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Travel the USA (Visit Arizona)

It is the unique goal of many travel adventurers to visit all 50 states in America. To boost this objective, each week, we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the third state to visit is none other than beautiful Arizona, abbreviated as AZ. Regardless of the order in which you visit them, AZ remains among the most spectacular!

 
 
 
 

Visit state # 3 – Arizona!

State MottoDitat Deus “God enriches”
State FlowerSaguaro cactus blossom
State BirdCactus wren
State GemstoneTurquoise
State CapitalPhoenix
Famous foodsHeritage foods such as the prickly pear cactus and mesquite pod flower. Also popular are chiles, tomatillos, jicama, and dates.

Arizona is the third of the U.S. States alphabetically, though it is the 48th state to be admitted to the union in 1912. This remarkable state sits in the southwestern quadrant of the conterminous United States. California borders it to the west, Nevada to the northwest, Utah to the North, New Mexico to the east, and Mexico to the south. The Colorado River forms the boundary with California and Nevada. Arizona is the only state in the U.S. where four states intersect at one point, joining with Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The state is among two, the other being Hawaii, which does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Arizona is often described as a land of contradictions. Though it is widely known as a hot, low-elevation desert, it is rich in wildlife, including deer, roadrunners, coyotes, bobcats, bighorn sheep, and more. The plant life in the state is also diverse and includes an abundance of cacti and creosote bushes. More than half of the state lies at an elevation of at least 4,000 feet above sea level. Thus, it possesses the largest stand of evergreen ponderosa in the world. There are many man-made lakes, as well as waterless tracts of desert land. Arizona is home to the glorious Grand Canyon and the spectacular Painted Desert, with Hoover Dam spanning the Arizona-Nevada border southeast of Las Vegas.

Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. The large one-mile-deep Canyon is up to 18 miles wide and features dramatic, colorful rock bands that uncover the state’s rich geological history. For an exciting trip to the Canyon, consider a stay at an amazing lodge or resort. Many are located within the Grand Canyon Village are within walking distance of the canyon rim. For outdoors adventurers, winter camping is available at RV Trailer Village and Mather Campground. Though the North Rim of the park remains closed for the winter, tent camping remains available throughout the winter on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Painted Desert got its name during a Spanish expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado during his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola. It was dubbed El Desierto Pintado in honor of the amazing desert colors. The Painted Desert is situated in the “Four Corners” area, running southeast from close to the eastern end of Grand Canyon National Park into Petrified Forest National Park. Visitors can enjoy a 28-mile scenic drive through the park from one entrance to another. Fodors.com recommends that folks begin their itinerary at the north end to see the edge of the high mesa offering spectacular views. As you drive along, witness the wilderness area as well as climb the narrow mesa to see Newspaper Rock, a panel of Pueblo Indian rock art. The Blue Mesa at the park’s midpoint is an excellent spot to view petrified logs.

Phoenix, Arizona’s capital city, is one of several cities that occupies the Sonoran Desert, an area made up of broad valleys of low elevation and bordered by long and narrow mountain ranges. The city sits in the central region of the state within the Salt River Valley and is known for its world-class resorts and golf, desert beauty, urban landscapes, and more. Aptly named “Valley of the Sun” for its pleasurable weather and low rainfall totals, on average, residents experience 299 sunny days per year. By comparison, the U.S. average stands at 205. A visit to this sunny city surrounded by beautiful mountain parks is most memorable. The city also boasts a vibrant arts and cultural center. The Phoenix Art Museum alone houses more than 19,000 objects in nine collecting areas that span many cultures. Whether you come for the amazing weather, dramatic scenery, or fun outdoor or indoor activities, there is always something amazing to see in this magnificent state.

Next stop…Arkansas!

Fun Fact: Did you know that there are no U.S. States beginning with the letters: b, e, j, q, x, y, or z?


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