2020 marks the 108th year since Arizona was signed into statehood on Valentine’s Day in 1912, making it the 48th state in the nation and the last in the continental United States. To celebrate, here is a list of 10 ways to honor the state and its history on Arizona Statehood day.
Learn about Arizona’s history
The road to statehood was long for Arizona. Much of the land was originally part of New Mexico, while other southern areas were part of the Gadsden purchase in 1853. The land started as a territory and was signed into statehood in 1912. In celebration of statehood day this Feb. 14, read up on Arizona’s history or get a firsthand look at some of the state’s historical sites, such as Montezuma Castle, Hubbell trading post or the London Bridge at Havasu City.
Check out a museum
Our state is full of a number of nationally recognized museums, from history to art to culture. Divulge your interests, whether it’s learning about Native American heritage at the Heard Museum, historical and modern art at the Phoenix Art Museum, music from around the world at the Musical Instrument Museum, or the state’s past at the Arizona History Museum.
Admire the desert landscape
The Sonoran desert spans from California to Mexico, with our lovely state of Arizona in the middle. In fact, Arizona is one of very few states in the U.S. where cacti can be spotted in abundance. This statehood day, take a walk through beautiful desert plants and scenery at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix or admire the rare red rocks of Sedona.
Visit the Grand Canyon
We are lucky enough to have one of the most famous national parks in the world within our own state. Thousands of tourists visit the Grand Canyon every year to get a glimpse of nature’s beauty. Learn about Arizona state history while also enjoying exciting views and plenty of stunning photo opportunities.
Eat at a critically acclaimed restaurant
Over the years, Arizona has become a hotspot for foodies. Grab a bite at one of Phoenix’s best such as Pizzeria Bianco, Barrio Cafe, Pa’la, Durant’s, Matt’s Big Breakfast, Binkley’s, Little Miss BBQ or countless other acclaimed restaurants.
Go for a hike
Despite being best known for its desert, Arizona’s landscape makes it one of the most naturally diverse states in the country. For a challenge, hike at South Mountain or Havasu Falls, or if you prefer greener scenery, check out one of the trails at Tonto National Forest or Prescott National Forest.
Take your boat out to a lake
Arizona is home to a number of lakes, some of which were created by building dams in the Colorado River or other water sources. For a day of fun on the water, visit Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Tempe Town Lake or one of Arizona’s many other lakes.
Enjoy outdoor activities
Arizona’s abundance of sunshine, with sunny days making up approximately 85 percent of the days in each year, gives families a chance to enjoy outdoor activities. Take the family to the Phoenix Zoo, tour the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, or go for a ride in a hot air balloon.
During the period of western expansion that took place in the U.S. in the 1800s, the land that is now Arizona was among several other western territories that were heavily supported by mining towns. As a result, present-day Arizona is now home to several popular ghost towns, such as Jerome, Bisbee, Tombstone and more. Explore Arizona’s history or participate in a ghost tour at any one of these tourism hot-spots.
Support a local business
The beauty of the desert is an inspiration to many creative minds who reside here in Arizona. Support local artists and craft makers while also gaining cool and unique goods for yourself by visiting locally-sourced shops such as Frances Vintage, Sibley’s West or Phoenix General.