The 12 Best Beaches in Arizona, USA

The 15 best lakes in Arizona.

Saguaro cacti, rocky mountains and open spaces may dominate Arizona’s landscape, but the state also claims impressive lakes, including several within an hour’s drive of Phoenix. These top lakes across the state offer adventurers the chance to boat through red-rock canyons, scuba dive deep, fish for tournament-sized bass and more.

Lake Powell.

Created by the Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell is among the best lakes for houseboats in the United States, but you don’t need a houseboat to explore its nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline and 96 major canyons. You can boat, kayak, jet ski, sailboat and water ski on the waters lapping the Arizona-Utah border.

Lake Powell, which is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, is also a popular spot for hiking, fishing and camping. Using the town of Page, Arizona, as a base, you can take a trip to Glen Canyon Dam, go to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and admire Antelope Canyon.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead Address, USA Get Directions

The first and largest national recreation area in the country, Lake Mead National Recreation Area includes two spectacular lakes: Lake Mead and Lake Mojave. Both were formed by a dam on the Colorado River, but Lake Mead, 110 miles long, is much more impressive, covering 1.5 million acres and 225 square miles of area. Not surprisingly, boating and water sports, including water skiing and kayaking, are common here, but visitors also swim, scuba dive, fish and camp.

Because Lake Mead is a short drive from Las Vegas, it can get crowded. For more privacy, Lake Mojave can be accessed from the Arizona side of the Arizona-California border at Catherine Landing, or with permission you can go down to Hoover Dam and discover the hot springs along the Black Canyon Water Trail.

Lake Havasu.

With 60 miles of navigable waterways along Arizona’s northwest border with California, Lake Havasu is considered one of the state’s best lakes for boating and is popular with spring breakers who come for water parties and the sandy beaches of Lake Havasu State Park. It also attracts anglers hoping to catch record largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass.

The lake is also home to the London Bridge, a bricks-and-mortar bridge from Great Britain to Lake Havasu City in 1971, and its shoreline features scaled-down replicas of famous American lighthouses that serve as navigational aids.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

Address Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Arizona, USA Get directions

At nearly 21,500 acres, Theodore Roosevelt Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world when it was created by the Theodore Roosevelt Dam in 1911. Today it is still the largest lake in Central Arizona, popular with boaters, water sports enthusiasts and anglers. hoping to catch crappie, catfish and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Just a five-minute walk from the marina is the Tonto National Monument’s main trail, leading to a 20-room cliffside apartment complex with incredible views of the lake.

Lake Pleasant.

Lake Pleasant, formed by Waddell Dam on the Agua Fria River northwest of Phoenix, is one of the closest lakes to the Capital Region. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the lake, especially on weekends, for boating, kayaking, sailing, kayaking and water skiing. You can even scuba dive on the lake, which is considered one of the best places to snorkel in the inland waters of the West.

Looking for something different? Lake Pleasant Regional Park has a nature center, dinner cruises and moonlight scorpion hunts. There’s also night fishing for largemouth, white and striped bass.

Watson Lake.

Address Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA Get directions

The imposing granite boulders surrounding this lake just 4 miles from downtown Prescott make it one of the most scenic in the state.It’s especially popular with kayakers, canoeists and paddlers, but you can also go boating and fishing here. Looking for a land adventure? Watson Lake has trails for hiking and mountain biking, there’s an 18-hole disc golf course and access to Granite Dells Boulders for rock climbing.

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Nearby is the lesser-known Goldwater Lake, which offers similar terrain and similar recreational opportunities, including great kayaking and canoeing.

Willow Springs Lake.

Willow Springs Lake, created by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1967, is regularly stocked with rainbow trout from May through September, making it one of the state’s best lakes for trout fishing. It’s also one of the quietest. Boats are limited to electric or gas engines with a maximum of 10 horsepower, so you’re more likely to see families taking in water from the shore than boats on the lake.

Willow Springs Lake usually closes after the first winter snowstorm, but when it doesn’t, intrepid anglers cast their rod and icefish here.

Lynx Lake

Address Lynx Lake, Arizona 86303, USA Get directions

This pine-lined lake in the Bradshaw Mountains, 15 minutes from Prescott and less than two hours from Phoenix, beckons Phoenicians with cool summer days and lush greenery. Most visitors stick to the shore, catching rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie and catfish or walking the 2-mile lakeshore trail. Still, some go out on the water in small motorboats, kayaks and canoes.

But that’s not all the Lynx Lake Recreation Area has to offer. North of the lake, along Lynx Creek, you can mine for gold.

Canyon Lake.

Although it is the smallest of the dammed lakes on the Salt River, at 950 acres, Canyon Lake is filled with boaters and water sports enthusiasts who make the roughly 45-mile trip from Phoenix to enjoy the festive atmosphere and dramatic scenery. It’s also popular with hikers who stay here while hiking the Apache Trail or book a narrated tour on the Dolly Steamboat. You can also scuba dive, fish for various types of bass, and hike in the surrounding area.

Other nearby Salt River lakes worth visiting are Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake and Saguaro Lake.

Patagonia Lake

Patagonia Lake address, Arizona, USA Get directions

Patagonia Lake State Park, located about 15 miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border, is popular with vacationers throughout the state. Not only does the lake have 105 lakeside campsites for motor homes and tent camping, but there are also 12 boating campsites and seven cabins available for rent. Visitors come on the boat and fish and see Inca doves, hummingbirds, canyon tui and other birds. Take a break from water sports and wildlife watching by visiting Sonoita Wineries, just a half-hour drive away.

Hawley Lake.

Pines and aspens surround this 300-acre lake nine miles south of AZ 260 on White Mountain Apache tribal lands. Although sailing, kayaking and canoeing can be done in its waters, Hawley Lake is known for its fishing. Buy a White Mountain Apache Tribal fishing permit at the lake store (your Arizona license does not cover fishing on tribal lands) and cast your rod for rainbow, cutthroat, brown and brook trout. Tent sites and lodges are available if you plan to spend more than a day here.

Bartlett Lake.

Bartlett Lake address, Arizona, USA Get directions

Named for surveyor Bill Bartlett, this 2,815-acre lake is less than 50 miles from Phoenix and is one of Central Arizona’s best-kept secrets, especially if you like boating, kayaking, water skiing and other water sports. Fishing is decent, too, with anglers having the most luck catching largemouth and smallmouth bass. Boats and small watercraft, including surfboards, can be rented at the lake’s marina. Even if you don’t want to fish or boat, the scenic paved access to Bartlett Lake makes it a worthy vacation spot.

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Alamo Lake.

Surrounded by the mountains of western Arizona, this remote lake is considered one of the best bass fishing spots in the state. Largemouth bass are so plentiful that Alamo Lake State Park often hosts bass fishing tournaments, but you can also catch crappie without much effort. Prefer to go boating? Alamo Lake offers 3,500 acres of water to explore.

However, water levels can fluctuate greatly because this lake was created by a dam on the Bill Williams River, so you may want to check current conditions before you leave home.

Fool Hollow Lake.

Address Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low, AZ 85901, USA Get directions

This public lake on the outskirts of Shaw Law got its name from Thomas Jefferson Adair, who moved here in 1885. Locals joked that only a fool would try to work the land, but Adair successfully insisted. Today, the lake created by Shaw-Low Creek Dam is popular with local anglers who catch long and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike and trout. Boaters with engines no more than 10 horsepower are welcome, and tent and RV sites are available.

Tempe Town Lake

Address Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA Get directions

Located near downtown Tempe and Arizona State University, this man-made lake offers water and water activities. To explore it, rent a kayak, water bike, paddle surf or electric boat. You can also go sailing, paddling or fishing for trout, bass, catfish and sunfish. If you prefer to stick to the shore, the trail wrapping around the city’s Tempe Lake is ideal for jogging and biking. (You can rent a bike at a local Grid Bikes station or rent a single or double on the shore of Lake Surrey.)

Many of the city’s biggest festivals, including the Lake Tempe Fourth of July Festival and Four Peaks Oktoberfest, take place at Lake Tempe Town.

Top 14 Great Resorts in Arizona

Arizona’s most magnificent resorts offer the perfect tranquil oasis filled with luxurious amenities that provide the perfect respite from the hectic pace of life, whether you want to play golf, indulge in spa treatments, enjoy a delicious meal, relax next to a beautiful pool or perhaps all of the above.

Top 14 Great Resorts in Arizona: Arizona

L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona

L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona (prices and photos)

Natural beauty surrounds you at this elegant resort modeled after a French country inn, consisting of private rolling hills with breathtaking views and cozy cottages in the woods on the banks of Oak Creek in the heart of Red Rock. Although it’s close to Sedona’s main street, because it’s tucked away in a particularly tranquil setting, you’ll feel as if you’re away from the world. Creekside Cottages has wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor cedar showers, and the modern rooms feature balconies or patios and wood furnishings that combine a sense of simplicity, albeit with high-end modern amenities. The resort’s French restaurant is known as one of the most romantic eateries in the state. It offers amazing French cuisine and a beautiful view of the bay, and the Creekside Patio Bar is a great place to enjoy cocktails.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: resorts

The Ritz-Carlton by Mt. Dove The Ritz-Carlton by Mt. Dove

The Ritz-Carlton, Mt. Dove, Marana (prices and photos)

Tucson’s most sophisticated and exclusive golf and tennis resort is located in the Marana Hills. Located on 850 acres about 20 miles northwest of downtown Tucson, the chic Ritz-Carlton boasts 20 miles of hiking and biking trails as well as a beautiful spa and restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, serving locally sourced Southwestern cuisine and magnificent desert views. Guests also have access to two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses at Dove Mountain. The resort’s design showcases local geology, using forests, rocks, flora, gems, minerals and Sonora Desert colors, while the rooms feature copper accents, crystals and colorful geodes, as well as the foothills of Tortolita and the prospects of Wild Burro Canyon. The resort also highlights the region’s Native people with a library featuring books on the region’s cultural and natural history, Native American art and every evening of outdoor sunset entertainment featuring Native American flute players.

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Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: resorts

Phoenician, Scottsdale Phoenician, Scottsdale

The Phoenician, Scottsdale (prices and photos)

This 250-acre resort has been dubbed the “Xanadu of Resort World.” It’s full of elegant details, including lots of crystal, marble and artwork, while the staff provides exceptional service and Camelback Mountain towers over the lush property.The grounds, filled with koi ponds, waterfalls, palm trees and green scenery against a stormy backdrop. The hotel has 643 spacious rooms, 119 casinos, 62 luxury suites and four presidential suites. Standard amenities include private balconies or patios, luxurious bathrooms with Roman oval tubs, bathrobes and high-quality toiletries, as well as 40-inch LCD TVs, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and daily bedtime preparations.

Expect plenty of activities as well, including the chance to play golf on the 27-hole USGA golf course, play on one of the 11 tennis courts with various services or take a stroll through the winding cactus garden. Enjoy treatments at the spa and relax at the pool complex, which includes seven pools and nine pool-goers who will deliver regular jugs of ice water and towels. Guests can also choose from ten different restaurants when the hunger pants come on.

Top 14 great resorts in arizona: yourself

Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort in Troon North, Scottsdale Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort in Troon North, Scottsdale

Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort in Troon North, Scottsdale (prices and photos)

The Four Seasons is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Phoenix area. It sits 1,000 feet above downtown Scottsdale, amid massive granite boulders in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. It was designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, with rooms arranged as one- and two-story casinos, all with chic furnishings, bright decor in a palette reflective of Sonora desert tones and upscale amenities, including an adobe-style gas fireplace, huge comfortable beds, a balcony and stunning sunset views. The suites also have outdoor garden showers, their own small pool and a telescope. You can spend your day at one of the state’s best golf courses next door, pamper yourself in the spa, read a good book next to the stunningly beautiful pool, and dine at four on-site restaurants, including Proof, which features classic Southern cuisine such as chicken and waffles and fried green tomatoes.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: resorts

InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley

InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley (prices and photos)

Montelucia, an Andalusian-style resort located at the foot of Campbellback Mountain, draws on the legendary Spanish Alhambra for architectural inspiration. It creates a particularly appealing blend between the arid landscape of Spain and the Sonora Desert, with a beautiful mix of intimate courtyards, Moorish geometric patterns and dark woods, though the highlight is the unmissable view of the fiery Camelback Mountain especially when the sun goes down. Guests can also enjoy gourmet meals on site, with décor and menus inspired by the soul and flavors of Andalusia while showcasing healthy, fresh ingredients. The Joya Spa offers the only authentic hammam in Arizona, and the many sparkling pools offer even more magnificent mountain views.

The 293 luxuriously furnished rooms feature private patios or balconies with sun loungers, high-tech amenities such as iPod docking stations and 42-inch flat-screen TVs, custom-designed Devine beds with 300 Egyptian cotton linens and a luxurious bathroom with a recessed tub and double shower.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: Scottsdale

Enchantment Resort, Sedona Enchantment Resort, Sedona

Enchantment Resort, Sedona (prices and photos)

This unforgettable luxury resort is located in a spectacular setting just a few miles from Sedona in Boynton Canyon. It is also known for its Mii Amo Spa, a world-class spa that provides guests with exclusive privileges on treatments inspired by Native American wisdom and tradition for balance and harmony. Rooms and suites are located in small pueblo-style buildings. All rooms have private decks, stunning views and gas fireplaces in the hive. Activity options are almost limitless, including mountain biking and hiking, swimming, golf, cooking classes, yoga, meditation and more.

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Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: resorts

Humpback Mountain Sanctuary Humpback Mountain Sanctuary

Camelback Mountain Sanctuary Resort and Spa (prices and photos)

This modern luxury resort has been considered one of the finest resorts in the Southwest for nearly a decade. It impresses upscale guests with its luxurious spa, top-notch cuisine, and spectacular rooms in bright stucco buildings and classic Sonoran-style casinos on the terraces inside. the north slope of camelback mountain. Each includes modern interiors with lots of elegant details and extraordinary views. Some even boast outdoor baths. It also happens to be in Scottsdale’s most desirable location, overlooking the desert and Monk Rock rather than suburban developments. When you dine at Elements, you’ll enjoy fresh, locally sourced American food with Asian accents, and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer great views. The infinity pool, zen meditation garden and Sanctuary Spa make it a true retreat.

Top 14 great resorts in arizona: yourself

Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg

Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg (prices and photos)

If you’re looking for a luxury ranch-style resort, Rancho de los Caballeros offers the perfect retreat in the heart of the Old Southwest, about an hour northwest of Phoenix. Enjoy 20,000 acres of lush open space and 100 saddle horses to ride the rough trails, while golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing one of the top 100 courses in the United States. A long list of other options includes hot air ballooning, exploring the desert on jeeps, ATVs or mountain bikes, guided hikes or just a leisurely swim. After a long day of gaming, pamper yourself with spa treatments made with local desert ingredients and fill your appetite at festive feasts, complete with fine wine. When you’re ready to return to your casino, you’ll find handmade furniture and artifacts, as well as private courtyards to enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: Resort

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale (prices and photos)

Here at the chic Gainey Ranch, it’s easy to imagine you’ve escaped to a seaside resort rather than the desert. You’ll be shaded by soaring palm trees, surrounded by carefully manicured gardens and walkways, and plenty of water wherever you go, including a lagoon, waterfalls, a three-story water slide, and a beach. If you don’t want to get wet, you can even take a gondola ride on the waterways. While it can be hard to tear yourself away from the pools, you can play a round or two at one of the three golf courses at nearby Gainey Ranch Golf Club or treat yourself to a massage at Avania Spa. When it’s time to dine out, you’ll find several options on site, as well as nightly entertainment. This Aztec-inspired tropical oasis hotel offers chic and spacious rooms with an iPod docking station, a private patio or balcony and a flat-screen TV.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: Scottsdale

Fairmont Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fairmont Scottsdale, Scottsdale

Fairmont Scottsdale, Scottsdale (prices and photos)

The Phoenix Open puts this beautiful 450-acre, Moorish-inspired resort with lots of fountains and waterfalls in the spotlight every year, taking over two golf courses, but it’s popular year-round. The Fairmont Scottsdale draws visitors with its luxurious spa, known as one of the best in the country, a superb modern steakhouse, Chef Michael’s BOURBON STEAK and five huge pools, including a stunning rooftop pool. The spacious rooms, decorated in a chic mix of modern styles with earthy hues, feature wet bars, deep soaking tubs in the large bathroom and private patios or balconies overlooking the spectacular desert landscape.

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Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: Resort

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson (prices and photos)

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is located at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and offers particularly scenic views. It is the most spectacular resort in Tucson and one of the most luxurious of all the major resorts in the region. The waterfall is just a few steps from the lobby. Wildlife can also be seen here, including deer, coyotes and great horned owls. The resort also has two spacious pools, one adults-only pool, as well as two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, lighted tennis courts and a scenic hiking trail. Dining options include Southwestern cuisine at Flying V Grill, and poolside snacks at Bill’s Grill. Rooms are beautifully furnished, decorated in muted tones and feature an en suite bathroom with a flat-screen mini TV and a double wide bathtub.

Top 14 great resorts in Arizona: Scottsdale

Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix

Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix (Rates and Photos)

Royal Palms Resort and Spa offers an intimate, luxurious atmosphere and impeccable service that has attracted many VIPs, including former President George H.W. Bush Jr. The Mediterranean-style resort welcomes guests next to its namesake palm trees and rooms that appear to belong to a very prestigious southwestern estate. The luxurious suites, casino and villas vary but in one of three styles: romantic retreat, Spanish colonial or trompe l’oeil. All rooms are decorated in bright colors with jewels, hand-selected furnishings and deep soaking tubs. Relieve stress at Alvadora’s outdoor spa with its heavenly tropical outdoor shower and dine at T. Cook’s, where the menu focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients and bold flavors.

Top 14 Great Resorts in Arizona: Arizona

The Boulders Resort & Spa, Carefree The Boulders Resort & Spa, Carefree

The Boulders Resort & Spa, Carefree (Prices and Photos)

This upscale resort is known as one of the best in the country. Its casitas overlook miles and miles of rugged mountains and cacti, while it hides among hill-sized granite boulders and the lush Sonora Desert. Set against the cliffs, the casitas has curved pueblo-style half-walls and exposed log beam ceilings, as well as a private balcony or patio with beautiful views, a wood-burning fireplace and a large bathroom with a deep soaking tub. Its Waldorf Astoria spa is known as one of the best in Arizona. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a game on one of the two courses, and those who want to relax will find four beautiful pools to relax in nearby. There are six restaurants, with innovative menus featuring Southern Border, classic American and Southwestern cuisine.

Top 14 Great Resorts in Arizona: Arizona

CopperWynd Resort and Club, Fountain Hills CopperWynd Resort and Club, Fountain Hills

CopperWynd Resort and Club, Fountain Hills (prices and photos)

This AAA Four Diamond boutique resort sits high atop a ridge above Scottsdale, offering spectacular views of the Sonora Desert and the McDowell Mountains, and its remote location also offers a high level of privacy. Dine at Alchemy’s mouthwatering, award-winning restaurant and serve fresh, local produce in a stunning atmosphere with floor-to-ceiling glass panels that offer delightful perspectives.

Guests can also swim in one of the two azure pools, work out in the huge 5,000-square-foot health club and enjoy one of Arizona’s finest spas. The spacious rooms and villas are furnished with handcrafted furniture, granite counters, a cozy fireplace, linens and a terrace overlooking serene desert views. Although there’s no golf course on site, the helpful concierge will be happy to schedule a tee time at the nearest one.

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