Beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture, and fascinating history are what makes Arizona a great vacation destination. The last contiguous state to be admitted to the Union in 1912 is also known for its desert climate in the southern part, with hot summers and mild winters. The northern part, on the other hand, has more moderate summers with significant snowfalls. You can say that this makes Arizona a great place to visit in any season and for any type of outdoor entertainment. You can hike on a mountain during the summer or visit a ski resort during the winter. And if you picked this state as your next destination, you came to the right place. Our article will be your guide on how to visit Arizona like a local. Prepare to discover hidden secret places to visit in Sunset State and much more.
Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
If you think of the desert, you probably imagine sand, cactuses, and more sand. Well, we can tell you that the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix will show you that a desert can be much more than that. This 140-acre garden was founded in 1939 at the initiative of locals with the idea of preserving the desert’s beauties. More than 50 thousand plants, including 130 species of rare and endangered species from all over the world, can be admired and learned about here. Thematic trails guide you around the whole garden, allowing you to experience the beauty of the Sonoran desert. And there’s quite a lot to see, including the new live floral show that began this year. So, if you want to feel like a local, you should visit this beautiful garden and learn about the flora of Arizona.
Taste the local wine
A lesser-known fact about Arizona is that it hosts three wine regions, Sonoita, Willcox, and Verde Valley. Since 1970, the wine industry in Arizona has grown and developed, being represented now by more than 120 wineries. And to understand just how good the wine produced here is, they won numerous awards and international recognition. In addition, these tasty wines have even made their way into the White House. So, if we managed to spark your curiosity, make sure to visit one of the tasting rooms across the state. Or, even better, sign up for a winery tour or a wine and dine evening filled with delicious food paired with the perfect wines. We are confident that after such an experience, you will add Arizona to your list of top wine lovers’ destinations.
Learn about the history of Arizona
If you want to know how to visit Arizona like a local, you need to understand the locals and learn about their history. And there is a lot to learn. First, you can visit the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. The museum collections include archeological, ethnographic, geological, paleontological, botanical, and zoological items. They were all collected with the idea of preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of Northern Arizona. After visiting this museum, you can take a trip to Mystery Valley. There, in the Navajo Nation, you can find ancient indigenous ruins and petroglyphs. Next on the list is the Montezuma Castle National Monument in the Verde Valley. The Sinagua Indian Tribe lived in the five-story, twenty-room intriguing design castle from the 1100s to around 1425. It is not only a beautiful site to see, but it is also rich in history.
Eat like a local
If you come to Arizona, you must taste the local food. The cuisine is influenced by Mexican, Peruvian, Jamaican, or Korean cuisine, with a dash of unique indigenous delicacies. We guarantee that just hearing about some of these dishes will make your mouth water. First, you can have a taste of the famous Sonoran hot dogs. A pork hot dog wrapped in bacon, carefully placed in a bun filled with tomatoes, onions, mustard, mayo, and jalapeno salsa. Second, you should try the Chimichangas. A deep-fried burrito topped with mayo and chopped tomatoes or sour cream and guacamole. Next on the list is the Cheese crisps. A crispy fried flour tortilla brushed with butter and sprinkled with plenty of cheese. For dessert, you can taste some sweet goodies baked with mesquite flour. The flour is produced by grounding the pods of mesquite trees and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
Take a hike through the mountains
Arizona’s geography includes vast deserts, deep canyons but also beautiful mountains. As a matter of fact, more than half of the Canyon State is made up of mountains and plateaus. The Colorado River, at 70 feet, is the state’s lowest point, while Humphrey’s Peak, at 12.633 feet, represents the highest. But, one of our top favorites is the Superstition Mountains. The mountains are located east of Phoenix and are visited each year by hundreds of tourists and photographers. Also, the Apache Trail, a 120-mile trail circling route through the Superstition Mountains, is very popular among hikers of all ages. Other mountains in Arizona that are cherished by the locals are Camelback Mountain (2706 feet), Mount Lemmon (9159 feet), and the Chiricahua Mountains (9759 feet). Explore them all if you want to know how to visit Arizona like a local.
Become a local
In case you didn’t know, Arizona is one of the states people often move to from other parts of the US. And it’s no wonder when you think of all the opportunities this state has to offer. The cost of living is reasonable, the job market is strong, and the winters are not as harsh. In addition, if you decide to relocate to Arizona, you will have breathtaking nature to admire, an incredible culture to discover, and delicious food and wine to taste. All the outdoor activities that will keep you active, like hiking, horseback riding, or playing golf.
If you are thinking of visiting Arizona, don’t think again. You will get the opportunity to enjoy the hot desert life, the coolness of canyons, rushing rivers, emerald lakes, and snow-capped mountains. In this cosmopolitan state rich in culture and history, you can have a little bit of everything. And if you want to know how to visit Arizona like a local, make sure to read our guide.
Author bio: Amanda Wright is a passionate content writer and traveler who likes to write about her experiences with people, cultures, and food.
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