Hi there. My name is Hayley and I am super excited to be a part of the newest group of Jubilette interns! I am finishing up my senior year at ASU studying management & marketing. (Go Devils!) I am also coming up on 3 years as a Starbucks barista. As comes with the territory, I am truly obsessed with coffee. The rest of my free time goes towards hiking, shopping and catching up on my favorite Netflix shows.
As we all know, this is the week of love. But, there is another celebration that always gets lost among all the heart-shaped candies and countless red roses… February 14th marks Arizona’s Birthday! So, I decided to dedicate this post to the 6 most amazing, unique places in AZ. And yes, it was quite hard to narrow down. Let’s get exploring!
1. Havasu Falls
Nestled deep inside Grand Canyon National Park, Havasu Falls is an absolutely gorgeous destination known for its turquoise pools and breathtaking waterfalls. But this journey is not for the unseasoned hiker. You will definitely want to go for a quick dip in the cool water after the 10-mile hike down to the falls. It’s a gorgeous sight for those who take on the challenge. If you do decide to make the trek, make sure you are prepared and bring lots and lots of water!
2. The Town of Jerome
Now known as one of AZ’s most famous ghost towns, the town of Jerome was first established as quite a busy and booming mining town! Jerome is chock-full of fascinating Arizona history. It’s population of only 50 people make it a ghost town, but Jerome is also known to have several spirits roaming around it’s historic landmarks. Go have lunch at the Haunted Hamburger, take a stroll through the Gold King Mine or check out the Jerome Grand Hotel, a building that used to be the old Jerome hospital. If you’re not into the haunting experiences that the town has to offer, you can spend your day exploring the art & boutique shops, wine bars and other dining options.
3. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
In far northeast Arizona you won’t find much, but what you will find is truly spectacular. Since about 200 a.d., Canyon de Chelly has been home to many native americans, including the Anasazi, Hopi & Navajo tribes. They used this land to grow crops, rear livestock and build homes for their families, in the face of the cliffs. Several of these cliff dwellings can be experienced after just a short hike into the canyon. If you are a daring explorer, visit Mummy Cave, which gets it name from the 2 mummies that were found in the cave in the late 1800’s.
4. Taliesin West
Located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West was famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright’s, winter home. It is now the home of Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The home was built utilizing materials from the desert landscape, including rocks and sand. Taliesin West took about 20 years to build and is an incredible work of gorgeous, classic FLW architecture. *Bonus info!!*: The foundation offers guided tours of the house during the day and at night, under the stars.
5. Japanese Friendship Gardens
In need of a change of scenery? This is the place to go! Japanese Friendship Gardens, located in Phoenix, is the perfect place to take a day to relax and get your zen on. The gardens are dedicated to the friendly relationship and goodwill between Sister Cities, Phoenix, AZ and Himeji, Japan. The gardens offer special tea tastings as well as cultural workshops, in which you can learn how to make traditional Japanese art pieces. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this amazing cultural experience in the middle of the valley of the sun.
6. Grasshopper Point
You know I couldn’t make a list of beautiful places in AZ without including Sedona! Grasshopper Point is one of Arizona’s most gorgeous natural swimming holes, located in Oak Creek Canyon. This swimming hole, although not as popular as Slide Rock or Fossil Creek, is just a noteworthy. And it’s less crowded, which is always a plus! Go for a swim in the cool clear waters during hot summer afternoons. Or, if your feeling adventurous, you can take part in cliff diving. While in Sedona, don’t forget to experience the amazing food, unique shops and, of course, the gorgeous views of the Red Rocks.
Although there are so many more gorgeous places in AZ that I would love to write about, I only have so much time. I hope this post has sparked your adventurous side and given you some ideas for fun day-cations! So…which destination are you going to visit first?!