The desert Southwest is a very popular area of the United States. More and more retirees are settling there, and it has always been a favorite vacation spot because of the climate and the many, wonderful attractions that the state offers.
The Grand Canyon is the state’s premier attraction. Visitors leave the area in awe of the incredible landscape that stretches out before them. Most people are speechless to describe the majesty and the beauty of the place.
The various overlooks offer different perspectives, but all the views are “grand.”
Another Arizona mainstay is Monument Valley, a Native American (Navaho) tribal park which has been used in many Western movies as an incredible backdrop to the action. It is certainly classic Southwest scenery.
Just as impressive, although very different is Meteor Crater, the remnants of an asteroid which collided with the Earth about 50,000 years ago.
The largest natural arch in the world is found in Arizona, near the Eastern end of Lake Powell. It is known as Rainbow Bridge National Monument and is sacred to the Native Indians.
Arizona is also home to the Saguaro cactus, the largest member of this intriguing group of botanical specimens. These stately plants are preserved in Saguaro National Park, just outside of Tucson.
Another national park in Arizona is Petrified Forest National Park, which preserves a large number of ancient trees that were buried and converted to rock.
Another section of this park is called the Painted Desert, for reason which are obvious when you look at the photo below.
One of Arizona’ best scenic drives is along Rte 89A, Oak Creek Canyon Drive, which samples the unusual landforms around the town of Sedona.
Lake Powell, the artificial body of water created by the Hoover Dam, is a National Recreation Area and contains some dramatic scenery of its own.
Finally, one of the most beautiful missions in the Southwest is found near Tucson, Arizona. San Xavier del Bac Mission is often referred to as the White Dove of the Desert..