• The Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites: First hotel to be built on Hopi tribal land in 50 years. Amenities include 100 guestrooms, outdoor pool and jacuzzi, fitness centre, and complimentary breakfast. The hotel also offers guided tours to Hopi villages like Oraibi, Sipaulovi, Walpi and Dawa Park – a site with more than 10,000 rock art petroglyphs. Adjoining Tuba City.
Musical Instrument Museum• Musical Instrument Museum (MIM): Features musical instruments used worldwide. Pays homage to the history and diversity of instruments through sight and sounds from audio and flat-screen videos. Visitors can try out the instruments at the hands-on Experience Gallery. A 299-seat, state-of-the-art Music Theater will feature a broad range of music traditions from various people and cultures. Phoenix.
• Sea Life Aquarium: 30 separate display tanks featuring 12 different habitat zones are spread across 2,415 square metres. Displays include a coral shoaling ring, a bay of rays and a walkthrough underwater tunnel. Arizona Mills Mall, Tempe.
• Talking Stick Resort & Spa: Features 497 rooms, conference space, open-air spa, cigar and wine bar and eight restaurants. The gaming and entertainment venue offers a variety of high-tech slot machines and table games. Displays of cultural significance featured in the design and exhibits throughout the property. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, near Scottsdale.
• Sunset Crater National Monument: Ranger programs and self-guided trails available on this crater, a former active volcano more than 900 years ago. Near Flagstaff.
• Rawhide Western Town: A taste of the fun Old West, including street skits, mock gunfights, stage show, desert train rides, a canal ride, petting zoo, old-time saloon and steakhouse. Gila River Indian Community.
• Heard Museum: One of the most extensive displays of Native American artifacts and art in the U.S. The Heard’s massive collection is on display in three Phoenix-area locations: the Heard Museum Downtown in Phoenix, the Heard Museum West in Surprise and the Heard Museum Scottsdale.
• Canyon de Chelly National Monument: An amazing, 300-metre gorge carved eons ago by water and wind. Clients can explore the sights from an easy rim drive or journey inside the canyon on foot, horseback or in a 4WD. Near Chinle.
• Verde Canyon Railway: The narrated, four-hour round trip travels past the remains of the United Verde Copper Company and through a remote, wild canyon with steep red walls, prehistoric cliff dwellings and a 207-metre tunnel. Clarkdale.
Phoenix CVB• Desert Botanical Garden: Walk among fascinating garden showcases, plus more than 10,000 arid-land plants from around the world.
• Titan Missile Museum: The only publicly accessible Titan II missile site in the U.S. South of Tucson.
• Saguaro National Park: A forest of saguaro cacti and a visitor centre with exhibits, biking trails, natue walks and picnic areas. Blooming season: May to June. Tucson.
• Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Wildlife preserve and wildlife theme park on 42 hectares of wilderness at the base of the Mingus Mountains. Home to more than 400 exotic animals. Sedona.
• El Presidio San Agustín del Tucson: Portrays life in Tucson from the American Revolution through the Civil War. This interpretive centre and museum is located on the site of Tucson’s original adobe-walled fortress (presidio), established by Spain in 1775 and in use until 1856.
• The University of Arizona-Biosphere 2: Takes visitors “behind the glass” to experience a Western Hemisphere rainforest. A path leads through the lowland of a simulated Brazilian rainforest that includes over 150 species of plants. Tucson.
• Taliesin West: Built in 1937 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentices. Residential spaces, theatres, architectural studio and drafting room are open for tours. Scottsdale.
• Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park: Offers a glimpse of convict life more than a century ago and proof that there really was a Wild West. Yuma.
• Titan Missile Museum: The only publicly accessible Titan II missile site in the U.S. South of Tucson.
• Gathering of the Gunfighters (January), Yuma.
• Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction (January), Scottsdale.
• Tubac Festival of the Arts (February), Tubac.
• Accenture Match Play Championship (February), Marana.
• The Chocolate Affaire (February), Glendale.
• Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering (February), Sierra Vista.
• Arizona’s Annual Renaissance Festival (February), Apache Junction.
• Winter Blast 20: Light Up the Night (February) Lake Havasu City.
• Heard Museum Guild Annual Indian Fair & Market (March), Phoenix.
• Ostrich Festival (March), Chandler.
• Cowgirl Up! Art from the Other Half of the West Invitational Show & Sale (March), Wickenburg.
• Verde Valley Nature & Birding Festival (March), Cottonwood.
• Route 66 Fun Run (May), Seligman/Topock.
• Native American Arts Auction (May), Ganado.
• White Mountain Native American Art Festival (July), Pinetop/Lakeside.
• Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering (August), Prescott.
• August Fest (August), Elgin.
• Grand Canyon Music Festival (August/September), Grand Canyon.
• SalsaFest (September), Safford.
• Rex Allen Days (October), Willcox.
• Helldorado Days (October), Tombstone.
• Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb (October), Bisbee.
• Polar Express (November/December), Williams.
• Fall Festival of the Arts (December), Tempe.
• Scottsdale: Sonoran Desert offers pristine hiking trails, boulder-strewn mountains and hot-air balloon rides. For golfers, there are nearly 200 courses, many incorporating the desert’s natural topography. There is a Downtown Arts District during ArtWalk which features exhibit openings, artist demonstrations and live entertainment. Over 75 renowned restaurants, lounges and nightclubs are within walking distance in downtown.
• Phoenix: Popular activities include horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and waterskiing, sailing, fishing and tubing in the region’s lakes and rivers. Also, sailplane or hot-air balloon rides. Attractions include South Mountain Park, the Heard Museum and the Desert Botanical Garden.
Mesa CVB• Mesa: Arizona’s third-largest city with an eclectic collection of family-friendly attractions, including the Mesa Center for the Arts, the largest arts center in the state offering professional performing and visual arts, and arts education programming; the Arizona Museum of Natural History, which houses Arizona’s largest collection of dinosaur bones; the Arizona Museum for Youth; Chicago Cubs spring training games; over 25 golf courses; rafting and tubing on the Salt River.
• Lake Havasu: Lake Havasu City is home to the world-famous London Bridge and English Village. Lake Havasu State Park is a giant recreation area that offers excellent boating, sailing, water skiing and swimming. More than 16,160 hectares of wilderness are home to a wide variety of arid plants and wildlife.
• Tucson: Once a rowdy frontier town, this modern city is filled with historical, cultural, scientific and natural attractions. Highlights include Mission San Xavier del Bac, one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the U.S.; the Tucson Museum of Art, home to pre-Colombian, Hispanic, Western, Asian and contemporary art; the Pima Air and Space Museum; Biosphere 2; the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden; and Saguaro National Park East and West.
• Tombstone: Known as “The Town Too Tough to Die”. Formerly a silver-mining boom town. Highlights include the OK Corral Museum, Rose Tree Museum which protects the site of the world’s largest rose tree, and historical sites such as Boothill Graveyard, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park and Bird Cage Theatre.
• Bisbee: A contemporary cultural treasure in the foothills of the Mule Mountains, brimming with art galleries, antique shops, museums and restored Victorian architecture. Approximately 50,000 visitors each year join the Queen Mine Tour, the former operations site of this historic copper mine.
• Glendale: Home to a multi-sport entertainment complex, meeting facilities, accommodations and one of the most renowned downtown shopping districts in America.
• Monument Valley Tribal Park: One of the grandest and most photographed landmarks in the U.S. This sprawling, sandy preserve spans the border between Arizona and Utah. Dominated by crimson mesas and surreal sandstone towers – some measuring 305 metres – the area is also known for dramatic, mesmerizing lighting from the sun resulting in long shadows on the valley floor. Located on the Navajo Reservation, four hours northeast of Flagstaff and near the four corners area.
• Kartchner Caverns State Park: Multi-coloured calcite formations grow within this pristine wet cave, considered by many to be more spectacular than Carlsbad Caverns.
• Tubac Presidio State Historic Park: Preserves the ruins of a 1751 Spanish colonial fort. Los Tubaqueños, the award-winning volunteers, portray life as it was in 18th-century Arizona. The surrounding town is a thriving artist community.
• Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park: One of the best pre-Columbian sites in the Southwest. Ruins include over 200 rooms, ancient dwellings and a ceremonial chamber built by the Salado Indians between the 13th and 14th centuries. Near Globe.
• Kingman: Known as the “Heart of Historic Route 66” with over 60 local buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Attractions include the Powerhouse Visitor Center, Bonelli House and the Mohave Museum.
• Grand Canyon National Park: Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark and a natural wonder. Stretching 446 kilometres from end to end, steep, rocky walls descend more than 1.6 kilometres to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest. The Canyon's western edge is home to Havasupai Falls and the town of Supai.
• Navajo Reservation: Navajo Nation lands extend into the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Operates on Daylight Savings Time from April to October, unlike the rest of Arizona. Home to many attractions including Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Navajo Nation Window Rock Monument & Veterans Memorial Park, Chaco Cultural National Historical Park, Hubbell Trading Post and National Historic Site, and the Navajo Nation Tribal Museum.
•Hopi Reservations: The small reservation, surrounded by the large Navajo Nation, is about the size of Rhode Island. A very private people, the Hopi have practiced their philosophy, teachings and religion for millennia. Hopi Villages are found at the base and the top of three mesas dominating the landscape. These mesas project to the north from the enormous Black Mesa formation like fingers on a giant hand. Internationally acclaimed as artisans, First Mesa is known for its pottery, Second Mesa for coiled basketry and Third Mesa for wicker basketry. Weavers, Katsina doll carvers and silversmiths are also found within each village.
• La Posada Hotel: This is the “last great railroad hotel”. Built in 1929 for the Santa Fe Railway, the La Posada is a prime example of Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s design work. Closed in 1957, the hotel was purchased in 1997 and is being restored by local artisans and craftsmen to Colter’s original concept. Winslow.
•Antelope Canyon: Located on the Navajo Reservation. Gently carved from the Navajo sandstone over countless millenniums, the slot canyons are majestic and narrow passages, providing just enough space for a small group to walk the sandy floor, and for the occasional shafts of sunlight to shine through. Page.
• The Salsa Trail: For a true taste of Southern Arizona. Featuring a collection of homespun restaurants that have been family-owned for generations. Maps available at the Graham County Chamber of Commerce or online.
Did You Know?
State Motto: God Enriches
State Flower: Saguaro cactus bloom
State Bird: Cactus wren
America’s Byways: Coronado Trail Scenic Byway, Historic Route 66-AZ, Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway, Red Rock Scenic Byway, Sky Island Scenic Byway.
Direct Flights: Air Canada, USAirways, WestJet
Sales Tools: Official Visitors Guide, newsletter, Arizona Accreditation Program (AZAP), www.arizonaguide.com/travelprofessionals
Info: Arizona Office of Tourism