Can you believe Christmas is already less than two weeks away? If you haven’t already completed your shopping for presents, be aware the clock is ticking! If you’re not quite sure what to give your true love for Christmas, don’t worry. We’re drawing inspiration from the song “12 Days of Christmas” to give you some ideas for Arizona-style gifts and experiences.
Explore 12 ghost towns
Arizona is home to hundreds—yes, literally hundreds—of ghost towns. Some are still standing, some have turned into dust, and others are enjoying a second life as tourist attractions. Take your pick and enjoy a day out with friends and family exploring these pieces of the past.
Check out 11 red rock buttes
One of the most iconic landscapes in Arizona are the red rock buttes that stand tall against the wide blue sky. You’ll find these in places like Sedona and on the Navajo Nation, making these places you won’t soon forget.
See 10 offbeat Route 66 attractions
Sometimes wacky, sometimes abandoned, and always historic, Arizona’s segment of Route 66 is a true adventure you’ll want to explore again and again. If you want to dedicate a day or two to the highway, check out our road trip article dedicated to a few of its highlights.
Eat 9 steaming hot chimichangas
You might not be able to eat 9 in a row (my arteries!) but you can definitely just as many variations, such as carne asada, served wet, or served with a heaping portion of guacamole.
Spot 8 majestic cactus wrens
You may not want to give them actual cactus wrens because that's probably illegal but bird watching in Arizona is pretty big! Some people travel long distances to our riparian areas just to spot hundreds of local and migrating birds.
Enjoy 7 wine tastings
Arizona is slowly becoming recognized as a wine-producing state. We have several distinct wine trails: Sonoita-Elgin, Willcox, and the Verde Valley, each producing international award-winning wines.
See 6 clear starry nights
Winter time has always been the perfect time to see clear skies for stargazing, watching meteor showers, and getting in some astrophotography. The skies are darker longer, appear clearer, and even the stars seem to shine a little bit brighter.
Enjoy 5 gorgeous sunsets
If you’re looking to find a beautiful sunset, look no further than Arizona! Those saturated hues combined with textured clouds and dreamy landscapes make watching sunsets here the perfect way to end a day.
Walk through 4 sleek slot canyons
Everyone knows about Antelope Canyon but Arizona is home to plenty more dreamy slot canyons. There is Water Holes Canyon near Page, Cathedral Wash in the Grand Canyon, Pumphouse Wash in Sedona, and Buckskin Gulch on the Arizona-Utah border. Check out one of these!
Go on 3 garden walks
Gardens in Arizona aren’t quite the same as what you’ll find in most other areas of the country. Our native plants are sculptural in shape and blooming varies with the season and precipitation, meaning you’ll have a different viewing experience throughout the year. And, if you’re craving a more traditional garden to walk through, you can find rose gardens and a couple of Japanese gardens to surround you with green leaves and floral scents, even in winter.
Visit 2 old Spanish missions
After the Spanish first stepped foot in what is present-day Arizona around 1539, a handful of Spanish missions were established within its boundaries. Of those, only two remain standing for tours and seeing the architectural beauty. If you can, check out Mission San Cayetano de Tumacácori and Mission San Xavier del Bac, both in southern Arizona.
Tackle 1 Grand Canyon hike
Everyone needs to hike the Grand Canyon at least once, whether that means trekking down to the river or hiking the entire Rim Trail up above. Maybe you can cross one item off your bucket list in 2018 by doing this with your true love!
Okay, some of these things might be a little difficult to gift to your true love; some of them act more as experiences than presents you can wrap. Instead, we recommend checking out our
humble shop for some actual Arizona gifts that are stylish and cozy. You might even find something for yourself!