“This land of Arizona has had an exciting history, so dramatic and inspiring that it needs no exaggeration or fictional embellishment.” ~Barry Goldwater
Are you interested in learning about different places in Arizona but would prefer to stay at home? Do you like to travel around the state but don’t want to spend too much money on gas? Or do you wish you could explore Arizona but just don’t have time to?
This article features favorite Arizona destinations for which there are photograph collections, virtual tours, and panoramic views available so that you can visit these places online at any time. Included are museums, national parks, historic sites, sports stadiums, theatres, factories, and scenic highways. Going on a virtual trip is the next best thing to actually being there in person.
www.byways.org/browse/states/AZ – At this site, you can explore 21 different scenic routes around the state of Arizona, including National Scenic Byways and National Forest Scenic Byways.
www.arizonascenicroads.com – Arizona Scenic Roads provides an online photo tour with descriptive articles on the scenic roads of Arizona. This Web site takes the traveler with a thirst for the authentic and unusual on a virtual driving tour of the scenic roads of Arizona. While you’re there, you will discover many lesser-known parks and historical areas. Take the road less traveled and see for yourself why the scenic roads of Arizona are truly a hidden treasure.
www.kaet.asu.edu/monumental/tour.html – Travel across Arizona to visit 18 national monuments. View clips from PBS’s “Monumental Arizona” by clicking your mouse on any of the points on the map. Each point indicates one of Arizona’s national monuments.
www.untraveledroad.com/USA/Arizona.htm – Kelvin Smith’s Untraveled Road offers a unique Arizona virtual travel experience. More than just looking at pretty pictures, these tours turn you loose to go where you want and allow you to see everything in context. The images here are doorways into a virtual world. You may follow roads and trails for hundreds of miles. You can turn around and travel in the opposite direction, and turn to face either side. In many cases, intersecting routes can also be followed when you come to them. Occasionally, scenes of special interest can be viewed in high resolution images, and roadside signs can be read. Visit such diverse places as the Grand Canyon, Historic Route 66, Black Canyon City, Bumblebee, Seligman, Petrified Forest, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Saguaro National Park, the Colorado River, San Francisco Peaks, Williams, Vermilion Cliffs, Fredonia, Glen Canyon, Flagstaff, and many more. This site contains over 20,572 images and they all load quickly, even on dial-up Internet.
http://reynolds.asu.edu/azvt/azgeo_tourist.htm – Arizona is well known for its spectacular scenery and geology. The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Painted Desert, Mogollon Rim, and Sonoran Desert are just a few of its natural gems. The Arizona Geology Virtual Tourist site permits those near and far to visit, at least in their minds, the geologic landscape of Arizona. This site uses computer-generated shaded-relief maps, which show features such as mountains and valleys. These maps contain clickable links to scenic and geologic photographs that provide a great opportunity for learning how to observe landscapes. Created by Stephen J. Reynolds, a geology professor at Arizona State University.
http://virtualguidebooks.com/Arizona/Arizona.html – Don Bain’s Virtual Guidebook contains over 300 virtual reality panoramas of Arizona’s dramatic landscapes, from the Grand Canyon to the cactus deserts. These amazing photographs allow you to look all the way around. Requires QuickTime.
http://earth.google.com/sites – Google Earth virtual tours let you fly into the Grand Canyon and soar over Hoover Dam. Really cool! Note: you must have Google Earth installed in order to be able to load these files.
www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/photographs.shtml – The American Southwest Web site contains a beautiful collection of Arizona photographs, including a variety of places from the Agua Fria National Monument to Wupatki National Monument.
www.genehanson.com/c2003b/cany2003.htm – A virtual hike in the Grand Canyon, down the South Kaibab and up the Bright Angel Trail with a set of pictures and written descriptions.
www.friendsofsaguaro.org/virtualtour.html – Virtual tours of Saguaro National Park.
www.desertusa.com/qtvr/du_qtvr.html – QuickTime virtual reality panoramic images of the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Sunset Crater, Wupatki, and Oatman.
www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/gallery/picindex.html – Take a virtual tour of Hoover Dam in the Photo Gallery on the Department of Interior’s official Hoover Dam site.
www.desertusa.com/gc/gcd/du_glencandamtour.html – Take a virtual tour of northern Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam, impounding beautiful Lake Powell in the Great Basin Desert. Includes color photos, text, and audio.
www.desertusa.com/colorado/explorriver/du_explorrv.html – This index will take you on a virtual tour of the Colorado River from one end to the other.
www.azminfun.com – Using virtual reality photography, the Arizona Mineral and Mining Museum Foundation has created an interactive tour of the A. L. Flagg Memorial Gallery. This tour consists of three scenes linked to a floorplan and to transition points within each area. In addition, links have been added for each mineral case, and clicking on one of these links will open a close-up image of a case.
www.explorethecaverns.com/cave.html – Virtual tour of Kartchner Caverns, rated one of the world’s ten most beautiful caves, showing an unusually wide variety of brilliantly colored cave formations.
www.colossalcave.com/cavetour.html – The Colossal Cave virtual tour will take you through some favorite spots in this cave.
www2.nature.nps.gov/geology/usgsnps/sunset/sunsetft.html – You’ll be walking on the rocky surface of the Bonito Lava Flow at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument on this virtual field trip. You may travel along by clicking on the field trip map or use the table of contents to select your itinerary.
www.pioneer-arizona.com/tour/index.html – Take the Pioneer Living History Village Online Tour to see all the historic buildings of Pioneer Living History Museum. Each page tells the history of the building and shows a picture.
www.hallofflame.org – The Hall of Flame website contains a photo gallery of some of the museum’s holdings. If you haven’t been there before, this will give you a good idea of what the Hall of Flame is all about.
www.cerreta.com/FactoryTour.cfm – Take a virtual tour of the Cerreta Candy Factory in Glendale.
www.azcentral.com/ent/calendar/venues – Take a virtual tour of the Valley’s premier entertainment venues including America West Arena, Bank One Ballpark, the Orpheum Theatre, Grady Gammage Auditorium, and many more.
www.milebymile.com/main/United_States/Arizona/highway_photos_0.html – The Mile By Mile site contains 601 Arizona road trip photos.
www.roadtripamerica.com/links/Travels-with-Thurman.htm – Explore the southwest (including many places in Arizona) with college professor Gerald Thurman, who roams the backroads with a digital camera and an eye for the cool.