I haven’t spent much time in Arizona, only having visited as a family holiday a few years ago. We flew in to Florida for a quick pit-stop at Disney and the opportunity to swim with dolphins in Miami, before catching another short flight across to Phoenix. I’ve always considered myself a massive animal lover but I’ve learnt a lot about animal welfare over the last few years. I’ve since formed my own opinions based on the fact I don’t believe that animals are ours to eat, mistreat or test on. Therefore, if I had the chance, I wouldn’t swim with dolphins again – unless in the sea (if I’m very lucky!), where they belong 🙂
We hired a car and drove out for a few hours to stay in a rented bungalow away from the main cities. I remember looking around outside at the views outside our house and thinking how it really did feel like we were in the middle of nowhere! Dry and dusty and every shade of red for miles and miles. Arizona is full of options; from outdoor activities, to spas, to exploring native american culture or local history. Home to 22 federally recognized tribes, communities and nations, Arizona contains a wide variety of vibrant Native American cultures. We visited a local market one day which contained hoards of cultural goods and beautiful Native American jewellry. On another day, we headed to Phoenix, the capital and also largest city in the state, for a spot of shopping at one of the many shopping centres.
Whilst on the trip, we took advantage of our proximity to the Grand Canyon and drove for around 3-4 hours to get there. Staying nearby, we were able to see the Canyon at sunrise and sunset – I highly recommend trying to see one or the other if you are ever there! It’s a spectacular sight and one not to be missed if you are travelling nearby. The Grand Canyon is actually a National Park and is an amazing combination of geologic colors and forms carved out by the Colorado river, which decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep. It’s quite overwhelming, and somewhat terrifying if you get close enough to the edge! If you don’t have a car, or don’t fancy the drive, there are many tours and day trips that run from the surrounding states such as Las Vegas. Some will also offer helicopter tours that fly you above the canyon, as well as the standard walking tours.
It’s unlikely I’ll end up going back to Arizona again, although we may end up revisiting the Grand Canyon as Gary hasn’t seen it before. I would love to try and see the Canyon on a loop that covers San Diego, LA, Las Vegas and San Fran….. I think I’d add that roadtrip idea to my travel wishlist! 😛