Seeing the sights? State highways will get you there

Seeing the sights? State highways will get you there

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications
January 24, 2020

Did you know that Arizona had 4.54 million visitors in 2018? Or that the state's attractions brought in $24.4 billion in travel revenue in for fiscal 2018?

Impressive, right? But what, we hear you asking, does that have to do with transportation? 

Glad you asked. Because if you look at the 15 top travel destinations for the state, they, with a couple exceptions, have something in common: a handy state highway nearby.

It's true. You can find the visitor numbers reported to the Arizona Office of Tourism for natural and man-made attractions, respectively, here and here.

Take the (unsurprisingly) top tourist attraction in the state: Grand Canyon National Park. Its 6.38 million of its visitors can easily get there from State Route 64. Or State Route 67 if they felt like taking in the view from the North Rim. There's even the ADOT-operated Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan.

Next down on the list is the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, which had 3.76 million visitors who wanted to capture the spirit of Old London Town. It's less than a thousand feet from State Route 95.

And how could 3.64 million people expect to play in Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area if it weren't for US 89?

The Phoenix Zoo, State Farm Stadium, Westworld of Scottsdale, Gila River Arena and the Desert Botanical Garden in the Valley all make the list, falling at numbers 4, 6, 9, 10 and 14, respectively, ranging between 1.4 million and 500,000 visitors in 2018. And each is a short hop from the Loop 202 or Loop 101 freeways. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, with 662,000 visitors, came it at No. 11 and is accessed from State Route 74. 

The list can go on and on: No. 8 Saguaro National Park and Interstate 10; No. 12 Petrified Forest National Park and Interstate 40 or US 180; and No. 15 Bearizona and Interstate 40. 

Next time you gear up for the next big family trip or a local staycation, a state highway is likely nearby to help you get there.


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