While a relatively new state – Arizona just celebrated its centennial 4 years ago – it is still rich in history and culture, and its temperate weather during winter makes Arizona a state the tourists flock to as well. When planning a vacation in the Southwest, why not take a chance and partake in adventures only available in our great state? We promise, the following adventures cannot be experienced anywhere else, and all your friends and neighbors will be green with envy when they see your photos on your favorite social network site.
Rock Springs Pies
Starting small here, but we think you will find a stop at this Western diner worth the entire Arizona vacation, just don’t let the exterior of this hole in the wall diner fool you! Inside the old wooden screen door lies the paradise of desserts – Rock Springs Café Pies. Cream pies with three inches of meringue, fruit pies with the juiciest of berries, and their infamous JD Pecan Pie – the not so secret ingredient of Jack Daniels adds a depth to the flavor of this pie while taking the edge off what normally can be a too sweet delicacy! Located in Black Canyon City off the Old Black Canyon Highway just outside of Phoenix, you’re going to wish they could deliver ALL their pies straight to your own home!
Originally designed as a self-sustaining living environment experiment that failed miserably in the 1990’s (a team of 8 people were to live in the Biosphere for 2 years without leaving as they raised animals and grew their own fruits and vegetables inside a glass dome of sorts), today, Biosphere 2 is owned by the University of Arizona and continues to be a research center, but also offers tours, giving people the opportunity to see for themselves what it must have been like to live in a giant glass bubble! Located just outside the city limits of Tucson, Biosphere is a fascinating example of science and its endless possibilities – kids love the tour!
The story of the shootout at the OK Corral is one of the most fascinating tales of the Old West about which many movies have been made over the years (our favorite is Tombstone starring Kurt Russell!). The best thing about the story is that not only did it really happen, but the town is one located in our home state!
Capitalizing on its infamy, the shootout is recreated multiple times on the streets of Tombstone, and tourists still get the opportunity to order a beer from the barkeep at the historic Crystal Palace, a bar that has been open since 1879 and was operating during Wyatt Earp’s time as sheriff! For history buffs, Wild West fanatics and kids of any age, a stop in this Western town is one that should not be missed!
Mule Ride to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon
No trip to Arizona would be complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon; it’s more than just a deep hole in the ground, it’s a natural world wonder that has been visited by millions of tourists over the centuries and has a beauty that can be found nowhere else. Experiencing the wonders of the canyon on the back of a mule is something not a lot have people have managed to do and is definitely one experience that will be unforgettable! The first mule rides occurred in 1887 and the tradition continues today. Reservations are required at least 13 months in advance, but riding into the depths of the canyon and then spending the night (a two-night trip is offered also) at Phantom Ranch is an adventure you will remember fondly for many years to come. Only in Arizona will you find adventures and activities such as these, as well as so many others. Isn’t it time to pack your sunscreen and go west?