ArizonaHome to both warm desert and snowy peaks, buzzing city life and peaceful natural landscape, Arizona is a state of diversity and choice. A resort oasis in the desert, incomparable natural beauty, and diverse cultural and social attractions lend themselves to Arizona’s dynamic, universal appeal.
Although the 113,990 square mile (295,234 square kilometer) state of Arizona is landlocked, it has several major lakes. Northern elevations also create countless mountain streams and rivers as they flow down the plateau. The Colorado River is one of the largest of these rivers and is responsible for the Grand Canyon along with much of the drinking water in Arizona. Whitewater rafting and other riparian activities can be enjoyed at many points along the Colorado and its tributaries.
In addition to Arizona’s rivers and lakes, its central location puts it a short distance to the Sea of Cortez, located along the Western coast of Mexico. Seaside resort towns are a popular weekend getaway for American tourists. San Diego and Los Angeles are also close by with ample opportunities for oceanic experiences and other exciting activities. Santa Fe, New Mexico and Las Vegas provide nearby vacation destinations for Arizonans.
Arizona can be generally classified into three sections, each with their own alluring style. The population with nearly 6.5 million is divided up amongst the sections, however, the most populous metro is Phoenix. Phoenix is located in the state’s midsection and is the nation’s fifth largest city. It is home to bustling commercial and cultural areas. The city recently developed venues for each of the major league sports teams. Numerous city and state parks provide opportunity to experience nature within the town and offer a diverse range of walking and hiking trails. Phoenix neighbors both the luxurious resort, golf, and shopping destination of Scottsdale and Tempe, the home to Arizona State University.
The second region, Northern Arizona, is positioned a top the Colorado Plateau. The higher elevation differs greatly from the deserts of the South, it is home to soaring mountain peaks, the world’s largest stand of Ponderosa pine, and the magnificent Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is often used as a base for Grand Canyon or Colorado River trips, and visitors might ride along historic Route 66 on their way into town. Originally a major railway stop, Flagstaff rapidly expanded in the late 1800s including the founding of what would become Northern Arizona University and the renowned Lowell Observatory. Sedona is located near Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon and is one of the finest resort areas in the state. Dramatic red rock formations, golf, and countless nature trails can be enjoyed from five-star luxury accommodations.
Tucson, 120 miles south of Phoenix, is the anchor to the southern third of the state. Home to the University of Arizona, Tucson has grown to include the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and numerous high tech aeronautical companies like Raytheon and Bombardier Aerospace. Like Flagstaff, Tucson began as a commercial center and expanded into a thriving city. It has become second to Phoenix for commerce and population, but remains a first-rate tourist and resort destination. The area’s highest peak, Mt. Lemmon, caps the Santa Catalina Mountains at 9,157 feet and is the southernmost ski destination in the 48 states. Tucson’s rugged desert climate and natural beauty makes it a popular destination for second homes and golf resort vacations.
There is no doubt that no matter where you are in Arizona, there is something unique about the area. Whether your interests are historical, pleasurable, or educational, Arizona is a state offering many different opportunities and areas that can fulfill what you are searching for!