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Arizona Insider

Insightful. Inspirational. Invaluable.
Welcome to the Arizona Insider.

Get an insider’s perspective on the Grand Canyon state by reading the Arizona Insider blog. Full of articles written by locals who detail their personal travel experiences, the Arizona Insider is your guide for inspiration, fascinating insights and the latest travel tips and events.



Royal Palms Resort and Spa
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Royal palms resort and spa

Beautiful grounds, rich history, tasty treats and lavished drinks.

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Spooky Arizona: Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween for All Ages
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Looking for some spooky fun this Halloween in Arizona? Check out this roundup of activities for the young and brave at heart.

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Arizona's Alternative Art Scene
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Do you have an interest in unique and vibrant art? See what some communities in Arizona are up to.

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Exploring Prescott
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Just a short jaunt from Phoenix is the North Central region of Arizona, where you'll find Prescott, perfect for a day of relaxation. 

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Magic Everywhere
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The September photo contest winner, Kristin Bentz, shares a magical and surprising day at the Grand Canyon. 

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South Mountain: Breathtaking Desert Treasure in the Heart of Phoenix
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Join this Arizonian on a hike through the largest municipal park in the county!

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Chef Justin Beckett: My Delicious Arizona
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Valley chef and restaurateur, Justin Beckett, gives the inside scoop on the local culinary scene in Arizona and some of his favorite things to do outside the kitchen.

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Southwest Spirit Sweepstakes Winner Shares Her Experience in Tucson
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Come along with the Southwest Spirit Sweepstakes winners as they explore Arizona for the first time! 

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8 Can't-Miss Attractions in Tubac, Arizona
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Have you ever been to Tubac? Here are some of the highlights for getting to know this luxurious town and crafty town.

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The History of the Chapel: Capturing Arizona
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Learn about one of the attractions that was once a part of “The Western Movie Capital of the World” which hosted celebrities such as John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan and Jack Nicholson – to name a few!

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Why Arizona Has The Best Brunch Scene
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The Valley's restaurants provide a delicious and unparalleled brunch experience, especially for this 22-year-old Arizona transplant and her friends.  

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5 Arizona Ghost Towns You May Have Never Heard Of
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Towns of Arizona's past that paint the picture of what the Copper State was was all about.  


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Mathew Blades: Live where you can play
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Get to know how Mathew Blades from Mix 96.9 spends his free time in Arizona.

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68th Annual Navajo Nation Fair Brings Culture and Tradition to Northern Arizona
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To liven up your pace and feed your inner soul, make a cultural connection and get a taste of Navajo culture this September at the 68th Annual Navajo Nation Fair.

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The Mother of Sedona and the Father of Arizona
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Learn about some of the most influential characters and most fascinating history, that make up Arizona's past. 

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Page Springs, Arizona: Camping, Sightseeing and Wine Tasting
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Lo Lo Mai Springs meet Page Springs. Check out the plentiful amenities that these unique destinations offer.

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Marshall Shore, Arizona’s Own Hip Historian
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Have you ever heard of Marshall Shore? If not, get to know this entertaining Arizona historian here.

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Falling in Love with Arizona
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Get to know what Arizona really has to offer.  A grand state with grand adventures.

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Sweet Summer in the Verde Valley
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One resident recounts why she loves calling the Verde Valley home, and all the fun that can be found here during the summer season.

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A Catalina Sunset
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Learn more about the famous sky islands in Tucson from our June photo contest winner, Dennis Swena.

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Magic of Disney and the Phoenix Symphony – A Stellar Combination!
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Have you heard the news? The Phoenix Symphony is creating experiences with a wide variety of entertainment for the entire family. 

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Chad Mitchell: My #AZSummer Vacation at Bearizona
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Read all about Chad Mitchell's adventures into the wild at Bearizona. Chad is one of the radio personalities from Arizona's 99.9 KEZ. 

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A Snapshot of Canyon de Chelly and the Hubbell Trading Post
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Get to know all about Canyon de Chelly,  stay in a National Monument and discover Native American textiles.

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A Truly Unique Rodeo Experience Awaits You this July Fourth at Beautiful Navajo
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Check out an American Indian hosted rodeo. This is one roudy Fourth of July celebration in a very cool place!

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Top Arizona Farmers Market Picks from Around the State
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Yummy eats, entertainment and arts and crafts - yes please!  Check out some of Arizona's farmers markets and what they have to offer. 

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Hollywood Costume at Phoenix Art Museum
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The Phoenix Art Museum has once again brought a world-class art exhibit to the Valley.

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Lute Olson: Tucson Through My Eyes
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Legendary coach for The University of Arizona basketball team and Tucson legend, Lute Olson, shares his perspective on the town that rallied around him for so many memorable years.

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Experiencing L’Apothecary de Sedona
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A travel writer experiences the new L'Apothecary at L'Auberge de Sedona and discovers a new sense of tranquility. 

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Poking Around in Prescott
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A short 90-minute drive from Phoenix makes Prescott ideal for a quick day trip. Offering cooler weather, a wide range of shopping, dining and outdoor activities, Prescott is a destination every Phoenician should experience.

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Explore the Beautiful and Adventurous Verde Valley
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The Verde Valley Region becoming more and more known for its flourishing wine region, colorful landscapes and a wide variety of adventurous activities.

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SCORE! Salt Lake City Family Nets Phoenix Suns Sweepstakes Giveaway
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The Mataali family explores Arizona during a fun weekend getaway to esacpe the cold of Utah and catch the red hot Phoenix Suns. 

 

 

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Hiking Home to Tucson
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March 24: Ten days after I began the Arizona Trail Trek, I was alone on the trail for the first time.


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Discover the Majestic Navajoland
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When making your Arizona travel plans, consider visiting what many call the world's best kept secret for an unforgettable experience.

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A Moment in Time
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"Photography is my passion and I continue to learn something new every time I pick up my camera."

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Cycle Year-Round With Some of Arizona’s Best Group Rides
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Get the lowdown on different cycling groups in Arizona!  

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Alice Cooper: Why I Think Arizona Rocks
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Learn about the man behind the music and his fabulous life in Arizona. 

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The Arizona Trail Trek
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Celebrating the Trail and Connecting Gateway Communities one Step at a Time.

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Year of the (Arabian) Horse in Scottsdale
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The 59th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has it all – food, fun and stuffed Corgi’s. 


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Arizona Grown Celebrity - Channing Frye
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Get to know Channing Frye the Phoenix Suns Basketball Player and native Arizonan. 

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A Trip Down Butterfly Lane
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Butterfly Wonderland is a new Scottsdale attraction that has something for the whole family.

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Millin' around Arizona
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Looking for new places to explore while on Mill Avenue? Here are a few fun suggestions from a local Sun Devil.  

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Running on Sunlight
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Touring the state of Arizona for free in an electric car is the ultimate way to travel.

 


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From Educator to Photographer
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Tim Johnson, the January photo contest winner, shares his story about his inspiration to become a photographer and capturing the "golden hour."

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Top Pick for a Quick Trip: Cottonwood and the Verde Canyon Railroad
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Five things to see and do in Cottonwood.

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A Unique Perspective
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Our December photo contest winner talks about how the Arizona skies and inspired his winning image.

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Uncork a Great Getaway in Sedona
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A Wisconsin native and Arizona transplant shows some friends from back home why Arizona is a home like no other. 

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Growing Up in the Arizona Arts
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An Arizona native gives her top picks for can't miss performing arts around the Valley.

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An "Extremely" Fun Flagstaff Adventure
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One Arizona resident is physically challenged to the max at the new treetop attraction in Flagstaff. 

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The “Real Deal” North Pole Experience
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It isn't the holiday season without a visit to the North Pole.

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I Break For Sunsets
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Arizona has beauty so powerful that even residents often find themselves awestruck and speechless.

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Parker: Water, Water Everywhere
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If you're looking for a relaxing weekend getaway, Parker might just be calling your name.

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Tucson, Biosphere 2 and Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
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Celebrating my husband's birthday in mid-October was the perfect excuse to enjoy a weekend getaway to Southern Arizona, enjoying the Tucson area’s beautiful weather and exploring its unique things to see and do.

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It’s Easy to Paint the Town Red in Oak Creek and Sedona
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Four ways to get a taste of Oak Creek and Sedona.

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Creepy Crawlies in New River
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This month's photo contest winner recounts his experience in capturing images of the Black Widow spider. 

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A Day of Fun at Out of Africa
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Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! At Out of Africa Wilderness Park, there's a little something for everyone to enjoy!

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History and Hauntings in Phoenix: Hotel San Carlos
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Hotel San Carlos provides a beautiful and pleasantly haunting experience for a Phoenix native and her husband.

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Pinetop Impresses with Mix of Culture and Outdoor Adventure
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Pinetop-Lakeside offers an abundance of fun for city dwellers and adventure lovers alike. 

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Boyce Thompson Arboretum
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Boyce Thompson Arboretum provides a pleasant escape just an hour away from the valley. 

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Exploring Enchantment in Sedona
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Our "Pin It 2 Win It" contest winner Adele recounts her amazing adventures at Enchantment Resort in Sedona.

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Flagstaff Tour de Food: 5 Dining Options for Making the Most of Your Culinary Experience
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As a college student, what do you do with the little to no money that you have in your wallet? Eat!

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The Grandest of Canyons
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The Grand Canyon has a magical way of inspiring everyone who explores its mysteries.

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Natural Beauty at Fossil Creek
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The August monthly photo contest winner talks about her love of Fossil Creek.

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Arizona is Not a Food Desert
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An avid traveler and Arizona resident discovers that Arizona is home to several unique culinary experiences. 

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Road trippin’ to Williams: Bearizona and the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel
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The Grand Canyon provides fun and adventure for a valley resident and her mother.

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Afternoon At The Museum
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An Arizona couple rediscovers their childhood love of games at a local museum.

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A Calling To the Cathedral
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Sedona is a magical place, no doubt. For one Arizona resident it has changed his perspective and brought inspiration and peace.

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Local and Flavorful: 4 Great Mexican Restaurants in Metro Phoenix
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What's your favorite genre of food? For a Phoenix resident, Mexican food is number one on her list.

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In Praise of Some B&Bs
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From Flagstaff to Snowflake, an Arizona resident knows her B&Bs.

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The Phoenician is as much a family resort as it is a luxury one.
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There is more than meets the eye for a Phoenix resident's family staycation experience at the Phoenician Resort.

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Artfully Local
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Enjoying the beauty of art, an Arizona resident enjoys visiting art museums in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

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Capturing the City
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How far will you go? An Arizona native goes to great lengths to capture the perfect picture.

 

 

 

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A July 4th Experience to Remember
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Still looking for a fun Fourth of July event? Here are some of our favorites that you're sure to enjoy!

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Paddling & Prickly Pear Gelato
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A day spent on Canyon Lake with her father makes an Arizona resident remember how relaxing simple pleasures can be.

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A Breathtaking Birthday
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A Tempe resident recounts a birthday on horseback with an adventure at Fort McDowell.

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Hitting the Calm Waters of Bartlett Lake
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It was a typically beautiful weekend in Phoenix, so a friend and I packed up a picnic lunch and headed out for some canoeing on Bartlett Lake—located about an hour northeast from town. And it was so much fun!

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Beauty in the Garden
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The May photo contest winner, Lori Tuell, recounts her day at the Desert Botanical Garden's butterfly exhibit and what keeps her passionate about photography in Arizona.

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A Girlfriends Getaway to Remember
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What’s the first thing you do when a friend comes to town that’s never been to Arizona? Girls road trip! With her bags already packed from her flight from New York, we decided to hit the road.

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Talking Stick Resort and Casino Staycation
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A Phoenician couple finds rest, relaxtion and a bit of excitement during a recent Arizona staycation. 

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Get Your Yoga Fix in AZ
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An Arizona native shares the myriad of unique yoga events and locales found in Arizona.

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Anthem After the Storm
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The winner of the April photo contest talks about his love of photography and how a hobby became a business.

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It’s Breakfast Time in Gilbert
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The sun is rising. The sky is blue. And your stomach is loudly calling for the most important meal of the day. There are a million great breakfast destinations in Arizona, but none are quite like Gilbert, AZ.

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Camping Under the Stars
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An Arizona transplant relives the glory days with college friends in an untamed neck of the Arizona woods.

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Bisbee: A Doggone Fun, Friendly and Funky Getaway
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A Michigan-native enjoys a getway in Bisbee

 

 

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A Peaceful Day at Oak Creek
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A Phoenician and his daughter find serenity exploring West Fork Trail in Oak Creek.

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Going Up North: An Urbanite’s Perfect Weekend in Flagstaff
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An urbanite shares her favorite spots for dining and lodging in Flagstaff

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Perfect Weekend Getaway in Prescott
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A couple finds relaxation and fun in Prescott for the weekend.

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Spring Training Family Fun
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A family enjoys a fun spring training game in Scottsdale

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5 Surprising Family Friendly Activities in Greater Phoenix
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When you’re a family, particularly one with young children, you begin to plan your outings and adventures around how easily you can maneuver a stroller and whether or not the restrooms have changing tables in them.

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A Cultural Tour of Fountain Hills, Arizona
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An Arizona native finds unique entertainment and an evening of arts and culture in Fountain Hills. 

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Day Trip to Sedona with a Surprise Stop at Montezuma Castle
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An Arizona native returns to the state and explores local favorites like Montezuma Castle.  

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Winter in Arizona: A Snowboarding Dream Come True
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An Arizona Resident enjoys a snowboarding trip to Sunrise.

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Experiencing the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the First Time
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An Arizona resident experiences the Phoenix Open for the first time and discovers that this event is more than just golf.

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Cottonwood Calling: Exploring the Charming Vineyards and Shops of the Verde Valley
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An Arizona native finds excitement discovering a new town serving fine wines and warm Arizona hospitality.

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The Quest for Saguaro Cactus in Southern Arizona
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An Arizona resident  hosts a group of friends southward to explore the mighty Saguaro while camping at Catalina State Park.

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Arizona: A Food Lover's Paradise
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A self-titled foodie from Canada comes to Arizona and is pleasantly surprised by the epicurian delights that she discovers.

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Tucson: The Land Where Saguaro Cacti Rule Supreme
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A world traveler makes the trek to Tucson where she finds unexpected beauty and gourmet surprises. 

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Capturing Arizona
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The December photo contest winner is a young Arizonan who found her passion early on for photography and desert wildlife.  

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Living the Arizona Experience
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A travel professional is amazed by the beauty and natural energy found in Arizona's iconic settings.

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2013 New Year’s Resolutions
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All of the staff at the Arizona Office of Tourism extend best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2013 and invite you to include in your New Year’s Resolutions a trip to Arizona on this year’s Bucket List.To encourage those resolutions, we share with you 13 Top Favorites (out of hundreds) to visit:

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A Journey Through Antelope Canyon
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Antelope Canyon is a mezmerizing slot canyon that makes the bucket list of amazing places to see in Arizona.

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Southern Arizona: The 36-Hour Road Trip
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A returning Arizona native treks out of the Phoenix area down to Southern Arizona and has an adventure like none other. 

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A Photographer’s Journey in the Superstition Mountains
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Inspring words on photography in the Southwest from our November photo contest winner, Kelly Ford.

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Bisbee in the "Shade"
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An local tourism professional enjoys one of her favorite getaways down south and is reminded why this Arizona destination remains a favorite. 

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All Aboard the Polar Express™!
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One Arizona family discovers the magic of the holiday season by boarding the Polar Express. 

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A Different Point of View
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A Phoenician rediscovers the mystique and rich history of Jerome, AZ.

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Strawberries in Strawberry: A cool sanctuary
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An Arizona resident finds serenity and strawberries in the charming town of Strawberry, AZ

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The Tucson Desert Feels Just Like Home
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A Phoenician rediscovers the comforts of home on a recent Tucson getaway.

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Exploring Eastern Arizona
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The annual Safford Salsa Fest attracts a local couple to a new and inspring corner of Arizona.

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Time To Relax in Sedona
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An Arizona couple finds a much needed sanctuary amid the Sedona red rocks.  

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Take It Outside: Arizona Provides Patio Dining without Sacrifice
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Al fresco dining is one of the best ways to experience the relaxing climate found in Arizona. This resident rounds up some of her favorite patios to unwind on.

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Lost in Greenlee County
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This Arizona resident discovers more than just a new corner of Arizona by embracing the art of getting lost.

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Phoenix Light Rail, One Destination at a Time
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An Arizona resident describes his unique journey through the city via the Metro light rail.

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Rock With Heart
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The August 2012 photo contest winner, Cindy, talks about how she produced her winning image and her experience in Canyon de Chelly.

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An Escape to the Arizona Pines
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An annual Labor Day trip reminds this native why Arizona is the best place to unwind, get outdoors and enjoy quality time with friends and family. 

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Historic Prescott, AZ
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An Arizona travel professional ventures to Prescott and is treated to a town filled with character, history and timeless charm.

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Family Vacation in Arizona: Exploring the South Rim
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A native resident finds awe and beauty at the South Rim on an annual family retreat.

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Tonto Natural Bridge: An Unexpected Arizona Road Trip
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The Tonto Natural Bridge was one of the natural wonders I’d hoped to experience upon moving to Arizona.

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The Wonderment of the Grand Canyon
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An Arizona resident takes her daughter to experience the power of the Canyon for the first time and finds herself still amazed by its beauty.

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The Grapes and Ghosts of Arizona: A Road Trip to Jerome
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This native Phoenician recounts a memorable roadtrip to Jerome that left a lasting impression.

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Capturing Red Rock Beauty
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A professional photographer, and our July photo contest winner, describes why Arizona is such a special place to photograph. 

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Historic Yuma Arizona Has Newfound Fun For Everyone
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An Arizona resident makes a case for why Yuma is so cool!  

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Unearthing Bisbee – A getaway to the Copper Queen Mine
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Discover a sense of awe and intrigue found only at the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ.

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Journey Across the Hopi Mesas
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A trip to the Hopi Indian Reservation gives this Arizona native a unique perspective on her home state's rich culture and heritage. 

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A Round Up of Arizona’s Historic Rodeos
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Arizona is the home of the first rodeo, and with several of them scattered across the state at different times of the year, there’s always a place to kick up some fun and sample world-famous local fare.

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Arizona Spas: Relax and Enjoy Your Moment
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Read about one of Arizona's premier spas offering rejuvination for the mind, body and soul. 

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Big Adventures in Small Towns
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Arizona's Awe Inspiring Canyons
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A Chapel on the Rocks
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Our May photo contest winner describes why Arizona has inspired her to capture more images and why Sedona is so special to her.

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Red Rock Panorama: Bell Rock Trail in Sedona
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Our April photo contest winner describes a perfect day for photography in Sedona on the Bell Rock Trail.

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From Corona Ranch to Province, Take your Phoenix Patio Pick
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A resident of downtown Phoenix discovers two charming patios nestled in the city offering their own distinct ambiance.

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The Spring Spawn at Roosevelt Lake
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This Arizona native describes why fishing on Roosevelt Lake is her favorite way to escape bustling city life and discover one of Arizona's treasures.

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Lively Sunday: Mountain Biking on Papago Mountain
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A first-hand account of the challenges and rewards of mountain biking through Papago Mountain.   

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Sunsets and Sunrises
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Ronald Pelton, our March photo contest winner describes how from a young age he has been inspired by photography and why Arizona is his favorite place to shoot.  

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Blue Mesa
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Our February photo contest winner tells a personal story about being at the Painted Desert and what this photo means to her. 

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A Time of Reflection
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Our January photo contest winner, Jenalyn G., remembers the moments leading up to her experience at Watson Lake in Prescott, AZ.

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A Half, Full of Fun!
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Great weather and lots of motivation from the crowd, keeps this Arizona runner "in the race" at the recent PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon & Half Marathon.

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Sunset at Superstition Mountain
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Our December photo contest winner Jake C., of Glendale, AZ talks about capturing the mood in the Arizona desert.

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From Top to Bottom
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Arizona’s terrain is dramatic, so much so that towns list their elevation on road signs instead of population figures.

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An End to 11th Hour Gift Giving
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...and a beginning to one stop cheap and chic boutique shopping.

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Trip to the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon
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Our October Photo Contest winner writes about her trip to Antelope Canyon.

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‘Tis the season…to be dashing.
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To the runners of the world, there’s nothing quite like race day.

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It’s better in Tucson
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Several years ago I acquired a t-shirt that claims, “It’s better in Tucson.”

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Arizona Centennial Best Fest Series Kicks off in Prescott!
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Our first Arizona Best Fest is September 16-18! With several events and projects in place to commemorate our state’s Centennial year, we are excited to see our first big event become a reality.

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Announcing our August Photo Contest Winner!
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We're pleased to announce the winner of our August photo contest -

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Exploring Bearizona
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Discovering the beauty of wildlife…from the luxury of my car… at Bearizona drive-thru Wildlife Park.
“Mommy, can bears fly?”
“What?”
“Well, look up.”

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A Day Trip to Saguaro National Park
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Last month, I made the one-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix to Saguaro National Park because I wanted to squeeze in one more park visit before my Interagency Annual Pass expired. The park is divided into two districts and I visited the Tucson Mountain District, which is located on the west side of Interstate 10.

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Latin American Arts
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The painting of the black cat nestled in the arms of a man in an orange striped shirt on the outside of the Phoenix Art Museum caught my eye and I made a mental note that I had to see this exhibit. 

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A Visit to the White Mountains
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I just returned from a unique tour of the entire White Mountain region in eastern Arizona—Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Eagar, Greer, Springerville, Big Lake— which was impacted by the recent Wallow Wildfire. 

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Arizona Wine
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Arizona has a lot of hidden layers – a characteristic I've come to adore about the state. It seems to me that the award-winning, quaint, and rapidly growing wineries across Arizona are one of our many giant secret layers, which I'll admit - they're one tasty layer.

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Introducing AOT's New Photo Contest
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When traveling in Arizona, visitors soon discover that the scenery of this state lends itself incredibly well to starring in world class photos….even if the photographer is an amateur with a point and shoot camera.

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A Royal Staycation: Our Family Getaway at the Scottsdale Princess
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There is a rumor that Arizona is just too hot in the summer to enjoy our tourism assets…I say the summer may be THE best time to enjoy Arizona – and what better topic for my first blog post, right in the heart of summer?

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Introducing a Brand-New Way to Experience Arizona!
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Welcome to the Arizona travel blog – where we’ll share what’s new across the state.

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     Tell us what you love about Arizona. We’re always looking for contributors to share engaging posts about their unique and diverse experiences in the Grand Canyon State. To be considered, simply submit your information here.

 

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     A picture's worth 1,000 words - and a whole lot more with our Photo Contest.
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