Arizona State

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Historic Sites
Tourist Attractions

Historic Sites

Fort Verde State Historic Park
Fort Verde was the primary base for General Crook's U.S. Army scouts and soldiers. They were charged with squelching Apache and Yavapai Indian uprisings in the late 1800's. Some of the original buildings still stand today. Its officers' quarters are open to visitors interested in learning what life was like on the frontier. The fort's museum, located in the old headquarters building, exhibits artifacts that explain the history and methods of frontier soldiering. The park is in the town of Camp Verde, three miles east of Interstate 17. For information call: (520)567-3275

Jerome State Historic Park
The 1916 mansion of James 'Rawhide Jimmy' Douglas sits regally atop a hill overlooking the scenic Verde Valley. The mansion served as a 'hotel' for visiting mining officials and investors, as well as home to the Douglas family. Once Arizona Territory's most productive copper mining area, Jerome lost its sheen when prices plummeted during the Depression. The mansion's well-appointed interior and adobe-brick architecture reflect the copper mining high-life before the fall. Displays feature local mining history and methods. The park, located in the town of Jerome off State Route 89A, has a number of intriguing historic attractions nearby. For information call: (520)634-5381

Riordan State Historic Park
The Riordan mansion (actually two adjoining mansions) was built in 1904 for Timothy and Michael Riordan. The Riordan brothers owned the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company, Flagstaff's leading logging enterprise. A tour through the brothers' massive 13,000 square foot home provides insight into the life of a wealthy frontier family in the early 1900's. Its rustic exterior, perhaps Arizona's finest example of Craftsman style architecture, is a striking contrast to its opulent interior of hand-crafted furniture and period antiques. Picnic tables are provided. Visitors can arrange special events or private functions at the park, which is located in the heart of Flagstaff on Riordan Ranch Street. For information call: (520)779-4395

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Remnants of the military fort founded by the Spanish in 1752 have been uncovered by University of Arizona archaeologists and preserved by Arizona State Parks. An underground display features portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the Presidio (fort) de San Ignacio de Tubac. Spanish soldiers established the fort to control the local Pima and Apache Indians and serve as a base for further exploration of the Southwest. Also featured are a picnic area, an 1885 schoolhouse, and a visitor center with historic exhibits tracing Tubac's precarious past from the days of Apache raids through its 1860 status as Arizona's largest frontier town. It is located 45 miles south of Tucson off Interstate 19 near the community of Tubac. For information call: (520)398-2252

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
Yuma Territorial Prison is living proof that there really was a wild West. More than 3,000 culprits, convicted of crimes ranging from polygamy to murder, lived in rock and adobe cells during the prison's 33 year life. Still standing are the cells, main gate, and guard tower that give visitors a glimpse of convict life a century ago. A fascinating museum details that prison's development and tells stories of the desperadoes, including 29 women, who did time there. For visitors' convenience, picnic tables and a ramada are provided. Nearby, Yuma Crossing State Historic Park is one of the Southwest's richest historical sites. Paytans, Native Americans, Spanish explorers, mountain men, gold-seeking emigrants, soldiers, muleskinners, railroad engineers, steamboat captains and shipping magnates met at this single junction over the centuries. For information call: (520)783-4771

Tourist Attractions

Biosphere 2
Beginning in September 1991, this unusual glass-enclosed, airtight environment was the scene of a two-year experiment in which eight people attempted to live on their own. Basically a giant greenhouse, Biosphere 2 is now mostly a tourist destination. For information call: (520)896-6400

Grand Canyon
A mile deep and 18 miles wide in places, the 277-mile-long Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring destination for any visitor. Millions choose the South Rim as the vantage point for exploring this natural wonder. For information call: (520)638-7888

Petrified Forest
Petrified wood can be found in spots around the globe, but nowhere is it in such colorful abundance as in Petrified Forest National Park, just off I-40 in northeast Arizona. Drive through the park, or get a closer look via one of the hiking trails. . For information call: (520)524-6228

The Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is Arizona's largest. Special attractions include the 4-acre African veldt and the Forest of Uco, a rain-forest exhibit with rare spectacled bears. The children?s zoo has numerous baby animals on exhibit and a large petting enclosure. For information call: (602)273-1341

Grand Canyon Railway
This popular railway uses 1920s-vintage coaches to link Williams, Ariz., with the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Visitors enjoy spectacular scenery during the ride, but they also enjoy the freedom of seeing the canyon without worrying about parking. For information call: (800)THE-TRAIN