General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Looking for Arizona and Utah insider tips: What places and events do you know of that usually get overlooked in tourist guides?

Asked by mattbrowne (31580points) June 25th, 2010

My wife and I are spending our summer vacation in Arizona and Utah this year (August 17 till September 9). Of course we will revisit great places like the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. Travel guides usually focus on the major highlights only. What else is there to see? We are looking for insider tips.

Another question: Do any Fluther users actually live in Arizona or Utah?

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13 Answers

alexpinca's avatar

Mount Wheeler and Lehmans Caves in Baker, NV and the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah.

rts486's avatar

I’m from AZ, but I am in the military now so I’m out of state. You need a four wheel drive for this, but a drive I always enjoyed was taking a back dirt road from Phoenix to Prescott. Take the I-17 North out of Phoenix. Just North of Phoenix is Black Canyon City. A few miles North of that there is highway 59/Bumble Bee Road. From here you should have a map but it take you to Crown King Station, which is a very small town in the mountains. Not much is there, you can get something to eat and a beer, but the drive is beautiful. Continuing the drive will pop you out on the back side of Prescott.

While you are by Black Canyon City, stop off at the Four Bees cafe for their burgers and fries. After lunch you can check out the baby rattlers in the barrel across the street.

jazmina88's avatar

what about Sedona?? Is it all touristy or is there some quiet zen too??

mattbrowne's avatar

@jazmina88 – Never seen Sedona. But I know the song.

marinelife's avatar

Sedona is worth seeing if touristy.

The Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson is worth a visit. Especially memorable for me were the little dishes of blood in the vampire bat’s enclosure.

Likewise, in Phoenix is the Desert Botanical Garden, which has lovely specimens. Also in Phoenix is the Heard Museum, which has a wonderful collection of Hopi Kachina dolls and other Indian artifacts (Papago baskets, etc.).

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants anywhere is Los Olivos in Scottsdale. the guacamole is to die for.

YARNLADY's avatar

Flagstaff is a nice resort area.

phaedryx's avatar

I’ll second the utah shakespearean festival which is in Cedar City (by bryce canyon and zion national park).

Hmm, maybe some of the lesser known: goblin valley, 4X4 rock crawling, Anasazi ruins, the grand staircase, world’s largest dinosaur museum, deepest pit in the world

What are you interests? I could probably point you to other stuff too.

(Can you tell I grew up in southern utah?)

mattbrowne's avatar

Wonderful answers so far. Keep going :-)

I love to take long lists with me.

phaedryx's avatar

Hmm, perhaps even more obscure… Veyo, UT has hot springs and awesome rock climbing. Silver Reef is a ghost town/museum that is close to Red Cliffs. Brian Head is a ski resort, but they have mountain biking and disc golf in the summer.

AustieZ's avatar

It sounds like you’re going to be in the Southern Utah area. As an SU native, I can very highly recommend The Shakespearean Festival, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Cedar Breaks. Keep in mind that the whole area is absolutely beautiful. You can pick a mountain and just hike, and be absolutely amazed. If you’re up for a bit of a drive, there a dozens of other beautiful parks and lakes, as well as the Capital, all within a days drive.

mattbrowne's avatar

Thanks a lot for all your wonderful suggestions !

miranda365's avatar

Try tortilla flats everyone loves this place its fun has delicios food and a cool historical past! Also carchners caverns this cave is a lil humid but the beautiful scenery of the cave is super worth it me and my friend took a day trip there and we had the BEST time!

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