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Home > Family Travel > Family Travel Guides > Arizona Travel Guide

 

Arizona Vacations Travel Guide

 

General Information

Baby Equipment Rentals - companies in Arizona that rent baby gear and equipment including car seats, strollers, cribs and more

Family Resorts in Arizona - resorts, hotels and other family friendly lodging

Arizona Office of Tourism - official Arizona travel site with information on things to do, places to stay, maps, calendar of events and more.

 


Zoos

Wildlife World Zoo
16501 W Northern Ave
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340
Phone: (623) 935-9453
Wildlife World Zoo features over 1,400 animals from around the world, making it the largest collection of exotic animals in Arizona. With more than 300 species of animals including zebras, kangaroos, snakes, a white rhino, jaguars, lions and Arizona's first white tiger!  All of the Zoo's animals live in habitats that allow you to safely get as close to the animals as possible. 

Phoenix Zoo
455 N Galvin Pkwy
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
Phone: (602) 273-1341
Everything you and your family would want to see and do at a zoo. 

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2021 N Kinney Rd
Tucson, Arizona 85743
Phone: (520) 883-1380
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place. 

 


National Parks

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Ajo, Arizona
Phone: (520) 387-6849
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument celebrates the life and landscape of the Sonora Desert. Drive a lonely road, hike a backcountry trail, camp beneath a clear desert sky, or just soak in the warmth and beauty of the Southwest. The Monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants of the Sonora Desert, including the organ pipe cactus, a large cactus rarely found in the United States.  Junior Ranger program is available for the kids.

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Camp Verde, Arizona
Phone: (928) 567-3322
One of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling served as a "high-rise apartment building" for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago.  Montezuma Castle is located 3 miles off Interstate 17. Use Exit Number 289 and follow signs.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Chinle
, Arizona
Phone: (520) 674-5500
At the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves are ruins of Indian villages built between AD 350 and 1300. Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the chance to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest basket makers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm there.  The Visitor Center is 3 miles (4.8 km) from Route 191 in Chinle, AZ.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments
Flagstaff, Arizona
Phone: (520) 526-0502
Hike, climb and explore a variety of volcanic formations and lava flow trails.  View prehistoric cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon, the mountain scenery of Sunset Crater Volcano and the painted desert landscape and masonry pueblos of Wupatki National Monument.  From Flagstaff, take U.S 89 north for 12 miles (19km), turn right on the Sunset Crater - Wupatki Loop road and continue 2 miles (3km) to the visitor center.

Walnut Canyon National Monument
Flagstaff, Arizona
Phone: (520)526-3367
Hike down into Walnut Canyon and walk in the footsteps of the people that lived here over 900 years ago. Under limestone overhangs, the Sinagua built their homes. These single story structures, cliff dwellings, were occupied from about 1100 to 1250.  Leave I-40 at Exit 204, 7.5 miles (12 km) east of Flagstaff; drive south 3 miles (5 km) to the canyon rim. Warning: Tight turn around for towed vehicles; 40 feet (12 meters) maximum length advisory.

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Phone: (928) 638-7888
Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.  Expect crowds during the spring, summer, and fall months. During these months reservations for camping and lodging are essential.  Grand Canyon Village (SOUTH RIM) is located 60 miles north of Interstate 40 at Williams via highway 64, and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff via highway 180. Only ten miles from rim to rim as the crow flies, the North Rim is 215 miles (about 4 1/2 hours) from the South Rim by car. The NORTH RIM is 44 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ, via highway 67.  Click here for detailed information about Grand Canyon Park.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Mojave Desert, Arizona
Phone: (702) 293-8907
Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers a wealth of things to do and places to go year-round. Its huge lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while its desert rewards hikers, wildlife photographers, and roadside sightseers. Three of America's four desert ecosystems--the Mojave, the Great Basin, and the Sonoran Deserts--meet in Lake Mead NRA. As a result, this seemingly barren area contains a surprising variety of plants and animals, some of which may be found nowhere else in the world.

Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest, Arizona
Phone: (928) 524-6228
Petrified Forest is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science. The park is located in northeast Arizona and features one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. Junior Ranger program is available for kids.  Petrified Forest stretches between Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 180. Visitors traveling west on Interstate 40 should exit at milepost 311, drive through the park and connect with U.S. Highway 180 at the south end. Take U.S. Highway 180 to Holbrook to continue west on Interstate 40. Eastbound visitors exit Interstate 40 at Holbrook and take U.S. Highway 180 to the park's south entrance. Drive north through the park to return to Interstate 40.

Navajo National Monument
Tonalea
, Arizona
Phone: (928) 672-2700
Navajo National Monument preserves three of the most-intact cliff dwellings of the Anasazi (Hisatsinom). The monument is high on the Shonto Plateau, overlooking the Tsegi Canyon system in the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. The monument features a visitor center, two short self-guided mesa top trails, a small campground, and picnic area. In the summer, Rangers guide visitors on tours of the Keet Seel and Betatakin cliff dwellings.  Major highways transit the Navajo Nation; paved AZ Hwy 564 turns north off US-160 at Black Mesa, and leads to the visitor center.

 


Museums

Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force
2017 North Greenfield Road
Mesa, Arizona 85215
Phone: 480-924-1940
The Arizona Wing is the home of Sentimental Journey, the most authentically restored B-17 Flying today. Warbirds from WWII through Vietnam are also on display. Memorabilia from WWII can also be viewed. Warbird flights available, or shop at the gift shop. Open daily.

Arizona Science Center & Planetarium
600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Phone: (602)-716-2000
Located in Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix, the Center features a five-story giant-screen theater, over 300 hands-on exhibits, and a 200 seat digital planetarium.

Phoenix Family Museum
Phoenix
, Arizona
Phone: (602) 253-0501
Two main streets will divide the Museum into four 'city blocks', with real working streetlights at the intersection so children learn about traffic safety. The streets will have vehicles to play in, like a fire engine, police car, and an ambulance. The four blocks will represent: 1) A place to work, 2) A place to grow, 3) A place to live and 4) A place to create.  The Museum will be a place for families to participate in hands-on exhibits relating to cultural diversity, the arts, the working world, and child development.

Discovery Park
1651 West Discovery Park Blvd.
Safford, Arizona 85546
Phone: (520) 428-6260
Discovery Park will offer you the opportunity to explore 200 acres of scientific, historical, and cultural exhibits. Currently open to visitors is the Gov Aker Observatory, containing a 20-inch optical telescope, the world's largest known Camera Obscura, and many fascinating science exhibits and programs, including a state-of-the-art space simulator ride, the "Shuttlecraft Polaris". Gov Aker Observatory is the meeting place of the Desert Skygazers Astronomy Club and the official visitors' center for the Mt. Graham International Observatory (M.G.I.O.), a division of Steward Observatory.  Click here for directions.

Titan Missile Museum
1580 W. Duval Mine Rd.
Sahuarita, Arizona
Phone: (520) 625-7736
The Titan II is a second-generation liquid fueled ballistic missile and the largest Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) ever developed by the United States.  The Titan Missile Museum is the only Titan II site that remains intact.  Tours of the complex are available every half hour and last about an hour.  Call for information and hours or visit their website by clicking here.

Piima Air and Space Museum
Tucson, Arizona
The Pima Air & Space Museum has over 250 aircraft occupying 80 acres of land. Click here for hours, admission and directions.

Tucson Children's Museum
200 South Sixth Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85702
Phone: (520) 792-9985
Fun, interactive, educational exhibits and hands-on programs for children.

 


Theme Parks, Amusement Parks & Water Parks

Castles and Coaster
9445 Metro Parkway East
Phoenix, Arizona 85051
Phone: (602)997-7575
Exciting rides and attractions for kids, carrousels, bumper cars and bumper boats, roller coasters, arcades and miniature golf.  Click here for directions.

Enchanted Island
1202 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 254-1200
An amusement park designed for kids 2 to 10 years of age and their families.  Nestled in the heart of Phoenix's Encanto Park, and surrounded by water complete with ducks, fish and pedal boats, this famous landmark is home to the historic Encanto Carousel (built in 1948), C. P. Huntington train and ten other great rides geared to the younger child. Guests can also enjoy our games of skill, a mini arcade, playground action stations and then munch on popcorn, cotton candy and lots of other tasty foods. 

 


Family Activities

If you know of a family activity in Arizona, let us know and we will add it here.

 


Summer - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Beaches, Lakes, etc.)

Lowell Observatory
1400 Mars Hill Road
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Phone: 520-774-3358
The first astronomical observatory in Arizona. See the Clark Telescope, which is still in use today as part of the observatory's educational outreach program for the general public. Because it was one of the first telescopes of its kind in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it is considered a National Historic Landmark. 

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Phone: (928) 638-7888
Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.  Expect crowds during the spring, summer, and fall months. During these months reservations for camping and lodging are essential.  Grand Canyon Village (SOUTH RIM) is located 60 miles north of Interstate 40 at Williams via highway 64, and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff via highway 180. Only ten miles from rim to rim as the crow flies, the North Rim is 215 miles (about 4 1/2 hours) from the South Rim by car. The NORTH RIM is 44 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ, via highway 67. 

Biosphere 2 Center
32540 S. Biosphere Road
Oracle, Arizona 85623
Phone: (520) 896-6400
Biosphere 2 is one of the largest living laboratories in the world. It is an air tight greenhouse covering 3.15 acres and 7.2 million cubic feet of volume. Inside Biosphere 2 is a rainforest, a million gallon salt water ocean, a coastal fog desert, and four other wilderness ecosystems. The tour experience includes informative guides stationed at key locations along the 3/4 mile tour route through Biosphere 2 Center. Each tour includes multi-media presentations, viewing the mini-biosphere model, as well as exploring the Test Module, Underwater Viewing Gallery, and the Biosphere 2 grounds, culminating at the unprecedented $200 million, 3.15-acre Biosphere 2 structure.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Page
, Arizona
Phone: 520-608-6404
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a panorama of human history. The park offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, backcountry hiking and four-wheel drive trips. Lees Ferry and the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center is located on Arizona Highway 89A. Carl Hayden Visitor Center in Page, Az is on Highway 89. The Bullfrog Visitor Center is located on Utah Highway 276. Halls Crossing is also reached by Highway 276. Hite is located just off Utah Highway 95.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park
9736 N. Fort McDowell Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85264
Phone: (480) 837-7779
Out of Africa Wildlife Park is not a zoo or a circus; it is truly an experience. It is a garden-like setting that allows visitors to actually encounter the kingdom of the wild. The animals come to you in nine unrehearsed, educational programs everyday. There are no tricks, no training and no facades - everything is real. In Tiger Splash, the park's most popular show, the staff is chased by tigers, who dive in a giant pool after their human friends. The animals demonstrate primal behavior in which the humans are the prey.

Kitt Peak National Observatory
Tucson, Arizona
The world's largest collection of optical telescopes is located high above the Sonoran Desert under some of the finest night skies in the world. Kitt Peak, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, is home to twenty-two optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions.  Guided tours and nightly viewing programs available.  Click here for directions.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake - Water skiing, fishing, camping, boating and picnicking. Cholla campground on the lake was recently rebuilt and is the largest solar campground in the U.S. Just East of Phoenix in the Tonto National Forest.

Lake Powell - Campsites, picnicking, fishing, boating and scenic drives.  This is one of the most scenic lakes in the western U.S. which is completely surrounded by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area which follows the Colorado River from 20 miles southwest of Moab, Utah to Page, Arizona and slightly beyond.

Bartlett Lake - Fishing, swimming, camping and boating.  Home of the nearby Bartlett Recreational Area. Located in the Tonto National Forest off I17 at the New River exit; go east towards Cave Creek/Camp Creek area.

Lake Mead - 100 miles along the Colorado River.  Swimming, camping, scenic areas, fishing, swimming and all kinds of watersports.  Probably the most famous out west next to Tahoe. Connects to Nevada as it comes off the Colorado River out of the Grand Canyon. Stops at Hoover Dam, then the Colorado continues into Lake Mohave and Lake Havsau. Take US. 95 Between Las Vegas Nevada and Kingman, Arizona.

Lake Mohave - Lake Mohave is 67 miles south of Hoover Dam is 67 miles long and part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Launch Ramps, camping, boat rentals, restaurants and shops.

Lake Havasu - Fed by the Colorado River, it is 46 miles long by up to three miles wide. Swimming, fishing, water skiing and camping.  Located South of I 40 Off Arizona State Route 95 at Lake Havasu City.

 


Winter - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Ski Resorts, etc.)

Arizona Snowbowl
Near Flagstaff, Arizona
Phone: (520) 779-1951
Located outside Flagstaff in the San Francisco Mountains this ski area offers a peak vista of a 70-mile panorama of extinct volcanoes and views of the Grand Canyon.  To get to Arizona Snowbowl, take Highway 180 north 14 miles to the access road. Shuttles run between Highway 180 and the ski area when the road is restricted to four-wheel drive or chained vehicles.

Williams Ski Area
Near Flagstaff, Arizona
Phone (520) 635-9330
Williams Ski area is family oriented offering a variety of groomed slopes and trails and a beginners slope.

Mount Lemmon Ski Valley
Near (North) of Tucson, Arizona
Phone: (520) 576-1321
Skiing and snowboarding with a evenly divided mix of beginner to advanced trails.

Sunrise Park Resort
Located about 220 miles East of Phoenix or about 240 miles Northeast of Tucson.
Phone: (520) 735-SNOW
Sunrise Park Resort is located in the White Mountains and is owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Sunrise offers a wide range of runs for beginners to experts.  You also can snowboard, cross-country ski and go tubing.  Ski schools for adults and children of all ages, snowboard lessons, child care services, ski rentals, sport shops, lockers and restaurants (including on mountain food and beverages).  Shuttle buses take you within all points of the resort.

 


Helpful websites and services

If you know of a website or company that is helpful to families traveling to Arizona, let us know and we will add it here.

 


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