Arizona and the Valley of the Sun
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Arizona is the world’s premiere destination for leisure and adventure. With an endless supply of sunlight, it is home to over six million people from all faiths and all walks of life, four major sports franchises, the beauty of Sedona, the majesty of the Grand Canyon, dozens of Fortune 500 Companies, and hundreds of golf courses.
With 360 days of sunshine a year, there’s always something to do in the Valley of the Sun and we are proud to call Arizona the home of Faith in Film.
Arizona is known around the world for its challenging and beautifully landscaped golf courses. In fact, contrary to popular belief, Golf was actually invented in Arizona by the Hohokam people thousands of years before the Scottish picked up our past time. Story has it, the real reason they were the only civilization in North America to carve an intricate system of irrigation canals was to keep their fairways green. Some say it’s why the Athapaskans migrated down from Canada. Others say, it was the inspiration for Columbus to come to the New World. Then there was the American Revolution, the Mexican Revolution, the Civil War, and the Mexican American War all fought over the right to use our golf courses. Regardless of which story you believe, no one can deny that Arizona offers some of the world’s best golf resorts for people from all over the world to enjoy.
Fun For the Whole Family
It is a little known fact, but it has been scientifically proven that Arizona is more fun to visit than any other state. We have the world’s greatest National Park in the Grand Canyon and endless opportunities for family fun in the sun.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon has been one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions for years and you can get there from Phoenix for a quick day or two or three day trip by plane, car, bus, or train.
Step back in time in the old west town made famous as the location for more than 300 movies and TV shows! Going beyond its rich film history, Old Tucson is Southern Arizona’s premiere location for Western experience – from Living History Presentations to Historic Tours to Shows and Special Events!
The Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo has long been one of the most respected zoo’s in the United States and is a great day trip for the whole family.
The Phoenix Zoo
Out of Africa
If you’ve never been, Out of Africa will blow your mind. It’s got zip lines and swimming tigers. It’s truly one of the most exciting zoos I’ve ever seen.
Out of Africa Park
Verde Valley Railroad
From the moment you step foot on their refurbished train cars you will feel like you’ve been transported to a simpler time before all the distractions and annoyances of our modern world. Breathe deep, order a drink and relax as you glide along on a 20 mile journey through a hundred years of history.
Verde Canyon Railroad
Scenic, off-road and high adventure fun in spectacular red rock country! Sedona, Arizona is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Our Sedona Jeep Tours have thrilled visitors for over 50 years! Pink Jeep Tours, the Southwest’s premier off-road tour company, offers tours for any budget.
Pink Jeep Tours Sedona
Tombstone Arizona is a living town with a rich and colorful history. Many of the Wild West’s most famous characters called Tombstone their home at one time or another. Below is a listing of the Historic Attractions here in Tombstone. These Museums, Shows, Historic Sites, Jeep tours, Trail Rides and Places of Interest will give you a glimpse into the Wild and Turbulent past that was once TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA TERRITORY.
In addition to the natural beauty of desert vista’s and canyons Arizona is also known for it’s great lakes that we use year round for fishing and various water sports in the spring and summer. On the Coloradeo, Lake Mead and Lake Powell are world renown for their boating, beauty, and fishing and Lake Havasu is known for it’s good times. Closer to Phoenix the Salt and Verde Rivers provide plenty of fun for jet skis, boaters, and fishermen alike.
Sonora Desert Museum
The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most museums, about 85% of the experience is outdoors! The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium.
Arizona is known around the world for it’s great hiking from the Grand Canyon to Sedona, to the Pine Forests in and around Prescott and Flagstaff, to lower Salt River and the San Pedro to the South along with Mount Lemon, Reddington Pass, and the Chiricahuas to the South. A couple links to a few of our favorites are listed below, but google just about any destination in the state and you are bound to find more hikes than you could take in a month more or a less a weekend.
That’s right, you can snow ski in Arizona! I know you’re probably thinking golf being invented here is more believable snow skiing in the desert, but we do have two very nice resorts in the state located in the mountainous pine forests along the Mogollon Rim. There’s Arizona Snowbowl outside of Flagstaff and the Sunrise Ski Park near Sho-low.
This is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It’s a 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, that tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. Come marvel at this enduring legacy of the Sinagua culture and reveal a people surprisingly similar to ourselves.
For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. Their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in these canyons. The National Park Service and Navajo Nation actively work together to manage park resources which are some of the most impressive rock formations and cliff dwellings in the world.
Canyon de Chelly and Chinle in the Heart of the Navajo Nation
A “Wonderland of Rocks” is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home. It’s also some of the best rock climbing in the world.
Rock Climbing and Hiking in the Chiricahuas
During its late 19th-century mining heyday, Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco and was known for such bawdy locales as Brewery Gulch, then a stretch of rowdy saloons. Today, Bisbee is known for its stunning Victorian architecture, mild year-round climate and abundance of galleries and one-of-a-kind shops. Bisbee always makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway especially when combined with an afternoon in Tombstone.
Jerome and Cottonwood
Cottonwood is located in the “Heart of the Verde Valley Wine Country”. An easy trip from Phoenix—only an hour and a half drive. Old Town is known for its Main Street with over 60 businesses that attract visitors and support local residents. If like food and wine and beautiful countryside, Cottonwood is the place for you.
Jerome is located high on top of Cleopatra Hill between Prescott and Flagstaff. Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome grew from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community in less than a decade. Founded in 1876, Jerome was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The Depression of the 1930’s slowed the mining operation and the mines were closed for good following World War II. The remaining 50 to 100 hardy souls promoted the town as a historic ghost town and in 1967 Jerome was designated a National Historic District by the federal government. Today Jerome is a thriving tourist and artist community with a population of about 450. Cottonwood and Jerome both make for great day trips either together or separate.
Old Town Cottonwood
Big Surf Waterpark opened in 1969 and has served as the Valley’s premiere waterpark and surf center for close to 50 years! In addition to water slides and wave pools, it is also a popular destination for concerts and has hosted numerous musicians like: Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beach Boys, Chicago, Sting, Rod Stewart and many, many more.
Taliesin West is a national historic landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains outside of Scottsdale, AZ. It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. It’s a great day trip and a wonderful insight into the life of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Since its founding by Dwight and Maie Heard in 1929, the Heard Museum has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, its educational programming and its festivals. Dedicated to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures, the Heard is an institution that successfully combines the stories of American Indian people from a personal perspective with the beauty of art.
Phoenix Art Museum
An institution of exciting art and learning since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has become the largest art museum in the southwestern United States, providing access to art from all over the world to the people of Arizona. Throughout the year the museum presents festivals, independent art films and educational programs that enlighten, entertain and stimulate.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Art Galleries of Scottsdale and Sedona
Both Sedona and Old Towne Scottsdale are known for their many galleries with high end art of all kinds. Both are wonderful day trips for urban walkers and art lovers alike.
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Concerts and Shows
The World Famous Laugh Factory
The World Famous Laugh Factory has been recognized as “the #1 comedy club in the country” by such high-profile media as the USA Today. With locations in Hollywood, Long Beach, Reno, Vegas, and Scottsdale, comedy’s top stars, as well as today’s brightest emerging talent, shine on its legendary stage.
Founder Jamie Masada, the driving force behind the Laugh Factory, is revered as a pioneer and innovator and is an iconic name on the comedy scene. He was and continues to be instrumental in launching the careers of many of today’s biggest comics. The New York Daily News called him the “Real King of Comedy.”
Come out to the best comedy club in America and see the best comics in the world.
The Scottsdale Laugh Factory
The Herberger Theater
Herberger Theater Center is an indoor performing arts venue featuring three stages in downtown Phoenix, whose mission is to support and foster the growth of performing arts in Phoenix as the premier performance venue, arts incubator and advocate. The Herberger Theater Center is not only a performing arts center, but is known in the Phoenix area as a cultivator and advocate for the arts community
The largest producing regional theatre company in the Valley, Phoenix Theatre offers more programs and experiences than any other. With over 200 performances on multiple stages and thriving education and outreach programs, we inspire more than 100,000 citizens every year. Inextricably woven into the fabric of Your City, Phoenix Theatre is Your Theatre.
Celebrity Theatre is a theater in the round and great concert venue located in Phoenix, Arizona. Beverly Hills architect Perry Neuschatz designed the 196-foot-diameter building as a multipurpose conference center.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
One of the premier performing-arts halls in the western United States, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts showcases a diverse season of dance, music, theater and film from around the world. More than 1,000 indoor and outdoor performances, educational programs, festivals and other events are presented and hosted at the Center each year serving approximately 250,000 participants and contributing substantially to Scottsdale’s high quality of life and reputation as a vibrant arts destination.
The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Arizona is one of the few states represented by all four major sports with professional franchises in football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey.
The Phoenix Suns
The Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Diamondbacks
The Phoenix Coyotes
Arizona is also the home away from home to half the teams in professional baseball who come here every season for spring training. The Cactus League is a family tradition for baseball fans around the world.
The Cactus League
Phoenix is also home to Turf Paradise the premier horse racing venue in the Southwest.
Dining and Shops
Arizona has some of the best dining in the world with excellent restaurants all over the valley, however, most of the best tend to be clustered around Old Town Scottsdale, the Biltmore Area, Uptown Sedona, the Catalina Foothills in Tucson, Downtown Gilbert, Chandler Square, and Mill Avenue in Tempe near the home of the International Faith Film Festival.
Arizona is also known for it’s shopping with Old Town Scottsdale, Mill Avenue in Tempe, and Sedona all being excellent options.
There’s no shortage of night clubs in Arizona so if you’re looking to party responsibly, we recommend looking for something on Mill Avenue or Old Town Scottsdale which was voted the best party town in America just last year. Other options include Downtown Phoenix, Downtown Tucson, 4th Avenue in Tucson, Lake Havasu City, and Whiskey Row in Prescott.