Soar along the famed Route 66 into Arizona, a state of awe-inspiring landscapes, stretching deserts, alluring history and world-renowned icons. Visit the truly breathtaking Grand Canyon, exploring its deep red gorges and soaking up the unparalleled views, or marvel at the naturally-formed Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Reservation. Enjoy hiking and biking trails to suit all abilities - including the family-friendly interpretive walk along the Bajada Nature Trail and McDowell Mountain Regional Park – before heading into one of Arizona’s cities for sleek shopping centres, charming art galleries, award-winning museums and eclectic dining choices − including plenty of steakhouses.
The region is rich in Native American culture and cowboy heritage. Visit the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, home to the symbolic cacti of Arizona, or kick back and listen to live country music in a classic saloon. Explore Cathedral Rock in Sedona, spotting the series of totem-style stacks of small rocks called Buddha Beach - considered to be the site of one of Sedona’s sacred 'vortexes', it is an area of concentrated spiritual energy, where many people experience effects including intense feelings of joy, peace and healing.
Welcoming, adventure-filled and strikingly beautiful, visit Arizona alone or include in a luxury itinerary to California, Utah or Nevada.
Grand Canyon National Park
A symbol of the American West, the Grand Canyon National Park is a truly remarkable spectacle. One of the natural wonders of the world, prepare to marvel at the canyon’s iconic vibrant rusty red and orange rocks and deep gorges. Descend into the canyon’s depths or amble along the rim, discovering picture perfect vistas and breathtaking views. The Grand Canyon’s history is just as fascinating as its physical appearance; Native Americans lived and farmed in and around the canyon for centuries, whilst intrepid pioneer scientists, artists and prospectors also descended to this magnificent landscape.
Desert View Watchtower
Built in 1932 by American architect and designer, Mary Colter, this 70ft stone tower blends into its environment seamlessly and leads to the highest spot on the rim (7522ft). Offering unparalleled vistas, spot the striking canyon and the Colorado River, as well the San Francisco Peaks, the Navajo Reservation and the Painted Dessert.
Saguaro National Park in Tucson
The Saguaros (cacti) are true icons of the American Southwest, best spotted in The Saguaro National Park. Comprised of two districts, both are filled with brilliant walking trails and extraordinary desert flora. If you only have time to visit one, we particularly recommend the spectacular Rincon Mountain District in the west. The best time to visit is April, when the cacti begin blossoming with beautiful white blooms (Arizona’s state flower), whilst June and July bring ripe red fruit which are collected by American Indians for food.
Havasu Falls (in Grand Canyon National Park)
Havasu Falls is an incredible spectacle and a must-feature on any bucket list. Visiting this beautiful turquoise oasis requires a 10 mile hike each way, but you are rewarded by a refreshing dip in the wonderfully pristine waters.
Situated in the Navajo Reservation, a few miles east of Page, is the staggering beauty of the Antelope Canyon. This winding, temple-like canyon was carved by wind and water, leaving an incredible sanctuary in which shadows and light dance around the curved red canyon walls. A tour will take you through a quarter of a mile of shapes and textures that will particularly appeal to photographers -lighting conditions are best around mid-morning between April and September.
Golf in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is regarded as a top golfing destination and our featured resorts offer access to some fantastic golf experiences: At Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North , golfers enjoy special privileges at both The Pinnacle and The Monument championship golf courses at Troon North Golf Club whilst guests of The Phoenician have a total of twenty-seven holes to play at the resort's award-winning courses.
Apache Trail, Scottsdale
Take a day trip along the Apache Trail scenic drive for views of forested mountains, canyons and sparkling desert lakes, along with attractions including Goldfield Ghost Town, where you can tour a gold mine, pan for gold, dine at the saloon and witness a thrilling re-enactment of an Old West-style gunfight.
Art and design lovers can visit the Heard Museum, renowned for its collection of Native arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Taliesin West, built as his winter home and studio. For something different, join the Thursday night ArtWalk, when the art galleries of the Scottsdale Gallery Association open their doors to the public -combine with dinner in Downtown or a trip to the theatre for a delightful evening out.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
To really understand your desert surroundings, visit this natural history museum, zoo and botanical gardens all rolled into one. See desert animals, including prairie dogs, in the most natural of environments and over 1,200 types of plants, as you enjoy a fascinating and educational day out.
Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson
This fine example of mission architecture is one of the region's most iconic historic buildings. As an active Catholic church, visitors can join in mass, if they wish; otherwise the museum offers an insight into the mission's history.
Summers are extremely hot, while winters are cool. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit. It’s dry most times of the year, though thunderstorms are not uncommon during the summer months.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Arizona.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Phoenix.
From London Heathrow to Phoenix: 10 hours, 40 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Travel Advice Update
The FCO travel advice for the USA has been updated with an amendment to the Entry requirements section - on 18 December 2015, the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP); under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016 all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip.
The web-based Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for authority to travel a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation. To apply visit the official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ A charge of UD$14 per person (subject to change) will apply and must be paid by either credit or debit card.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry gets pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen and a frequent visitor to the USA you can now register to get a UK background check on www.gov.uk/apply-faster-entry-usa. If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.