20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Arizona [Explained]

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Arizona is often considered the home of cacti, cowboys, and the American desert. You can never get enough of Arizona. All kinds of interesting facts about Arizona help define the state and why it is a popular destination.

Quick Facts And Statistics About Arizona

  • Capital: Phoenix
  • Population: 7.4 Million (14th Populous State in the U.S)
  • Land Area: 113,990 sq mi / 295,234 km² (6th Largest in U.S)
  • Nickname: The Grand Canyon State
  • Abbreviation: AZ
  • Statehood: February 14, 1912 (48th U.S State)
  • State Bird: Cactus Wren
  • State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Flower

Historical Facts About Arizona State

The state has a rich history that goes way back, here are some of the interesting Arizona facts reflecting its past.

The First Europeans to Step Foot in Arizona Were the Spanish

This is not just one of the most important facts about Arizona but a defining one. In 1539, a Spanish missionary named Marcos de Niza led the first Europeans into Arizona.

On his travels, Marcos is said to have found Cibola, a great city with wealth. Even though he could only see it from a distance, he wrote a detailed report about what happened when he returned to Culiacán.

This made Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, a conquistador and explorer, decide to go on a big journey through Arizona and into New Mexico. Coronado, on the other hand, never found the wealth he was looking for.

Arizona Women Were Given Voting Rights in 1912 Before the Rest of the Country Did


Even though the Women’s Suffrage movement started in Seneca, New York, Arizona also led the fight for women’s right to vote. This is one of the less-known AZ facts that deserves applause.

Arizona handed voting rights to women in 1912, the same year it became a state. That was 8 years before the 19th Amendment gave this right to all women across the country.

The London Bridge Was Dismantled and Moved to Arizona

The story of Robert McCulloch Sr., who started the city of Lake Havasu City, is one of the strangest facts about Arizona state.

At the same time that Robert was starting Lake Havasu City, the London Bridge was beginning to sink and was becoming a safety risk. So what did he do?

He bought the whole bridge, including the lights, and had it shipped to Arizona.

The bridge was disassembled and then reassembled. It is still the most popular place to visit in the area.

Arizona is Where Pluto Was Discovered

Even though it’s no longer a planet, this is one of the fun facts about Arizona that is still thrilling. Pluto was officially “found” as a planet in 1930 in the state of Arizona.

Clyde Tombaugh, only 24 then, discovered Pluto at the Flagstaff Lowell Observatory in Arizona. He used the observatory’s astrograph to take pictures of the sky on different nights and compare them.

Arizona is Home to the Oldest Woman to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Now, this has to be one of the more inspiring Arizona fun facts. Anne Lorimor made history by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (the world’s highest free-standing mountain) at the age of 89. She is honored as the oldest female climber to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Lorimor wasn’t a professional climber, but she was born in the Phoenix area and could reach her goal even though she fell at the start of her climb.

Interesting Facts About Arizona For Travelers

If you’re considering your vacation in Arizona, here are some interesting facts about Arizona state you should take advantage of.

Arizona is Home to the Largest Man Made-Lake in the Country


One known AZ fact is that there aren’t many natural lakes. Even though there was water in the territory, work was done to make water supplies more reliable.

One example of this kind of construction is Lake Mead. It is behind the Hoover Dam, on the state line between Nevada and Arizona. It’s also the biggest lake in the US that was made by people.

The State of Arizona Does Not Observe the Practice of Daylight Saving Time

Most people need to understand why they have to change the time on their clocks twice a year. The Grand Canyon is one of the most-visited places in the US. It is the fourth most-visited National Park in the country.

Every year, an estimated 5.9 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park to see some of Mother Nature’s best. This is one of the AZ facts that sound weird.

In Arizona, Cutting Down a Cactus is a Class 4 Crime


This is one of the important yet also funny facts about Arizona. The Saguaro cactus is native to Arizona’s Sonoran desert and can grow 40 feet (12 meters) tall. These cacti have a lifespan of more than 150 years, although they develop very slowly.

The Arizona state law protects the Saguaro cactus, and any attempt to damage them is punishable by up to three years in jail.

The Petrified Forest National Park is in Arizona


This is one of the Arizona facts you should definitely know about/ Petrified Forest National Park is a national park in northeastern Arizona. The park is known for its large amounts of wood that has turned stone.

The petrified wood is from the Late Triassic period, which dates back to 200 million years, and is some of the best preserved in the world. The Petrified Forest is one of the famous landmarks in Arizona that you should definitely explore given the chance.

Arizona is a Great Place for Road Trippers


You are at the right place if you’re a fan of mountains, rivers, cities, tourist attractions, or deserts. Arizona is great for a road trip because it has beautiful scenery, wide roads, and many rural lands.

There are several lookout points throughout the state to enjoy the scenery. Everyone can find something to like in Arizona. Also, it’s big enough to travel for days and not come across a spot twice. This is one of the exciting facts about Arizona for travelers.

There Are 22 National Parks And Monuments In Arizona.


One of the most fun facts about Arizona is that the state has some of the most exciting habitats in the country. This is largely also due to its climate and landscape. It shouldn’t be surprising that the state has 22 national parks and monuments.

Many of these monuments were made by nature and give visitors dramatic views of Arizona’s land far from its cities. This will be one of the most exciting states to visit if you like history or the outdoors.

Arizona Experiences Monsoon Season

Arizona is known for being one of the driest and warmest (and landlocked) states in the United States. Still, one of the shocking Arizona facts is that it experiences a monsoon season.

Arizona State University says that although monsoons are often linked to the coast and water, they are caused mainly by the wind.

And in areas like Arizona, substantial land heating may cause wind changes that bring precipitation from the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean into arid desert settings inland.

Fascinating Cultural Facts About Arizona

Here are some culturally exciting facts about Arizona that you should know.

The First McDonald’s Drive-thru in the World is in Arizona

Yes, the first McDonald’s outlet by Ray Kroc was started in Illinois. However, the first branch with a drive-thru was in Arizona.

On January 24, 1975, in Sierra Vista, Arizona, the owner of a McDonald’s franchise made a hole through his restaurant so that customers could order food on the go.

News of the plan spread quickly. Almost half of the country’s 5,000 McDonald’s locations had drive-thrus by the end of 1979. This is one of the Arizona facts for kids to love.

However, don’t blow your appetite on McDonalds. There are many incredible Arizona food and dishes that you definitely need to try when visiting the state.

Arizona is Home to The Actual London Bridge And Has A Beach

One of the popular AZ facts is the existence of London bridge. The London Bridge was built in London, England, over the River Thames. In the 1960s, it was moved to Arizona.

However, not many people know that London bridge has a beach named after it as well. This beach in Lake Havasu City, Arizona looks the most tropical. It goes along the Bridgewater Channel with palm trees and seagulls on the beach. It feels like you’re really in the sea.

This is one of the many beaches in Arizona, and you can see the London Bridge while spending some relaxing time at this beach.

Arizona Has Thirteen Rattlesnake Species, More Than Any Other State


The Game and Fish Department of Arizona says that 13 different kinds of rattlesnakes live in Arizona. This is a lot more than any other state. Certainly one of the facts about Arizona that you won’t fancy if you don’t like snakes.

Amazing Mesoamerican Ball Courts Can Be Found in Arizona

Now, this is one of the interesting facts about Arizona, as more than 200 ball courts have been found in the state so far.

Mesoamericans used the ball courts to play a game similar to soccer. The game was so important that they even built an entire court for it. The actual rules of the ball game are still unknown but inferred from ancient symbols, sculptures, and sites like these ball courts.

The Cactus Wren is Arizona’s State Bird

This is one of the facts about Arizona for kids that love history. Remember the state bird if you’re looking for a list of facts about AZ that has to do with symbols. The cactus wren is a bird that lives in the area. In 1931, it was chosen as the state bird.

Only Arizona is home to this bird, so no other state can claim it. Cactus wrens are lively little birds that sing a unique song in the spring when they’re building their nests.

Interesting Facts About Arizona For Kids

Phoenix is USA’s Hottest City


The average high temperature in Phoenix between June and September is over 100F. Even though the humidity is low, there are few places to get out of the heat. This makes it the hottest city in the US. I bet this is one of the Arizona facts you never knew.

The State Has 22 Native American Tribes


The Navajo is a well-known Native American group, but they are not the only one. There are currently 22 tribes in the state that the government recognizes.

The members of these tribes live all over the state. The Navajo Nation reservation is in more than one state. Similarly, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and the Colorado River Indian Tribes also have reservations in more than one state.

These are some of the important cultural facts about Arizona for kids to learn about.

Arizona Used to Be Part of Mexico

Arizona was a part of Mexico before it became a US state. This is one of the not-so-surprising facts about the state of Arizona, given its proximity to the US-Mexico border.

The Spanish were the first to step foot in the area, and it wasn’t until Mexico got its freedom from Spain that Mexico took control of the state.

In 1848, the United States took the land from Mexico because of the Mexican-American War. After that, it took another 64 years for the area to become a state. You can imagine there are many interesting Arizona facts that are deeply rooted in history.

It Snows in Arizona


Even though Arizona has a lot of deserts, there are also many places in the north where you can find snow. Most of the state is higher than the sea level, and its mountains are high enough that all four seasons can happen yearly.

Some places get an average of more than 21 feet of snow every year. There’s enough snow there to go skiing. This is certainly one of the Arizona fun facts that kids will love.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Arizona

The history of Arizona can be traced back to ancient times, and there are just so many interesting facts about Arizona.

Kitt Peak National Observatory in Sells is home to the largest solar telescope in the world. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881 is considered the most famous shootout in American history, but it only lasted 30 seconds. The Havasupai Indians are a Native American tribe that lives in the Grand Canyon. They have a village near Havasu Creek.

There’s plenty more to this state. Travel to Arizona to witness for yourself and appreciate its rich history and culture. You are bound to learn more fascinating facts about Arizona.



Book Your Flight

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Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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