With autumn here and winter on the horizon, many snowbirds are preparing to drive south toward sunnier climates. If you're making your way down to Arizona this season, don't miss out on these amazing sights:
1. The Wave
Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but it isn't the only geological wonder that the Copper State has to offer. A few miles south of the Utah border is Marble Canyon, a popular spot for locals launching fishing boats into the Colorado River. Here, visitors can find a rock formation known as The Wave.
For the past 200 million years, the wind has carved layers of compacted rocks into a smooth, wave-like surface. Bands of brown, orange and yellow rock are visible as far as the eye can see. At noon, no shadows mar the smooth surface's otherworldly appearance, making it the perfect time to snap a photo.
2. Bedrock City
Fan's of the Flintstones cartoon should not miss this unique theme park located in Williams, Arizona. Opened in 1973, the park features life-sized replicas of the Flintstone and Rubble households, complete with dinosaur sculptures.
If you're just passing through, consider stopping at Fred's Diner for a Bronto Burger or Chickasaurus Dinner. Plus, a cup of coffee is always just 5 cents. If you're road weary by the time you pull into Bedrock, there's also a full campground complete with outdoor activities, laundry services and other amenities.
3. Oatman Ghost Town
Old Route 66 is dotted with abandoned sites from a forgotten era of American history. One special location is the Oatman Ghost Town, which is home to more wild burros than human inhabitants. One a boomtown of the gold rush, Oatman was inhabited was a bustling mining community until the 1940s, when the ore dried up.
Today, you'll find souvenir shops, restaurants and even a haunted hotel. If you spend some time in town, you're likely to see reenactments of old west gunfights as well as a traditional egg frying contest, in which participants attempt to cook an egg on the hot asphalt.
4. Casa Grande Ruins
Little is known about the original purpose of the "Great House" ruins located outside of Phoenix, in Coolidge, Arizona. Historians do know that the building - the tallest of any First Peoples' monuments - was built around 650 years ago by the Sonoran Desert People.
Discovered in 1694 by a Spanish missionary, the ruins have remained a mystery to this day. Irrigation trenches have been discovered around the site, and some believe the structure was once a meeting place for members of a prehistoric farming community. The ruin is about an hour drive from Phoenix.
When you get travel insurance before hitting the road on your winter adventures, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the amazing sights the state of Arizona has to offer.