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.
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:
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:
Since the expansion of the University of Arizona, Tucson continues to grow economically. The city relies heavily on “snowbirds,” the annual visitors who migrate south during colder months.
Exciting activities near Tucson include:
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:
Spend the day out in the desert at the White Stallion Ranch just west of Tucson. Experience a wide range of family-friendly dude ranch activities, including horseback lessons, a petting zoo, and meals.
Some fun things to do with kids near Tucson include:
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:
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: