Historic Allen street in Tombstone, Arizona. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock

6 Underappreciated Towns to Visit in Arizona

Arizona is a land of striking contrasts, from its iconic deserts and vibrant cities to its charming small towns that offer a more intimate glimpse of the state's rich cultural and historical aspects. These towns invite visitors to experience the warmth of Arizona's local communities. Whether you are drawn to the artistic enclave of Bisbee, the storied streets of Tombstone, or the architectural wonder of Arcosanti, Arizona's small towns promise unforgettable experiences and breathtaking scenery. Explore these hidden gems and discover the diverse attractions that make each one a must-visit destination.


Overlooking Bisbee, Arizona.
Overlooking Bisbee, Arizona. Image credit Manuela Durson via Shutterstock

Bisbee, perched high in the Mule Mountains of southern Arizona, is an artist's haven brimming with character. Once a bustling mining town, Bisbee has transformed into a quirky, picturesque community known for its well-preserved historic architecture and colorful artistic nature. The Copper Queen Mine offers guided tours that delve into the town's mining heritage, while the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum provides further insight into its storied past.

The town's narrow, winding streets are lined with eclectic shops, galleries, and cafes, making it a delightful place to explore on foot. Annual events like the Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb and the Bisbee Blues Festival draw visitors from near and far, contributing to the town's lively cultural scene. With its charming ambiance and rich history, Bisbee stands out as an underappreciated destination in Arizona.


Historic Allen street with a horse drawn stagecoach in Tombstone.
Historic Allen street with a horse drawn stagecoach in Tombstone. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock.com

Tombstone, Arizona, is famously known as "The Town Too Tough to Die" and is a captivating journey back to the Old West. This historic town, known for the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, is a living museum where history comes alive. Visitors can walk the same streets as legendary figures like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, with reenactments of the gunfight performed daily. The Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park offers a detailed look at the town's legal history, while the Bird Cage Theatre provides a glimpse into its more rowdy past.

Tombstone's Allen Street is lined with saloons, shops, and restaurants, all maintaining an authentic 19th-century feel. The annual Helldorado Days festival, featuring parades and reenactments, celebrates the town's wild and storied history.


Page, Arizona, at dusk.
Page, Arizona, at dusk.

Page is a small town that offers some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the Southwest. Located near the stunning Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page is a gateway to outdoor adventures and scenic beauty. Visitors can explore the awe-inspiring Antelope Canyon, known for its ethereal light beams and sculpted sandstone walls, or take a boat tour on Lake Powell to marvel at its striking red rock formations.

Horseshoe Bend overlook provides a dramatic view of the Colorado River's sweeping curve, one of the most photographed spots in the region. Page's proximity to these natural wonders makes it an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers.


The Ceramics Aspe in Arcosanti. Concrete blocks and geometric shapes highlight the Arcosanti architecture.
The Ceramics Aspe in Arcosanti. Image credit DBSOCAL via Shutterstock

Arcosanti is a neat architectural experiment located in the high desert of central Arizona offering a glimpse into the future of urban living. Designed by visionary architect Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti is an ongoing project that aims to create a self-sustaining community integrating architecture with ecology. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about Soleri's innovative design principles and the project's history. The site hosts workshops, events, and performances, fostering a vibrant cultural atmosphere.

The stunning architecture of Arcosanti, with its sweeping curves and harmonious integration with the surrounding landscape, attracts architecture enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. Nearby, the Agua Fria National Monument presents opportunities for hiking and exploring ancient Native American ruins.


Carefree, Arizona Desert Gardens and Sundial.
Carefree, Arizona Desert Gardens and Sundial.

Carefree Arizona lives up to its name with a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere perfect for a tranquil escape. Known for its stunning desert scenery and charming downtown area, Carefree offers a mix of natural beauty and cultural attractions. The Carefree Desert Gardens, located in the heart of downtown, feature a variety of native desert plants and picturesque walking paths. Visitors can explore the town's shops, art galleries, and dining establishments, or attend one of the many annual events such as the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival.

The nearby Cave Creek Regional Park has outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and camping.


Seligman, Arizona: Famous town on Route 66.
Seligman, Arizona: Famous town on Route 66. Image credit Jon Chica via Shutterstock

While Seligman may be underappreciated, you may recognize it. The small town has a big place in American pop culture history and is known as the birthplace of Historic Route 66. The town exudes a nostalgic atmosphere, with its colorful retro motels, diners, and shops that pay homage to the golden age of American road trips. Visitors can stop by the Route 66 Motorporium and the iconic Snow Cap Drive-In, both filled with memorabilia and quirky charm.

The Seligman Historical Society Museum provides insights into the town's history and significance along the Mother Road. Seligman also serves as a starting point for exploring the Grand Canyon Caverns, a fascinating underground network of caves.

Arizona's small towns offer a diverse array of experiences, with each town showcasing a unique aspect of the state's rich cultural and natural heritage. From the artistic charm of Bisbee to the historical intrigue of Tombstone and the architectural wonder of Arcosanti, these towns provide visitors with a wealth of attractions and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Whether you are seeking outdoor adventure, historical exploration, or a peaceful retreat, Arizona's underappreciated small towns have something for everyone. With their picturesque settings and vibrant communities, these hidden gems are a testament to the allure of the Grand Canyon State and the perfect excuse to get out there and explore.

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