The spectacular landscapes of Arizona are the perfect backdrop for an exciting escape. The famous Grand Canyon is just hours from Las Vegas but out-dazzles Sin City with its epic beauty by day and by night, when a blanket of stars illuminate it. Beyond this ancient wonderland, nestled in pine-clad peaks and ochre desert plains, Arizona’s other stars also shine bright. Whether you’re a nature lover, a style seeker, a history buff or an avid foodie, the grand mountains, hypnotic deserts and eclectic cities of Arizona will captivate you.

Discover Arizona with Charitable Travel. Speak to our expert reservations team today to plan your dream Arizonan escape. Plus, when you book your holiday with Charitable Travel, you can donate 5% of your holiday price to a charity of your choice. 

This is a feature from Issue 6 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

Travel lightly in Arizona

Deep and lasting connections are made when travellers respect and protect the destinations we journey through. Appreciate Arizona – a new partnership between The Arizona Office of Tourism and the Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics – highlights seven principles to help visitors preserve the state’s iconic natural wonders, while enjoying an exciting and sustainable trip in this spectacular slice of the USA.

1. Be Prepared

While it’s known for its incredible desert landscapes, Arizona actually has many different terrains and temperatures, so prepare for this when you pack.

2. Stick to the Path

Keeping to designated trails and campsites helps to protect Arizona’s wonderful and unique plants and animals.

3. Don't Be Trashy

Even biodegradable or organic rubbish can negatively impact fragile ecosystems, so always make sure you take any rubbish away with you and pick up any you see.

4. Leave It Alone

Pinecones left on the forest floor will grow into trees. Red rocks provide shelter for desert critters. Leave just footprints and take only memories and photos home with you.

5. Don't Play With Fire

Arizona’s hot, dry climate makes fire safety of paramount importance, so always use designated fire pits and keep your campfire safe, small and attended.

6. Respect Wildlife

Wild Arizona is home to over 800 animal species, including black bears, rattlesnakes and pumas, so be aware of wildlife when hiking, and observe from a safe distance.

7. Share the Outdoors

With peaceful, natural vistas beloved by locals, and spiritual destinations held sacred by Arizona’s American Indian tribes, join them in showing love and respect for the land as you pass through.

Highlights of Arizona

From £3,119pp!

14 nights self-driving tour 0f Arizona! Visit Tucson, Scottsdale, Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. Price includes return flights, car hire with insurance and sat nav, accommodation, and a personalised road book!
PLUS! Donate £312 to charity!

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Road trip!

Arizona Road Trip!

From £2,365pp!

15 nights in a motorhome exploring Arizona at your own pace! Price includes return flights, 14 nights motorhome rental, accommodation, and night hotel stay!
PLUS! Donate £236 to charity!

Desert Dreams in Tucson

“That Arizona sky, burnin’ in your eyes,” sang Ally (Lady Gaga) to her rock star partner Jack (Bradley Cooper) in the film A Star is Born. Hiking the pools and waterfalls of Sabino Canyon in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains at sunset, the song is my inner soundtrack A stone’s throw from vibrant Downtown Tucson, technicolour landscapes glow beneath vivid desert skies. Intense purples and pinks paint the heavens, while sanguine sand shifts under my feet. Shimmering gold dusts the iconic saguaro cacti, before the giants morph into a troop of silhouettes, dancing across the indigo horizon into twilight, when a billion stars burst through the night. The stunning Sonoran Desert and magnificent mountains that surround Tucson are adventure playgrounds, with miles of trails for hiking, biking, rock climbing and even skiing at the right time of year.

The stunning Sonoran Desert and magnificent mountains that surround
Tucson are adventure playgrounds...

Saddle up for a stay at a dude ranch and unleash your inner cowpoke or check in to a glamorous guest ranch like the Hacienda del Sol, following in the footsteps of Hollywood legends Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Then take a spin to see the gleaming white ‘Sistine Chapel of North America’, the spectacular Spanish Mission San Xavier del Bac, and the adobe DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum, the home and studio of late Arizona artist, Ted DeGrazia. Epicureans will appreciate Tucson’s 4,000-year-old culinary heritage. An exciting fusion of Native American and Mexican tradition has made it a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, with restaurants, food festivals and farmers’ markets showcasing local ingredients served with unique flair.

Miami and Florida Keys Twin Centre

From £2,549pp!

Includes 2 free nights in Florida Keys! 
3 nights in Miami at 4* Pestana Hotel, and 7 nights in Marathon at 4* Hawks Cay Resort. Includes car hire, return flights, £99pp deoposit. 

Spiritual Sedona

This International Dark Sky City boasts a spectacular display of stars at night but has plenty of attractions to dazzle visitors by day. Surrounded by the lush Coconino National Forest, Sedona sits beneath the stunning ochre rock formations of the Oak Creek Canyon. Dramatic landscapes and mesmerising light have long drawn artists to the Red Rock Country, including surrealist painter Max Ernst, who moved here with his artist wife Dorothea Tanning in the late 1940s. Other creatives soon followed and today Sedona is a magnet for contemporary artists, with wonderful studios and galleries to wander and an annual autumn arts festival.

Sedona is everything you could need for an adventure of the spirit, body and mind.

Once inhabited by the Sinagua Indians, Sedona is considered to be a site of great spiritual significance. Visitors can explore historic Sinaguan sites at Palatki and Honanki, participate in healing therapies and workshops, join a tour to investigate the powerful vortexes believed to be at play in the canyon or, for the ultimate Sedona experience, try a spa treatment that uses indigenous materials like red rock clay and local plants. Sedona is Arizona’s first destination with a sustainable tourism plan, offering exciting opportunities for voluntourism, while the Walk Sedona programme encourages visitors to explore the city and its surrounds on foot. Google Sedona’s Secret Seven for inspiration on some of the most epic places to enjoy biking, jeep tours, hot air ballooning, hiking, picnics, arts and culture, stargazing or spiritual pursuits: everything you could need for an adventure of the spirit, body and mind.

Unwind in Fort Lauderdale

From £1,429pp!

7 night escape at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort including car hire and return flights from the UK. Includes ATOL Protection and £140 donation to the charity of your choice!

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Phoenix has Urban Flair

It’s 1 am in the morning, but warm air still whips through my hair as I ride my electric scooter past the elaborate murals shining under the streetlights of Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row. I’m riding one of the city’s e-scooters through one of America’s top 10 city arts districts to the Found:Re – a boutique hotel which champions local artists. Its painting of a naked, hirsute Burt Reynolds, reclining above the check-in desk, resplendent in a lustrous blonde wig is not easily forgotten. Like Burt, Phoenix is a little bit cheeky and lots of fun (the scooter rides are thankfully less hairy!). Dashing mixologists shake cocktails behind deliciously decadent bars, while boundary-pushing chefs head up some of America’s most innovative eateries. At Barrio Café the James Beard Award-nominated chef, Silvana Salcido Esparza, serves regional Mexican dishes learned from her grandmother – like Nana’s Chile Verde – with a modern twist.

Phoenix is home to boundary-pushing chefs heading up some of America's most innovative eateries.

The city is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, from handcrafting makers like the Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, to the eccentric Lucky’s Indoor Outdoor, a patio space with food trucks, craft cocktails and an array of games to play the night away. There’s history here, too. The Heard Museum is home to a staggering collection of American Indian artefacts and offers an insightful glimpse into the traditions of 22 tribes and the Hohokam culture, which flourished here from the 1100s to the 1400s. At The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, visitors can wander through a prehistoric Hohokam site, while the Desert Botanical Garden showcases some of Arizona’s prickliest patrons: cacti.

Explore Lake County for yourself!

From £1,159pp!

7 nights in a C19 Cruise America Motorhome followed by 3 nights at Universal’s Adventura Hotel including return flights and airport transfers! 

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Scottsdale has the Art of Luxury

Whether you’re after a pampering escape, a wild adventure, a round of golf or a shopping extravaganza, the cosmopolitan city of Scottsdale and its surrounding Sonoran Desert will deliver. Basking under year-round sunshine, Scottsdale’s 70-plus boutique hotels and luxury resorts tempt travellers to stay and pamper poolside, but that would be missing out on a mountain of desert fun. The city’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban preserve in North America, with over 30,000 acres of cacti forests, plus hiking, biking and riding trails that offer extreme thrills or peaceful solitude. Roar through the wilderness on a rugged 4WD jeep tour, or float silently over ancient landscapes in a hot air balloon.

Indulge in wellness treatments inspired by ancient Native American healing traditions at one of Scottsdale's 50 spas

Start your day the best way with an early morning hike on Pinnacle Peak or Camelback Mountain, then refuel with an alfresco lunch at one of Scottsdale’s eclectic, award-winning restaurants. Later, dip into one of the region’s 50 spas to indulge in wellness treatments inspired by ancient Native American healing traditions. Don’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taliesin West, the winter home of celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright, before seeing the art and meeting the creative community on a Thursday-evening ArtWalk in the historic Arts District. If shopping is your bag, Scottsdale is definitely your place. Browse local boutiques in the Old Town’s Fifth Avenue Shopping District, head to the Southwest’s largest shopping destination at Fashion Square or stroll the designer stores of Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter under blue skies.

Enjoy a Week in Tampa Bay

From £1,249pp!

7 night escape at 3 Star Aloft Tampa Downton with return flights from the UK and private transfers from Tampa Airport. Includes ATOL Protection and £125 donation to the charity of your choice!

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Wild Times out in Prescott

Once the territorial capital of Arizona, Prescott is the picture perfect Arizona destination: a city rich in history, surrounded by spirit-lifting ponderosa pine forests, towering granite formations, big skies and ancient escarpments. Set at an elevation of 1,600 metres, the region enjoys four mild seasons, fresh mountain air and cooler temperatures than Phoenix, making it a great place to chill out. This is the True West, offering space for endless adventures and over 450 miles of well-maintained outdoor trail systems for hikers, bikers and horse riders. Saddle up and roam the beautiful high desert on a southwestern safari, looking out for some of the native wildlife – pronghorn antelope, white-tailed deer, and pig-like peccaries, also known as javelinas.

Follow in the swaggering footsteps of Western legends Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday by raising a glass at The Palace, the oldest bar in Arizona

Alternatively, you can go for a motorised spin through the beautiful backcountry on an e-bike or 4WD jeep, while bald eagles soar gracefully overhead. Explore the region’s waterways by kayak or canoe, or paddle amidst the pines and granite boulders on Watson, Willow or Goldwater Lakes. Home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo – celebrated every 4th of July – Prescott is the perfect place to indulge your cowboy or cowgirl dreams. Hit the saloons of the world-famous Whiskey Row and follow in the swaggering footsteps of Western legends Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday by raising a glass at The Palace, the oldest bar – and business – in Arizona, dating from 1877. The bar has been the scene of many a historic gunfight but be warned: the county courthouse is just across the street, so keep that Colt 45 in your holster, partner.

Enjoy a Week in Tampa Bay

From £1,249pp!

7 night escape at 3 Star Aloft Tampa Downton with return flights from the UK and private transfers from Tampa Airport. Includes ATOL Protection and £125 donation to the charity of your choice!

ATOL Protected

Flagstaff: City of Wonders

Located in Arizona’s northern high country, Flagstaff offers myriad things to do whatever the season, with the freshest mountain air to power your adventures. Surrounded by the world’s largest strand of ponderosa pine forest, Flagstaff’s year-round colour palette is breath-taking. Cobalt blue summer skies linger over the red and purple foliage of fall, before sparkling white dusts the peaks and melts into silver rivers in spring. With over 30 annual festivals heralding music, culture, art and the seasons, Flagstaff loves to celebrate, from The Heritage Festival and Native Art Market to the Flagstaff Chili Festival Cookoff and bluegrass music festival, Pickin’ in the Pines.

Flagstaff is one of the highlights along the country’s infamous Route 66, and the world’s first designated International Dark Sky City

Neighbour to the Navajo – the U.S.A.’s largest Native American nation – Flagstaff is one of the highlights along the country’s infamous Route 66, and the world’s first designated International Dark Sky City. It has a rich lunar history, with the US Geological Survey Branch of Astrogeology providing mapping for space missions and training for the three Apollo 11 astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – who made the first journey to the Moon. Flagstaff’s earthly pleasures are pretty spectacular, too. Known as the City of Seven Wonders, seven of America’s most iconic national parks and monuments are within easy reach: Grand Canyon National Park, Wupatki National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, San Francisco Peaks, Coconino National Forest and Walnut Canyon – all waiting to be explored on foot, by bike or on four wheels (if you don’t have your lunar rover at the ready).

Enjoy a Week in Tampa Bay

From £1,249pp!

7 night escape at 3 Star Aloft Tampa Downton with return flights from the UK and private transfers from Tampa Airport. Includes ATOL Protection and £125 donation to the charity of your choice!

ATOL Protected

Feel the need to book a holiday?

Find more Arizona inspiration below or chat to one of our travel experts about putting together your dream trip!

This is a feature from Issue 6 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.