With a varied geography includes deserts, mountains, dense forests, and – yes — canyons, Arizona is known primarily for its landscapes and weather… but there’s no shortage of distinctive art, historic monuments, and delicious meals to be found between those mountains and canyons. Here are our choices for things that Travel Nurses should see and experience when they visit the Grand Canyon State!
That Grand Canyon
Do you know why Arizona is renowned as the “Grand Canyon State”? Of course you do, unless you’re under the age of 2 (In which case, congrats on the Nursing credentials… seriously, kid). When visiting Arizona, a trip to the Grand Canyon is a must. The National Park of the Grand Canyon is host to some of the most scenic views, with a plethora of distinctive historic monuments, artwork, and meals to be found as well.
The stunning scenery of Sedona juxtaposes massive red rock formations with the deep-greens of the neighboring pine forests. The region supposedly contains some of the most powerful “vortexes”, which I will not even try to explain to you, but many New Age tourists say they find balance and creative inspiration (If you count yourself among those believers, ESP would recommend you still rely on “modern western medicine” over “vortexes” when it comes to patient care).
Arizona’s Old West
If you’re a lover of westerns or an American history buff, the southern side of the state is packed with locations in which you can still get a taste for the area’s old west roots. Arizona is home to Tombstone, and the once, and still, major mining town contains not only the legendarily wild and lawless Birdcage Theatre, with the forty bullet holes still visible from its numerous shootouts, but the O.K. Corral, home of probably the most famous old western gunfight. Visiting today you can see the gunfights re-enacted, and if you ask nicely enough, you too can experience what it was like being buried alive on world-famous Boot Hill – maybe!
Explore Navajo Interactive Museum
Arizona contains more historically and spiritually important Native American sites than any state in the US, and The Explore Navajo Interactive Museum in Tuba City has been designed to provide tourists with a lively, interactive and informative experience with the assistance of Navajo students and crafts from the society of Navajo. The museum presents a typical Navajo journey through life, and features a Navajo escort that educates visitors in traditions, family systems, and beliefs. Afterwards, enjoy a healthy(?) meal of traditional native fry bread from The Fry Bread House in Phoenix – it’s called “Fry Bread’, it MUST be good for you!
Chimichangas! If Fry Bread sounds too light to you, why not just have an entire fried burrito instead? Invented in Arizona, Chimichangas are basically just that – a burrito, deep fried. The El Charro Café is known as the nation’s oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant and serves this local nightmare/treat at both their Phoenix and Oro Valley locations. What on earth would inspire some madman to deep fry a burrito, you may wonder? Forget it, Jake – it’s Arizona.
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