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Fabulous Places to Visit in Arizona: See Photos and Videos

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Just one of many great places in Arizona: The Painted Desert

Just one of many great places in Arizona: The Painted Desert

Visiting Arizona

Already written are several posts about different sites in Arizona. If you are interested in a particular location after looking at this overview, be sure and check it out. In most cases, there will be many more pictures to view as well as more information. Here is a brief synopsis or explanation of why we have enjoyed these locales.

By no means is this an exhaustive rendition of what the entire state has to offer to visitors. This article merely gives a brief description of some of our experiences while traveling there. All photos, unless otherwise specified, were taken by me.

In no particular order, let me begin a brief review of several of my favorite places of interest when visiting Arizona.

The Petrified Forest National Park

It has taken millions of years to form the petrified wood and other fossils in the Petrified Forest National Park of Arizona. Even though massive amounts of brightly hued chunks of petrified wood and fallen cracked tree logs are readily in view, most remains beneath the earth. Up to 300 feet of fossilized remains lie underground, ever so gradually working their way to the surface. Much of this process is due to the forces of erosion.

To see the most petrified wood lying in the open air and easily accessible in one concentrated area of the entire world, it is worth visiting the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. One can get an impression of this national park by driving through and stopping at nine overlook points strategically placed for best viewing opportunities. Without a doubt, hiking into the different areas offers an enjoyment of the scenery in a more personal way. The paths are well maintained and easily accessible.

The Agate House is a partially restored pueblo using the building blocks available at the time to the resident Indians, that being the chunks of petrified wood.

The Badlands are huge mounds looking like petrified dunes that are composed of various minerals. It is incredible to see, and one can also traverse the paths into the heart of them.

Petroglyphs are writings of long ago Native Americans and found within the park.

For these reasons and more, the Petrified Forest National Park is one of my favorite visited places in Arizona.

A portion of The Painted Desert

A portion of The Painted Desert

Arizona's Painted Desert

If one visits the Petrified Forest National Park, one will also see the Painted Desert as both are intermingled and merging.

Just imagine a child with multiple pails of white sand given an assortment of colors ranging from pale pinks and oranges to muted mauves and other hues. Envision that child told to mix the colors with the sand and then make piles in different patterns across a large expansive area.

Now imagine that child being a giant and this part of Arizona being like that child's backyard. The result is a brightly and imaginatively arranged and colored landscape like few other backyards. It is spectacular!

The colors of the Painted Desert change with the lighting, time of day, and passing clouds. Pictures and photographs can only capture so much. It is an incredible sight to behold and makes it onto my list of favorite places.

Apollo Space Capsule at Meteor Crater plus my mother

Apollo Space Capsule at Meteor Crater plus my mother

Meteor Crater

If you are unfamiliar with this fascinating place in Arizona, you might be wondering about the photo with my mother standing next to an Apollo Space Capsule. Our astronauts have training exercises in this enormous hole in the ground. The terrain is similar to what they have found on the moon.

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Around 49,500 years ago, a massive meteor or cluster of them rocketing through the atmosphere at 43,000 miles per hour impacted this formerly flat terrain in Arizona, creating this immense and geologically unusual space.

The circumference of the rim is over three miles. The crater's depth is 570 feet, and its diameter is 4,100 feet across. Meteor Crater is the best-preserved crater on earth and is significant for the impact it has had on space exploration.

This site which is 43 miles east of Flagstaff, provides a museum where one can learn much about space and geology, two movies that run on the half-hour, the Apollo Capsule, a Moon Mountain Telescope, a viewing platform of the massive crater, and yes, even moon rocks! After viewing the Astronaut's Hall of Fame, one can also picnic in Astronaut Park if desired.

The Grand Canyon National Park

Visiting Arizona would be incomplete without seeing this national park. It is one of the true wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon is also a World Heritage Site, and people from all around the planet earth want to see this gigantic canyon carved by the Colorado River. It took millions of years for the Colorado River to accomplish what is now on view. But the scouring and erosive action of the river is still slowly changing the landscape.

Originally Native American territory, five tribes still call this region home.

From mule trips to backpacking, camping to hiking, river rafting, or simply gazing down into the canyon and taking photographs, almost everyone that comes here leaves with an overwhelming feeling of the majestic power of nature.

The Grand Canyon National Park is not only a favorite place of mine but rates that same status for many people who have come and experienced its grandeur.

The Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Since the days of cattle grazing have been eliminated in what is now the Saguaro National Park, thousands of young growing seedlings of saguaro cactus may be able to grow and thrive.

The biggest threat is cactus rustling and vandalism in addition to Mother Nature. Cactus rustling is a big business. That is unfortunate because it takes so long for a saguaro cactus to attain any size, much less its signature shape. Many people are willing to pay significant amounts of money to have the saguaro cactus growing in their landscapes and thus the incentive for the illegal activity of rustling them.

Saguaros grow very slowly and only after about 75 years begin to sprout the uplifted arms, which make them famous. They grow in limited areas, and the Saguaro National Park around Tucson, Arizona, has the greatest concentration of one of the tallest growing cacti in the United States. For this reason, it makes my list of favorite places in Arizona.

Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon

Driving south of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, one encounters a gem of a canyon called Oak Creek. As opposed to the massive Grand Canyon, the viewing of Oak Creek Canyon is much more intimate while driving through the heart of it.

Going through the mountainous roads, one gets glimpses of Oak Creek, and about midway, one can stop and encounter the Slide Rock State Park if one has the time and interest. It is an area of scenic splendor for hiking and sliding across the slick rocks of Oak Creek weather-permitting, and if one is ready to play in this natural wonderland.

When driving further south and entering Sedona, Arizona, one can basque in the glow of the ever-present red rocks in this part of the state. Sedona offers a variety of enchanting sites for tourists and residents alike. The Chapel of the Holy Cross sits high up atop and built into the red rocks overlooking Sedona.

There are numerous reasons that this has made my list of favorite places in Arizona!

So Much More!

There is so much more to see and enjoy in this fabulous State of Arizona.
It is a state filled with many national monuments like the volcanic remains of Sunset Crater. There are ancient ruins at Walnut Canyon, Casa Grande, Montezuma Castle, and the Wupatki National Monument. Visit the architectural desert jewel of Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson. One will never tire of seeing and exploring different areas in Arizona.

Hopefully, you enjoyed these pictures and the synopsis of some of the areas which have made my favorite list.

Where Arizona is located in the U.S.A.

References for Additional Reading:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 30, 2021:

Hi Kay,

Arizona is such a beautiful state to visit. It is grand that you have seen many of these places on your trips. Thanks for your comment.

Kay on March 30, 2021:

Impossible to pick one or two favorites from this vast array of natural wonders. I admire them all and have seen many of them during several trips to Arizona.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 27, 2012:

Hi Connie,

As you say, Arizona is an absolutely amazing place to visit with so many gorgeous sites. These are just a few of my favorite places to visit in Arizona mentioned in this hub. There are many others! Thanks for your comment.

Connie on January 26, 2012:

Very interesting and beautiful pictures. I also love Arizona and all it has to offer in history and natural beauty.

For a list of more places to visit in this beautiful state, visit

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 16, 2010:

Greetings kims3003,

Happy to hear that you liked this look at Arizona including some of my favorite places in that very scenic state. Thanks for the comment.

kims3003 on August 16, 2010:

These are beautiful - a wonderful look at Arizona! Top quality! A++! work!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 09, 2010:

Hello scheng1,

I think you must have meant how life was like HAVING LIVED in Montezuma's Castle. It was quite some time ago when Indians actually inhabited it. Thanks for reading about some of my favorite places in Arizona and commenting on the pictures.

scheng1 on April 08, 2010:

Amazing! I wonder how life is like living in the Montezuma's Castle.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 15, 2010:

Hello HubCrafter,

Oh...I agree with you. If I put everything of interest as to favorite places in Arizona...I would need a book format. These are simply some in which I could easily pull from pictures on hand. I may do a follow-up someday. You are fortunate to be living in Arizona. It is a wonderful and varied state as to things to do and see. Thanks for the comment.

HubCrafter from Arizona on January 14, 2010:

What a wonderful journey. There are so many more places to explore for us in Arizona.

Linda and I love to travel the state rock hounding and shooting pictures, gabbing and munching our way across Arizona. She's a native. I'm a transplant. So there's lots to say and lots to see.

thanks for the wonderful views and the great information too.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 08, 2010:

Hello Truth From Truth,

Thanks for going on this journey to see pictures of some of my favorite places in Arizona. From what you indicated, you enjoyed it and of that, I am happy. You always leave such nice comments.

Truth From Truth from Michigan on January 07, 2010:

Great hub, You have visited some incredible locations. I always enjoy your pictures.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2009:

Hi Candie,

Blessed indeed! Remembering these trips by doing these hubs is a double pleasure. This one had your name on it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on December 31, 2009:

You have been blessed to see some of the most beautiful places! Thank you for sharing them with me, with us (tho I think it's just for me!!) HA!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2009:

Hello shai77,

Thanks for the compliments on the pictures taken in Arizona. Also happy that you liked the information about these favorite places. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2009:

Hello mp3crunch,

Happy that you liked these pictures of some of my favorite places in Arizona. Hope that you get there to visit in person someday. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Chen on December 31, 2009:

Hi :-)

Very interesting Hub and the pictures are wonderful and so is the information.

mp3crunch from Kathmandu Nepal on December 30, 2009:

wow seems like the cool place by seeing picture. hope i could visit it one day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 25, 2009:

Hi Ethel,

Just going down memory lane with pictures showing some of my favorite places in Arizona. Happy to hear that you are enjoying it as well. Thanks for the comment.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on December 25, 2009:

You always share such fabulous places Peggy. Thanks

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 23, 2009:

Hi Dink96,

Hard to disagree with your favorite places in Arizona. As you say...your State is "chock-full" of interesting places and there is much more than what fit into this hub. Thanks for your comment...especially as an Arizona resident.

Dink96 from Phoenix, AZ on December 23, 2009:

Always nice to see what visitors write about my home state. We do have a lot to see and enjoy. I think my two favorites are Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona and by far, the Grand Canyon. Thanks for writing a hub chock-full of great info on my home state! Happy traveling/writing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 23, 2009:

Hello itakins,

So happy that you liked the pictures and information regarding some of my favorite places in Arizona. Thanks for the compliments.

itakins from Irl on December 23, 2009:

What an incredible hub-really impressed by the information and the photography.Brilliant.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2009:

Hi loveroflife,

Yes the Saguaro Cactus in Arizona are striking in thier form. "Sentinals of the desert" is a good description. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2009:

Hi agusfanani,

The petrified logs break over time as the earth shifts under them. Sometimes they tumble down long distances, other times not. It is fascinating to see...and of course, the colors are spectacular. Happy to know you enjoyed the pictures taken in Arizona of some of my favorite places. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2009:

Hi Micky Dee,

Very happy that you enjoyed the synopsis and pictures of some of my favorite places in Arizona. That state has much to offer! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

loveroflife on December 22, 2009:

Beautiful pictures. I especially liked the Saguaro National Forest since it reminded me of the first time, many years ago, that I viewed those "sentinals of the desert".

agusfanani from Indonesia on December 21, 2009:

It's another very good hub you've written Peggy. The broken petrified log amazed me how this happened since most of them are buried and pressed under ground.

Micky Dee on December 21, 2009:

Thank you for your very nice hub. I'll be back- lots.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 21, 2009:

Hello Dr. Kelley Eidem,

Thanks for the comment on this latest hub about some of my favorite places in Arizona. I've left out Scottsdale, the Superstition Mountains, etc. More hubs later... Happy to see you here. Learning much from following you.

Kelley Eidem from Panama City, FL on December 21, 2009:

Yet another in the continuing saga of beautiful travel from Peggy W.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 21, 2009:

Greetings Hello, hello,

Yes, seeing all of these favorite places in Arizona in person has been a true pleasure. I have loved traveling in the past and look forward to more traveling in the future. One learns so much if one is open to new and different experiences. Thanks for the comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on December 21, 2009:

Thank you for showing all these pictures. It must be a real experience to see all this.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 21, 2009:

Hi Enelle,

The colors in that petrified wood are spectacular! Arizona has so many interesting places. Will have to write more in the future. So happy that you liked this hub. Thanks for the first comment.

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on December 21, 2009:

What a great hub Peggy - loved the pictures of the Petrified Forest :D

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