With warm, sunny weather, as well as spectacular landscapes, a welcoming atmosphere, and a wealth of recreational activities, Arizona provides numerous cities and towns ideal for Memorial Day weekend fun. Situated near most Arizona vacation rentals are seemingly endless opportunities for thrilling outdoor adventures, family-friendly events and pageants, and relaxing interludes at beaches, lakes, and rivers. Take a look at the top Memorial Day weekend getaway spots in Arizona.

1. Phoenix

Cactus in the desert at sunset.

Phoenix, Arizona’s capital, is a park-filled oasis in the midst of the Sonora Desert in central Arizona. The pleasant weather on the start of summer makes Memorial Day weekend an ideal time to explore the area. Hike up Camelback Mountain for a spectacular view of the city and surrounding desert. Observe the flamboyant displays at the Desert Botanical Garden. The Grid Bike Share program makes it easy to pick up a lime-green bicycle at one of the numerous kiosks and pedal around bike-friendly central Phoenix. Get an incomparable birds-eye look at the city and countryside with Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Company. Alternatively, enjoy a comfortable sightseeing cruise on nearby Saguaro Lake aboard the Desert Belle. Don’t miss the lively Caribbean Festival and Parade that takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Phoenix.

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2. Tucson

Southwestern style church in Arizona.

Located in the Sonora Desert in southeastern Arizona, the city of Tucson adds an Old West ambiance to your Memorial Day weekend. The annual Meet Me Downtown Memorial Day weekend event in Tucson features a beer garden, discounts at local restaurants, children’s activities, live rock and roll music, and a multitude of foot races for various age groups. Take a day trip to nearby Tombstone, which has been known to host numerous Memorial Day Weekend activities since the Wyatt Earp Days. This special weekend is also an ideal time to tour the Pima Air and Space Museum, one of the world’s largest aviation history museums, and Fort Huachuca Museum in nearby Sierra Vista, which commemorates the famous U.S. Army 10th Cavalry Unit Buffalo Soldiers.

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3. Yuma

Body of water surrounded by grassy shore.

The city of Yuma, known as the sunniest place on Earth, lies along the Colorado River in the southwestern corner of Arizona. Yuma River Tubing supplies tubes and transports you up the Colorado River for a relaxing float-down. Waylon’s Water World is a spectacular water park with multiple slides, a lazy river, and a special zone for young children. For a speedy river exploration experience, pick up some jet skis at Jet Rent. If you prefer your adventure thrills on dry land, Jet Rent also offers ATVs that you can use to ride over the miles of sandy hills at nearby Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. To honor veterans on this special weekend, stroll along the walkways at the Yuma Armed Forces Park.

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4. Lake Havasu City

Stone bridge in London.
Source: Flickr/InSapphoWeTrust

Vacation rentals at Lake Havasu City, in west-central Arizona on the eastern bank of the Colorado River, offer proximity to numerous famous sights and recreational activities. One of the city’s premier attractions is London Bridge, which one of the city’s founders transported brick by brick from London, England and reassembled as a causeway from the mainland to an island on the lake. London Bridge Beach and Lake Havasu State Park offer pristine white sand beaches that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Rent a boat at Desert Sun Watersports Rentals, and enjoy water skiing, wakeboarding, and sightseeing around the lake. Join Sunset Charter and Tour Company aboard the Kon Tiki Canyon Cruiser to observe the replicas of lighthouses from all over the world placed around the lake.

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5. Oatman

Old fashioned store on Route 66.
Source: Flickr/Ralf Naegele

The unique town of Oatman sits in the midst of rugged wilderness in western Arizona. Formerly a thriving gold rush town, Oatman has the appearance of the Old West, with wooden sidewalks, historic storefronts, and even wild burros roaming the streets. Visit rustic saloons, antique shops, and the famous Oatman Hotel, where Hollywood celebrities such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard used to stay. Actors perform Wild West shootouts every day in the streets and schedule special performances and events for Memorial Day.

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6. Bullhead City

People riding inflatables down a river.
Source: Flickr/Evan Fuchs

Bullhead City lies along the Colorado River at the juncture of the borders of California, Nevada, and Arizona in northwestern Arizona. Rent a powerboat at River Star Rentals, and head out onto the river for waterskiing and wakeboarding. From Katherine’s Landing Marina to the north, rent a patio boat or fishing boat, and explore the vast length of Lake Mohave. The Mojave Resort Golf Club offers a beautiful 18-hole course amidst lush natural landscaping. Pay a special Memorial Day visit to Arizona Veterans Memorial Park on Rio Grande Road.

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7. Page

Body of water between rocky canyons.

The city of Page is at the southern end of stunning Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area at the northern edge of Arizona. Antelope Point Marina Boat Tours takes you close to the spectacular red rock cliffs around the lake. Alternatively, explore the lake by kayak with a professional guide through Hidden Canyon Kayak. Don’t miss a guided tour through magnificent narrow slot canyons with Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours. Lone Rock Beach is a beautiful spot for swimming and sunbathing.

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8. Flagstaff

Ariel view of the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff lies in central Arizona in the midst of the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world. It’s also the gateway to the Grand Canyon, which you can access by comfortable van through Canyon Country Tours or via the Grand Canyon Railway out of nearby Williams. For an unforgettable experience, see the spectacular Grand Canyon from a small plane with Westwind Air Service. For cycling fun, rent a mountain bike at Absolute Bikes, and head for Shultz Pass Trailhead near Elden Lookout Road.

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9. Sedona

Red Hills in Arizona.

Sedona in central Arizona is renowned for the surrounding red rock sandstone formations. Wildland Trekking takes you for unforgettable guided hikes into the Red Rock Country. Alternatively, take a tour on horseback to Dead Horse Ranch State Park with A Day in the West. At nearby Clarkdale, rent a kayak at Clarkdale Kayak Company and paddle the scenic Verde River. Play a round of golf with the famous red rock sandstone cliffs as a backdrop at Sedona Golf Resort.

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