13 Things To Do in Arizona for Young Adults: Cool Activities for Millenials and Gen Z

by Flora
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Are you scouting for the coolest things to do in Arizona for young adults? You’re in the right spot! We’ve put together the ultimate guide to the must-see places that are a hit with millennials and Gen Z-ers eager for an unforgettable adventure in the Grand Canyon State.

Arizona marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s alive with dynamic landscapes and a rich tapestry of cultures, set against the backdrop of sprawling deserts, towering saguaros, and breathtaking canyons. This is a state where the adventures are as vast as the skies, from the thrilling trails of Camelback Mountain to the mystical vibes of Sedona.

Whether you’re kayaking down the Salt River or exploring the artsy streets of Tucson, or marveling at the engineering wonder of the Hoover Dam, Arizona is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered. Let’s dive into what makes AZ a popular destination for young adults!

The best things to do in Arizona for young adults right now

Top Things To Do in Arizona for Young Adults

In this guide, we’re zooming into the heart of Arizona, spotlighting the top picks for young adults. From outdoor escapades and cultural deep dives to the nightlife that keeps the desert alive after dark, gear up to discover all that Arizona has in store. Let’s kick off this journey!

1. Conquer the Grand Canyon

When it comes to epic things to do in Arizona for young adults, standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon is right at the top of the list. This natural wonder is an experience that envelops you. It offers endless adventures from hiking down to the Colorado River to catching a sunrise that paints the sky in a thousand colors.

The Grand Canyon offers a space to connect with nature and ponder life's profound questions in its awe-inspiring expanse.
The Grand Canyon offers a space to connect with nature and ponder life’s profound questions in its awe-inspiring expanse.

Raft the rapids of the mighty Colorado River, embark on a mule ride down steep trails, or soar over the vast expanse in a helicopter. Each adventure offers a new perspective on the canyon’s immense beauty and grandeur.

The Grand Canyon is a place where you can connect with nature and reflect on life’s big questions. Whether you’re camping under a canopy of stars or snapping photos of the ever-changing landscape, the Grand Canyon is a destination that embodies the spirit of exploration.

2. Explore Antelope Canyon

This place is unreal. It’s like nature decided to show off, carving out a slot canyon that’s all curves and colors. And when the sunlight hits just right? It’s like the walls light up from within. Seriously, it’s a photographer’s dream and an adventurer’s playground.

For anyone in Arizona looking to mix a little awe with adventure, Antelope Canyon is where it’s at. You’ll weave through these narrow paths, guided by folks who know all the secrets of the place, and every step has you face-to-face with some new, jaw-dropping view. The way the light plays with the shadows? It’s like stepping into another world.

Antelope Canyon caters to adventurers, photographers, and those seeking moments of awe, offering a truly majestic experience.
Antelope Canyon caters to adventurers, photographers, and those seeking moments of awe, offering a truly majestic experience.

A hidden gem in the Southwest, Antelope Canyon is a chance to really soak in the quiet beauty of one of Arizona’s most famous spots. It’s about taking a break from the noise, getting lost in the moment, and just marveling at what Mother Nature can whip up.

So, if you’re cruising around Arizona, make sure Antelope Canyon is on your list. Whether you’re all about hitting the trails, love snapping epic pics, or just want to stand in the middle of something truly majestic, Antelope Canyon’s got you covered. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

3. Sip at the Whiskey Row in Prescott

Ever heard of Whiskey Row in Prescott? If not, you’re in for a treat. This place is like stepping back in time to the Wild West, but with all the modern comforts you could want. It’s a whole street dedicated to bars, saloons, and live music venues that’ll have you feeling like a cowboy or cowgirl in no time.

Whiskey Row beckons young adults to immerse themselves in Prescott's vibrant scene and lively atmosphere.
Whiskey Row beckons young adults to immerse themselves in Prescott’s vibrant scene and lively atmosphere.

Back in the day, Whiskey Row was where all the action happened in Prescott. We’re talking about a place that was literally rebuilt from ashes after a fire in 1900, and it’s been the heart of the town’s nightlife ever since. The Palace Restaurant and Saloon? It’s both Arizona’s oldest bar and a living piece of history where you can grab a drink, catch some live tunes, and maybe even rub elbows with a ghost or two.

Whiskey Row is a spot where young adults can dive into Prescott’s vibrant scene. Find modern brewpubs and wine bars lining the street alongside the more traditional spots. Whether you’re in the mood for a craft beer, a local wine, or just a good old-fashioned whiskey, Whiskey Row’s got you covered.

4. Discover Sedona’s red rocks

Known as one of the best places to live in the Southwest, Sedona is like nowhere else on Earth. Picture towering red rock formations set against a backdrop of deep blue skies, and you’re only scratching the surface of what makes this place magical. For young adults venturing through Arizona, Sedona offers a mix of outdoor adventure, spiritual rejuvenation, and breathtaking scenery that’s hard to beat.

Hiking in Sedona is an absolute must. Trails like Cathedral Rock or Devil’s Bridge offer not just a workout but vistas that’ll have you stopping in your tracks just to soak it all in. And if you’re into mountain biking, the trails here will challenge you with their beauty as much as their terrain. To fully experience this gem’s vibe, stay in Sedona’s diverse range of unique accommodations.

Whether you crave adventure, spiritual enlightenment, or stunning Instagram shots, Sedona's red rocks offer an unforgettable experience.
Whether you crave adventure, spiritual enlightenment, or stunning Instagram shots, Sedona’s red rocks offer an unforgettable experience.

Sedona is also known for its vortex sites, thought to be swirling centers of energy that promote healing and meditation. Skeptic or a believer, visiting these spots, like Bell Rock or Airport Mesa, might just leave you feeling more centered and connected. Airport Mesa Overlook is a renowned spot for stargazing and one of the prime answers to where to visit in Sedona at night.

So, whether you’re seeking adventure, a spiritual awakening, or just some killer Instagram shots, Sedona’s red rocks await. It’s an experience that embodies the spirit of Arizona, inviting you to explore, reflect, and marvel at the natural world.

5. Stargaze in Flagstaff

Are you ready to visit a gateway to the cosmos? If so, welcome to Flagstaff. Nestled under some of the darkest skies in the country, this city offers young adults an unparalleled stargazing experience that’s both awe-inspiring and humbling. It’s one of the best things to do in Arizona at night.

Imagine wrapping up a day of exploration with a night under the stars, where the Milky Way stretches across the sky in a dazzling display of cosmic beauty. Flagstaff is home to the famous Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered. It’s a place where you can peer through telescopes to spy distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Enjoy its natural beauty by staying in Flagstaff’s plethora of accommodations and cabin rentals, each of which features on-site amenities like hot tubs, fire pits, and outdoor decks with mountain views.

Young adults seeking fun activities with friends in Arizona must experience a night of stargazing in Flagstaff.
Young adults seeking fun activities with friends in Arizona must experience a night of stargazing in Flagstaff.

Throughout the year, Flagstaff hosts star parties and astronomy festivals that bring the community and visitors together to celebrate the night sky. These events often feature talks by astronomers, telescope viewing sessions, and photography workshops.

For young adults looking for fun things to do with friends in Arizona, a night of stargazing in Flagstaff is a must. It’s all about connecting with the universe and each other in a profound way. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to snap some stellar night-sky photos that’ll light up your social feeds.

6. Dive into Tucson’s culinary scene

Tucson, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, is a paradise for foodies. This city serves a unique blend of Native American, Mexican, and modern American cuisines, making it a standout destination for young adults exploring Arizona. A stroll down the historic Fourth Avenue offers a vibrant and eclectic experience in Tucson at night.

Imagine starting your day with a Sonoran hot dog, a local twist on a classic that’s as delicious as it is unique. For lunch, dive into some authentic Mexican dishes that’ll make you rethink everything you thought you knew about tacos and enchiladas. And for dinner? Tucson’s innovative chefs are ready to surprise you with creative dishes that source ingredients straight from the Arizona desert.

In Tucson, delve into the stories behind the dishes and the vibrant community that brings them to life.
In Tucson, delve into the stories behind the dishes and the vibrant community that brings them to life.

In Tucson, you can learn all about the stories behind the dishes and the community that creates them. From bustling food trucks to high-end restaurants, every meal is an adventure.

This is a chance to taste your way through the city’s history, meet local chefs passionate about their craft, and discover why Tucson is on every food lover’s radar.

7. Uncover nature’s secrets at the Desert Botanical Garden

Right in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is an immersive dive into the desert’s heart. Strolling through this garden is one of the most cherished nighttime experiences in Phoenix. For those eager to mix a bit of learning with leisure, this place is home to workshops, tours, and more, all set against a backdrop of stunning desert beauty.

Wandering through the garden paths is among the most serene and fun things to do with teens in Phoenix. Imagine starting your visit with a guided tour, where you can learn the survival secrets of desert plants or even explore the garden’s luminous beauty during a flashlight tour on summer nights. These tours are interactive and engaging, making you see the desert in a whole new light.

For young adults seeking cool activities in Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden offers nature, art, and educational experiences.
For young adults seeking cool activities in Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden offers nature, art, and educational experiences.

The garden’s workshops, which vary in cost, let you dive into photography, gardening, and even cooking with desert ingredients. It’s a chance to not just see the desert’s beauty but to create something with it.

The garden’s events calendar is packed year-round, ensuring there’s always something new to discover. Enjoy butterfly exhibits in the spring and dazzling luminarias lighting up the paths in winter.

For young adults looking for cool things to do in Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden offers the best mix of nature, art, and education.

8. Go tubing on the Salt River

When the Arizona heat cranks up, there’s no better way to cool down and have a blast than tubing down the Salt River. Just a short drive from Phoenix, this popular summer activity is a favorite among young adults looking for fun things to do with friends in Arizona.

Tubing on the Salt River is as laid-back or as adventurous as you make it. You can gently drift along the cool waters, soak up the sun, and enjoy the peaceful scenery, or link up tubes with your friends and turn the river into a party.

Salt River Tubing season offers the perfect chance to witness Arizona's natural beauty from an unparalleled vantage point.
Salt River Tubing season offers the perfect chance to witness Arizona’s natural beauty from an unparalleled vantage point.

Renting a tube is easy and affordable, with prices around $17 for a tube and shuttle service back to your starting point. The river offers several entry and exit points, allowing you to customize your trip length, but most folks spend about three to five hours on the water.

Open from late spring through early fall, the Salt River Tubing season is the perfect time to experience Arizona’s natural beauty from a different perspective. Just remember to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, and a waterproof bag for your essentials.

9. Visit the Heard Museum

For young adults looking to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Native American art and culture, the Heard Museum in Phoenix is an essential stop. This museum is a gateway to understanding the diverse cultures, traditions, and art forms of the Indigenous peoples of the Southwest. It’s one of the best places to visit in Phoenix, AZ.

Walking through the Heard Museum, you’re greeted by an impressive collection that spans from historical artifacts to contemporary art. Each exhibit tells a story. Uncover the intricate patterns of a Navajo rug, the delicate beauty of Hopi pottery, or the powerful imagery of modern Native American paintings. The museum’s commitment to authenticity gives visitors a profound insight into the resilience and creativity of Native communities.

The Heard Museum invites you to explore the rich tapestry of Arizona's Indigenous heritage and culture.
The Heard Museum invites you to explore the rich tapestry of Arizona’s Indigenous heritage and culture.

It’s a vibrant cultural center that hosts live performances, artist demonstrations, and cultural festivals throughout the year. These events bring the art to life, offering a dynamic way to experience the traditions and innovations of Native American cultures.

So, whether you’re an art aficionado or simply someone who loves to explore new cultures, the Heard Museum invites you to dive deep into the heart of Arizona’s Indigenous heritage.

10. Ski in the White Mountains

Did you know you can find a skiing haven in Arizona? That’s right, the White Mountains are calling all winter sports enthusiasts! This hidden gem, tucked away in eastern Arizona, is a delightful surprise for many. Pristine, powdery slopes under the clear blue skies of Arizona offer a perfect blend of thrill and tranquility.

Sunrise Park Resort, nestled in this mountainous wonder, is the heart of the action. With over 65 trails, it caters to everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros. Imagine yourself cruising down these slopes, the cool wind against your face, surrounded by breathtaking views of towering pines and distant peaks.

The White Mountains is an Arizona gem offering a winter adventure with adrenaline, beauty, and serene mountain ambiance.
The White Mountains is an Arizona gem offering a winter adventure with adrenaline, beauty, and serene mountain ambiance.

Snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all part of the winter wonder here. After an exhilarating day, cozy up in one of the charming Arizona lodges nd accommodations nearby. These rustic retreats offer the perfect end to your day with their warm, inviting atmosphere.

So, pack your ski gear and head to the White Mountains. This hidden Arizona treasure offers a winter escapade like no other – a blend of adrenaline, beauty, and serene mountain atmosphere.

11. Attend a music festival in Tempe

Tempe, Arizona, transforms into a music mecca with its spectacular festivals! The city buzzes with tunes from the Innings Festival to the Tempe Music Festival. Let’s dive into this melody-rich experience.

First up, the Innings Festival. It’s a unique blend of rock and pop, set against the backdrop of Tempe’s spring training season. Picture yourself amidst baseball fans and music lovers, enjoying some of the world’s best bands. The vibe? Absolutely electric with the excitement of both music and sports fans.

Tempe, Arizona, transforms into a music mecca with spectacular festivals, drawing crowds with diverse musical offerings. | Image Credits: Innings Festival
Tempe, Arizona, transforms into a music mecca with spectacular festivals, drawing crowds with diverse musical offerings. | Image Credits: Innings Festival

Next, the Tempe Music Festival takes the stage. This one’s a legend, featuring a mix of genres from electronic to indie. Previous artists like The Killers and Kid Rock have lit up the night here. The festival pulses with energy, drawing crowds from all over.

Local bands and emerging artists get their spotlight too, bringing fresh sounds and raw talent to the forefront. Between sets, explore food stalls serving up local flavors, or browse artisan crafts.

As the Arizona sun sets, these festivals transform Tempe into a vibrant canvas of lights, music, and festivities. So, whether you’re a die-hard music fanatic or just love a good outdoor party, Tempe’s music festivals are where unforgettable memories are made.

12. Explore the historic town of Jerome

Step into the past in Jerome, Arizona, a town as rich in history as it is in mystery. Once a booming copper mining town, it’s now famously known as a “ghost town.”

Perched high on Cleopatra Hill, overlooking the Verde Valley, Jerome’s views are just the start. Wander through its winding streets and you’ll feel like you’ve time-traveled. Historic buildings, now home to quirky shops and galleries, line the streets. Every corner has a tale, from miners’ struggles to lavish parties during its heyday.

Jerome's allure stems from its fusion of history, art, and a hint of the supernatural, creating a captivating ambiance.
Jerome’s allure stems from its fusion of history, art, and a hint of the supernatural, creating a captivating ambiance.

But there’s a spooky twist – Jerome is known for its paranormal activity. Visit the Jerome Grand Hotel, once a hospital, rumored to be one of the most haunted buildings in the state.

For history buffs, the Jerome State Historic Park is a must-visit. The Douglas Mansion, built in 1916, offers a glimpse into the opulent past of mining magnates. And don’t miss the Sliding Jail, a quirky testament to Jerome’s mining-era instability (literally!)

Jerome’s charm lies in its blend of history, art, and a touch of the supernatural. It’s a place where the past is always present, and every visit is a unique journey through time.

13. Relax at Lake Havasu

Ending your Arizona adventure? Lake Havasu is the perfect finale. Known for its striking blue waters and vibrant community, it’s a paradise for relaxation and fun.

For those seeking the coolest activities at Arizona lakes, Lake Havasu doesn’t disappoint. Lake Havasu is famous for its beautiful beaches. Picture yourself lounging on the soft sand, soaking up the sun, with the tranquil waters just steps away. It’s the ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying a good book.

Lake Havasu, famed for its blue waters and vibrant community, offers the ultimate relaxation and fun-filled experience.
Lake Havasu, famed for its blue waters and vibrant community, offers the ultimate relaxation and fun-filled experience.

But there’s more than just beach life here. It’s a hub for water sports. Try your hand at jet skiing, paddleboarding, or even parasailing. The lake’s calm waters make it perfect for all levels of adventurers.

Now, let’s talk about the London Bridge – yes, in Arizona! This historic bridge was relocated from England in the 1960s. Stroll along it and soak in the unique blend of Arizona’s natural beauty and a piece of British history.

Lake Havasu is where natural beauty meets leisure and adventure, ensuring your trip ends on a high note. So, come relax, play, and create memories at this Arizona jewel.

The best things to do for young adults in Arizona for all types of travelers
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