America’s southwest is home to lots of jaw-dropping scenery so how do you decide where to go and what to see? The sheer variety of America’s landscapes make it a fascinating and awe-inspiring place to explore. Of all its corners and regions, the southwestern states most capture the spirit of expansive freedom inherent in American Western lore. We listed 5 places to visit on a southwestern U.S vacation.
1. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix’s warm, dry climate attracts sun-lovers and those looking to escape the snow and cold during the winter months. The city offers abundant arts and cultural attractions, historic neighborhoods, as well as shopping, dining, and an outstanding selection of resorts and hotels. Many people come here simply to enjoy the outdoors. Golfing is one of the top things to do in Phoenix, but you’ll also find opportunities for hiking, biking, and climbing. Urban living in Downtown Phoenix has never been more vibrant, easy or in-demand. Find a variety of Phoenix Homes for Sale including single-family, townhomes, lofts, historic homes and condominiums, right in the center of it all.
2. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Just beneath the Chihuahuan Desert and the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico lies a true hidden treasure at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. On the surface this area looks deceptively normal; in fact, it’s hard to imagine that under this bleak stretch of landscape, there exists a spectacular world of exquisite beauty. Visitors are taken via elevator, 75 stories underground to an illuminated walkway where hundreds of formations are unveiled, including some that resemble ocean waves, soda straws and even the face of a mountain troll. The park is home to over 300 known caves, with more discovered every year.
3. Holbrook, Arizona
In Holbrook, you can visit the real west where tumbleweed still blows into town off the desert. Attend a rodeo, where sometimes the cowboys are mostly Indians or sign on for a tour of a working ranch. If riding and roping isn’t your thing, plan on a tour of ancient Indian rock art sites, a hay-ride across the desert as evening arrives, and a real country cookout dinner.
Travelers come here to enjoy the famous red rocks. Hundreds of hiking trails and Jeep tours will lead you to some fantastic vistas, while a trip to Red Rock State Park will fully immerse you in crimson. But there’s more to Sedona than geology; get a taste for the town’s history by visiting the Palatki Heritage Site. And for a glimpse of the area’s New Age culture, stop in at one of the many crystal-toting shops or art galleries at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village (many of these stores also offer maps to the infamous vortexes).
5. Ely, Nevada
In Ely, you can take a train ride back in time. At the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, they offer several different regularly scheduled train rides aboard a 1900s-style train. The rides are 90 minutes long, and the museum also offers special night rides and themed rides for different occasions, such as the Polar Express during the wintertime and a haunted ghost train near Halloween.