21 in… Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State

21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

There are hundreds of lists of things to do in the USA, or individual states like Arizona, but we’ve come up with one thing in every state plus D.C. in 21 different categories. Truly something for everyone, from historic places to foods you have to try, from the downright quirky to amazing museums, and from weird places to stay to fun things to do. Our primary criteria were we have or want to see them, and they are things you can physically visit or try.

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OK Corral
Photo by Jessica Spengler

Historic Place: O.K. Corral

Website | Map  326 E Allen St, Tombstone, Arizona 85638

See Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday’s gunfight with the McLaury’s re-enacted in daily shows. Then explore the historic town and see photos of Tombstone life in the 1880’s, including pictures of the famous Apache warrior Geronimo.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Famous Person: Frank Lloyd Wright

Website | Map  12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85259

The winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, and now the headquarters of his fellowship, this beautiful building is well worth exploring. Sitting in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains near Scottsdale, it was built almost entirely by his and his apprentices’ hands.

Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world.Frank Lloyd Wright, 1943

Read More: Visiting Taliesin West


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Natural Wonder: Antelope Canyon

Website | Map  22 S Lake Powell Blvd, Page, Arizona 86040

The stunning Antelope Canyon can only be visited by organised tour. We chose Antelope Canyon Tours who drive you to the canyon and then escort you through it, showing some of the many features and shapes you can see in the walls. If you can visit in the summer, you could get to see the magical looking shafts of light that drill down into the canyon when the sun is at its highest.

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


ChimichangasCactus Cooler
Photos by jeffreyw and  Keenan Pepper

Food & Drink: Chimichangas and Cactus Cooler

Chimichangas – it’s even fun to say, never mind to eat. Rice, cheese and meat, wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried. Wash one down with the most desert sounding drink around, Arizona’s own Cactus Cooler.

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Factory Tour: Teddy Bears

Website Map  1717 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85006

Everyone had one as a kid didn’t they? Find out how the cute little critters are designed and made with a behind the scenes visit to Stuffington Bear Factory.

If you have a photo of this that you would be happy for us to use; we would be very grateful and credit the image to you. Please contact us here.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Man Made: London Bridge

Website | Map  1400-1500 McCulloch Blvd N, Lake Havasu City, Arizona 8640

Whilst the bridge is perfectly pleasant, it’s the story of how it was moved, brick by brick, from across the Thames in London, England to Lake Havasu that’s interesting. The bridge was put up for sale in 1967 and city founder Robert P.McCulloch placed a winning bid of $2,460,000. Every brick of the bridge was then numbered as it was disassembled, shipped across the Atlantic and rebuilt in Lake Havasu, complete with City of London plaques and strafing marks from WWII!


McMath-Piearce Solar Telescope
Photo reproduced with kind permission of Jim Lowe

Record Breaking: World’s Largest Solar Telescope

Website | Map  Sells, Arizona 85634

Named after Dr. Keith Pierce and Dr. Robert McMath, the world’s biggest solar instrument is several decades old! Dedicated in November 1962, it is nearly 100 feet (30m) high and the diagonal shaft is 200 feet (61m) long and disappears into the ground.


World's largest rose bush
Photo by Chanel Wheeler

Quirky Record: World’s Largest Rose Bush

Website | Map  118 S 4th St, Tombstone, Arizona 85638

Planted from cuttings sent from Scotland, the “Lady Banksia” began to grow in 1886. Now covering 9,000 sq. feet (836m2) it is a primary attraction at Rose Tree Museum and Books; a museum showing how a home in the area would have looked over 100 years ago.

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Activity: Desert Botanical Garden

Website | Map  1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, Arizona 85008

With five unique trails off the primary loop, the Desert Botanical Garden showcases all kinds of desert plants, trees and cacti. Founded on its present site in 1939, it contains over 21,000 specimens, half of which are cacti and includes over 100 specimens that are endangered or rare.

Read More: Visiting Desert Botanical Garden


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Atlas ObscuraMystery Castle

WebsiteMap  800 E Mineral Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85042

Built by Boyce Gully for his princess (daughter), the mystery castle is built out of all kinds of materials. The 18 room castle ended up with 13 fireplaces along with turrets, odd winding staircases and even a chapel, cantina, and a dungeon.

Read More: Visiting Mystery Castle

If you love obscure things, check out the Atlas Obscura book!


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Most Visited: Grand Canyon

Website | Map

The first time you see it can’t quite comprehend how enormous it is. If you ever get the chance to fly over it in a helicopter, you can truly appreciate its sheer scale. Maybe one day we’ll land at the bottom for a completely different experience again.


Sedona: Red Rock State Park
Photo by ih

State/National Park: Red Rock State Park

Website | Map  4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, Arizona 86336

Stunning red rocks, rich with colour in the sun, and Oak Creek Canyon are the main attractions in this park. Well worth a visit if you are in the beautiful Sedona area.


Rodeo grounds
Photo by David Quigley

Event: World’s Oldest Rodeo

Website | Map  840 Rodeo Dr, Prescott, Arizona 86305

Prescott Frontier Days claims the title of ‘World’s Oldest Rodeo’ at over 130 years old and going strong. Watch bareback riding, cattle roping, barrel racing and of course, bull riding.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Different Place to Stay: Grand Canyon Caverns

Website | Map  Route 66, Seligman, Arizona 86337

Grand Canyon Caverns is an interesting stop in its own right, especially if you are getting your kicks on Route 66. But as part of the tour, you will see a fully equipped, hotel suite like, living space. And yes, you can stay the night deep down in a cavern. Turn off the lights to experience TRUE darkness.

Hotels.com Destination Inspiration: Not sure where to go? You've come to the right place!


Mining Camp Restaurant
Photo reproduced with kind permission of Kelley Diwan

Different Place to Eat: Mining Camp Restaurant

Website | Map  6100 E Mining Camp St, Apache Junction, Arizona 85119

From family style dining, through “Dutchman’s Hide Out” to their “Hello Arizona!” dinner show, there are plenty of ways to enjoy food at Mining Camp Restaurant. With some mining equipment outside and long tables inside, you can pretend you’ve just come back from a hard day’s mining, or just enjoy the atmosphere and food.

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Have Some Fun: Tower Butte

Website | Map  Airport: 238 N 10th Ave, Page, Arizona 86040

This will probably be one of the most expensive things we suggest, but it’s worth it if you can afford it. Taking off from Page airport, you fly in a state of the art helicopter to Tower Butte and LAND on top of it. You then have about 20 minutes (which is plenty) to explore the top of this tower standing tall amongst the desert. Take in the views, walk the rim and just marvel in the beauty and inaccessibility of your surroundings.

Top Tip: If your pilot asks you if you want the exciting take off, or the normal one – say exciting. Seriously, don’t question it, just say exciting, sit back and enjoy the ride…

Read more: Tower Butte Landing Tour


Film Location: Contact

Website | Map  Chinle, Arizona

Canyon de Chelly is where ‘Contact’ ends with Jodie Foster’s character sitting and contemplating the events of the film. Don’t look for the “nearby” radio antennas though – they are actually over in New Mexico! The magic of the movies right!


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Fun Fact

WebsiteMap  1700 W Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

The amount of copper on the roof of the Arizona Capitol building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies.


Standin On The Corner Park
Photo by QuesterMark

Something Different: Standin’ on the Corner

WebsiteMap  Old Hwy 66, Winslow, Arizona 86047

A throwaway line in a song made into a reality. So we can all now actually be “Standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona” and there’s even “a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford”! You can’t help but sing along to ‘Take it Easy’ by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey whilst you are there.


titan-missile-museum-missile-in-launch-duct-dsc00948.jpg
Photo by Patrick Finnegan

Museum: Titan Missile Museum

Website | Map  1580 Duval Mine Road, Green Valley, Arizona 85614

How can you resist seeing a REAL Titan missile in its silo? A weapon that, if ever launched in anger, could have decimated a city. Learn about the last Titan II missile site, how it, using the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) principle, helped deter a nuclear conflict and how it would have been launched if it came to it.


21 in Arizona: A Bucket List for the Grand Canyon State || www.onetripatatime.com

Scenic Drive: Apache Trail

Map

The Apache Trail heads out from Apache Junction east of Phoenix towards Roosevelt Dam. Unpaved for much of its distance but don’t let that put you off – this is a stunning drive which we did in a convertible Mustang with no issues.

Don’t miss Canyon Lake Vista – a great overlook of Canyon Lake.


Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.

We’d love to hear what you think. What did we miss? What do you think we should have chosen instead?

If we love your idea, we might just swap it into the list, if we like it, maybe will give it an honourable mention; either way we’ll be sure to give you credit, AND add it to our list of things to see and do when we are in the area.

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission but this does not affect the price to you. Please read our full disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support of One Trip at a Time!

2 Comments

    • Very hard, especially in Arizona, I’ve been there four times now and still have more stuff I want to see there :-)

      Thanks for the suggestion, will check Bisbee out for sure, might be another thing to return for!

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