Affordable Arizona

By | Category: Travel destinations

Grand Canyon

We have come to accept that if we want to get away for some warmth in the height of summer we are going to have to pay higher prices. Out-of-season and its cheaper. But that doesn’t apply to Arizona. Why?
Probably because it is too hot. But it is a dry heat so it is more bearable than if you had the same temperatures on a coast or by water. Whatever the reason, accommodation providers drop their prices over what we would consider our peak summer period. Hotel rooms that cost $199 will now you cost you under $100 a night – say £60 – and $99 rooms in motels can be had for under $50. All will be air-conditioned and most will have swimming pools.
But now you’re in Arizona what can you do? The main city is Phoenix which comes across as a modern US city (I think that one of the oldest buildings dates back only to 1927) with typical shopping malls. That belittles it slightly because Phoenix is also one of the gateways to native American culture. The Heard and the Pueblo Grand Museum are good starting points for an understanding before you go and visit one of the twenty one tribes that inhabit the state.
Take the Hualapai Tribe. They are to be found about 250 miles north of the Phoenix in a wooded area bordering the Grand Canyon. Their name actually means people of the tall pines. Visiting them in the height of summer gives you a different view from the normal ruggedness of much of the Arizona landscape. For those of you who have only heard of Cherokees, Navajos and Apaches, there are so many more native American peoples to see and understand.
West of Phoenix you’ll find the Havasupai Indian Reservation. This is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the sort of scenery and landscape you are used to from watching western TV shows and films. The Grand Canyon itself, is one of the must see sights. There are helicopter trips over the top of the canyon and there is a train that goes from Williams into the canyon. Except as a tourist attraction train expect more pizzaz with a cowboy show to start off the daily trip.
As a national park the delicate ecology of the area is protected and you, as a visitor, are expected to abide by the rules. If you drive through expect to pay a $25 fee. As a cyclist or walker the charge is $12and $8 on the train in addition to the fare. Expect also that it can get busy in the summer.
There are direct flights from London into Phoenix on British Airways but there are indirect flights from regional airports in the UK and Ireland on a number of other carriers.
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image courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism

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