Montezuma’s Castle (Photo by Larry D. Fellows, courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

Montezuma’s Castle (Photo by Larry D. Fellows, courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

“Wild West” movie fans will certainly appreciate the remnants of America’s Old West in Arizona, the location of the most famous shootout in the West – the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. But travelers hoping to experience the great outdoors through hiking, biking, or visiting natural landmarks such as the Grand Canyon can also enjoy vacationing in Arizona.

Tourists looking for a relaxing weekend at a luxurious spa resort, a week of golf at spectacular courses, a taste of Native American and Mexican cuisine, or art galleries displaying contemporary or historical art will be able to enjoy all these vacation options in Arizona.

Arizona has a rich architectural history with sites ranging from ancient dwellings to modern architecture. These architectural sites can be seen at state parks and in museums throughout the state.

There is also a strong Native American presence in Arizona, with 22 tribes represented. Experiencing their diversity and heritage is a great way to add a cultural element to your vacation in Arizona. With its close proximity to Mexico, Arizona also possesses a rich Hispanic culture replete with Spanish Colonial architecture and local artisans who carry on the arts inspired and influenced by these cultural traditions.

Landmarks and Museums

From famous Wild West sites to ghost towns, visitors can embark on all sorts of adventures by visiting Arizona’s many historical landmarks and popular attractions. History buffs of all ages will find sites to suit their fancy, whether they are interested in ancient societies, Victorian style homes, or Native American habitats.

Sedona (Photo by Todd Brenneman, courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

Sedona (Photo by Todd Brenneman, courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

Outdoor Recreation

Hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and sightseeing are some of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Arizona. The state has five regions defined by their climate and geography: North Central Arizona, Northern Arizona, Phoenix and Central Arizona, Tucson and Southern Arizona, and Arizona’s West Coast. Since each of these regions offers different scenic and climate conditions for various outdoor activities, tourists should consider what activities they would like to do and carefully pick the regions that suit their preferences.

Dude Ranch Vacations

Enjoy true southwestern living with a dude ranch vacation, where you can experience life on a ranch. Horseback riding is the essence of ranch living, and dude ranches throughout Arizona are proud to offer their guests the ultimate riding experience. There are many different trails for every skill level and a variety of options to choose from in terms of distance and location.

Some ranches offer private lessons or special courses for novice riders. Trail lengths can be as short as one hour and as long as seven hours. Many ranches also offer packages that include breakfast or lunch.

Dude Ranch in Tucson (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

Dude Ranch in Tucson (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism)

If you’d like to do more than just ride horses, you can also take saddling lessons and lessons in taking care of the horses. The White Stallion Ranch even offers a “horse whispering” session for those who wish to make a spiritual connection with horses.

Horses are not the only thing dude ranches have to offer. Many dude ranches double as accommodations, where guests can really experience what it’s like to live on a ranch. Guests can get a taste of authentic southwestern cuisine and enjoy the laid back ranch decor and lifestyle. Dude ranches can be a great place to disconnect from fast-paced city life. For more information on dude ranch vacations, contact the Arizona Dude Ranch Association.


There are hundreds of golf courses in Arizona with a wide variety of landscapes. In the winter, golf courses in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, and Lake Havasu City are popular for their warm desert climate. However, if you don’t mind it a little hotter, the discount prices in the summer season may also be a good option. If you prefer a more moderate summer climate, Northern and North Central Arizona are also popular golfing locations.