Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tucson, Arizona: So much to discover!

These are just a few of the many things to explore and do in Tucson - a week would not be enough to discover all that Tucson has to offer:

Pima Air & Space Museum

It is one of the largest non-government-funded aviation and space museums in the world! Featuring over 400 historical aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner.  Sitting on 80 acres, the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976.  Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars.

The Museum's outdoor displays can be easily toured by a tram.  You don't have to walk in the sun on sandy soil. Admission is only $8 for the 40-minute guided tour.  Come early, these tours are booked out fast, take the 10 o'clock tour for the best photo light.  There are 5 guided tours a day (10 a.m. -15 p.m.) throughout the extensive outdoor displays of aircraft of all types, sizes, and from all ages.

Taco Tours:

Tucson has the best selection of original Sonaroan Mexican fare.  Thanks to its proximity to the Mexican border, you'll find no shortage of fluffy corn shells, spicy salsas, or grilled meats.  There are so many spots to get tacos in Tucson that you might find it better to Take a taco Tour.  Invite friends and go taco shop-hopping.

Hills and Trails of Saguaro National Park

it has two sections; both of which border Tucson. One trail, for example, leads to ancient petroglyphs of the Hohokam people. In the eastern part of the park, on the other hand, there's a road that will show you the best of what Saguaro's scenery has to offer.

Catalina Mountains

North of Tucson are the Catalina Mountains with the highest point, Mount Lemmon.  When driving up, hot sands give way to grasslands, then to lush alpine woods where you might even see snow in Winter.  On the Catalina Highway, stop at vista points for some spectacular views.  The elevation results in a temperature drop of about 30 degrees, so get started early and take a jacket.  Don't forget to stop at the  Hoodoo Vista to see the unique rock formations.  It's a fantastic drive from Bear Canyon up Willow Canyon and to the mountain summit.

Kitt Peak Observatory

The telescopes are on the peak of the same name in the Quinlan Mountains.  The desert provides some of the most awe-inspiring views into the cosmos available, with the telescopes available making it even more incredible.  Book the night tours.

Tucson Botanical Gardens

A lush oasis in the heart of Tucson.  Mature trees and expertly cultivated foliage, Cactus & Succulent Garden, Barrio Garden, Herb Garden, the Butterfly Greenhouse, and Nuestro Jardín, which honors traditional Mexican-American gardening, highlighting the diversity of native plants.  Plus stunning art. One of the top 10 North American Gardens worth traveling for!

Barrio Viejo

This part of Tucson has the largest concentration of 19th-century Sonoran Adobe architecture in the U.S. What visitors can find: The Clifton, a charming inn with 30 vintage rooms, the Etherton Gallery showing post-world war II American and Mexican photography, Coronet a fine-dining restaurant, Exo Coffee Roast company, the Cristol Bar, and the Teatro Carmen.

Casino del Sol

The Casino of the Sun is proudly owned and operated by the native Pascua Yaqui Tribe.  The Sun was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi.  In addition to players enjoying their time in the casino, they can also enjoy $2 beers, delicious Mexican fare, and a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Casino of the Sun’s Sunflower Café including $5 meals - open 24 hours a day! 

What else to see and do in Tucson:  

  • Try Goldpanning!  There are still active claims all around Tucson. Arivaca and Greaterville have the most, the Desert Gold Diggers Club has organized outings.

  • Spend time at the cool Arizona Museum of Art - you will see art from the Renaissance era to the present, including Salvador Dali.  

  • Or visit the "Biosphere", and discover five synthetic ecosystems recreated in minute detail, including desert, savanna, ocean, mangrove, and tropical rainforest.  

  • Take a hot air balloon ride over Tucson's Sonoran Desert.

  • Explore the exhibits at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. 

  • Or discover the city through a guided bike tour of Tucson's historic neighborhoods.

Tucson, Arizona is a vibrant and bustling city known for its warm weather, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. With a thriving arts scene, diverse food options, and an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, there are many reasons to love this desert city.  Tucson's year-round warm climate and marvelous natural landscapes make it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. 




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