Arizona Hidden Gems: 7 Lesser-Known Attractions Worth Visiting After Concerts

Arizona Hidden Gems: 7 Lesser-Known Attractions Worth Visiting After Concerts


If you’ve ever been to some Arizona city or explored some of the well-known or lesser-known attractions, you already know why people love this US state. And while we all know about the Grand Canyon and Sedona, some people want to explore beyond commercial destinations to discover equally captivating places. 

But if you’ve never been to Arizona and you plan on visiting it soon, you’ll surely find this hidden gems guide really helpful for your upcoming trip. 

The places we list in this article make an ideal adventure for you, especially if you’re into unique spots, far away from the loud AZ music festivals and big cities’ busy streets. 

So, let’s get there:

1. Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kartchner Caverns State Park is located about 9 miles from the town of Benson. In addition to beautiful paths and the opportunity to enjoy nature, you will find the longest soda straw stalactites in these caverns. You can explore this part in less than two hours and learn interesting information about the discoveries made near the caverns.

As you go deeper, you will be amazed every moment at how powerful nature is. Imagine all those cave formations, be they stalactites and stalagmites, contrasted with the mostly desert landscape above ground.

Although short, this adventure is a really interesting addition to your Arizona trip.

2. Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is another place worth adding to your bucket list. It is located on Navajo land east of LeChee. Note that Navajo Parks and Recreation protect this section and can only be visited on organized guided tours.

Due to centuries of water erosion, the canyon’s walls are twisted and swirled, making this destination great for photographers who want a surreal experience. Of course, you have to book a tour in time because they sell out in no time.

The canyon consists of six separate sections known as The Crack or Upper Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Canyon X, Owl Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon, and of course, The Corkscrew or Lower Antelope Canyon. In order not to miss these beauties, reserve tickets online for your Antelope Canyon tour in time, even several months in advance.

3. Tonto Natural Bridge Park

Tonto Natural Bridge Park is another natural masterpiece of Arizona and is believed to be the largest travertine bridge in the world. It is located north of the city of Payson. If you love unique nature, you will surely enjoy the beautiful geological formations and the calming effect of this park.

We must emphasize that the route is quite challenging, so you should be physically ready for the challenge. It is a two-hour hike, but some parts can tire you out. Still, it’s worth doing, especially if you’re determined to explore Arizona’s hidden gems and lesser-known attractions.

4. Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly is one of the most significant natural monuments in Arizona. It is located on Navajo tribal lands, and although it looks almost like any other canyon in AZ, it still has some unique aspects.

In fact, pieces of authentic Navajo people’s history, historical sites, ancient cliffs, and rock art are preserved here. All these parts bear witness to the rich history of the region. And while we’re all familiar with Navajo life, these hidden treasures give us a unique chance to glimpse parts of Arizona that we can’t find in urban jungles and big cities.

Also, this testifies to the unfortunate events of the 19th century when violent troops conquered the place and made havoc among the Navajo people and their goods and homes. That’s why it’s worth visiting this beautiful place because Canyon de Chelly is a monument to both nature and the history of Arizona.

5. Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave is located in the Coconino National Forest and is possibly one of the longest volcanic lava caves ever to pass through. If you are a fan of underground adventure and really well-hidden gems surrounded by mystery, then this is the place you are looking for.

Although Lava River Cave is an exciting element of your Arizona trip plan, keep in mind that you should bring appropriate clothing and a flashlight. In order to explore the intriguing lava formations, you need to have the right equipment so that you first don’t get cold, and then you can see clearly where you are going.

You can plan the adventure yourself because Lava River Cave is open to the public, and you can enjoy the surroundings.

6. Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater is located at the Barringer Space Museum in Winslow, Arizona. You’ll discover the best-preserved meteorite impact spot on Earth when you get close enough. More than 50,000 years ago, an iron asteroid hit the Earth in what is now North America and left a huge crater. The diameter of the meteor was about 50 meters or 160 feet, but the formation had a diameter of 1,186 km or 0,737 miles.

Many people think that it is just an ordinary crater, but the fact is that it is a very significant part of Earth’s history. Typically, you will need about 2 hours to explore the crater from all sides. Be careful because descent into the crater is not allowed. On the other hand, you have a museum, a shop, and an astronaut wall, which is really cool to photograph.

7. Mystery Castle

Mystery Castle is located near Phoenix and is truly one of the most mysterious places you will visit. It is a unique architectural wonder built in a very eccentric style. It was created by Boyce Luther Gulley and built for his daughter Mary Lou Gulley. All this was happening in the 1930s, and he used cheap and recycled materials. Boyce’s daughter and wife inherited the property but quickly noticed that the building was attracting a lot of attention from tourists and passers-by.

Although parts of the castle were never finished, visitors are amazed at how materials such as sand, cement, milk, stone, and even scavenged parts are incorporated into the building.

Unfortunately, this castle is often the target of vandals, so it would be good to find out if it is open for visits when you are looking for the best Arizona hidden gems.

Wrapping Up the Arizona Hidden Gems Experience

Arizona is a place that blends modern life with the authentic spirit of rich history. Hidden parts not known to the public enrich your experience. Therefore, do not miss the places that you can visit.

Whether you’re on a spiritual journey or want to enjoy the luxury of Arizona, all the places on our list will offer you an incredible travel experience. You just have to choose the one that you like the most.

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