10. "The Wave"
North Coyote Buttes
Located on the Utah border, this rock formation is a favorite of photographers and hikers. "The Wave" features colorful layers of sandstone produced by years of erosion, forming a trackless trail that is only made available to a limited number of visitors each day (to prevent unnecessary damage).
(image via katiedarby, CC)
9. Chapel of the Holy Cross
Sedona is full of absolutely beautiful canyon areas, but it is more famously home to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Perched on the cliffside of Coconino National Forest, this chapel has sat 250 feet high since its lengthy construction was completed in 1956. This humble example of architectural prowess is the perfect place for peaceful meditation.
(image via madeleine_h, CC)
8. Grand Canyon Skywalk
Allowing you to experience both the bottom and the rim of this natural wonder, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is truly an experience unlike any other. Extending more than 70 feet over the edge, the u-shaped bridge provides visitors with an opportunity to look over 4,000 feet below them into the Colorado River. If you are lucky, you will be able to see eagles flying beneath you.
(image via bevrichardmartin, CC)
7. Pizzeria Bianco
Found in the heart of downtown Phoenix, this famous restaurant has earned a reputation for both quality and ambiance. Since it first opened its doors in 1987 inside a grocery store, Pizzeria Bianco has garnered a large following. It is not unusual for people to wait four hours to get a slice of this delicious treat.
6. Soleri Bridge and Plaza
A recent addition to the Arizona landscape, this pedestrian pathway was opened to the public in December 2010. Designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, this bridge spans the Scottsdale Waterfront and even serves as a solar calendar. How cool is that?
(image via athomeinscottsdale, CC)
5. Ostrich Racing at the Ostrich Festival
Over the course of three days, this festival provides Chandler with a wide variety of entertainment, including live music, fried foods, and animal performances. The main attraction is the ostrich racing, which displays the bird’s ability to run more than 40 miles per hour. These creatures are able to pull jockeys on chariots behind them as they dart toward the finish line.
(image via johnsagredo, CC)
4. Taliesin West
As one of the world’s most iconic architects, Frank Lloyd Wright made his mark on the industry. Visit Taliesin West, his winter home in Scottsdale, which serves as a testament to his remarkable vision. This gorgeous structure uses the wonders of the Sonoran Desert to its advantage and serves as the location for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
(image via artotemsco, CC)
3. Las Noches de las Luminarias
The holidays are always a festive time. At the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, the celebration takes the form of Las Noches de las Luminarias, the lighting of over 8,000 luminaria bags to illuminate the night sky each night in December. The evenings are complemented by a full mariachi band performing Christmas favorites.
(image via athomeinscottsdale, CC)
2. Native Trails
One of Scottsdale’s most exciting events, the Native Trails celebration pays tribute to the rich culture and heritage of the tribes of in the Arizona region. The songs and dances of various tribes are performed in an attempt to educate locals and visitors alike. People of all cultures are brought together by the drum performance, which goes beyond the restrictions of spoken language.
(image via annmarieleonard, CC)
1. Dolly Steamboat Dinner
In the heart of the Tonto National Forest in Apache Junction lies Canyon Lake, a breathtaking break from urban life. Over the course of an hour and a half, the Dolly Steamboat carries visitors around the lake, highlighting rock formations and native animal species. The Twilight Dinner Cruise provides a romantic view of the sunset while you are enjoying your choice of items from a gourmet buffet.
(image via The Dolly Steamboat)