Arizona Centennial

Arizona is turning 100 this year!

But if you ask me, it doesn’t look a day over 92…he he.

In honor of its statehood day tomorrow, February 14th, I put together this A to Z list of reasons why I love and appreciate AZ, my home. Enjoy!

A – Arizona. Arizona is our nation’s 48th State. Arizona’s statehood date is February 14, 1912, and on that day, it became the last contiguous state to be added to the union. Happy Valentine’s Day, Arizona!

B – Bisbee. On January 9, 1902, the City of Bisbee was incorporated. Bisbee became popular for its copper mining and is, now, a well-known artist community, too. Yes, hippies are alive and well in Bisbee.

C – Canyon de Chelly. Canyon de Chelly is a national monument in northern Arizona and has some of the most colorful rock formations you will ever see. Jeep tours can be taken through the canyon for views of some of these natural wonders and Native American ruins.

D – Diamondbacks. The Arizona Diamondbacks is our state’s only baseball team and, in 2001, became the fastest expansion franchise ever to win a pennant and a World Series.

E – Eden, Barbara. Barbara Eden, of I Dream of Jeannie fame, was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1934.

F – Flagstaff. If you think Arizona is always hot, think again. Flagstaff, Arizona is only a 2½ hour drive north of Phoenix, and is home to Arizona Snowbowl, where you can ski, snowboard, or do some good old fashioned sledding.

G – Grand Canyon. The south rim of the Grand Canyon is only four hours north of Phoenix. There you can explore the sites by hiking, riding a mule, boating down the mighty Colorado, or by visiting one of its museums.

H – Hopi Indians. The Hopi Indians of Arizona are a branch of the Pueblo Peoples who, at one time, inhabited a large part of the Southwest. Their culture can be found in abundance in Arizona.

I – Isabella Greenway. Isabella Greenway is best known as the first U.S. congresswoman in Arizona history.

J – Jacaranda. Jacaranda trees can be seen all over the Phoenix area. Their purple fern-like leaves are beautiful but, unfortunately, only flower for a couple of weeks in May.

K – KFAD (now KTAR). KFAD was the first licensed commercial radio station in 1922.

L – Las Vegas. I know this list is supposed to be about Arizona, but I had to mention the fact that you can get to Las Vegas in about an hour by plane or about six hours by car. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but I always return to Arizona!

M – Monument Valley. Monument Valley provides some of the most amazing images of the American Southwest and encompasses the three major canyons of de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument.

N – Northern Arizona University. NAU is one of the three state universities in Arizona, and is located in Flagstaff, Arizona. The other two universities are Arizona State University and University of Arizona.

O – OK Corral. The Gunfight at the OK Corral is one of the most famous gunfights of the old west and happened in Tombstone, Arizona on October 26, 1881. Famous participants of the fight were Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.

P – Prickly Pear Margaritas. Prickly Pear Margaritas are a trendy drink found in restaurants across Arizona. Yummmmmm……

Q – Queen Creek Olive Oil. The Queen Creek Olive Mill can be found at the base of the San Tan Mountains and is Arizona’s only working olive farm and mill.

R – Retirement. According to World Facts & Figures, Phoenix, Arizona has 211 sunny days per year. Couple that with hundreds of golf courses and lake communities, and you have the perfect place to relax after years of hard work!

S – Suns. The Phoenix Suns is the only professional basketball team in Arizona. It was founded in 1968 and is part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the NBA. In 43 years of play, they have made the playoffs 29 times.

T – Temperature. Okay, it can get hot in Phoenix… The hottest it has ever been in Phoenix was 122 degrees on June 26, 1990 (“but it’s a dry heat”), and the coldest recorded temperature in Phoenix was 29 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, though, the average temperature in Phoenix in February is 71 degrees. And that’s a number I can love!

U – University of Arizona. The UofA is located in Tucson, Arizona, and is a public research university that was founded in 1885.

V – Valentine’s Day. Maine may be for lovers, but we like to think of Arizona as The Romance State. Founded on February 14, 1912 (Valentine’s Day), Arizona certainly has earned its title.

W – Winery. When most people think about wineries, Arizona is usually not the first state that comes to mind. But it should be! Some of our favorites include: Alcantara Vineyards, Echo Canyon, Jerome Winery, and Oak Creek Vineyards. There are many more, so check them out, too. Cheers!

X – Xpress, Polar. I took some liberties with this one, but check out the Polar Express Train Ride with your kids during the holidays. It starts at the Williams, Arizona Depot and takes a scenic trip through the wilderness to the “North Pole.” Make this one a holiday tradition.

Y – Yuma. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Yuma, AZ is the sunniest place on earth.

Z – Zebras. Out of Africa is a Wildlife Park located 1½ hours north of Phoenix, where you will find zebras, tigers, giraffe, rhinoceros, black bear, camel, ostrich, cobras, exotic birds, tortoise, wildebeest, jaguar, leopards, wolves, hyenas, and oh my, more! If you can’t make it to Out of Africa, there’s the Phoenix Zoo, too.

Now that you’ve read my list, I want to hear from you! If you could change one of the letters above to represent a different word, which letter and word would it be? Let me know in a comment below!