone is America’s best example of 1880 Western heritage, with original 1880s buildings, artifacts featured in numerous museums, gunfight re-enactments and Wild West legends.
Tucson 100 S. Church Ave., Tucson 800-638-8350 Surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, the Old Pueblo is an international travel destination alive with character, history, art, cultural diversity, outdoor adventure and charm.
Yuma 201 N. Fourth Ave., Yuma 800-293-0071 A visit to this growing metropolis offers something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to historic sites and museums. Yuma is also a great base for easy day trips “South of the Border,” and boasts varied dining, shopping and multiple casinos.
Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of Phoenix attractions to plan a great day trip.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum 37615 U.S. Hwy. 60, Superior 520-689-2811 Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden, the arboretum is a living museum of thousands of plants from around the world — displayed alongside native Sonoran Desert vegetation.
Dolly Steamboat, The Apache Junction 480-827-9144 At Canyon Lake, 90-minute nature cruises and 2-1/2 hour twilight dinner cruises.
Wickenburg 216 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg 800-942-5242 Just 60 miles northwest of Phoenix in the northern reaches of the great Southwest’s Sonoran Desert. Wickenburg is noted for its clean air, good country living, Western hospitality and all-around high quality of life.
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park 623-935-WILD (9453) Wildlife World Zoo has been an integral part of the West Valley for more than two decades, and with the opening of our new multimillion-dollar aquarium, we just keep getting better and better. The Zoo is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (The aquarium is open to 9 p.m.) That means we are open every day and night of the year — even holidays!
Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of northern Arizona attractions to plan a great day trip.
Aravaipa Canyon BLM Safford Field Office: 711 14th Ave., Safford 928-348-4400 Home to unique plant and fish communities, mountain lions and bighorn sheep, the canyon is protected by the Nature Conservancy and is a federal wilderness area. Historic sites left from thousands of years ago still exist, so visitors should respect any archaelogical sites and artifacts.
Canyon de Chelly Chinle 928-674-5500 Cultural resources of Canyon de Chelly include architecture, artifacts and rock imagery.
Grand Canyon Railway 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams 800-THE-TRAIN (843-8724) Following tracks constructed 100 years ago, the Railway offers four classes of daily train service between Williams and the Grand Canyon. Covering 65 miles of high desert plains, small arroyos and portions of the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest.
Hon-Dah Resort & Casino 777 Hwy. 260, Pinetop 800-929-8744 Play indoors while in the White Mountains area at Hon-Dah Resort-Casino. This casino has 600 of the newest slot machines, Blackjack, poker, dining and accommodations are offered. The Indian Pine Restaurant, located in the casino, offers a full-service menu with a variety of tasty selections. From wood-fired pizzas to gourmet dinner entrees, there is something for everyone.
Lake Havasu 314 London Bridge Rd., Lake Havasu City 800-2- HAVASU (242-8278) Home to the world-famous London Bridge, Lake Havasu offers more than 400 miles of stunning coastline that is perfect for watersports, fishing, skiing, houseboating, camping, golfing and hiking.
London Bridge 314 London Bridge Rd., Lake Havasu City 800-2-HAVASU (242-8278) In 1962, the 130-year-old London Bridge was discovered to be sinking into the Thames. In 1968, the bridge was put up for auction and Robert P. McCulloch was the winning bidder. He spent $7 million to move the bridge to Lake Havasu City, which took three years.
Montezuma Castle Camp Verde 928-567-3322 A multistoried, 20-room ancient Indian cliff dwelling built more than six centuries ago.
Out of Africa 3505 Camp Verde Bridgeport Hwy., Camp Verdea 928-567-2840 Call us wild! Call us crazy! Just don’t call us a zoo. At Out of Africa, you get a different view of wildlife. Here, exotic animals roam in spacious habitats, so you can see their natural behavior up-close. And, with exciting shows like Tiger Splash and the Predator Feed, Out of Africa is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Painted Desert/Petrified Forest One Park Rd., Petrified Forest 928-524-6228 A 160 million-year-old prehistoric flood plain. The largest and most colorful find of petrified wood in the world.
Payson 303 N. Beeline Hwy., Payson 928-474-5242 Considered the Festival Capital of Arizona and situated in the world’s largest group of Ponderosa pines.
Red Rock State Park 4050 Red Rock Loop Rd., Sedona 928-282-6907 Arizona’s famous Oak Creek meanders through this scenic park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife.
Sedona 331 Forest Rd., Sedona 800-288-7336 Surrounded by magnificent Red Rock formations, Sedona offers the best in accommodations, dining and shopping. Visitors come here for outdoor activities/adventures and top-notch galleries and arts.
Slide Rock State Park 6871 N. Hwy. 89A, Sedona 928-282-3034 The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead. Open every day.
Tonto National Monument Roosevelt 928-467-2241 Shallow caves overlooking the Tonto Basin in southeastern Arizona shelter masonry dwellings nearly 700 years old, which were home to the prehistoric Salado people.
Verde Canyon Railroad 300 N. Broadway Clarkdale 800-320-0718 Offering one of the most beautiful views of Arizona you’ll ever see. Take a picnic or splurge for first-class cars with appetizers and drinks. However you go, this four-hour train ride takes you through a piece of “natural Arizona” that will take your breath away.