Arizona Tourist Attractions

By | January 3, 2023

Special churches and temples

St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix
St. Mary’s Basilica is the oldest Catholic church in Phoenix. The Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as it was officially called, was completed in 1914. The basilica also has the largest number of stained glass windows in all of Arizona. The church itself is built in the Spanish mission style. The 4 domes are particularly impressive. Incidentally, the church was raised to the status of a basilica only in 1987 shortly before the visit of Pope John Paul II.

Contact 231 North 3rd Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Mission San Xavier del Bac near Tucson
The Mission San Xavier del Bac is a Spanish mission church located about 15 km south of the city of Tucson. In the area where the church stands today, there was a Spanish mission as early as 1700. The church itself was only built in 1797 by Indians from the surrounding area. The Moorish influences of the building are remarkable. Nowadays the church impresses its visitors with the unique wall paintings and the special altar which are a mixture of Spanish and Indian influences. The huge gates made of mesquite wood are also very impressive. In the 80s, the church was restored in an elaborate process and the beauty of the frescoes restored.

Contact 1950 West San Xavier Road
Tucson, Arizona 85746

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Catholic church in the city of Sedona. The peculiarity of the church is its architectural style or its “built-in” in a mesa (table mountain). In front of one of the famous red rock walls, part of the building, a glass front with a cross, rises into the sky. The church was built in 1956. The church is one of the main attractions for tourists in the Sedona area. In 2007, the church was voted one of the 7 man-made Arizona wonders. But not only the architecture challenges you to visit, but also the wonderful views that you can see from the church over the valley.

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Contact 780 Chapel Road
Sedona, Arizona 86336

Mesa Mormon Temple
The Mesa Mormon Temple, formerly known as the Arizona Temple, is a temple belonging to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” in the city of Mesa. This community of faith is counted among the Mormons. Construction of the temple began in 1921 and the temple opened in 1927. In 1974 the temple was closed for renovations. And reopened a year later. The gardens around the temple and the light spectacle that takes place every year at Christmas are also particularly interesting for visitors.

Contact 451 East 2nd Ave
Mesa, Arizona 85204

Cathedral of Saint Augustine in Tucson
The Cathedral of Saint Augustine in Tucson was the first Roman Catholic church in the diocese of Tucson. The construction of the church in the Gothic style was finished in 1897. The church was rebuilt in 1928 and has been in the Mexican Baroque style ever since. The facade of the church takes up plant motifs of the local flora and the interior of the church impresses with a huge cross from the 12th or 13th century which was made in Pamplona in Spain.

Contact 192 South Stone Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Zoos, parks and amusement parks

Phoenix Zoo
The City of Phoenix Zoo is the largest public zoo in the United States with an area of ​​510,000 m². The zoo was founded in 1962. The zoo now houses more than 1,300 animals. It is noteworthy that the zoo is home to around 200 endangered species and also works on programs to protect, preserve and reproduce these species. The zoo is divided into 4 main areas: Arizona Trail, Africa Trail, Tropics Trail and Discovery / Children’s Trail. The zoo’s main attractions include lions, tigers, baboons, ostriches, elephants, Galapagos turtles and anteaters. Another special experience is the stingray pool where visitors can touch the animals. Nevertheless, the most famous animal in the zoo is the elephant Ruby, who paints pictures.

opening hours June to August: Daily: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.; September to November: daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; December to January: Daily: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; February to May: Daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 18; Children (3-12) $ 9
Contact 455 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
Tel: 001 – (0) 602 – 273 13 41 Fax: 001 – (0) 602 – 286 38 86

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park contains the oldest botanical garden in Arizona. It was founded in 1920 by the entrepreneur William Boyce Thompson. With an area of ​​1.31 km², the botanical garden is also the largest in Arizona. Around 14,000 plants from over 3,100 species grow in the garden. The plant collection contains plants from Australia, Africa, Asia, North and South America and from the Mediterranean. The most interesting tree is certainly the 42 m tall red eucalyptus that has been growing in the garden since 1926 and is the largest eucalyptus in the entire United States. The botanical garden is located on Highway 60 near the city of Superoir approx. 70 km east of Phoenix.

opening hours May to August: Daily: 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.; September to April: Daily: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 7.50; Children (5-12) $ 3
Contact Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 689 28 11 Fax: 001 – (0) 520 – 689 58 58

Tucson Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens in the city of Tucson comprise a total of 16 botanical gardens and thus serve as recreational areas within the city. Due to the large number of individual gardens, these cover a wide range. There are spice gardens, a prehistoric garden, a butterfly garden and other gardens dedicated to the flora of North America.

opening hours Daily: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 8; Children (4-12) $ 4
Contact 2150 North Alvernon Way
Tucson, Arizona 85712
Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 326 96 86 Fax: 001 – (0) 520 – 324 01 66
Email: [email protected] Web:

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix was founded in 1937 and opened in 1939. Today the park covers an area of ​​approximately 200,000 m² and offers space for around 21,000 plants to grow. About a third of the local flora is taken from these plants and about 140 plant species are threatened with extinction. The park also has plant collections from Australia, California and South America. There are special shade houses for plants that are not up to the desert climate.

opening hours Daily: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 15; Children (3-12) $ 5
Contact 1201 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
Tel: 001 – (0) 480 – 941 12 17 Fax: 001 – (0) 480 – 481 81 24

Sea Life Aquarium in Phoenix
The Sea Life Aquarium in Phoenix or in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the city of Tempe is an approx. 2,400 m² aquarium in which more than 5,000 animals are at home. The Sea Life Aquarium offers a total of 30 pools in which the animals can be observed and touched in some pools. The Sea Life Aquarium in Phoenix is ​​a popular excursion attraction and should be particularly interesting for families. If you want to avoid stress, you should visit the Sea Life Aquarium on working days.

opening hours Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 18; Children (3-12) $ 11
Contact 5000 Arizona Mills Circle
Tempe, Arizona 85282
Tel: 001 – (0) 480 – 478 76 00
Email: [email protected]

Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park
The Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park is located near the town of Window Rock in northeastern Arizona in the Navajo Nation. The zoo is the only one run by an Indian tribe and focuses on the preservation and representation of the flora and fauna that is typical of the culture of the Navajo Indians. The park was opened in 1962 and today covers an area of ​​approximately 28,000 m² and is home to 75 animals from 36 species. which, like the plants in the botanical garden, all come from the region. Among other things, you can see: black bears, lynxes, pumas, coyotes and moose. However, the zoo is not without controversy among the Navajo Indians, since it is not common in the Navajo culture to imprison animals, least of all sacred snakes, bears and eagles.

opening hours Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees Free.
Contact Highway 264, Building 36A
Window Rock, Arizona 86515

Big festivals and events in Arizona

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is an annual event from late January to early February in the city of Tucson in which numerous exhibitions on precious stones, minerals and fossils take place all over the city. The largest of the individual exhibitions takes place in the Convention Center and covers an exhibition area of ​​approx. 17,000 m². Universities, museums and even the renowned Smithsonian Institute also show their collections during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Most hotels and accommodations are also fully booked during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.


Tempe Festival of the Arts
The Tempe Festival of the Arts is a biennial festival in the city of Tempe. This huge festival has something for everyone. From exhibiting art from across the United States to handicrafts to typical carnivals and street festival attractions. But also live music from jazz to folk to regional bands let visitors flock to this festival. The production and tasting of beer and wine are also considered art at this festival and have their corresponding areas.


The Tucson Rodeo (Fiesta de los Vaqueros)
The Tucson Rodeo, or “Fiesta de los Vaqueros”, is an annual rodeo that takes place in February or rather a rodeo week. The “Fiesta de los Vaqueros” marks the beginning of the rodeo season in the United States and the city of Tucson seems to be upside down for a week. The schoolchildren get 2 days off to take part in the big parade and the traditional “Western look” is the official dress throughout the city. The rodeo tradition is deeply rooted in Arizona so that the oldest rodeo and the oldest continuous rodeo take place in Arizona.

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Sedona International Film Festival
The Sedona International Film Festival is a five-day film festival in the city of Sedona that has been taking place since 1994. During the festival, more than 125 films from various genres such as documentaries, foreign films, short films, animated films and films by students will be shown. In addition to watching films, visitors can also take part in workshops that are intended to pass on the tricks of the former winners of the festival to the next generation of filmmakers.


National parks

Petrified Forest National Park
The Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona is located partly on the Colorado Plateau and partly on the Painted Desert. The park got its name Petrified Forest from the many pebbled pieces of wood that can be found in the park. The park covers a total area of ​​approx. 380 km² and lies at an altitude of approx. 1,800 m. The main attractions of the park are approximately 225 million year old petrified trees in the Jasper Forest as well as the Indian ruin site – Puerco Indian Ruin. The park is divided into two by Interstate 40, former Route 66. In the northern part of the park, the so-called Painted Desert, you will find extremely colorful desert landscapes. Most of the petrified wood is found in the south of the park, which has been transformed into very colorful minerals by geological processes, as well as petroglyphs (rock drawings). The most famous petroglyphs can be found on the so-called Newspapar Rock. The petroglyphs suggest a settlement of the area about 2,000 years ago. In the park there are several hiking trails that lead to attractions such as the Crystal Forest, the Blue Mesa, the Newspaper Rock and the like.

Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park is located in southern Arizona near the city of Tucson in the Sonoran Desert. The area of ​​the park, which was founded in 1933 and became a national park in 1994, is considered one of the most beautiful and species-rich in this desert. The name of the pars derives from the fact that the English word Saguaro stands for the candelabra or giant cactus. This type of cactus is the most striking in the park and can reach a height of up to 15 m and an incredible 8 tons of weight. He can also live to a proud age of over 150 years. The park with a total area of ​​approx. 354 km² is divided into two parts, one part to the east and the other to the west of the city of Tucson. The western part of the park is the smaller one but has much larger stocks of candelabra cacti to offer. But in total there are more than 1,000 plant species in the park, one for a considerable number. The park’s wildlife is also enchanting. Visitors can encounter coyotes, deer, gopher tortoises, desert iguanas, Gila crustaceans (caution poisonous), rattlesnakes and coral snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and over 200 species of birds.

Opening times of the visitor centers Daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees $ 5
Contact 3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, Arizona 85730
Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 733 51 53
001 – (0) 520 – 733 51 58
Fax: 001 – (0) 520 – 733 51 83
Web: / sagu

Other natural beauties

Agua Fria National Monument
The protected area of ​​the Agua Fria National Monument is located in central Arizona approx. 65 km north of Phoenix. The Agua Fria National Monument covers two table mountains, Perry Mesa and Black Mesa, and the Canyon of the Agua Fria River located between them. The name Agua Fria comes from the Spanish and means cold water. The area of ​​the Agua Fria National Monument is an archaeologically interesting landscape in which prehistoric Indian tribes lived. To date, over 450 settlements have been discovered. Since the Agua Fria National Monument was only founded in 2000, there is still no tourist infrastructure. However, it can be camped anywhere in the area.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly is located in northeastern Arizona on the Navajo Nation Reservation. The canyon has had the status of a National Monument since 1931. The protected area covers an area of ​​approximately 340 km² in which the three main canyons, the Canyon de Chelly (43 km), the Canyon del Muerto (29 km) and the Monument Canyon (16 km) are located. The canyons have depths of up to 300 m and are up to 60 million years old. In the different canyons there are archaeological finds that were first settled in the area 4500 years ago. The main attractions of the reserve are certainly the Spider Rock in the Canyon de Chelly, two approximately 240 m high rock needles, the White House Ruin in the Canyon de Chelly which is a small settlement, built about 1000 years ago during the early Pueblo culture, as well as the ruins of Ledge Ruin, Antelope House Ruin and Mummy Cave Ruin in the Canyon del Muerto. Hikes in the protected areas may only be undertaken with permission and under guidance. An exception is the White House Trail, which is possible without a guide. For those who aren’t keen on exercise, the streets on the edges of the canyon offer another way to enjoy the views of the canyon’s sights. To the west of the park is the visitor center, which also houses a museum, which provides the visitor with further information. There is also a free campsite, a lodge to stay overnight and there is the possibility to book horse tours in the canyons.

Opening times of the visitor center Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees Free. Donation wanted.
Contact Highway 191, Rural route 7
Chinle, Arizona 86503
Tel: 001 – (0) 928 – 674 55 00 Fax: 001 – (0) 928 – 674 55 07

Chiricahua National Monument
The Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona near the border with Mexico received the protection status of a National Monument in 1924. The area is known for its unusual and sometimes bizarre rock sculptures and rock formations, which were caused by several very strong volcanic eruptions about 27 million years ago and the subsequent washing out of softer rock. The best-known sculptures include, for example, the “duck on a rock” (Duck on a Rock), the “camel rock” (Camel Rock), the “kissing rocks” (Kissing Rocks) and several “balancing” rocks (Balanced Rocks). There are hiking trails on the approximately 50 km² area with a total length of approx. 30 km the Heart of Rocks leads visitors to the most spectacular sculptures and the Echo Canyon Loop Trail is the most varied. To the west of the reserve is a campsite and a visitor center. Via the approx. 13 km long Bonita Canyon Drive, visitors can also drive to the Masai Point, a viewpoint in the east of the park, and enjoy the landscape there and on the way there.

Opening times of the visitor center Daily: 8 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Entrance fees $ 5
Contact 12856 East Rhyolite Creek Road
Bisbee, Arizona 85643
Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 824 35 60 Fax: 001 – (0) 520 – 824 34 21

Kartchner Caverns State Park
The Kartchner Caverns State Park is located in the southeast of the state of Arizona and was founded in 1988 as a State Park. The park with its caves and stalactites was probably unknown until 1974 and discovered by two cave walkers who, for fear of destroying the caves, kept their knowledge of the caves secret for 14 years. After the establishment of technical systems for the preservation of the caves, it was only opened to the public in 1999. Nowadays the main attractions of the park are the Throne Room and the longest stalactite in the world with a 6.5 m and the Big Room with the world’s largest deposit of lunar milk. However, even today not all areas of the 3 km long cave system can be visited. Even the areas to be visited, such as the Big Room, cannot be visited all year round since from April to September smooth-nosed bats nest here. In addition to the visitor center, there is also a campsite in the park to enable visitors to stay longer.

opening hours Daily: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Entrance fees $ 3
Contact Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 586 41 00

Meteor Crater
The Meteor Crater, also called Barringer Crater, is an impact crater of a meteorite in central Arizona approx. 70 km east of the city of Flagstaff. The crater has a gigantic diameter of 1,200 m and a depth of 180 m. At the edge of the crater, a 30 m to 60 m wall of the ejected material piles up. It is estimated that the impact took place about 50,000 years ago and wreaked havoc. Nowadays, visitors to the crater can find interactive exhibitions in the visitor center about meteorites, asteroids, comets and the solar system, as well as a piece of meteorite weighing approx. 640 kg which may be touched. There is also a campsite where visitors can linger.

opening hours Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees Adults $ 15; Children (6-17) $ 8
Contact Interstate 40, Exit 233
Winslow, Arizona 86047
Tel: 001 – (0) 928 – 289 58 98 Fax: 001 – (0) 928 – 289 25 98
Email: [email protected] Web:

Pipe Cactus National Monument
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was declared a protected area in 1937 and is located in southeastern Arizona near the border with Mexico. The park is named after the organ pipe cactus in it, which only occurs here in the USA. In addition to the powerful, multi-armed organ pipe cacti, which defy the extreme heat (sometimes over 40 ° C), there are also Saguaro cacti up to 15 m high and about 25 other types of cacti. Due to the extreme climate, most of the animals in the park are nocturnal except for birds and snakes. The park covers a huge area of ​​approx. 1,333 km² and is rather difficult to reach without a car and only during the main season there are public transport connections from the neighboring areas. The visitor center is in the south of the park, as is the campsite, which is located in a very beautiful cactus landscape. The only place in the park where supplies and supplies can be refreshed is Lukevill on the US-Mexico border. There are two unpaved roads from the visitor center that can be explored by car. Puerto Blanco Drive (85 km) leads west into the Puerto Blanco Mountains and Ajo Mountains Drive (34 km) eastwards into Ajo Moutains. Both routes are ideal for seeing the beautiful cactus landscape in the undisturbed desert landscape.

Opening times of the visitor center Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees By car $ 8; without car $ 4 per person
Contact Puerto Blanco Drive Visitor Center
Lukeville, Arizona 85341
Tel: 001 – (0) 520 – 387 68 49 Fax: 001 – (0) 520 – 387 68 49

Slide Rock State Park
The Slide Rock State Park, which is located about 10 km north of the city of Sedona, was founded in 1987, but has a much longer history. In 1910, Frank Pendley bought the area with the large red rock formations and founded an apple farm. Today, the State Park is popular with tourists for its lovely scenery and is even the most visited tourist attraction in all of Arizona in the summer. In the past, many films were produced here because the landscape has the classic look of a western film. The park got its name from the large red slabs of rock on the course of Oak Creek that look like they have slid on top of each other. In the park there are three rather short hiking trails that lead visitors through the beautiful nature. These are: Pendley Homestead Trail (0.4 km),

opening hours September: Daily: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; October to April: Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; May: Daily: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Entrance fees $ 3
Contact 6871 N. Highway 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
Tel: 001 – (0) 928 – 282 30 34

Sonoran Desert National Monument
Its status as a nature reserve was given to the approx. 2,000 km² Sonoran Desert National Monument in 2001. The protection area is located approx. 35 km southwest of the city of Phoenix. Although the area is desert, the vegetation is quite lush. Another advantage for those looking for peace and relaxation is that the park does not yet have any tourist infrastructure. So there is no visitor center and no campsites. However, camping is allowed anywhere in the park.

Sunset Crater National Volcano Monument
The Sunset Crater National Volcano Monument has been a protected area around the Sunset Crater volcano since 1930. The volcano with a height of approx. 2,451 m is located in the north of Arizona and last erupted around 1090. Visitors to the park can admire the structures of the former lava flows on the approx. 1.6 km lava flow trail. A special highlight of the park are the lava tubes, some of which are accessible and lead down to a depth of 70 m. There, in the so-called Ice Cave, you can find ice all year round under the Arizona desert. Above ground, visitors can explore the landscape on several hiking trails. The Lenox Crater Trail with a length of approx. 1.6 km leads to the summit of the crater and the O’Leary Peak Trail (11.2 km) leads visitors to the summit of O’Leary Peak. In the visitor center you can find more information about the Sunset Crater and volcanoes in general. In addition to the visitor center, the park also offers a campsite.

Opening times of the visitor center November to April: daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; May to October: Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fees $ 5
Contact Loop Road
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
Tel: 001 – (0) 928 – 526 05 02 Fax: 001 – (0) 928 – 714 05 65

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
The Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a nature reserve in northern Arizona on the border with the state of Utah and covers an area of ​​approximately 1,190 km². The area was given protection status in 2000. The area got its name because of the vermilion cliffs that fell almost 1,000 m towards the Colorado River. Traces of settlement from around 12,000 years ago can be found in the extremely dry area. To date, over 100 Anasazi settlement sites and numerous petroglyphs have been discovered. Another highlight of the nature reserve is The Wave, a formation of petrified sand dunes. To protect nature, only 20 people per day are allowed to cross the area. However, other smaller hiking trails are not restricted.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument