Big Cities & Small Towns

Ajo Street Art
Vibrant Street Art, Ajo

Arizona’s Cities and Urban Scene

Cities

Arizona’s cities and towns offer a treasure trove of distinctive experiences worth discovering. Many visitors find it easiest to start their trip in one of Arizona's larger urban areas before branching out to nearby cities.

Phoenix

Arizona’s major city and the fifth most populated city in the United States, Phoenix is vast. It includes the posh resorts and green golf courses of Scottsdale, Tempe’s lively college-town vibes, arts-friendly Mesa and pro-sports hub Glendale, several American Indian tribal lands, and the suburban cities of Chandler and Gilbert.

Located in central Arizona within the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix (the Valley of the Sun) serves as the perfect hub for many a Grand Canyon State trip. The convenience of flights to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport also make it an attractive starting point.


Camelback Mountain, Phoenix
Camelback Mountain, overlooking Phoenix
Hotel Congress, Tucson
Hotel Congress in Tucson.

Tucson

Nicknamed the Old Pueblo, the city of Tucson in southern Arizona is renowned for its Spanish-style architecture, Mexican culture and a culinary scene that earned it the title of UNESCO’s first City of Gastronomy.

Tucson wows with its desert landscape—especially the iconic saguaro cactus—and the mountains visible from virtually anywhere in the city. Go hiking in the morning and then head downtown to shop, eat and play at the city’s many local boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs.

Experience Arizona’s past less than two hours south in the towns of artsy Bisbee and Tombstone, home of the O.K. Corral. On the way, stop by the communities of Sonoita-Elgin or Willcox for wine-tasting with horizon-spanning views of the area’s grasslands.

San Francisco St in Downtown Flagstaff
Downtown Flagstaff.

Flagstaff

Grab your skis and hiking boots for a trip to this heavily forested mountain city with small-town charm. Flagstaff in northern Arizona is an outdoor playground with plenty of trails and parks—and for the craft beer enthusiasts, the Flagstaff Ale Trail provides a perfect alternative.

When you’re in these wooded lands, it’s great to be green. Ski through powdery snow; hike up, up, up to Arizona’s highest peak or down, down, down to the base of the Grand Canyon located a short drive away through Williams; ride on The Mother Road till you stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and simply take it easy.

Drive two hours northwest to the Verde Valley and the towns of Sedona, Jerome and Cottonwood, where you can shred the red rocks on a mountain bike or leisurely sip your way through the area’s award-winning wineries and tasting rooms.

Or head east into the forests of the White Mountains and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, hiking or boating. In the winter, rent a log cabin by the lake and watch the snowfall beside a crackling fireplace. (Yes! It snows in Arizona!)

Cities

Apache Junction

Relish the great outdoors. Flanked by the rugged superstition mountains, Apache Junction is a desert playground with a historic past.

Cities

Avondale

In the shadows of the Estrella Mountains, where the Agua Fria and Gila Rivers meet, Avondale encourages visitors to get out end enjoy peace...

Cities

Cave Creek

Quirky Cave Creek is hard to pigeonhole: motorcycle and horseback riders share Main Street with one-of-a-kind shops and saloons.

Cities

Chandler

One of the fastest-growing cities in the country, it's easy to see why Chandler is popular with residents and visitors alike.

Cities

Coolidge

Love a good mystery? Check out the awe-inspiring Casa Grande ruins, which continue to puzzle and amaze visitors in Coolidge.

Cities

Eloy

Experience the clear Sonoran desert skies like you've never done before - sky diving or floating in a hot air balloon over central Arizona.

Cities

Florence

Walk through historic Florence, where the clapboards of Victorian houses and hardened earth of adobe structures speak volumes about the...

Cities

Fountain Hills

A fountain may be what this city is most famous for, but it's the surrounding community that gives Fountain Hills life. Sitting just along...

Cities

Gilbert

Gilbert's popularity is booming. And it's no wonder: hip restaurants keep popping up in the revitalized downtown; nearby, the arts take...

Cities

Glendale

Glendale, a booming city just northwest of Phoenix, knows how to honor the past while loving today's thrills.

Cities

Goodyear

Catch a Cactus League Spring Training baseball game and enjoy desert living in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.