7. Paranormal happenings are not at all uncommon

The historic haunted Jerome Grand Hotel

Arizona, the northern portion of the state in particular, has a long history of ghostly occurrences. The historic Monte Vista hotel, located off Rt 66 is reported to be one of the most haunted hotels in the country. Over the years many guests (including celebs like John Wayne) have reported the same eerie sightings. Numerous guest have reported a ghostly vision in a rocking chair haunting Room 305 – so many in fact that it was featured on the classic series Unsolved Mysteries! Whenever or not the Monte is haunted, I like to grab a cup of coffee in the Rendevous Bar and enjoy all the people watching downtown.

The haunted Monte Vista hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona

Jerome, a former copper mining town, is another Arizona destination to add to your Halloween bucket list. This town goes out all for Halloween with ghost tours, crazy decorating at the Asylum Hotel (a former mental hospital that is haunted), and numerous parties. Known as “the largest ghost town in America,” the town now primarily operates as a tourist destination with a year round population of just over 400. Legends of ghost sightings date back over 50 years – the town even published a special ghost newspaper (the Jerome Ghost Post) for a while. Sign up for a tour and you will get to pretend you are a ghost hunter with the aid of real ghost hunting equipment like EMF meters and IR thermometers.

8. The region is home to 8 national parks/monuments (besides the Grand Canyon)

Gorgeous views along the Island Trail at Walnut Canyon

Along the gorgeous Island Trail at Walnut Canyon, you will be able to take a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Singua tribes via preserved cliff dwellings.

While seeing the Grand Canyon is an obvious addition to any bucket list – “a place you have to see before you die”, there are so many other fascinating sights to see take advantage of while you are in the area. Northern Arizona is home to 9 natural wonders. Besides the Grand Canyon, you can explore the Petrified National Forest, Canyon de Chelley, Parashant National Monument, Navajo National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument.

Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

The Colorado river forms a unique horseshoe shape, hence the name Horseshoe Bend.

In addition, Oak Creek Canyon, Antelope Canyon, & Horseshoe Bend, while not national monuments, sure are natural wonders worthy of a day trip! Flagstaff has been dubbed “the city of 7 wonders” as it is surrounded by so many gorgeous places, all of which can be explored via an easy day trip.

9. Here you will find Arizona’s tallest mountain peak

Gorgeous fall colors covering the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona

At 12,633 feet, Humphrey’s Peak stands as the tallest peak in Arizona. The hike to the summit is a very popular trail for both locals and tourists, although it is one rough uphill, high altitude journey suited only for the most advanced hikers. Fitness buffs and adrenaline junkies should definitely add a climb to their list of must-do hikes. Humphrey’s is part of the San Francisco Peaks range, an extinct volcano that last erupted sometime between 1040 and 1100 AD.

10. Lots of classics movies filmed throughout the area

Scenes from Casablanca were filmed at the historic hotel Monte Vista in downtown Flagstaff AZ

Scenes from classics like Forrest Gump (the running scene where Forrest runs through dog crap was filmed on San Francisco Street in the downtown neighborhood), Casablanca (the famous hotel scene was shot at the Monte Vista downtown), and National Lampoon’s Vacation (the scene where Clark fills up the gas was filmed at the Little America Hotel) were filmed in Flagstaff.

Page, Arizona was used to film many of the desert scenes in Indiana Jones and The Tempe of Doom. And Monument Valley near the Arizona/Utah border was used as a backdrop for many westerns including Back to the Future Part 3. Lower Lake Mary just outside of Flagstaff was used for filming the final scene in Titanic. Several scenes from 80’s classic Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures were filmed within the Coconino National Forest. And there are plenty more – this is just a small sampling!

11. You can stand in 4 states at the same time

Four Corners monument

At Four Corners Monument, you will be able to take all sorts of crazy pictures where you can literally stand in 4 states at once. At this unique location in Navajo Nation, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico all join together in the only place in the US where 4 states meet. Not worthy of a trip out of your way, however, if you happen to be passing through the area, it’s a pretty cool spot for a unique vacation souvenir photo. You can also shop for all sorts of quality handmade Native American crafts – I found the cutest pottery pieces & dreamcatchers here.