20 AMAZING CITIES AND TOWNS IN ARIZONA, In the south of the United States, right up against the border with Mexico, Arizona offers beautiful rainfall and some of the country’s top natural prodigies. This is where the Grand Canyon National Park is located, although that’s only the tip of the icicle regarding what Arizona offers callers. With sweeping desert geographies and lush public timbers, there’s a wide range of terrain to explore, perfect for out-of-door suckers. For the comfort of an civic terrain, there are plenitude of ultramodern smart metropolises in Arizona, packed with galleries and galleries.

Arizona is also rich in culture, with large swathes designated as reservations for several Native American nations. It’s also a haven for ghost-town enthusiasts, with around 300 abandoned towns around the state. From historic Tucson to stunning Sedona, there are sure to be at least a few towns that tick all your boxes, here’s my pick of the best cities to visit in Arizona, from major metropolis’ to some more underrated gems. Whether you’re looking for that perfect destination to spend a city break, or plotting stops along a road trip around the state, here are the best.



aerial view of phoenix with mountains in the background
One of the best cities in Arizona for a longer stay is Phoenix, as there’s so much to do there.

As Arizona’s capital city, it’s not surprising Phoenix is packed with attractions.

If you’re after a whirlwind city break browsing museums and galleries, relaxing in chic cafes, and whiling away your evenings in fashionable restaurants, bars, and clubs, then you should consider Phoenix.

Surrounded by mountains and regional parks, you’ll still be able to get out and explore Arizona’s stunning natural landscape if you want to.

The Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve are just a short journey from Downtown Phoenix, so you can get your fix of natural wonder without leaving the city at all.


buildings reflected in the canal in Scottsdale at dusk
One of the best cities in Arizona to base yourself is Scottsdale.

Bordering Phoenix immediately to the east, Scottsdale allows you access to all the attractions and luxuries of the capital city while offering you a more relaxed alternative.

Scottsdale is known for its shopping complexes, spas and golf courses, making it popular for a relaxing vacation.

However, the north of Scottsdale is largely desert, with various hiking trails leading out into the surrounding landscape and mountains.

It’s also a fantastic choice for those who want both urban comfort and outdoor adventure.


night view of Tempe
Tempe is one of the cities in Arizona with plenty of things to do at night.

Tempe also borders Phoenix, immediately south of Scottsdale.

The little city is a hub for arts and culture with plenty of galleries, performing arts theatres, and live music venues to entertain you.

The town’s artistic heritage even predates the city, with ancient rock carvings still visible on Hayden Butte at the heart of the downtown area.

It’s also home to Arizona State University, and the thriving student population keeps the nightlife scene here particularly lively and colourful.

Tempe is another great option if you want easy access to Phoenix while keeping your base in a more laid-back locale.


aerial view of mesa at sunset
One of the cool cities in Arizona, Mesa offers plenty to see.

If you’re planning a family vacation and trying to find somewhere with plenty to do for adults and kids, then Mesa is an excellent option.

Just west of Phoenix, Mesa boasts everything from impressive historical landmarks to family-friendly modern attractions.

The rich heritage of the native communities around Mesa can be seen in the ancient ruins of Mesa Grande Cultural Park, while kids might better appreciate a trip to the local waterpark.

You’ll also be staying just a few miles from downtown Phoenix, so you can also take advantage of the attractions there.

However, it’s not quite as convenient as Tempe or Scottsdale, so it is not ideal if sightseeing in the capital is your top priority.


Tucson Skyline From Sentinel Peak
Tucson is one of the big cities in Arizona.

Arizona’s second-largest city after Phoenix, Tucson, is another top option for a high-flying city break.

Packed with attractions from historical locations to world-class museums and surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Sonoran Desert, several mountain ranges, and the Coronado National Forest, you’ll have plenty to see, no matter how many days you have to fill.

Tucson is ideal for everyone.

Whether you’re planning a family sightseeing vacation or a wild weekend exploring the city’s clubs and bars, Tucson is the perfect destination for an urban adventure.

  • Also read:

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    • Arizona Road Trip
    • 11 Hot Springs In Arizona
    • 20 Things To Do In Tombstone
    • 20 Things To Do In Phoenix At Night
    • 17 Places To Go Glamping In Arizona
    • 20 Things To Do In Williams AZ
    • 20 Things To Do In Yuma AZ
    • 20 Ghost Towns In Arizona
    • Grand Canyon National Park
    • 20 Things To Do In Monument Valley
    • 20 Things To Do In Page
    • 20 Things To Do In Tucson
    • Tucson to Phoenix Travel Guide
    • 20 Things To Do In Phoenix
    • 20 Arizona Cities And Towns
    • 20 State Parks In Arizona


aerial view of Nogales, Mexico border
Nogales is a city in Arizona that borders Mexico.

Nogales is a vibrant border town 69 miles (111 kilometres) directly south of Tucson.

The town is a rich melting pot of culture, with obvious Mexican influence seen through the lovely Spanish-style architecture of the town.

There’s plenty of history to dive into, with Native American communities having thrived long before the modern town was founded.

You can discover historical landmarks in the desert just outside of Nogales, such as the ruins of the Mission Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi.


Sedona, Arizona Red Rock Panoramic Mountain Landscape
Sedona si one of the most popular cities in Arizona.

In a state renowned for its stunning landscapes, Sedona is one of the best places to visit for breathtaking scenery and incredible natural landmarks.

Perched on the edge of Red Rock State Park, Sedona is known for its impressive natural rock formations showing off the vibrant red and orange sandstone deposits.

If you’re into spirituality, you may be interested in Sedona being a supposed hot spot for positive spiritual energy and ‘vortexes’.

You’ll find tons of New Age shops and venues around the town.

At the very least, any visitor can appreciate the colourful arts community that’s taken root in the town.



aerial view of flagstaff
Flagstaff is one of the best cities in Arizona near the Grand Canyon.

The little city of Flagstaff has a lot going for it.

Hikers and mountaineers can use it as a stepping-off point for exploring the San Francisco Peaks and conquering Arizona’s highest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak.

Science and astronomy fans can take the opportunity to visit the Lowell Observatory, where the planet Pluto was discovered.

History and anthropology enthusiasts will want to visit the ancient Sinagua Cliff Dwellings of the Walnut Canyon National Monument.

The city is home to charming historic streets lined with plenty of cafés, restaurants, galleries, and museums to keep you busy.

The Museum of Northern Arizona houses exhibits on local history dating back to 15,000 B.C.E.



Route 66 Road Sign In Arizona USA
Williams, Arizona, is on Route 66.

Located right along the iconic Route 66, Williams makes the perfect stopping point along any epic road trip through Arizona.

The town packs in all the best bits of the state, from its stunning natural surroundings to its Wild West heritage.

There’s even a museum dedicated to the route itself.

Williams acts as a popular entryway to the Grand Canyon, with the Grand Canyon Railway carrying passengers along a scenic journey to the canyon’s South Rim.

Alternatively, stay closer to town and head to the Bearizona Wildlife Park to meet bears, wolves, and other fascinating creatures.


lake havasu
An English phone box and London Bridge in Lake Havasu.

A tiny town in the Mojave desert sounds like an odd place for London Bridge to end up, yet this is where you will find it.

Having been transported from England and rebuilt brick by brick, the old London Bridge now connects the two halves of Lake Havasu City.

The eponymous lake itself is a popular draw for water sports enthusiasts.

The International World Jet Ski Finals are held here each year too.


Downtown Bisbee Arizona
Bisbee is one of the safest cities in Arizona.

Bisbee is another little town with a rich copper mining history.

The town’s heritage is celebrated at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and the Bisbee Restoration Museum.

Visitors can take guided tours of the old town and some of the old mining complexes.

Located in the mountains just north of the Mexico border, Bisbee is particularly popular with birdwatchers and hikers exploring the trails of the surrounding hill.

The town is packed with beautiful, historic buildings showcasing its vibrant heritage and culture.

12- YUMA

The border city of Yuma is home to some particularly fascinating relics of Arizona’s Wild West heritage.

The Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park contains preserved cell blocks and guard towers from an Old West jail, offering visitors a detailed glimpse of this notoriously prominent aspect of the era.

Situated along the Colorado River, Yuma is an especially green and fertile region of Arizona.

This makes an impressive contrast with the Imperial Sand Dunes, which stretch out to the northwest.

The wide range of terrains makes this city particularly bountiful for outdoor enthusiasts, with a huge range of activities available.

13- PAGE

Tucked into a curve of the Colorado River and surrounded by sweeping desert, the little town of Page is a wonderland for hikers.

The arid landscape is riddled with canyons to explore.

There are even ancient petroglyphs carved into the rock for you to discover.

If you prefer water sports or are just looking to cool off, this stretch of the river is a popular spot for rafting.

Rafting trips typically start by Glen Canyon Dam, also open for tours and home to a small museum.

At the very least, you should cross Glen Canyon Dam Bridge to enjoy some truly stunning river views.


Tombstone street with stagecoach
Tombstone is one of the interesting ghost towns in Arizona.

Tombstone is inarguably one of the top towns for delving into Arizona’s rich Wild West heritage.

The town has historical attractions that allow visitors to dive back into the state’s infamous frontier days.

Tombstone leans into its heritage with plenty of Wild West-themed shops, saloons, and restaurants.

From the site of the famous Gunfight at the O.K.

Corral, which offers daily re-enactments, to the bullet-riddled Bird Cage Theatre, where you should keep your eyes peeled for ghosts, there’s tons of fun to be had in Tombstone.

To immerse yourself in the historic atmosphere, ride a horse and carriage around the old town.



15- VAIL

Just 24 miles (39 kilometres) south of Tucson, the little city of Vail is ideal for a lazy getaway.

With a population of around 10,000, the town has a friendly, small-town atmosphere with plenty of local hospitality to indulge in.

Vail offers ease of access to the beautiful surrounding landscape.

A network of hiking trails leads out into the nearby mountains and desert.

Alternatively, explore the Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, which is nestled within the northern end of the town.

The I-10 connects Vail directly with Downtown Tucson, so it’s super easy to head into the bigger city for a day of sightseeing and escape back into the calm of the quieter town when you’ve had enough of the urban crowds.


Montezuma Well National Monument
Rimrock is a small town in Arizona with beautiful views.

Miles from the nearest big city, Rimrock is a fantastic place to escape into Arizona’s beautiful landscape.

Located along the banks of Wet Beaver Creek, Rimrock is one of the greener cities in Arizona, with leafy trees lining the water’s edge.

The shade and river breeze provides some cooler walking routes than you might find elsewhere in the typically arid state.

Rimrock is also home to impressive historic landmarks like Montezuma Castle National Monument just outside town.

The remains of 12th-century dwellings carved into the cliffside make the perfect reward for a comfortable hike along the river.


aerial view of Jeromein autumn
Jerome is definitely not one of the most populated cities in Arizona!

Jerome is one of the best towns in Arizona to experience the state’s mining heritage.

The town started as a thriving copper mining community, and much of the old infrastructure can still be appreciated.

Audrey Headframe Park still has much of the original machinery and equipment on display.

Daring visitors can even step onto a glass platform to peer down a century-old mining shaft.

Meanwhile, fans of ghost towns will want to take the short trip northwest to the Gold King Mine.



Prescott is a lively town full of history and hospitality.

The city’s heritage can be celebrated with a visit to Prescott Frontier Days, the oldest rodeo in the world.

Alternatively, head to Whiskey Row to grab a drink in some authentically Wild West-era saloons.

Prescott is surrounded by some particularly lovely landscapes, with mountains, forests, and lakes on three sides and a sprawling desert to the north.

The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary offers the chance to get an eyeful of the critters that call the region home.


Of course, the Grand Canyon is easily one of the biggest attractions drawing visitors to Arizona.

The Grand Canyon Village is located along the South Rim of the canyon and primarily focuses on providing accommodations to visitors.

If visiting the Grand Canyon is your top priority, then the convenience of the Grand Canyon Village is undeniable.

Along with a range of lodging and camping options, a wealth of tour companies, information centres, and museums are dedicated to getting you the most out of your visit.


Church Rock Near Kayenta Arizona
Kayenta is one of the towns to visit in Arizona in Navajo country.

Located in the heart of Navajo Country, Kayenta is one of the best towns in Arizona for appreciating Native American culture and heritage.

Visit the Navajo National Monument just outside of town to view and learn about the ancient Pueblo dwellings carved into the cliffs.

Then stop by the Navajo Code Talkers Exhibition to learn about the modern history of the Navajo Soldiers who played their part in the Second World War.

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