Senior Travel to Sunny Arizona

Nov 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Arizona’s nickname “The Grand Canyon State” celebrates its most famous natural feature, the Grand Canyon. Arizona’s other nickname “Copper State” celebrates its fabulous mineral wealth. First-time visitors will find a wide array of things to do that will peak your senses with this One Stop URL.

Arizona is famous for the Sonoran Desert loaded with giant saguaro cactus, the Grand Canyon, historical cities like Douglas, Bisbee, Jerome, Sedona, Sierra Vista, Yuma and Tombstone, each loaded with a rich history. Phoenix is the capital and largest city in Arizona, as well as the fifth most populated city in the United States, making it the most populous state capital.

  The 2000 US census gave the population of Phoenix, Arizona as 1,321,045. Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale is comprised of 18 closely knit cities and towns with a combined population of 4,023,331 (2009).

The Valley of the Sun features many exciting museums, world-class resorts and restaurants, shopping malls that are unmatched in any state and a golfer’s paradise. Arizona golf dominates the Valley of the Sun, so if you’re a player, be sure to pack your clubs. With the total number of golf courses totaling 250+ Phoenix golf courses are renowned as some of the world’s best golf destinations. No wonder the state is so full of the proverbial “snowbirds“.

It is estimated that 400,000 snowbirds come to AZ each winter and for good reason. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the state abounds in good weather and a plethora of visitor sites that will keep busy all year round. Snowbirds say thay spend the winter in the Phoenix area because you don’t have to shovel sunshine! Senior Citizen Journal is located in sunny Arizona; I check the low temperatures daily in the upper midwest this time of year, walk outside, look up at the clear blue sky and smile. I do love clouds too as they are a rarity here.

Scottsdale, “the West’s Most Western Town” sports a vibrant downtown which is considered the finest urban center in Arizona. It is home to more than 90 restaurants, 320 retail shops and more than 80 art galleries. As you approach Scottsdale from any direction you will see their welcoming sign that reads: “Welcome to Scottsdale the Most Livable City” and was given this title by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It is also known as the #1 city in America for resorts. (Incidentally, for your information the “official food” here is chili, and it’s darn hot.) For those that have visited Scottsdale, most come away thinking it is a pretty great place.

The weather is outstanding, the shopping is bar none and the restaurants and social scene leave little to be desired. Add to this all of the outdoor activities, concerts, sporting events and most don’t ever want to leave. Someone asked me recently what the major draw to Phoenix was for jobs. I had to think about that one. I discovered that manufacturing and tourism, traditionally the base of the city’s economy, continue to be important to Phoenix. Major industrial products manufactured by companies located in the metropolitan area include aircraft parts, electronic equipment, agricultural chemicals, radios, air-conditioning equipment, leather goods, and native American crafts. The solar panel industry has grown exponentially and is now a major employer and there are lot of manufacturers. First Solar is the world’s largest thin-film solar panel producer.

Bustling city or silent mountains? Warm desert or snowy peaks? In Arizona, the choice is yours – and nowhere else will you find so much to choose from. With five distinct regions, dozens of national and state parks – including the Grand Canyon – and hundreds of towns and cities, the landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful. Born and raised in Iowa I still remember coming down off the Mogollon Rim near Flagstaff and seeing for the first time in my life saguaro cactus. They just suddenly appear one at a time and then hundreds and then thousands as one approaches Phoenix.

It takes time to learn to love the desert but as Frank Lloyd Wright wrote…”Living in the desert is a spiritual cathartic that many people need, I being one.” It’s true. It takes some time to grow into the desert environment, but talk to any snowbird and they will tell you that the Valley of the Sun is where you want to be, especially in the winter. Many like it so well, like me, that they choose to stay and make Arizona their home.

Down here there is an expression that reads: Avoid Hibernation. Arizona Your Fall and Winter Paradise! So here’s a trivia question for you: “What color is the star in the center of the State Flag of Arizona?” (answer at the bottom of this blog)

So seniors, take a sunrise hike amid awe-inspiring scenery. Tour thousand-year-old ruins. Spy a rare hummingbird along a tranquil riverside–there are fourteen varieties. Just be aware of the “Malevolently Handsome” Western Diamondback or a sleepy scorpion that may linger in the desert. Being from Iowa, this was all new to me. Come and soak up some sunshine in January. There’s no shortage of things to do. Driving to AZ? From Route 66 to Oak Creek Canyon to the Apache Trail Historic Road, AZ is home to dozens of noteworthy roads, byways and historic loops that are perfect for a driving tour. Depending on where you drive, your road trip could feature dizzying climbs, hairpin turns, steep cliffs or all three – particularly on some of AZ’s historic highways, many of which date back to the early part of the century and have since been bypassed by modern interstates. But no matter where you go, you’re sure to spy sprawling expanses of nature and stunning panoramic views.

Love history? Check out here how Phoenix got its name. AZ is full of history and much of it is “living history” with many Native American tribes who live as their ancestors did a century or so ago. Human experience, occupation and industry in what is now Arizona can be traced back at least 12,000 years. Anthropologists have identified several groups of these earliest occupants including the Anasazi, Hohokam, Mogollon and Salado people. At museums and Indian ruin sites throughout the state, visitors may see structures built by these people and artifacts made by them. Come see us and visit one of our 28 state parks.

Visitor’s Guide is available on this site.     jeb 

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