Even though Grand Canyon is magnificent, and Sedona’s mystical energy attracts many visitors, Arizona offers much more to travelers and wanderers. If you want to go off the beaten path and discover some spectacular hidden gems, you’ll be happy to know that this state has plenty of them. So, here’s the list of the top 5 hidden secret places to visit in Arizona.
#1 Montezuma Castle, Camp Verde
Montezuma Castle is a fascinating old palace with one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in the nation. It was built by Native Americans in the 12th century. This place tells a unique story of ingenuity, survival, and prosperity in an unforgiving setting. Travelers can gaze through the windows of the past and peer into the majestic 20-room high-rise apartments. They cover five stories and are carved into towering limestone cliffs. All rooms face the south and get warmth from the sun, which used to heat living spaces.
Visitors that are used to modern devices and technologies are simply fascinated by how the Native American tribe transformed this harsh desert landscape into a convenient settlement to live in. There’s also the Montezuma Well with its unique wildlife, where you can chill and relax in the picnic area while admiring beautiful nature.
#2 Superstition Mountain Museum, Apache Junction
As its name says, this museum is located in the beautiful Superstition Mountains on the Historic Apache Trail. It’s a popular recreation destination near Phoenix. Although small, it’s one of the secret places to visit in Arizona. This site is educational, packed with fun memorabilia and history. Exhibits are about:
The Superstition Mountain
The famous legends
Local history and folklore
Native American artifacts
Cowboys and the west
Western films that were shot in this area (including “Charro!” which starred Elvis Presley), etc.
Furthermore, you’ll hear about the legend of Lost Dutchman and his gold mine. Also, you’ll enjoy other colorful tales of bygone days. Some of them are true, and some are mythical. While here, you must visit the charming Elvis Memorial Chapel. It’s a popular place for intimate weddings, renewal of vows, and other special events.
#3 Valley of the Moon, Tucson
Valley of the Moon is a dreamland built in the 1920s. This place reflects the eternal spirit of childhood and the noble idea of eccentric visionary George Phar Legler. He wanted to create an imaginary world where kindness, tolerance, and peace could be nurtured. The Valley has castles, enchantingly winding paths, magical structures, and mysterious hidden caverns. It also has towers and walls made of boulders, grottos, and fairy houses. Legler and his friends built the fantasy world and even offered “Tours of the land of the Moon”.
This site is still a place of spiritual and mental relaxation that encourages imagination. Furthermore, it often hosts theatrical performances. With the modern AI and smart technologies all around us, you may wish to unwind a bit and experience something different than usual. So, a weekend trip to the Valley Of The Moon can help you reconnect with nature. Moreover, visitors who step into this storybook can create their own fairytale. Do you wish to return to a childhood world of wonders, at least for a day?
#4 Arcosanti, Mayer
This unique place was an experiment of architect Paolo Soleri. He began its construction in 1970, and his idea was to create an experimental urban development. He wanted to see if people could live in the middle of seemingly nowhere without destroying mother nature. This concept was named “arcology” as a blending of “architecture” and “ecology”. It stands for conservation of land, energy, and natural resources. Even though this place didn’t live up to original hopes and expectations, it still thrives in its own way. Above all, it attracts environmentally-conscious visitors.
Arcosanti is certainly one of the best secret places to visit in Arizona. It consists of many apartments offering serenity and relaxation and has a five-story visitor center, a public swimming pool, and an outdoor auditorium. There is also a fantastic collection of wind bells designed by Soleri. These ceramic bells are well-known and truly unique, just like everything else in this concept community. Furthermore, various thematic workshops can help you learn silt-casting specific to this place, as well as metalwork, glass-blowing, photography, and much more. Also, there are art classes that promote the site. All this attracts students and enthusiasts from all over the world.
#5 Mount Graham International Observatory, Safford
Did you know that the world’s largest telescope is located in Mount Graham International observatory in Safford, southeast Arizona? If you visit Pinaleño Mountains, this is one place you certainly shouldn’t miss. The Large Binocular Telescope has two 27-feet-long mirrors. They weigh nearly 2 tons each. This was all crafted at Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, located near the University of Arizona. This telescope has even better clarity than the famous Hubble Space Telescope! If you’re curious about astronomy, book a guided tour of the observatory. You’ll also learn about the mountain’s rich history, geology, and diversity of life.
Moving to Arizona
Arizona is home to some unique natural beauty. Naturally, many people would gladly call it home. Apart from beautiful natural wonders and plenty of outdoor activities, reasons to relocate are many. Let’s name a few:
Warm weather almost all year long (the state has over 320 sunny days in a year)
Good public transport – there isn’t a lot of traffic on the highways
There are good jobs available throughout the state, with rural options as well
Arizona housing isn’t expensive
Plenty of entertainment options – nightlife, open-air festivals, museums, operas, theaters, etc.
Great food and a wide variety of restaurants
Arizona is also a shopper’s paradise, with big shopping malls all over the state
Arizona has diverse and magnificent landscapes, rich history, and eclectic culture that attracts visitors, even in times of COVID-19. It’s a place where you can find many wonders and all the ingredients for a perfect holiday. If you have an adventurous spirit, you’ll discover the hidden treasures and secret places to visit in Arizona that most people don’t know about.
Check out the Events Near Me when you are visiting Arizona.
Sally Norton is a freelance copywriter based out of Miami, with a flare for writing optimized articles. Her experience is focused on moving, travel, real estate and overall guides to help people with some challenging projects and endeavors. In her spare time, Sally enjoys yoga and walks with her dogs – Mane & Rex.