If you’ve been on Instagram lately, chances are you’ve seen a few pictures of Arizona. The W ave, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Horseshoe Bend are just a few of the places I see constantly popping up on my feed. These natural wonders are all bucket list worthy, but we decided to create our own proper Arizona bucket list beyond these few highlights. Hopefully this list of 101 incredible things to do and the best places to visit in Arizona will inspire you to venture a bit further south and explore the whole state. We bet you’ll be surprised at what you find! Northern Arizona Bucket List
1 Hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim Don’t make my mistake and procrastinate prepping for this trip. It’s 23.9 miles across, which you’ll most likely be making in one day unless you plan far ahead to get camping reservations for the canyon. 2 Raft the Colorado River No wetter (or faster) way to travel through the Grand Canyon 3 Hike to Havasupai Even if you’re doing the Supai Shuffle afterwards, this hike to falls with turquoise waters is worth it. 4 Horseshoe Bend A horseshoe-shaped bend in the Colorado River. Just a few minutes hike off the road south of Page. 5 Antelope Canyon Scenic slot canyon formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone from flash flooding. 6 Monument Valley The ultimate backdrop for a cowboy to ride off into the sunset. 7 Boating on Lake Powell Man-made reservoir created by the Glen Canyon dam. Incredibly scenic and a great place to rent a houseboat as this lake is huge! 8 Hike to The Wave Sandstone rock formation on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes. Good luck with getting your permits! 9 Emerald Cove in Black Canyon Maybe you’ve heard of the blue lagoon in Capri, but did you know Arizona has its own cave you can kayak to, with glowing emerald waters?! 10 Lake Mead Largest reservoir in the U.S. and popular boating spot.
11 Skiing at Snowbowl near Flagstaff Who says Arizona doesn’t have snow?! 12 Snowbowl’s chairlift to the top of the San Francisco Peaks Beautiful views of this volcanic mountain range, including Arizona’s highest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak. 13 White House Ruin Trail in Canyon de Chelly National Monument Cliff dwellings built by the Anasazi in caves and recesses in the canyon walls in the 1100s 14 Keet Seel and Betatakin in the Navajo National Monument Two Ancestral Puebloan villages from the 1200s 15 Cliff Dwelling at Walnut Canyon National Monument Cliff dwelling rooms constructed 1100 to 1250 CE by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group 16 Hike Humphrey’s Peak Arizona’s highest peak 17 Sycamore Canyon True wild backcountry with no paved roads, camp grounds or visitor center. This is the second largest canyon in Arizona (after the Grand Canyon, of course.) 18 Petrified Forest National Park Colorful badlands scattered with petrified wood. 19 Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River Taller than Niagara Falls, these may not be the most picturesque falls with a brown, muddy flow. The flow is highly variable, heavier from rainfall or snowmelt, or there may be no flow at all. 20 Drive U.S. Route 66 One of the original highways, this route connects Chicago to Santa Monica. The highway passes near Flagstaff, and there’s even two surviving Wigwam Motels near Holbrook. 21 Window Rock In Navajo: tségháhoodzání. Or directly translated: the rock-with-hole-through-it. 22 Meteor Crater Meteorite impact crater near Flagstaff Central Arizona Bucket List
23 London Bridge in Lake Havasu City This bridge spanned the Thames in London from 1831 until 1967, when it was deemed no longer fit for the heavy load of daily traffic. It was dismantled, sold, and reconstructed in Lake Havasu. 24 Swimming in Slide Rock in Sedona A natural water slide among Sedona’s red rocks 25 Grasshopper Point Swimming & Picnic Area One of the many scenic swimming holes in Sedona 26 “The Crack” in Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness southeast of Sedona One of the many scenic swimming holes in Sedona 27 Red Rock State Park in Sedona See Sedona’s unique Red Rocks 28 West Fork of Oak Creek Trail #108 Lush trails with creek crossings. A great place to see fall foliage in AZ. 29 S-Canyon in the Blue Range Primitive Area Beautiful forests near the New Mexico border 30 Tuzigoot, Montezuma Castle, and Honanki Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings 31 Aravaipa Canyon See creeks, cliffs and big horn sheep 32 Lone Pine Trailhead in Four Peaks Wilderness Area Hike through pine covered wilderness 33 Hike to Fossil Creek 8.4 mile hike to large waterfalls. As of 2016, this hike now requires a permit. 34 Mogollon Rim Drive along Forest Road 300 for scenic views of the rim and the valley, hike, camp, kayak or fish around the area’s lakes. 35 Jerome Ghost Town Old copper mining town Phoenix Metro Area Bucket List
36 Hike Peralta Trail to Weaver’s Needle in Superstition Mountains 4.9 mile moderate trail with interesting rock formations 37 Hike Flatiron in the Superstition Mountains 5.5 mile difficult trail up to a large plateau on top of Superstition mountains 38 Hieroglyphic Trail in Superstition Mountains 2.8 mile easy trail with petroglyphs and a seasonal waterfall 39 Hike Camelback Popular 4.7 mile hard trail in the middle of Phoenix 40 Hike Piestewa Peak 2.3 mile hard trail in the middle of Phoenix 41 Hike Wind Cave 2.6 mile moderate trail through beautiful Sonoran desert 42 Backyard Taco Basic but delicious Mexican food 43 Cibo Pizzeria The best pizza I’ve had in Phoenix. Get anything with burrata 44 Pizzeria Bianco Wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and Italian small plates. Often listed as some of the best pizza in the U.S. 45 Mesa Donuts Simple and fresh, these are the best donuts in the east valley. 46 Karl’s Quality Bakery Amazing cronuts! The bran muffin is pretty incredible too. 47 Worth Takeaway The crispy chicken is one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. 48 Little Miss BBQ Barbecue so good, you might think you’re in Texas. 49 Realeza Michoacana Mexican treats. Get a raspado (shaved ice, cream, tons of fruit) 50 Carolina’s Mexican Food Hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant
51 Four Peaks Brewery Working brewery and restaurant 52 Matt’s Big Breakfast Everything here is done right – pancakes, waffles, eggs, all served with a lot of butter. 53 Cerreta Candy Co Arizona’s own candy maker, famous for the green french mints 54 Gelato Dolce Vita The closest you’ll get to real Italian gelato in AZ 55 Sweet Republic Ice Cream Shop Local chain serving artisan ice cream 56 Barrio Cafe Get the mole! 57 Organ Stop Pizza Go here to see the largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the world. The pizza is mediocre at best. 58 Farmers Market at Phoenix Public Market Lots of local produce and vendors on Saturday mornings 59 Mary Coyle’s ice cream shop Classic ice cream shop originally opened in 1951 60 Taliesin West by Frank Lloyd Wright Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home 61 Desert Botanical Garden One of the best collections of desert plants from deserts around the world 62 The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art A living museum with both artifacts and contemporary art of Native American cultures 63 DeSoto Central Market Hangout offering eateries, a bar & a farmer’s market in a vintage car dealership 64 Walking Tour of Downtown Phoenix A fun way to learn a bit of Phoenix history and see some of the city’s best street art and architecture 65 Street Art in Roosevelt Row Arts district decorated by local street artists 66 Boating on Saguaro Lake Reservoir on the Salt River great for wakeboarding 67 Tubing or kayaking down the Salt River Float or paddle down the river 68 The Phoenix Zoo Largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the U.S. 69 Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park Cool natural geological formation in Phoenix 70 Phoenix Art Museum Modern and contemporary art museum
71 Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) Small modern art museum in downtown Scottsdale 72 Old Town Scottsdale A taste of the southwest with art galleries, retail and great restaurants. 73 Wrigley Mansion Tour the 1931 home of the chewing-gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr. 74 Tovrea Castle A mini “castle” in the middle of the desert 75 Rosson House An 1895 Victorian home from Arizona’s territorial days 76 Show at Orpheum Theater 1929 theatre originally used for traveling vaudeville acts 77 Diamondbacks Baseball Game Arizona’s professional baseball team 78 Phoenix Suns Basketball Game Arizona’s professional basketball team 79 Coyotes Hockey Game Arizona’s professional hockey team 80 Cardinals Football Game Arizona’s professional football team 81 Spring Training Game Chicago Cubs or Oakland A’s facilities are in Mesa 82 Pick the peaches at Schnepfs Farm Peach picking is the 2nd and 3rd weeks in May 83 Watch the bats take off at 40th Street and Camelback From May to October, right at nightfall, Mexican Freetail bats fly out of the flood control channel at 40th Street and Camelback 84 Stay the night at the Arizona Biltmore Historic hotel built in 1929, it was a favorite of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. 85 Encanto/Palmcroft Neighborhood Neighborhood with 1920s California Craftsman bungalows and Mock Tudors 86 See a show at Grady Gammage Auditorium Traveling Broadway shows and other performing acts come to this theatre, one of the last public commissions of architect Frank Lloyd Wright 87 Musical Instrument Museum Modern and contemporary art museum Southern Arizona Bucket List
88 Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway Scenic drive through the Santa Catalina mountains 89 Skiing on Mount Lemmon The southernmost ski destination in the U.S. 90 Mission San Xavier del Bac Historic Spanish Catholic mission built in the late 1700s. Known as the “The White Dove of the Desert” 91 Kartchner Caverns State Park Caverns are carved out of limestone and filled with speleothems 92 Hike Seven Falls Trail in Sabino Canyon Hike along and through the creek to impressive falls up in Sabino Canyon 93 Hike Picacho Peak A difficult trail, with cables and catwalks need to reach the top of this big peak 94 Chiricahua National Monument Extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks 95 Biosphere 2 Earth systems science research facility. It is the largest closed system ever created 96 Saguaro National Park Large park near Tucson with hiking, petroglyphs, and, of course, saguaro cactus 97 Blue Canyon on the Hopi Indian Reservation Scenic area of red and white colored rocks in the Hopi Indian Reservation. To visit, you’ll need to schedule a Hopi guide 98 Aqui Con Nene Tacos Not only incredible tacos but finalist in the Stand-out Sixty Four Food Bracket for the best hot dog 99 Café Poca Cosa Café with unique spin on Mexican cuisine 100 El Charro They invented the chimichanga (deep fried burrito) 101 Tombstone Wild West Show Entertaining reenactments of the wild west! Planning a Trip to Arizona Hotels and Airbnbs in Arizona – Check booking.com for over 2,500 properties in Arizona, including hotels, homes, and apartments. Most properties offer free cancellation and a best price guarantee. Check Airbnb for more options. If you’re new to Airbnb, use our referral link here for $40 off your first stay. Getting to Arizona – Most airlines fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Select airlines fly into southern Arizona at the Tucson International Airport, or northern Arizona at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Car Rental – Check RentalCars.com to compare prices of the world’s biggest car rental services, including Hertz, Avis, and Budget. How many places have you visited on this Arizona Bucket List? Like this post? Pin it here!