Kartchner Caverns State Park named Best Arizona Attraction

Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, London Bridge and Prescott in top five

Arizona's natural attractions – especially the majestic Grand Canyon – have long been a draw to adventure travelers from around the world. But the Copper State has plenty more to offer beyond its red rocks and deep gorges. Old West towns, ancient ruins and engineering marvels rank among its top attractions. What are your must-visit spots in Arizona?

  • Sedona

    Situated in the heart of Arizona's red rock country, spiritually charged and intensely stunning Sedona holds its own against the national parks as one of Arizona's most beautiful destinations. The town is home to numerous smaller attractions worthy in their own right, including the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Devil's Bridge Trail, Bell Rock and the numerous other natural features of Oak Creek Canyon.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Tombstone

    The Wild West is on full display in the town of Tombstone, situated 70 miles southeast of Tucson. Legends like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday walked these very streets where the storied O.K. Corral still stands. This former silver mining boomtown is today one of Arizona's most popular day trip destinations, with the feel of a Hollywood movie set.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Historic Downtown Flagstaff
    Flagstaff

    Flagstaff is a fun combination of charming mountain town, funky college town and outdoorsman's home base. It's also a railroad town, and the 1900s-era historic downtown area has a haunted hotel, lots of cool bars and great, affordable shopping.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Grand Canyon National Park

    A mile deep, up to 18 miles wide and snaking for some 277 river miles, the sheer size and scope of the Grand Canyon has inspired travelers since before it was awarded federal protection in 1893. Carved away by the Colorado River over billions of years, the canyon is truly a sight to behold, whether from the rim or from the river in its depths, and the park is also home to some of the nation's most historic national park lodges.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Apache Trail
    Apache Junction

    One of Arizona's most scenic drives, the Apache Trail winds for 150 miles through what Theodore Roosevelt once described as "the most awe-inspiring and most sublimely beautiful panorama nature ever created." Sights along the way include the jagged Superstition Mountains, Goldfield Ghost Town and Lost Dutchman State Park.
    Photo courtesy of ApacheTrailAZ.com

  • Prescott

    The first capital of Arizona Territory, Prescott remains a popular destination thanks to its 19th-century, New England-style architecture and turn-of-the-century saloons along Whisky Row. More than 700 homes and businesses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Natural beauty surrounds the town, situated within ponderosa pine-filled Prescott National Forest.
    Photo courtesy of Ken Lund / Flickr

  • London Bridge
    Lake Havasu

    The famed bridge of nursery rhyme fame needed a new home after it began sinking into the Thames River in London during the early 20th century. Lake Havasu city founder Robert P. McCulloch placed the winning bid, and the bridge was meticulously dismantled and rebuilt in its current Arizona home.
    Photo courtesy of Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    Tucson

    Part museum, part zoo and part botanical garden, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum comprises 98 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape with two miles of walking paths where it's possible to spot some 242 animal species. A highlight is the half-mile Desert Loop Trail, where hikers encounter javelinas, lizards and coyotes in enclosures that closely mimic their natural habitats.
    Photo courtesy of Jay Pierstorff / Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

  • Desert Botanical Garden
    Phoenix

    A must-see in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden includes 55 cultivated acres showcasing more than 50,000 plant specimens – one of the world's most important collections of arid flora. Five themed trails facilitate exploration of the world's desert climates and the adaptations animals and humans have made to survive in these sometimes harsh environments.
    Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden

  • Kartchner Caverns State Park
    Benson

    Two local explorers stumbled upon Kartchner Caverns in 1974 and revealed the existence of the caves to the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, in 1978. Now a state park, this impressive cavern system continues to "grow" as dripping water deposits minerals on the existing formations. Features include Kubla Khan, the tallest column in Arizona, as well as one of the world's longest soda straw stalactites.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Christine Keith

We asked 10Best readers to vote for their favorites from a pool of 20 nominees, and the results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best Arizona Attraction are as follows:

  1. Kartchner Caverns State Park - Benson
  2. Desert Botanical Garden - Phoenix
  3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - Tucson
  4. London Bridge - Lake Havasu
  5. Prescott 
  6. Apache Trail - Apache Junction
  7. Grand Canyon National Park
  8. Historic Downtown Flagstaff
  9. Tombstone
  10. Sedona

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Nora Burba Trulsson, Scott Craven (AZCentral.com) and Patricia Escarcega (@piescarcega) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Arizona.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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