Arizona is thoroughly desert, from the hot and low variety in Tucson to the crisp, clear elevations of Flagstaff. So even an artsy little place like Sedona is still distinctly Arizonan. If you want someplace unique, try this "experimental town" built atop a hill 70 miles north of Phoenix, an exercise in what planners call "arcology," or the mix of architecture and ecology. More than 7,000 volunteers have contributed to build the city since the project began in 1970 (to live or work there you must also build part of the town). The economy here is based more on barter than purchases, an experience you won't find much of anywhere in America, much less Arizona.
Somehow the hermit-ish, religiously conservative Ozarks also boast a tie-dyed resort enclave that keeps passing the state's most progressive LGBTQ protections. Nestled into steep, forested crags, the town is full of Victorian homes, touristy hotels, and shops -- and despite sitting an hour's drive from the world headquarters of Walmart, no chain stores. The architect E. Fay Jones selected a hill right outside town for his Thorncrown Chapel, one of the most architecturally significant American churches of the 20th century. This place isn't just cats and dogs living together; it's hippies, bikers, and bougie tourists all drinking at the town's haunted Crescent Hotel, looking out on a 66ft-tall statue of Jesus a couple of hills over. Because, yeah, you're still in Arkansas. -- Sam Eifling, Thrillist Travel editor