The dramatic burnt-orange terrain of this Southwestern state is dotted with the saturated greens of world-class golf courses and the chlorine blues of suburban swimming pools. But if there is an artificial element to this desert region, Arizona’s authenticity is also palpable, from the ancient ruins embedded in the landscape to the rich cultural legacy of its indigenous inhabitants. In the north, the Grand Canyon cuts a majestic swath, the deep azure of Lake Powell spectacularly interrupts the arid terrain, and the red-rock monoliths of Sedona lure outdoor lovers as well as those in search of spiritual enlightenment.
North-central Arizona’s aspen forests glow burnished gold in fall, while in the south, the Tucson region is a gateway to the stark beauty of the Sonoran Desert. There, naturalists and stargazers delight in the area’s abundant wildlife and cloudless skies. The sprawling metropolis of greater Phoenix provides golf courses and spas, plus shopping and dining oases, which offer respite from the searing summer heat.