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Top Things To Do In Tucson

Despite its growing size, Tucson still embodies its small-town charm. This helps it stand out against metropolitan behemoth Phoenix and ritzy Scottsdale. Deeply rooted in Hispanic heritage, the wide variety of cultural activities in Tucson draw in travelers looking for a change of pace.

Not all of Tucson’s attractions come from beyond the border. This southwestern town is home to the University of Arizona, the first university in the Arizona territory. Between the college atmosphere, its rich history, and natural splendor, this Pima County town is a one-of-a-kind oasis offering many unique things to do.

Tour for Four or Eight People at Southern Arizona Transportation Museum (47% Off)
Tour for Four or Eight People at Southern Arizona Transportation Museum (47% Off)
Tucson
4.5
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$12.00 $6.25
47% discount_off
Tour for Four People
Admission for Two, Four, or Six to Superstition Mountain Museum (Up to 38% Off)
Admission for Two, Four, or Six to Superstition Mountain Museum (Up to 38% Off)
Apache Junction
4.7
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$13.50 $8.75
35% discount_off
Four adult Admissions and Four Icy Cold Sasaparillas
One-Year Individual or Family Membership to the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona Campus
One-Year Individual or Family Membership to the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona Campus
Tucson
4.5
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$40.00 $20.50
48% discount_off
Single membership with $10 donation
Year-Long Individual or Family Membership at The University of Arizona Museum of Art (Up to 42% Off)
Year-Long Individual or Family Membership at The University of Arizona Museum of Art (Up to 42% Off)
Tucson
4.8
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$50.00 $29.00
42% discount_off
Year-Long Individual Membership
90-Minute Narration Cruise of Saguaro Lake for One, Two, or Four from Desert Belle (Up to 32% Off)
90-Minute Narration Cruise of Saguaro Lake for One, Two, or Four from Desert Belle (Up to 32% Off)
Mesa
4.9
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$24.00 $17.00
29% discount_off
90-Minute Narration Cruise of Saguaro Lake for One
20-Minute Gates Pass Tour or 25-Minute Downtown Tucson Tour for Three from Volare Helicopters (Up to 30% Off)
20-Minute Gates Pass Tour or 25-Minute Downtown Tucson Tour for Three from Volare Helicopters (Up to 30% Off)
Marana
5.0
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$405.00 $285.00
29% discount_off
20-Minute Gates Pass Tour for Three
Wine Tasting Package for Two or Four at The Windmill Winery (Up to 38% Off)
Wine Tasting Package for Two or Four at The Windmill Winery (Up to 38% Off)
Florence
4.6
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$40.00 $29.00
27% discount_off
Wine Tasting with Complimentary Stemware for Two and a Snack

The clear skies make for a beautiful backdrop as you explore the desert city. The galleries in the Catalina Foothills district offer respite from the more rigorous outdoors activities, as do the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

The best things to do near Tucson include:

  • Learning about the Copper state at the Arizona State Museum
  • Marveling at the stars and planets at the Kitt Peak National Observatory
  • Taking a photo with the giant A on Sentinel Peak
  • Hiking through the Saguaro National Park
  • Exploring the University of Arizona Campus

Events in TucsonView All

Rick Bronson's House of Comedy Phoenix (Through December 31)
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy Phoenix (Through December 31)
Phoenix
$10.38 $7.00
32% discount_off
Through 12/31/20: One General-Admission Ticket to a Tuesday Show
200+ bought
Chris Mitchell Virtual Jazz Concert (Through August 1)
Chris Mitchell Virtual Jazz Concert (Through August 1)
online_deal
$19.98 $10.00
49% discount_off
Through 08/01/20: One General-Admission Ticket to Any Virtual Show with a Digital Download of the album I Found Forever
40+ bought
Italian Festival of Arizona on October 17 or 18
Italian Festival of Arizona on October 17 or 18
Phoenix
$20.00 $11.25
43% discount_off
Sunday - 10/18/20 at 11 a.m.: One Single-Day General Admission Ticket
50+ bought
"One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody of Love, Friendship, and Shoes" Through July 31
"One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody of Love, Friendship, and Shoes" Through July 31
online_deal
$19.95 $12.00
39% discount_off
Through 07/31/20: One Viewing
10+ bought
Gaylarious Virtual LGBT Stand-Up Comedy Show (June 25–August 20)
Gaylarious Virtual LGBT Stand-Up Comedy Show (June 25–August 20)
online_deal
$10.00 $5.00
50% discount_off
06/25/20 at 9 p.m. ET: One General-Admission Ticket
10+ bought
Livestream Name that Tune, Dueling Pianos, or Piano Bar Bingo (Through August 29)
Livestream Name that Tune, Dueling Pianos, or Piano Bar Bingo (Through August 29)
online_deal
$5.00
Name that Tune
1 bought
Virtual Stand-Up: Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour 2020 featuring Dan Frigolette (May 22–July 31)
Virtual Stand-Up: Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour 2020 featuring Dan Frigolette (May 22–July 31)
online_deal
$41.49 $6.00
85% discount_off
7/17/20 at 12 a.m. EST: One General-Admission Ticket
1 bought
Jazz Age Jeopardy: Virtual Interactive Murder Mystery Experience
Jazz Age Jeopardy: Virtual Interactive Murder Mystery Experience
online_deal
$275.00
Through 07/31/2020: Admission to Virtual Show for Up to 10 People
1 bought
Chippendales@Home! Virtual Party
Chippendales@Home! Virtual Party
online_deal
$200.00 $150.00
25% discount_off
30-Minute Party for Up to 9 Guests + Souvenir Video
1 bought

The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum has it all, including outdoor exhibits, a zoo, and botanical gardens. And the Pima Air & Space Museum has both relics and prototypes of past aircrafts.

For Hollywood buffs, Old Tucson Studios is a former set for TV westerns like “El Dorado” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Today, it’s a family-friendly theme park.

Popular attractions for tourists near Tucson include:

  • Driving out to see the scientific wonder of Biosphere 2
  • Exploring the historic San Xavier del Bac Church
  • Seeing nationally protected saguaro on Cactus Forest Drive
  • Visiting the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
  • Walking the Turquoise Trail in Downtown Tucson for history

Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson has it all — live music, food vendors, and the first floor turns into a dance floor when the sun goes down. For a taste of the Tucson nightlife, University of Arizona students will direct you to Fourth Ave., downtown Tucson, or one of the city’s many nearby casinos.

Nighttime activities near Tucson include:

  • Dancing on the rooftop at the Playground Bar & Lounge
  • Trying your luck at winning it big at the Casino del Sol
  • Enjoying the daily happy hour or the late night food at Dante’s Fire
  • Listening to live mariachi at Guadalajara Fiesta Grill
  • Having dinner and drinks at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails

Tucson hosts the annual Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil event every winter. The event brings thousands to town to trade, collect, and hunt. It’s held in a number of different locations, creating outdoor and indoor activities throughout Tucson.

There are several things to do indoors in Tucson:

  • Find your inner balance with yoga at Studio 520
  • Get a mani and pedi at A Lasting Touch salon
  • Sip some wine and learn to paint with Paint Nite
  • Learn the mysteries of science at the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
  • Relax with a full body therapeutic massage at Zen by Olivia

Nestled near the Saguaro National Park and the Santa Catalinas, Tucson offers plenty of things to do outdoors. And with a history steeped in the earliest years of Spanish exploration of the southwest, there are abundant sightseeing opportunities at each monument and museum.

Other active things to see and do in Tucson include:

  • Riding your bike all around Tucson on the Loop
  • Hiking the Signal Hill Trail to see ancient petroglyphs
  • Visiting the animals at the Reid Park Zoo
  • Exploring the Sabino Canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains
  • Admiring the desert landscape up close on the Douglas Spring Trailhead