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Arizona Holiday and Vacation Travel Information

There's no vacation place on earth quite like the Grand Canyon State. It's not just the landscapes, which take in tall mountain ranges, swift rivers, grasslands, sand dunes, and cactus forests. It's not just the storied past, which reaches back thousands of years. It's not just the people, a vibrant blend of cultures and traditions. It's all these things, and the way they come together, that make a visit to Arizona a truly unforgettable experience.

Boasting a movie-backdrop landscape, Arizona offers natural attractions and adventure in one of the world's most varied and beautiful playgrounds. Some of the most remarkable natural attractions are preserved in six National Forests, 21 Indian Reservations, 27 State Parks, and 26 National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas and Historic Sites. Most of these also host visitors from around the world who come to hike, bike, ski and raft through some of the wildest terrain on earth.

Far from being the arid, lifeless in cartoons, the state has its share of snowy mountain ranges, roaring rivers, huge pine forests and unusual flora and fauna. Snaking its way 277 miles, Arizona's Grand Canyon dominates northern Arizona, a vast, multi-hued chasm that entertains over 5 million guests a year. The grottoes of Kartchner Caverns State Park descend underground while the red sandstone spires of Monument Valley pierce the sky.

This medley of landforms attracts adventurous spirits, some of who enjoy touring by helicopter, hot air balloon, jeep, raft or horse. Others come to challenge the very land itself -- hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers, snow skiers, kayakers, and jet skiers.

Arizona is an interesting melting pot of culture and heritage, and fortunately, the dry climate has helped to preserve many of the remaining artifacts, especially those of prehistoric residents. These unknown souls left relics of stone and clay, galleries of rock art, and wood and stone houses scattered across the state. Their descendants watched the first Europeans arrive 80 years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. The Spanish reign lasted until the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, but the language, food and customs of its conquistadors and priests enliven the state today. The trappers, pioneers, miners, ranchers and farmers that settled and eventually tamed the Arizona Territory contributed an Old West legacy that became larger than life in Hollywood.

Belying its rough-hewn, Western reputation, the state offers its share of other cultural attractions as well. Arts communities have sprung up in far-flung mining towns like Bisbee and Jerome, and galleries proliferate in the metropolitan areas, where Thursday or Friday night ArtWalks are de rigueur. Ballet, symphonies, rock concerts and theater are all presented across the state, in small-town venues and huge urban amphitheaters.

Vacation rentals are plentiful. Save your vacation money and rent your house or villa directly from a property owner. Ask them about off-the-beaten-path attractions that may make all the difference in your Arizona vacation experience.

Arizona Facts and Trivia

Arizona is a right-to-work state. The law states no person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization.

The Arizona trout is found only in the Arizona.

The saguaro cactus blossom is the official state flower. The white flower blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during May and June. The saguaro is the largest American cactus.

Arizona leads the nation in copper production.

Petrified wood is the official state fossil. Most petrified wood comes from the Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona.

The bola tie is the official state neckwear.

The Palo verde is the official state tree. Its name means green stick and it blooms a brilliant yellow-gold in April or May.

The cactus wren is the official state bird. It grows seven to eight inches long and likes to build nests in the protection of thorny desert plants like the arms of the giant saguaro cactus.

Turquoise is the official state gemstone. The blue-green stone has a somewhat waxy surface and can be found throughout the state.

Arizona is home of the Grand Canyon National Park.

The ringtail is the official state mammal. The ringtail is a small fox-like animal about two and one-half feet long and is a shy, nocturnal creature.

The amount of copper on the roof of the Capitol building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies.

Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis. The one exception is the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state, which observes the daylight savings time change.

The battleship USS Arizona was named in honor of the state. It was commissioned in 1913 and launched in 1915 from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

World War II brought many military personnel to train at Luke and Thunderbird fields in Glendale.

The Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States have all flown over the land area that has become Arizona.

In 1926, the Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern states.

The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Prescott.

Arizona's most abundant mineral is copper.

Bisbee, located in Tombstone Canyon, is known as the Queen of the Copper Mines. During its mining history the town was the largest city between Saint Louis and San Francisco.

The state's most popular natural wonders include the Grand Canyon, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon Caves, Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, Salt River Canyon, Superstition Mountains, Picacho Peak State Park, Saguaro National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, and the Colorado River.

The Arizona tree frog is the state official amphibian. The frog is actually between three-quarter to two inches long.

Once a rowdy copper mining town, Jerome's population dwindled to as few as 50 people after the mines closed in 1953.

The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.

The capital of the Navajo Reservation is Window Rock.

The state's precipitation varies. At Flagstaff the annual average is 18.31 inches; Phoenix averages 7.64 inches; and Yuma's annual average is 3.27 inches.

Crops include 2%; pastureland 57%; forests 24%; and other uses are 17% in land-use designation.

The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is perhaps the most beautiful of all eleven species of rattlesnakes found in Arizona.

The colors blue and gold are the official state colors.

Located in Fountain Hills is a fountain believed to be the tallest in the world.

Four Corners is noted as the spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time.

The age of a saguaro cactus is determined by its height.

The Apache trout is considered a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Arizona, among all the states, has the largest percentage of its land set aside and designated as Indian lands.

Rising to a height of 12,643 feet, Mount Humphreys north of Flagstaff is the state's highest mountain.

The Hopi Indians of Arizona are noted for growing their multicolored corn.

Barry Goldwater, a famous public official, senator, and presidential candidate was born in Phoenix.

In 1939 architect Frank Lloyd Wright's studio, Taliesin West, was built near Phoenix.

Oraibi is the oldest Indian settlement in the United States. The Hopis Indians founded it.

Grand Canyon's Flaming Gorge got its name for its blazing red and orange colored, twelve-hundred-foot-high walls.

Grand Canyon's Disaster Falls was named to commemorate the site of a previous explorer's wreck.

Grand Canyon's Marble Canyon got its name from its thousand-foot-thick seam of marble and for its walls eroded to a polished glass finish.

Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

The world's largest solar telescope is located at Kitts Peak National Observatory in the city of Sells.

At one time camels were used to transport goods across Arizona.

Between the years 1692 and 1711 Father Eusebio Kino focused on area missionary work. During the time many grain and stock farms began.

A person from Arizona is called an Arizonan.

Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp to supply Camp McDowell.

The famous labor leader, Ceasar Estrada Chavez, was born in Yuma.

Tombstone, Ruby, Gillette, and Gunsight are among the ghost towns scattered throughout the state.

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