Tucson friendly vibe is different than Phoenix, it has a large university (UoA),
a smaller and more intimate downtown and it is a good basecamp for visiting all southern Arizona has to offer.
Prefer not at summertime when temperatures are very hot.
note 1: We spend here 2 nights and went to the city downtown to eat so I can’t
really say a lot about the city itself.
note 2: I must admit I never visit any of the museum Tucson has to offer so I can’t
really recommend/dis (Arizona State Museum, few Art Museums, Transportation
Museum, Pima Air & Space Museum and few others).
As tourist I prefer Tucson on Phoenix; the city has good vibe and many attractions
nearby and at southern Arizona. I will recommend to staying the city for few
days and each day travel to a different attraction.
way to/from Tucson you can plan the following stops:
place that try to have long term habitat of isolated biosphere experiments.
Peak State Park:
state park located on hwy I10 mid-way to Tucson. A desert cactus landscape
surrounding a high rocky hill, there is a trail that is climbing all the way to
the top of the cliff with good all-around view. This is recommended park to
visit if you are planning to do the hike, but it is not a must if you do not
have the time.
giant saguaro cactus is one of the symbols of the American west desert. These
majestic plants, found in relatively small area, are protected by Saguaro
has two separate sections and I recommend the west section. It may be smaller in
size and with shorter hikes but has a lot of large cactus and I think better
zoo, large botanical garden, natural history museum that was founded in 1952.
Located west of Tucson, on N. Kinney road. It has two miles walking paths where
you discover the desert landscape. It is one of the most visited attractions in
Southern Arizona so my advice, come early.
I visited this place 22 years ago, I still remember this as an excellent visit
and kids friendly. I do not know how it is today but from reviews it kept its
larger section of the Saguaro National Park. Has an 8 miles loop drive and a many
more hiking options compare to the west park section.
Catalina Natural Area & Mt Lemmon:
road climbs this high mountain range, Mt Lemmon top is more than 9,000f high. Many
viewing stops along the winding road and few hiking & camping options.
northeast of the city center. Both has deep canyons a stream of water that
forms seasonal pools and waterfalls, were on the mountain slopes above there
are Saguaro cactus. While Sabino canyon is with more water and more popular in Bear
Canyon you can find the Seven Falls section.
South East day trip out of
Air & Space Museum:
Pima Air & Space Museum, located south from Tucson, is one of the world's
largest non-government funded aerospace museums. The museum features a display
of nearly 300 aircraft including Blackbird.
Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group:
largest military airplane graveyard located not far from the Pima Air &
Space Museum. Not sure you can visit this place or have a good location for
picture taking (is it allowed?).
Cave Mountain Park:
long, 40 min, guided tour will take you into this large cave. You’ll learn
about the Cave’s history, its legends (like train robbers and ghosts), and its
unique geology. As you descend approximately six stories deep (363 stair steps)
you’ll see some amazing cave formations including stalactites, stalagmites,
tourist brochures: The spirits of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clanton
Brothers live on in the authentic old west town of Tombstone, home of Boothill
Graveyard, the Birdcage Theatre, and the O.K. Corral.
although his is real well preserved wild-west town this is mainly a large “tourist
trap”, really nice to be here with kids (see the midday shooting show) and if
you really like such thing…
from Tucson south on hwy 19 you can find the following attractions:
San Xavier del Bac:
famous old mission just outside Tucson. The church, which is still fully
functional and active today, was opened in 1797, which makes it the oldest
European structure in the state. The front is impressive and there are baroque
architecture elements and painted artwork.
historic Titan II missile site is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile
sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. There is
guided tour that will take you inside and the self-guided topside tour outside.
Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) is a United States astronomical
observatory located on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains 55 mile
west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona. It is one of the largest gatherings of
astronomical instruments in the northern hemisphere.
looks like it is close to the public for now