Vacation in Arizona tips:
1. Visit in the summer. I know it can be extremely hot, but since the peak season is March- May hotels and resorts are cheapest, sights, stores, restaurants are much less crowded during the off peak times of June-August.
2. Arizona is a very cool place. I am not talking the weather, however, because temps in the summer can be 108 almost every day. I know you’ve heard the cliché that it is “dry heat”, but heat is heat so be sure to bring a cooler of water wherever you go.
3. Sun block is a must because honestly it hardly ever rains and is sunny every day!
4. The Phoenix Zoo is small but awesome. You can feed giraffes, get up close and personal with spider monkeys and see all sorts of animals. Go early in the mornings since in off-season the zoo is only open from 7:30- 2:00. The day we went it was Tuesday and it was $10 Tuesdays, which is half off the regular $20 admission price.
5. If the heat is becoming a drain, no worries, simply drive 2 hours towards the mountains and temperatures will drop by 20 degrees! (Believe it or not in the winter there are parts of Arizona where it snows!) There are lots to see and do in wonderful little western towns like Williams, Flagstaff, and Prescott valley.
6. No visit to Arizona will be complete without visiting the Grand Canyon. It is a trek from Phoenix (about 3 ½ hours by car) so stay the night in Flagstaff or Williams. By the way if you are in Williams take the Grand Canyon railroad train.
7. Don’t forget your camera. Even though a photos do not do justice to the majesty of the Canyon, you will be kicking yourself all the way home if your forget it in your hotel room (Ha I swear I didn’t make my hubby turn around)
8. Be on the lookout for the California condor while at the Canyon. This is rarest bird in the world and the largest in North America. In 1982 there were fewer than 25 left and facing sure extinction. Now through captive breeding programs there are over 160. There are 73 wild condors in Arizona. While I was there I spotted and photographed 3. They all have numbers on their wings so you can even look up their sex, when they were hatched and released in the wild. Many people will never, ever see a California condor even in zoos. At the Grand Canyon you might just see them in their natural habitat!
9. If anyone in your party is 62 or older for a cost of $10 you can purchase a National park pass that will cover you and up to three people in your party at any National park, in any state in the country for life!! Yes I said for life. If you want to go visit the Skyline drive in Va., the whole carload is free! The only snag is it doesn’t work for non-citizens; they will have to pay $80 for a year.
10. Hopi ruins are an interesting side trip. Visit Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s well, to see the ruins where prehistoric peoples lived and thrived.
I will post some photos of the condors on a later post so stay tuned, and enjoy the beauty of Arizona! (After all since they are so rare they deserve the spotlight)