Tucson Area Attractions
Arizona Historical Society Museum- Tucson, AZAddress: 949 E 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85747
Tucson Main Museum The Tucson Main Museum features interactive and traditional exhibits about Arizona’s dynamic past, including an underground copper mine, ranch and town life of the 1870s, Victorian-era period rooms, the archaeology of Tucson ’s downtown, an original stagecoach, and a 1923 Studebaker. Changing galleries depict a range of topics. The museum regularly hosts public programs for all ages. Facilities may be rented for weddings and other events. The building also houses an extensive library and archives, and artifact collections; and serves as the Administrative Headquarters for the entire statewide agency. Museum hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Library hours: Monday - Closed Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Every other Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission: Under 12 years Free Students 12-18 years $4.00 Seniors 60+ years $4.00 Adults $5.00 AHS members are free. On the first Saturday of each month the museum is free.
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum- Tucson, AZAddress: 2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 883-2702
The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.
Biosphere 2- Oracle, AZAddress: 32540 S. Biosphere Road, Oracle, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 825-6400
Explore Earth's Future In the rain forest biome, scientists study how plants may help sequester CO2 released in the atmosphere by fossil-fuel burning and deforestation. In the ocean biome, with one million gallons of salt water, studies are underway to understand the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and coral reef calcification. The agro-forestry biome houses, in 3 separate compartments, genetically identical cottonwood trees that scientists use to measure the varying number of responses to elevated CO2. Explore these and five other wilderness ecosystems on the “World of Discovery” tour. For the first time since its conception, visitors can explore inside the 3.15 acre laboratory on a fully guided tour.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park- Vail, AZAddress: 16721 East Old Spanish Trail, Vail, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 647-7275
The Tour of Colossal Cave The tour route is a half mile long and takes about 45-50 minutes to complete. As your guide relates the Cave's history, legends, and geology, you walk down and back up about six and a half stories and see beautiful cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, boxwork, and helictites. Tours are given daily, year-round. They are not pre-scheduled, but you'll never wait longer than 30 minutes after you purchase your ticket. You need no special clothing in the Cave, which is always 70 degrees and dry. You are welcome to take pictures inside - you'll want to use high-speed film and a flash unit for cameras, or a candlelight setting for videocams. The Butterfly Garden A colorful retreat where dreams take wing... The Butterfly Garden at Colossal Cave Mountain Park is carefully designed to provide for the full life cycle of butterflies. There are larval food plants for the caterpillars, nectar to sustain the adults, shade and camouflage for protection from predators—and there's even a special spot for their puddle parties! A haven for butterflies, it is also a place of rest, entertainment, and education for the human guests that visit! The plants are all native varieties. Trail Rides Saddle up! Leisurely guided Western trail rides go out daily from La Posta Quemada Ranch facility in Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Starting from the site of the historic Mountain Springs Hotel and Stage Station, you'll follow the National Mail Stagecoach route. See spectacular and complex geological formations and a Hohokam bedrock mortar site as you ramble through unspoiled Sonoran desert. Hayrides, stagecoach rides, pack trips, and cattle drives are also available by reservation. PARK HOURS Summer hours (March 16 - September 15) Mondays through Saturdays: 8am-6pm Sundays and Holidays: 8am-7pm Winter hours (September 16 - March 15) Mondays through Saturdays: 9am-5pm Sundays and Holidays: 9am-6pm
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium- Tucson, AZAddress: University of Arizona 1601 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 621-4515
We'll Leave You Seeing Stars! "Astronomy" is our middle name, and from our home here in "Optics Valley" we have our finger on the pulse of what's happening in the world (or should we say the universe) of astronomy. Flandrau Science Center is located on the northeast corner of University Boulevard and Cherry Avenue on the campus of The University of Arizona. Free parking is available weekday evenings after 5 p.m. and all day on weekends (except during athletic events) in the Cherry Avenue Garage, located one block south of Flandrau Science Center.
Fort Lowell Museum- Tucson, AZAddress: 2900 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 538-7111
The Fort Lowell Museum is located in the reconstructed Commanding Officer's quarters of Old Fort Lowell, originally established in 1873. The museum features exhibits about military life on the Arizona frontier. The museum is located in Old Fort Lowell Park at the corner of Cracroft and Fort Lowell Road in Tucson. Hours Wed - Sat 10am - 4pm. Walking tours, lectures, living history events are featured as special events. Camp Lowell was first established in 1866 on the outskirts of Tucson. Due to unhealthy conditions of the city the army moved the post 7 mile northeast and established Fort Lowell in March, 1873. The role of Fort Lowell encompassed escorting wagon trains, protection of settlers, guarding supplies, patrolling the border and conducting offensive operations against the Western and Chiricahua Apache Indians. Troop strength at Fort Lowell averaged 130 officers and 239 enlisted men. Serving at Fort Lowell were companies representing the 2nd, 4th 5th and 6th Cavalry Regiments, and the 1st, 8th, and 12th Infantry Regiments. The buildings at Fort Lowell reflected a Mexican Sonoran style of architecture. Buildings were built with think adobe walls, pine logs, and saguaro ribs supporting hard packed dirt roofs and wide hallways for ventilation. By the mid-1880s Eastern Anglofeatures such as porches,shutters and tin roofing were added. The troops kept in constant contact with Tucson through dinners, dances, band concerts, baseball games and by frequenting the numerous gambling halls and saloons. With the end of the Apache wars the army saw no further need for Fort Lowell and in 1891 the post was abandoned. Since 1963 the Arizona Historical Society has operated a branch Museum at the Fort Lowell Historic Site.
Kartchner Caverns State Park- Benson, AZAddress: PO Box 1849, Benson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 586-2283
Experience a stunning limestone cave in Southeastern Arizona that boasts world-class features. This “live” cave, discovered in 1974, is host to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations. Water percolates from the surface and calcite formations continue to grow, including stalactites dripping down like icicles and giant stalagmites reaching up from the ground. Tour guides will unveil this fascinating underground landscape during a memorable 1˝ hour tour. The Discovery Center features museums exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.
Kitt Peak National Observatory- Tucson,AZAddress: Tohono O'Odham Reservation, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 318-8726
Kitt Peak National Observatory Kitt Peak was selected in 1958 as the site for a national observatory after a 3-year survey that included more than 150 mountain ranges across the U.S. The Observatories on Kitt Peak are supported by the National Science Foundation. In 1957, the NSF entered into contract with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for the operation of Kitt Peak as a national center for optical astronomy. In 1982 the National Optical Astronomy Observatories was formed, consolidating management of the three national ground-based optical observatories which are Kitt Peak National Observatory, the National Solar Observatory with facilities at Kitt Peak and Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Headquarters for NOAO are in Tucson, Arizona.
Mission San Xavier Del Bac- Tucson, AZAddress: 1950 W. San Xavier Road, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 294-2624
Mission San Xavier del Bac is situated in the Santa Cruz Valley nine miles south of Tucson, Arizona. Framed in the warm browns of the surrounding hills and the violet shadows of more distant mountains, it rises, brilliantly white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage. The imposing dome and lofty towers, the rounded parapets and graceful spires etched against the vivid blue complete a skyline with a graceful enchantment. San Xavier Mission is acclaimed by many to be the finest example of mission architecture in the United States. It is a graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine and late Mexican Renaissance architecture, yet the blending is so complete it is hard to tell where one type begins and another ends. The church is a series of domes and arches that create enclaves for themes of painting on the various walls, domes and rooms. The area behind the high altar is a dazzling gilt of colors. The wall paintings are all original, but over time have needed to be touched up. Time and the harsh desert weather have taken a toll on the the beauty that is within the church and the entire mission complex. Currently the church is going through an ongoing restoration that tries to clean, repair and preserve as much of the church as it can. Outside the church, the restoration is even more extensive, and for this we have the gracious donations of visitors, patrons and the Patronato. After more than two hundred years, the Franciscan Friars are still here serving the needs of the faithful. San Xavier del Bac Mission is a fully functioning parish church within the Diocese of Tucson. It is a church that primarily serves the Tohono O'odham, but is open to all.
Montgomery's- Vail, AZAddress: 13190 E Colossal Cave Rod #190, Vail, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 762-0081
Great sandwiches and salads.
Mt. Lemmon- Mt. Lemmon, AZPhone: (520) 576-1400
Mt. Lemmon is North on the Catalina Highway, a winding, scenic road which reaches elevations featuring pine forests and winter snows. Hiking, fishing, picnicking, and skiing are popular.
Pima Air & Space Museum- Tucson, AZAddress: 6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 574-0462
Pima Air & Space Museum, where history takes flight, is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, and the largest non-government funded aviation museum. You'll see more than 275 aircraft and spacecraft including many of the most historically significant and technically advanced craft ever produced, both from the United States and throughout the world.
Pinini Carnitas Jalisco- Tucson, AZAddress: 8201 S Rita Road, Tucson, AZ 85747
Reid Park Zoo- Tucson, AZAddress: 1100 S Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 791-4022
Reid Park Zoo Reid Park Zoo is a city-owned facility operated, maintained and administrated through the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. Established informally in 1965 by Gene Reid, then the Director of Parks and Recreation, the zoo officially became a part of the City of Tucson in 1967. It exhibits exotic animals from all over the globe in natural and appropriate environments. The animals provide the spark necessary to deliver conservation and habitat protection messages.
Sabino Canyon- Tucson,AZAddress: 5900 N. Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 749-2861
Sabino Canyon Sabino Canyon has a wide variety of trails, from short, easy walks that offer a better opportunity to experience wildlife, to strenuous hikes offering wonderful vistas. Betty Leavengood's book, Tucson Hiking Guide, offers some of the best descriptions of longer Sabino Canyon hikes, and is highly recommended. A second book we use is Eber Glendening and Pete Cowgill's Trail Guide to the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Sabino Canyon Visitor's Guide, available for purchase at the Visitor's Center, contains a map that indicates some of the shorter trails in the canyon, and points to trailheads for the longer hikes.
Saguaro National Park- Tucson,AZAddress: 3693 S Old Spanish Trl, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 733-5100
Saguaro National Park Visitors of all ages are fascinated and enchanted by these desert giants, especially their many interesting and complex interrelationships with other desert life. Saguaro cacti provide their sweet fruits to hungry desert animals. They also provide homes to a variety of birds, such as the Harris’ hawk, Gila woodpecker and the tiny elf owl.
Tohono Chul Park- Tucson,AZAddress: 7366 N Paseo del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 742-6455
The 49-acre Tohono Chul Park is a leading Southwest center of desert nature, arts and culture – and is listed by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S. and Canada. There is something for everyone at Tohono Chul Park. This oasis in the desert offers a respite from the hectic pace of daily life, provides an informative look at the region's fascinating cultural traditions and its even more interesting flora and fauna, and is the perfect setting for an evening concert, special event or family wedding. Discover its nature.
Tucson Botanical Gardens- Tucson, AZAddress: 2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 326-9686
The Tucson Botanical Gardens promotes responsible and appropriate use of plants and water in a desert environment through education and demonstration and provides a place of beauty and tranquility for Tucson residents and visitors.
Tucson Museum of Art- Tucson, AZAddress: 140 N Main Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone: (520) 624-2333
Take a journey through art, history and culture First established in 1924 as the Tucson Fine Arts Association, the museum made its home in the Kingan House on Franklin Street in the El Presidio Historic District. In 1954 the association was officially renamed the Tucson Art Center to establish our exhibition and education mission. In 1975 the Tucson Art Center moved to its present location and became the caretaker of five historic properties--La Casa Cordova, Romero House, Edward Nye Fish House, Stevens/Duffield House and the Corbett House - and our name was changed to the Tucson Museum of Art to reflect our collecting activities. Today the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown, and features original and traveling exhibitions focusing on Art of the Americas, Art of the American West, and Modern and Contemporary Art as well as tours, education programs, Art School, and Museum Shop to delight and educate visitors. The Tucson Museum of Art serves the city and surrounding regions and is committed to broadening public access to the arts, enriching daily life. Directions: From Interstate 10, take the Congress Street exit. Follow Congress east to the first traffic light. Turn left on Granada. Take the second right onto Paseo Redondo. Museum and historic block will be in front of you.