Arizona is truly a one-of-a-kind state.
Known primarily for its weather and landscape, its diverse geography features deserts, mountain ranges, forests, and canyons. In addition to the scenery, Arizona is full of unique historical landmarks, artwork, and food.
Read on for a list of things Travel Nurses must do, see, and eat whenever they visit the Grand Canyon State!
Do: Outdoor Activities
Arizona is a paradise of outdoor activities. Here are a few places to explore to your heart’s content.
The Grand Canyon
It’s no secret why Arizona is known as the “Grand Canyon State.”
Visiting the Grand Canyon is an absolute must when you visit Arizona. The Grand Canyon National Park is home to most of this amazing landform, which stretches 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and 1 mile deep.
Visit the Grand Canyon National Park’s official website for everything you need to know about planning a trip there.
The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert is a 10,000 acre stretch of Arizona known as one of the nation’s most beautiful natural landscapes.
The Desert is located within the Petrified Forest National Park and features vibrantly colored rock formations. This effect is created by layers of sediment containing high levels of iron, manganese, and other colorful compounds.
The stunning geography of the Painted Desert is sure to take your breath away.
Sedona’s awe-inspiring landscape features red rock formations dotted with the deep green of pine forests. The area is also said to contain some of the planet’s most potent “vortexes,” where many New Age visitors go to find balance, creative energy, and well-being.
Learn more about Arizona’s Red Rock Country at Sedona’s official website.
A drive on iconic Route 66, also known as the Main Street of America, is a uniquely charming and American experience. It is one of the nation’s first highways and winds through most of northern Arizona.
Start in Kingman, AZ, known as the heart of Route 66, and soak in the breathtaking scenery as you visit more quirky towns along the way.
Classic American diners, Wigwam Motels, and many other treasures await you along this historic highway.
See: Art & Culture
Arizona is full of fascinating art and culture. It is the home of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultural landmarks and museums.
The Heard Museum
Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum is internationally recognized for its extensive and elaborate collection of American Indian art. The museum collects, preserves, and presents items ranging from historic artifacts, fine art, sculpture, and jewelry.
The Heard Museum is located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Experience the Old West
If you’re a fan of Western films, Arizona is your happy place. Southern Arizona is full of places that retain an authentic Old West atmosphere.
Tombstone is a historic mining town that is home to the Boothill Graveyard, Birdcage Theater, and the O.K. Corral. Go there to see live reenactments of famous Old West shootouts.
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is the perfect place to learn about our nation’s Western heritage, featuring rotating exhibits showcasing the legacy of the West.
Explore Navajo Interactive Museum
With the help of Navajo scholars and the Navajo arts community, the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum was created to provide a vivid and interactive experience for its visitors.
The museum shows a typical Navajo journey through life, featuring a Navajo escort that teaches visitors cultural traditions, family systems, and beliefs.
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
Located in downtown Tucson, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block encompasses an entire city block. It features exhibitions of Latin American and American West art.
The museum also features educational classes, tours, and a gift store.
Eat: Local Cuisine
Arizona’s diverse cultural history has created a delicious culinary scene. You’ll find everything from modern Southwestern fare to traditional Native American dishes created thousands of years ago.
The Chimichanga is a delectable Arizona creation. Created at the El Charro Café in Tucson, AZ, a chimichanga is essentially a deep-fried burrito.
The El Charro Café is known as the nation’s oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant and serves delicious chimichangas in both of its Tucson and Oro Valley locations. Don’t miss out on this Arizona treat.
Live out your Old West fantasies at one of Arizona’s many incredible steakhouses.
“Cowboy Steaks” are quite common in Arizona’s major cities. Try Mastro’s City Hall in Scottsdale, Durant’s in Phoenix, Pinnacle Peak in Tucson, or check out this list of Arizona’s best steakhouses here.
Fry Bread Tacos
“Fry bread” is a traditional Native American food, made simply by deep-frying dough.
Menudo is a classic Mexican soup made from tripe (cow stomach) and hominy (ground corn).
Because tripe takes so long to prepare, Menudo requires several hours to cook. It is commonly served with onions, serrano chilies, lemon, lime, and oregano.
Find Menudo at most Mexican restaurants in Arizona, but Teresa’s Mosaic Café in Tucson is a great choice.
Visit Arizona as a Travel Nurse with GIFTED Healthcare
From its jaw-dropping scenery to its unique Southwestern cuisine, Arizona is a fantastic place to explore as a Travel Nurse.