When it comes to natural beauty, there are few places in the US quite like Arizona. The Copper State is famous, of course, for the Grand Canyon, but beyond that, a lot of people might make the incorrect assumption it’s all arid and empty. But there’s a lot of diversity in that fascinating land and there are a few ways to get views that you’ll have trouble forgetting anytime soon and a lot of them can be found very close to Phoenix.
See it up close
There are some spots that deserve to be just more than a “sight” on a checklist, of course. Arizona is one of the best states for National Parks and a few of them aren’t too far from Phoenix. Walnut Canyon and Tonto are tourist favorites. But if you can pick just one and you’ve already seen the Canyon, then it has to be the Petrified Forest. Otherworldly does not do enough to describe the strangely carved red rocks and 346 miles of petrified woodland that gleams in all manner of ethereal colors.
See it pass by
Arizona doesn’t hide its beauty away, however. From Phoenix, you can head out on a road trip across the state of shimmering, swelling dunes, and bright red rock. An Arizona road trip will take you on the famous Route 66, in sight of the immense Grand Canyon, and through curiosities like the ghost town of Tombstone. There are plenty of resorts and friendly desert communities to kick back and hang out at on your way, too.
See it all
On the ground is great for seeing the state’s beauty right there in front of you. If you want to be blown away, however, you need to get higher. With Float Balloon Tours, you don’t just see one sight. You can see it all in an hour of flying from vantages that even most people who live there haven’t seen it. If you want to have your mind blown, then flying at sunset can offer some of the most dramatic views yet. You can even land right there in the desert and enjoy a meal.
See it from a distance
It might not be as sprawling and adventurous, but there’s still an option for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground and stay surrounded by a bit of luxury. The Different Pointe Of View is a restaurant in the aptly named Pointe Hilton. The mountaintop resort gives you not just an expansive view of the desert but the city of Phoenix, too, which looks particularly great lit up under a night sky. The food might be considered a bit pricey, but given the setting for it, it’s worth it for many visitors.
If you want a trip that feels truly wild, even when it’s not, then Phoenix is the best place to set out from. By car, balloon, or by way of having a nice meal, you can gorge yourself on some of the US’s finest natural beauty.