In the wake of Arizona's legislative crackdown on illegal immigration last week, Mexico has issued a travel alert for its citizens, while some US cities, businesses and organizations are calling for an Arizona travel boycott. Meanwhile, the US Travel Association and others in the tourism industry are asking travelers not to boycott Arizona, especially since the state's tourism economy is already suffering high unemployment.
Whether you're politically for or against traveling to Arizona right now, can we agree not to take it out on US federal recreational lands, such as the Grand Canyon, or the Navajo Nation, whose sovereign tribal council has not come out in support of Arizona's recent legislation?
May is an especially great month for visiting the Grand Canyon, before massive summer vacation crowds arrive. The park's South Rim is always open, and this year you've got a more eco-friendly way to tour it. Look for brand-new Bright Angel Bicycle Rentals, open for business at Canyon Visitor Information Plaza, near Mather Point. A half-day bicycle rental costs $25/15 per adult/child.
The Grand Canyon's more remote North Rim will be opening for the 2010 season on May 15. Get there early on opening day, and you may have some of the famous viewpoints all to yourself. (If you'd rather minimize your Arizona travel, you can access the North Rim via southern Utah, passing through Zion National Park.)
How do you feel about the proposed Arizona travel boycotts? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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Photo credit: Grand Canyon NP, North Rim (Michael Connolly, Jr.)