More Than Meets the Eye: Arizona

When most Americans set out for a vacation, they usually go to places like New York City, California, or Florida. All of these are popular tourist destinations in the United States, and for good reason. They are all fun, upbeat places to go, but, for some of us, they are much too crowded. Sometimes people go to the mountains or plains of the United States, but perhaps you’re tired of the same tourist destination, and are a bit sick of the endless plains themselves. Fortunately, there are plenty of other destinations in the United States that aren’t as crowded as New York City and California, and can offer something much more interesting than the plains and the mountains. Such a destination would be Arizona.

Arizona is one of the Southwest states in America, that has a population of 6.6 million people. After World War II, there was a significant increase in their population, and they have become quite the thriving state. Most of us wouldn’t really think of Arizona as an ideal tourist place, but the pleasant truth is that this rather obscure state has much to offer. It is more than “just the Grand Canyon,” and offers the peace and serenity only a desert can offer. It is breathtakingly beautiful, incredibly scenic, and the local Arizonans themselves are friendly and kind. If you’re looking for a low-key place to relax, this is certainly the place.

First and foremost, many people do not consider the Native American tribes that reside in Arizona. The most prominent one is called Hopi.The Hopi people actually originated in Arizona, and have stayed there for many hundreds of years. Their culture is rich and engaging, and offers artistic expression unlike anything else. Their people are well-known for being kind and welcoming, and enjoying their lifestyle. They have many artists who will work on their art in front of you – completing things such as baskets and vases in plain sight. They enjoy their work, and their art works to symbolize their culture. Since they actively work to preserve their culture, they still have many authentic cultural things that they practice. Besides their art, they encourage their people to stick to their ancestral upbringing, and pursue the same interests that their previous family members have. When you visit a village, you will be amazed at the authentic culture and incredible art that their people offer.

Another attraction that many are unaware of are the ancient petroglyphs that are nearly everywhere in Arizona. Petroglyphs are rock-wall drawings that represent many things: war, love, passion, hate, prosperity, and religious beliefs. These beautiful petroglyphs date back thousands of years, when the Hopi people wandered and left them in many different places. They are stunning and vary in size; some are quite small, while others are quite large. Either way, they are beautiful and symbolic, and something that everyone should experience.

Perhaps one of the most famous attractions is, of course, the Grand Canyon. Fortunately, it is famous for a reason. It is stunning and offers exhilarating trails, views, and serenity. It also offers mule rides down to the bottom and back up. It is an experience that everyone should partake of.

This year, get out of the city and the popular tourist destinations. Instead, head for somewhere quiet, but stimulating. Arizona is the place to go.