Planning an Arizona bucket list and not sure where to start? That’s ok! Arizona is packed to the brim with so many incredible things to do that it would take a lifetime to do it all.
Arizona is one of those destinations on your USA bucket list that you visit over and over because there is just something magical about it. Maybe it is all the outdoor adventure, the lush landscapes, epic sunsets, or overall sense of beauty.
Whatever is captivating you to keep returning, we hope you find whatever you need here for your Arizona bucket list. Have a wonderful trip and don’t forget to take photos of your epic adventures.
Arizona Bucket List: Ultimate List of Things to do
1. Hike The Wave
Arguably one of the most stunning landscapes in the state, the Wave is one of the hardest hikes in the United States to get a permit for and it is strenuous. About half the permits are given four months in advance for the day you want to hike and the others are given the day before at an in-person lottery at Kanab Center Gymnasium.
If you ae one of the lucky few who get to hike the Wave, know that it is on an unmarked and unpaved landscape with few landmarks to guide. If hiking the Wave is on your Arizona bucket list, you will be rewarded with incredible views.
2. Grand Canyon Skywalk
If heights don’t phase you and living on the edge sounds fun, don’t miss the Skywalk. This walkway extends 70 feet out. 10 feet wide and has a glass bottom see through floor. The 4,000 foot drop below is not for the faint of heart.
Pro tip: you are not allowed to bring phones or cameras of any kind on the Skywalk. In fact, you will go through a metal detector. If you want an epic photo, plan to pay one of the photographers out on the Skywalk.
3. See the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
A meteorite that was about 160 feet in length, crashed into this site at an unknown speed over 50,000 years ago, and today, you can see it.
The crater itself is about a mile in width and the circumference is nearly 2.5 miles. Depth is just over 550 feet deep.
You do need to pay to access views.
4. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon has two parts: upper and lower. Both are beautiful and should be on your Arizona bucket list.
Upper Antelope Canyon is easier to access and you walk into it. Lower Antelope Canyon requires navigating some stairs that are rather vertical and the canyon slots are a bit narrower. You should highly consider a tour and booking in advance.
5. See the Chapel of the Holy Cross
One of the best things to do in Sedona is to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Built into the buttes in Sedona, this Roman Catholic church is unmissable and worth a visit. There is nothing quite like it.
6. Eat a peanut butter and grape jelly brisket sandwich at Jalapeno Bucks
When it comes to food that sounds crazy but ends up being sensational, this peanut butter and grape jelly brisket sandwich from Jalapeno Bucks takes the cake.
It sounds bizarre, but make no mistake, this trio is a winning combination and should be on your food bucket list.
7. Hike Camelback Mountain
One of the best city hikes in the Phoenix area is hiking Camelback Mountain. The hike does take about three hours and is not for the faint of heart. The beginning of the hike is a bit easier but the last bit offers complete drop offs and very steep grade.
People are regularly airlifted off the mountain, so keep that in mind when thinking about doing this hike.
8. See the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum
Yayoi Kusama is one of the most eclectic artists in the world and her art is easily recognizable. The concept for this exhibit, You who are getting obliterated in the dancing swarm of fireflies, is that you walk into a room that is completely dark and various light twinkle making you feel surrounded by fireflies.
9. Visit the bluest waters at Havasu Falls
Hiking to Havasu Falls comes with a lot of roadblocks, but if you are one of the lucky ones who gets the opportunity, cherish it!
Every year in February, slots open up through the Havasupai Reservations and you are required to book a three day permit, which costs around $100 per day during the week and $125 per day for the weekend days. You are also required to camp overnight. There is not an option for day trips.
The hike is 10 miles one way and a bit difficult, but again, absolutely worth putting on your travel bucket list.
10. Ride a hot air balloon at sunrise
One might not think to ride a hot air balloon in Phoenix, but it is truly a sight to behold. Suring the early morning hours when it is glowing outside, you can peacefully float in the sky seeing the desert landscape, Camelback Mountain and the city.
11. Montezuma Castle National Monument
You can easily visit Camp Verde on a day trip from the Phoenix area or a quick drive from Sedona to see the Montezuma Castle National Monument.
You should plan to stay for a couple hours to explore and see some of the trails and the museum.
12. See Hole in the Rock at Papago Park
This geological formation is an iconic spot for travelers to get their photos taken.
13. Visit Whiskey Del Bac for a tasting and lesson on how to make the perfect whiskey
Planning a visit to Tucson? Make sure and stop by Whiskey Del Bac for a tasting and to see how it is made.
Del Bac is a single malt whiskey and award winning. Fun fact: Scottish distilling methods are used.
14. See Horseshoe Bend
Close to Page, Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is on the Colorado River and a popular place to visit when also visiting Antelope Canyon.
There is about a mile walk to access the viewpoint, but just look at it. It is pretty incredible and should be on your Arizona to do list.
15. Explore Taliesin West, the former home of Frank Lloyd Wright
If you need to add some interesting things to your Phoenix bucket list, look no further than Taliesin West.
The former home and school of Frank Lloyd Wright is quite the masterpiece. You can see where he lived, how he designed the home and furniture and see the spectacular grounds.
16. Get a picture like Forest Gump at Monument Valley
Remember when Forest went running in the movie and ended up on the iconic stretch of road in Monument Valley? That is exactly where you want to go!
17. See the Petrified Forest National Park
If you want to see something really cool, the Petrified Forest National Park is BURSTING with colors. It is unlike anything you have probably seen before, unless you have been to Rainbow Mountain in Peru.
18. Eat a Sonoran dog in Tucson
One simply doesn’t visit Tucson and not eat a Sonoran Dog. It’s just something you do when you visit the city.
This hot dog is wrapped in bacon in a cushioned bun and topped with delights.
19. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
These sandstone cliffs are not to be missed when planning your Arizona bucket list.
You can drive through areas and hike some of the overlooks. Make sure to plan in advance so you know how long each activity takes.
20. Visit Saguaro National Park and see the oldest Saguaro cacti
Spend a day browsing through the Saguaro National Park and spend the day exploring the area. You can drive the loops or hike one of the many 150 miles of trails.
You won’t want to miss the oldest Saguaro cacti!
21. Stay at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho
Located in downtown Scottsdale, this urban motel/hotel used to be the jumping grounds of the rich and famous. Now this eclectic property holds onto its roots with additions. Bursting with colorful rooms and fun amenities, a stay at the Hotel Valley Ho is unlike any other.
22. See Mission San Xavier del Bac
If your Tucson bucket list needs some history, here it is. This 223 year old Roman Catholic Church is still in operation today. You can go inside and see all the history on the walls.
23. Take a wellness week at Civana Resort
Looking for a wellness getaway? Civana Resort, located in the Scottsdale area is the perfect escape. Not only are the grounds beautiful, the food is incredible, daily classes and activities are offered, a full spa, and the coziest rooms to truly let you wind down and relax.
24. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
Your Phoenix bucket list should include a stop at the Desert Botanical Garden at least once. While the garden is great year round, there are some cool events during the year that you will not want to miss.
The coolest one is during the end of the year called ‘Las Noches De Las Luminarias.” The garden puts out over 8,000 luminaries that flicker throughout the gardens. Visiting is very different from the daytime but it is a cool experience.
25. Use natures natural waterslide at Slide Rock in Sedona
Slide Rock should be on everyone’s Sedona bucket list. This natural formation will give you and your family hours of fun.
26. Red Rock State Park
Located just outside of Sedona, Red Rock State Park should not be missed. The red stone canyons are unmissable and quite stunning to see in person.
If you don’t want to hike or do anything outdoorsy, there is a 13 mile drive you can take through the park and see just how beautiful it truly is.
Best tours in Sedona
27. Mural walk of Roosevelt Row
Phoenix is loaded with tons of fantastic murals throughout the city.
Roosevelt Row is one of the best places to walk or drive thru and see all the great pieces artists have done throughout the years. They really bring the city to life.
28. See a desert sunset
There is no sunset quite like a desert sunset! The colors of the sky are so vibrant and add the cacti in the background, magic.
29. Golf one of the 300+ courses in the state
Do you love to golf? Arizona has no shortage of golf resorts. If you want to score a great deal and check off some items on on your summer bucket list, visit during the summer months when it is scorching hot out. You can get amazing hotel and golf deals.
30. Visit the Painted Desert
This stunning stretch of desert is located between the Petrified Forest National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park. The colors look unreal, but that is what makes it perfect for your Arizona bucket list.
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