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Arizona Vacations are the Perfect Cold Weather Retreat

By Pat Engleton

The 48th state and the last one on the mainland to become part of the Union, Arizona is a place full of history and culture and the perfect destination for warm weather sporting pursuits.

The towns and cities here are diverse. From the big-city feel of Phoenix to the tranquility of Sedona, you'll find a variety of unique places to visit and interesting things to do.

Golfing in Arizona

During the cold, winter months in the Northern and Eastern United States, thousands of "snowbirds" flock to Arizona for the fine golf opportunities here. Just about every town boasts a course or two, with the largest concentration of courses being in Scottsdale, Tucson, and Phoenix.

There are so many golf courses in the state that you're sure to find several that fit your level of skill and expertise. Lessons are offered at most locations and pro shops carry top-of-the-line clubs and accessories for your use.

If you enjoy watching golf, more than fifty national tournaments are scheduled somewhere in the state each year, so your Arizona vacation can certainly include a little spectator time spent watching the best names in golf.


One of the most visited attractions in Arizona is, of course, the Grand Canyon. This majestic site is a must-see for every American, regardless of age. A visit to the canyon might include a hike or mule ride into the heart of the canyon, a helicopter ride over it, a whitewater raft excursion down the Colorado River, or just some leisure time to enjoy the sights of the Grand Canyon from the rim.

Throughout the state, you can find amazing American Indian artifacts and tourist sites. Learn about the history of the early Apache tribes that settled here, buy some colorful Native American artifacts, or visit any number of museums that are home to interpretive and interactive displays about America's earliest residents.

If you're into New Age spirituality, you'll find a number of spiritual retreats located in the town of Sedona, as well as psychics, channelers, and others who delve into the realm of metaphysics.

Dude Ranches

Want to experience the best of the Wild West? Many Arizona vacations include a stay at a dude ranch, a real working ranch where you can join in everyday activities, ride horseback across the open plains, or join an evening campfire, singing songs and roasting marshmallows.

Some dude ranches are designed especially for families on vacation in Arizona while others are meant for grownups only. Regardless of age, however, you'll have a grand time driving cattle, feeding the horses, or relaxing on your hammock outside your Wild West-style cabin.

Water Activities

Though Arizona isn't on the coast, there are more than enough lakes to keep you busy on the water. Many choose houseboating on Lake Powell as their water activity of choice. A fun alternative to a conventional hotel or condo stay, thousands visit the lake each year for this unique Arizona vacation opportunity.

Lake Havasu is another favorite destination for those that enjoy active watersports like jet and water skiing, fishing, and kayaking.

The wild rivers of Arizona offer many opportunities to participate in whitewater rafting and kayaking, with Class IV and V rapids guaranteed to excite even the most experienced whitewater fanatic.

Where to Go

Arizona boasts many exciting destinations so you may have to choose one or two to enjoy on your Arizona vacation. Investigate each town and find the activities and sights that most interest you. If you have two weeks or more for your vacation in Arizona, rent a car and explore the entire state!

About The Author
Pat Engleton is one of the authors of Leisure Time Places, a weblog about vacations and travel destinations.

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