Ahoy, fellow desert-dwellers and travelers from afar! Arizona, with its cacti, copper-colored sands, and blazing sun, has always been a place of wild beauty and fierce individualism. But there’s a new vibe floating in the desert air these days, and it’s got a distinct, fragrant note: cannabis.
Voters approved recreational weed in 2020, and the state flourished with cannabis possibilities. It’s not just the law that has embraced it; Arizonans have wholeheartedly integrated weed into their culture. From festivals to farmers markets, it’s poppin’ in Arizona, and for those who are 420-friendly, the state has a bouquet of experiences ready. So, pack up your pipe, and let’s dive into the scene surrounding weed in Arizona. Plus, we’ll offer you some fun things to explore while palling around with your friends.
Half oz Hybrid Ready to Roll in Arizona. Photography by Melenie Ybarra.
Best Outdoor Adventures While High in Arizona
Phoenix, with its urban sophistication and raw, unspoiled desert surroundings, is an oasis for the adventure lover. Throw in some 420 magic, and the landscapes come alive in a totally new dimension. Explore the perfect blend of free and fee-required activities within a short drive from the city.
Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park (Free)
Just minutes from downtown Phoenix, Papago Park offers a unique landscape with its iconic red butte formations. One of the most popular attractions here is the Hole-in-the-Rock, a natural sandstone formation. The short hike up provides a panoramic view of Phoenix, and it’s especially mesmerizing during sunrise or sunset. Light up, sit down, and watch the city and nature converge in front of you.
Desert Botanical Garden (Cost)
Still in the vicinity of Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is a sprawling 140-acre wonder showcasing the beauty of desert plants. Walk along its five thematic trails, and if you time your visit right, you can witness the magical process of desert wildflowers blooming. Note: While the garden itself isn’t 420-friendly, it’s an excellent spot to explore with an elevated mindset, having partaken responsibly before you arrive.
South Mountain Park and Preserve (Free)
Covering over 16,000 acres and boasting 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, South Mountain is one of the largest city parks in North America. The trails range from easy to challenging, making it perfect for all fitness levels. For a quick and easy hike, try the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trail. Or, if you’re up for more of a challenge, the Dobbins Lookout offers stunning views of the Phoenix skyline.
Hot Air Balloon Ride (Cost)
Elevate your senses in every way possible by floating over the Sonoran Desert in a hot air balloon. Based in Phoenix, several companies offer rides that give you a bird’s-eye view of the city’s landmarks and the desert’s unique topography. The tranquility of soaring at sunrise, combined with the breathtaking views below, creates a sublime experience. Plus, many companies end the ride with a traditional champagne toast.
Where to Cure the Munchies in Arizona
Let’s be real: Arizona’s food scene is an unsung hero, waiting to be discovered by munchie-hunters far and wide. From hearty traditional dishes to innovative gastronomic delights, Phoenix is a culinary haven. When the munchies strike and the craving calls, these spots are not just eateries, they’re experiences.
With locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Lux Central is about to be your new favorite any-time-of-day cafe. The ambiance, a mix of eclectic and modern, serves as the perfect backdrop for a menu that’s equally varied. From freshly baked pastries in the morning to their savory dinner plates, there’s something for every palate. And when your sweet tooth kicks in? Their pie menu rotates daily. Pair that with a latte or an evening cocktail, and you’re in for a treat.
For those who crave Mexican flavors, Otro Café is the place to be. This vibrant eatery brings forth a menu inspired by the owner’s family recipes. Think guacamole prepared table-side, rich and flavorful Pozole, or the decadent Tres Leches cake. Their Taco Tuesday is legendary – with an array of choices that’ll make picking just one an impossible task.
This isn’t your regular diner. Set in a renovated 1940s Valentine diner, Welcome Diner has a nostalgic vibe. But the food? A modern twist on classic dishes. Their biscuit sandwiches are a must-try – flaky, buttery, and generously filled. The “Big Jim” – fried chicken, bacon, and gravy all stuffed in a biscuit – is the stuff of legends. Wash it down with one of their hand-crafted cocktails or shakes.
Cornish Pasty Co.
Bringing the flavors of Cornwall, England, to the desert of Arizona, the Cornish Pasty Co. offers a unique dining experience. The pasties – essentially a pastry pocket filled with various delicious ingredients – are both hearty and exquisite. From the traditional “Oggie” (steak, potato, and onion) to the spicy and flavorful “Lamb Vindaloo,” there’s a pasty for every craving. Don’t skip on their sides, especially the thick-cut chips with curry or gravy.
Half oz Indica Ready to Roll in Arizona. Photography by Melenie Ybarra.
Top Places to Hang Out While High
Phoenix, with its brilliant desert sun, can get a tad warm at times. However, when the temperatures soar, the city boasts an array of indoor havens where one can chill, unwind, and enjoy the good vibes, especially with a cannabis-induced high.
The Clarendon Hotel, Phoenix
An oasis amidst the desert, The Clarendon Hotel is not just any hotel. It’s a sanctuary for those who cherish the 420-friendly culture. From its swanky, retro-inspired rooms to the rooftop deck that offers panoramic views of Phoenix’s skyline, it’s designed for relaxation. Dive into their pool, soak in the ambiance, and let the world drift by. The hotel frequently hosts events, so there’s always something to keep you entertained.
The Newton, Phoenix
Housed in what was once the iconic Beef Eaters restaurant, The Newton is a multipurpose space that perfectly merges the old with the new. Book aficionados can lose themselves in Changing Hands Bookstore, while those seeking a culinary treat can head to First Draft Book Bar, where literary love meets craft beer and good wine. The space is vast, eclectic, and perfectly designed for those introspective and imaginative moments that come with being high.
The Alwun House, Phoenix
An artsy soul’s dream, The Alwun House isn’t just an art gallery; it’s a testament to creativity. This historic home is the city’s first art house and offers a psychedelic blend of traditional and avant-garde art pieces. Their exhibitions are ever-changing, ensuring a fresh experience with each visit. The vibrant colors, the eclectic mix of mediums, and the sheer creativity make it a delightful experience when you’re in a heightened state of mind.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix
Let your senses be serenaded at MIM. This museum, one of the largest of its kind, showcases over 7,000 musical instruments from all over the world. Dive into the sounds, rhythms, and melodies of different cultures. With headphones on, each display offers an auditory journey, allowing you to hear the instruments being played. When high, this auditory feast can be transcendental, offering a journey through time and space, all while being indoors.