Top Ten Reasons to Follow your Cactus League Team to Arizona

Grand Canyon State Welcomes Fans for 15 Spring Training Teams

It's time to play ball! The "boys of spring" are back in Arizona and the state is ready to host 15 Spring Training teams, as well as their dedicated fans. The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) offers the following list of the Top Ten Reasons to Follow Your Cactus League Team to the Grand Canyon State.

1. Deals, Deals and More Deals, Visitors to Arizona can access www.arizonaguide.com, AOT's travel value Web site, to find special travel deals on moderate to world-class accommodations, attractions, shopping, dining and more.
2. Leave your Mittens at Home - The average daily high temperature in the greater Phoenix area in March is 75 degrees and sunshine is almost always guaranteed. Warm days and cool evenings provide the perfect backdrop for watching some incredible baseball and exploring one of the most exciting destinations in the U.S.
3. A Dose of Culture - The Grand Canyon State is a crossroad of cultures where many different traditions have met and combined into a unique tradition that defines Arizona. Explore the historic locations dedicated to the state's Old West, Mexican and Native American heritage. You'll find yourself intrigued, as well, by a remarkable array of fine-art venues, including historic theatres, colorful galleries, and renowned museums, such as the Heard Museum or the Musical Instrument Museum.
4. Bring Your Clubs - With more than 300 golf courses in the state, there is no reason your golf clubs should sit at home. Ranging from rolling green fairways, to cactus-studded desert landscaping, Arizona golf is unparalleled. Live the Arizona golf experience by playing one of the area's reasonable daily fee courses or indulge at an incredible resort course. You can play like the pros at TPC Scottsdale (www.tpc.com/daily/scottsdale/), which hosts one of the most popular stops on the PGA circuit, the Waste Management Open. The award-winning We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, located in the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, was designed by the golf course architectural team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and is a must-see for all golf lovers.
5. Take a Hike - The Greater Phoenix area is home to some of the state's most amazing hiking trails. Camelback Mountain, uniquely situated in the heart of the city, offers a challenging hike with breathtaking views. South Mountain Park/Preserve boasts 58 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels. The McDowell Mountain Regional Park covers nearly 22,000 pristine desert acres in Scottsdale. Based on the central location of all of these hikes, you can easily squeeze some outdoor activity into each day.
6. Hit the Road - The timing of the Spring Training games is ideal for visitors to extend their stay and take advantage of all that Arizona has to offer. The Phoenix area serves as an excellent hub for making day trips to Arizona's nearby scenic attractions. One of the most incredible ways to see the state is on one of Arizona's 22 Scenic Roads. Check out www.arizonascenicroads.com for an overview and itinerary planning assistance. Sedona, which has been heralded as "The Most Beautiful Place in America," is only two hours away and Tucson and Southern Arizona provide an easy getaway from the metropolitan area.
7. Relax and Rejuvenate - If cheering on your baseball team takes it all out of you, check into one of the area's luxurious spas to recharge. From traditional Native American healing treatments to innovative Asian practices, Arizona spas run the gamut when it comes to pampering. In fact, three Arizona spas were named to Travel + Leisure's "Top 10 Destination Spas in the World" list - Miraval - Life in Balance and Canyon Ranch in Tucson, and Mii amo in Sedona.
8. Shop `til you Drop - There are hundreds of indoor and outdoor malls, antique stores, clothing boutiques, gift shops, and art galleries - each offering the latest fashions and gifts that are uniquely Arizona. Scottsdale Fashion Square (www.fashionsquare.com) is the largest shopping center in the Southwestern U.S. and will keep serious shoppers entertained all day. Downtown Glendale (www.visitglendale.com) is consistently rated as one of the top antiquing destinations in the U.S. and, Arizona Mills in Tempe offers designer goods at a fraction of the price (www.arizonamills.com). Downtown Mesa has a plethora of unique boutiques that might piqué your interest as well!
9. The Grand Canyon - A trip to Arizona wouldn't be complete without a visit to the state's signature landmark - the Grand Canyon (www.nps.gov/grca)! Whether you take a scenic flight with one of the companies that operate out of the Greater Phoenix area, or you hop in the car for the breathtaking three and a half hour drive, the Grand Canyon is truly majestic in the spring. Nothing compares to seeing the Canyon and with fewer visitors than during the popular summer months, visiting the Grand Canyon in the spring offers the opportunity for quality time with friends and family.
10. Paint the Town Red - Don't let Arizona's laid back image fool you, because when the sun sets, things really start to come to life in the Valley of the Sun. Art lovers can hit the First Fridays Art Walk in Downtown Phoenix on the first Friday of each month, every Thursday in Scottsdale or Tempe, and the first Saturday in Glendale and Chandler, making an evening out of perusing the galleries and indulging in some of the nation's best cuisine. Arizona is home to several James Beard award-winning chefs and Food and Wine "Best New Chefs in America," and their culinary talents can be sampled in restaurants throughout the state. The party doesn't end after dinner, as the night clubs, jazz bars and cantinas continue in the revelry.

For additional media information, visit www.arizonaguide.com/press-room. For additional Arizona travel information, call toll free at 866-298-3312 or visit www.arizonaguide.com.

For more information on the Cactus League, visit www.CactusLeague.com. Cactus League Teams are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and the Texas Rangers.

Editor's Note: The Arizona Office of Tourism has a wide selection of images and scenic b-roll available upon request.