When trying to find things to do in Arizona, the Grand Canyon State is my hero. For starters, Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time except for the Navajo Nation. Which impresses me in both instances. Either way, time is on your side. And time is what you make of it. So on a fun road trip to Arizona, you don’t have to be on time, just enjoy your time.
Anthem Veteran’s Memorial
Literally the only place that depends on time down to the very minute is the Anthem Veteran’s Memorial. Once per year, for exactly 60 seconds, this monument showcases the great seal of the United States of America in a beam of sunshine. The five individual monuments each possess elements of their sector of the military and show their unity in casting a shadow at 11:11pm on November 11 (Veteran’s Day) illuminating the seal. The bricks all around are red while the monuments are white with the backdrop of a clear blue sky, representing the red, white, and blue of the United States’ colors. Not to mention the seal is a perfect circle, signaling the unbreakable border and bond of the 50 states and all who have fought for them. It’s a very unique monument and moment to share should you be passing through Anthem, Arizona.
The London Bridge (Sort Of)
In 1820, engineer John Rennie was tasked to come up with a new London Bridge several yards upstream of its previous location. His proposed design with several stone arches was accepted and sadly only began construction after his passing. His sons completed the design and construction beginning in 1824. In 1831, King William IV and Queen Adelaide arrived by water to celebrate the opening of Rennie’s new London Bridge. But only surviving a paltry 140 years compared to the previous bridge’s existence of 622 years, the London Bridge was facing dismantling. When American oilman, Robert P. McCulloch was interested in purchasing it, England jumped at the chance to sell it. McCulloch paid $2.5 million for the bridge and another $7.5 to have it painstakingly pulled apart and shipped to the United States. Yes, you read that right. The London Bridge made an arduous but successful journey across the Atlantic and is now in the United States and is in in Lake Havasu City.
Flintstones Bedrock City
Three eventful hours from Lake Havasu (which is so fun to say and spell) is the Flintstones Bedrock City in Williams, Arizona. I know you are already singing the theme song. The Bedrock City was built in 1972 and includes a diner, theme park, gift shop, and camping site. The diner has delicacies that include the Fishasaurus Sandwich, Dino Dogs, Bronto Burgers, and coffee for five cents! The innovative television show premiered in 1960 and found a way to make animated shows normal even for its perceived prehistoric view on modern reality. Check it out; you’ll have a yabba-do time!
Barringer Meteor Crater
In Flagstaff, around 50,000 years ago a fiery ball of iron, nickel, dust, ice, silicon, and oxygen from the trail of a comet collided with earth with the force of 2.5 million tons of TNT. In perspective, the crater is about a mile wide and about 600 feet deep. Despite this enormous size, the impact did not cause global environmental effects, but the regional damage was likely catastrophic. Paleontological studies recorded flora and fauna data that suggests that wildlife lived in the vicinity and were likely devastated. Similar to the power of a nuclear blast but without the radiation aftermath, anything near the impact was obviously vaporized. Events such as these that could annihilate an entire modern city occur only once ever 6,000 years. So it looks like we’re ok for now!
The Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room
Yayoi Kusama is an artist from Japan who has created iconic art all the way to her current age of 88! This includes media, painting, collage, sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations In Phoenix is the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room where she created an installation of infinity mirrors that let you get lost in a magical world of perspective. With an avant-garde approach, Kusama’s unorthodox and experimental methods earned her $5.1 million for a piece, setting a record for a work by living female artist. The Infinity Room is mesmerizing and permanently installed at the Phoenix Art Museum. Originally titled, You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies brings a fairy tale to life, and makes you feel like you’re in the grips of another world. Despite it feeling like infinity, the room is very small and includes LED lighting that looks like an entirely new galaxy.
Not sure where we’ve been? You can always search “Road Trip Destinations Series” in the search bar at the top of the blog to find out. If you have the time, Arizona has exactly what you need!