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Arizona

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Why should you visit Arizona?

Arizona is the definition of desert beauty. The American Southwest in general is special, but Arizona has unique attractions that make it the highlight of the Southwest. First, and perhaps the most obvious, is the Grand Canyon. The magnitude alone is something to witness. You can hike, ride a horse or donkey, or even take a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon. It’s also home to Saguaro National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and numerous national monuments and historic sites.

Arizona is home to three main areas: Northern Arizona (which consists of mainly Flagstaff and Sedona), the Valley (Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the surrounding areas), and the South (Tuscon and the surrounding area). Each one is beautiful and full of activities for all ages!

Things to See and Do in Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park
Saguaro National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Montezuma's Castle & Well
Catch the fall foliage up north
Meteor Crater in Winslow
Salt River tubing
Horseshoe Bend
Antelope Canyon
Native American cliff dwelling carved high up into the side of a mountain with a path on the ground level with tourists walking

Montezuma’s Castle

antelope canyon formation

Antelope Canyon

Typical Costs When Visiting Arizona

Accommodation – For budget travelers, you can find accommodation (Airbnb’s and low-budget hotels) in the big cities for $50-60 a night for a private place or ~ $40 for a shared place. Note: Northern Arizona is more expensive than the rest of the state. The cheapest option is to go camping. This is the best budget-friendly option at the National Parks and on Bureau of Land Management property.

Food – In big cities, you can expect to pay $10 on average when dining out. If you cook at home, it is more budget-friendly. Groceries aren’t too expensive (think $1.50 for a carton of eggs). Look for restaurants recommended by locals because they might be cheaper than bigger chains. This is definitely a good opportunity to try authentic Mexican food and if you find yourself on the Navajo or Hopi Reservations, definitely try some fry bread! It’s SO GOOD.

Transportation – Arizona is only accessible by car. In Phoenix there is limited public transportation, but everything is pretty spread out. The highlights of Arizona are in nature so you’ll need a car to get to them. You can rent a car for $10 a day if you are 25 years or older. If you are younger than 25 (the legal age to rent a car in the US), you will have to pay an underage fee.

 

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Suggested daily budget – 40-50 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in low-budget accommodation, renting a car, eating out a little, and cooking most of your meals. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher! If you are splitting any costs with traveling companions, this number will be lower!)

Money Saving Tips

1
Avoid peak season (summer). It's crowded and crazy hot.
2
Food trucks are cheap dining out options
3
Get a National Park pass to bundle and save on entry fees
4
Gas is cheap in Arizona. Look for ARCO, QuikTrip, and Circle K.

My Must Have Guides For Traveling to Arizona


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Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

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