The 10 best hotels in Arizona
Arizona, the sixth largest state in the US, known for its famous geologic wonder, the Grand Canyon, caters to tourists who come here for a myriad of activities. Some want to experience the Sonoran Desert and see the distinctive candelabra shape of a 50ft-high saguaro for the first time. More than five million a year come just to visit Grand Canyon National Park. Others head for a spiritual stop in Sedona. Millions more fly into Sky Harbor International Airport to visit the Greater Phoenix area and bask in the luxury of a resort stay. They golf, go to the spa, hang out poolside and dine on southwestern cuisine. Birders and cyclists might head south to Tucson and border towns for a more laidback kind of fun. For all comers, there’s the right hotel. Lodges where you can take part in a duck-feeding or hillside hike perhaps, or classic hotels with arresting cactus gardens or curated art exhibitions. Here’s a snapshot of some of the best places to stay while visiting or traveling through Arizona. Recommended: the best places to stay in Grand Canyon
The 20 best things to do in Arizona
Arizona, the country’s 48th state of the union, greatly appeals to the person who loves the outdoors. With 300 days of sunshine, it’s easy to explore the mountainous terrain in all four corners on foot or by bike and car. The beautiful mix of high and low desert landscape beckons. Start with the Grand Canyon, the attraction John Wesley Powell first explored in 1869 that eventually opened doors to Arizona’s first tourism, paving the way for the spas, fantastic hotels and diverse restaurants the state boasts today. Then walk the path of the Giant Saguaro, taking in the majesty of this important desert plant that only grows in the Sonoran Desert. From there, play in the spots where Old West history has been made, then meet some of the people who live here now. There’s so much more to explore, so many things to do, but these are some of the best. Recommended: the best hotels in ArizonaRecommended: the best places to stay in Grand Canyon
The 10 best things to do in Sedona
Sedona, the vibrant land of red rocks, verdant landscapes and bright blue skies, is one of America’s most beloved cities in the Verde Valley. Its sandstone and limestone buttes, mesas and cliffs are part of the Mogollon Rim—a 400-foot escarpment that runs east-west through central Arizona. Within this, the Red Rock Basin, sits more than 200 trails, covering 300 miles on 1.8 million acres of national forest land. Other attractions include fine art galleries and boutiques, native artifacts, historical sites, creek-side resorts, restaurants, spiritual and wellness sites and more. Though its population is only 10,000, three million tourists visit Sedona each year to enjoy the beauty, seek adventure and find spiritual awakenings. Here are the top things to do for in-the-know visitors. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
The 10 best restaurants in Tempe
Tempe restaurants have long been defined by the student town’s population; Arizona State University’s local, regional, national and international students and young professionals call the shots. They like eclectic, ethnic and modern. You’ll find gastropubs with locally crafted brews and intimate cafés on side streets that can feed no more than two dozen customers at a time. There are casual restaurants in strip centers that serve casual food made from only the finest ingredients, and places on Mill Avenue—the main drag—that cater to a younger, rowdier crowd. The restaurant industry here represents a multitude of cultural tastes, including American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Ethiopian, Asian, Middle Eastern and so many more. Ready for a sample? Try these ten best Tempe venues first.
The 10 best restaurants in Sedona
Sedona’s food and wine scene varies from high-end to earthy organic, with a bit of laidback touristy thrown in for good measure. Mexican food is just as common as pizza here, but at the same time you’ll be able to find the type of fine dining venue with lengthy wine list you might be accustomed to back home. The trend here has long been a focus on fresh, healthy, local ingredients, so vegans and vegetarians will have no problem finding a good meal. If you're looking for fun things to do in the city, live music is another popular trend, so prepare for some intimate acoustic sets while you eat. Because the town is surrounded by gorgeous red rock formations, great views are almost never a problem, as most restaurants offer a patio for your leisurely meal. Here’s a our pick of the best restaurants in Sedona.
The 10 best things to do in Flagstaff
Known for its proximity to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is also a college town. Home to Arizona’s third – and smallest – institute of higher learning, Northern Arizona University, its mascot, the Lumberjack, was named for the early logging industry that helped populate the area at the turn of the 20th century. With an elevation that begins at nearly 7,000 feet, it can be a 30-degree or more respite during the day from the heat of Phoenix to the south. The city is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, a land of pine trees and aspen groves, and the state’s tallest mountain peak, Humphreys Peak, part of the San Francisco Peaks, sacred to Native Americans who live nearby. Hiking, biking, skiing, and visiting national monuments are among the top on the list of best things to do—read on for more of the city’s top hits. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
The 10 best restaurants in Arizona
Defining Arizona cuisine is like trying to rock climb the Grand Canyon without a rope—not going to happen. But now that the Old Pueblo called Tucson has been dubbed a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Arizona as a food destination is gaining clout. Aside from adventurous outdoorsy things to do and world-renowned spas and hotels, folks are starting to travel to Arizona for its one-of-a-kind meals. Spicy tastes of the state’s southern border and ranch-style bison burgers and elk sausage of northern cattle country reflect an attractive Wild, Wild West image. And New American cuisine in casual Tucson is also tempting taste buds, as is inventive cocktails at the trendy Scottsdale waterfront and surprisingly fresh seafood in quirky rural areas. There are also Ethiopian soups in cozy strip malls, Spanish tapas near museums, and Napolitano-style pizzerias in almost every town. Adventurous chefs aren’t afraid to experiment, exploring the distinct flavors of the Sonoran Desert and blending them with familiar tastes from around the world. Here’s a mix of some of Arizona’s best.