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Arizona is indeed known as the Grand Canyon state, but visitors soon learn that there is so much more on offer here...
When someone says, “Arizona”, the first thing that springs to mind is the Grand Canyon. Even if you have seen this amazing natural wonder on the TV, nothing does it justice like actually being there.
Arizona is a large state, covering 113,909 square miles and has a number of major cities, including Phoenix, Tucson and Sedona. The city of Tempe is home to the largest university in the US and has a young and lively atmosphere.
Most visitors travel to Arizona with the sole purpose of visiting the Grand Canyon and the vastness of this UNESCO World Heritage Site does have to be seen to be believed. It was carved out of the rock by the Colorado River over several millions of years and it is 1,610 metres deep and exposes around two billion years of geological history. The canyon is divided into two main areas, known as the North Rim and the South Rim. The South Rim is by far the most accessible.
As well as the world famous Grand Canyon, the state is also home to the lesser known but no less stunning Antelope Canyon. Located in the Navajo area, it is one of the most photographed slot canyons in southwest America.
Halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, you will find the city of Casa Grande. Founded at the end of the 19th century during Arizona's mining boom, the name means “large house”. It’s named after the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in nearby Coolidge where you will find the remains of some ancient Pueblo people's Hohokam structures. This is a fascinating tourist attraction and a great insight into the lives of the indigenous population of America.
Located in Flagstaff, the Lowell Observatory is home to the Discovery Channel Telescope. Ten years in planning and construction and at a cost of $53m, it is the fifth largest in the US and one of the most technologically advanced anywhere. Check the website for details of admission fees and opening hours.
Staying on the astronomy theme, Arizona is also home to one of the world's most well-known and best preserved meteor craters. Located in the Arizona desert, not far from Winslow, the crater was caused by a piece of asteroid that hit the Earth at around 26,000mph around 50,000 years ago. The crater is 2.4 miles in circumference and over 550 feet deep and is a major tourist attraction.
With limited direct flights to Phoenix from the UK you’ll need to opt for one of the many connecting departures to reach this city...
British Airways is the only airline to offer a non-stop service, departing London’s Heathrow daily and taking just under 11 hours to make the journey.
Other well priced options are with US carriers changing planes at gateway airports such as New York’s JFK and Newark, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. Flights with carriers such as Delta, American, US Airways and United can be found from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. You can also fly via Toronto with Air Canada.
There are no other non-stop flights from Europe.
A mere 130 miles separate the main airports of Phoenix and Tucson, but between them they’ve got this sprawling state covered...
Arizona's main airport is Phoenix Sky Harbour International (PHX) and this is where you’ll arrive if you fly in from overseas. Domestic flights arriving from inside the US may take you to one of the state's many other airports, including Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT), Tucson International (TUS), Yuma International (YUM), Bullhead City (IFP), Flagstaff (FLG), Kingman (IGM) or Lake Havasu City (HII).
The state’s “big two” airports of Phoenix and Tucson handle most of the traffic in Arizona, and both airports are well geared up for handling passengers en masse.
Following flights to Phoenix, the three-mile journey into the city from Sky Harbour is covered by plenty of options. First is the Sky Train, which runs from the airport to downtown 44th Street & Washington. It takes you to the terminus of the Metro Light Rail and is completely free. You’ll also find several taxi companies outside the terminal buildings. Each firm charges the same rates, with a minimum fare into the city of $15 (about £8.70).
You’ll also find a slightly more expensive, but altogether more stylish, door-to-door limousine service. Dozens of car rental companies can be found in the main atrium.
Before hiring a cab, it’s also worth checking with your hotel or resort, as many will provide a courtesy airport service.
Located about 10 miles from the city centre, Tucson International Airport also has a full complement of onward transport options, including car hire, taxis, hotel shuttles, city bus and shared ride vans. You can expect to pay at least $25 (about £15) for a taxi into town.
Both Phoenix and Arizona enjoy a superb collection of hotels and resorts to suit all pockets...
After your flight to Arizona, you’ll probably be looking forward to relaxing in your accommodation. You’ll have no qualms there; Arizona’s two biggest cities have a great assortment of hotels spread right across them.
You could splash out on some of the five-star luxury spa hotels that are dotted around Phoenix and the outskirts of the city. But you’ll also find no end of mid-range options all over town, from independent boutique-style hotels to international chains.
Tucson tells a similar story, though with fewer hotels. You’ll find a miscellany of guesthouses, B&Bs and motels around the outskirts of town.
There are also many ranches and spa resorts scattered throughout Arizona, as well as tourist facilities, including hotels, at the edge of the Grand Canyon. The widest selection is located at the Grand Canyon Village.
If you want to visit this state, you can find cheap flights to Arizona by using TravelSupermarket`s price-comparison tool. Once you’ve found your flight to Arizona, let TravelSupermarket unearth the perfect hotel deal for you.