Things are heating up in this Sonoran Desert city where centuries of history collide in a lively university town. Landing in Tucson brings visitors to life in an eclectic Southwestern milieu and a chance to escape with a trek into the surrounding natural wonders.
Gourmands will find much to love in this UNESCO City of Gastronomy—the first in the United States. Taste the influence of Tucson’s history in the delicious combinations of Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and American flavors on offer at a number of local restaurants. Find the perfect place for a bite in the historic Fourth Avenue Shopping District. This bustling neighborhood draws huge crowds to its diverse array of eateries, boutiques, watering holes, and music venues, and is well worth a visit for those looking to get a taste of authentic Tucsonan living.
Explorers can take their pick of peaks while exploring beyond town. With five mountain ranges surrounding the city, nature lovers will find plenty of hiking options. Wintertime visitors can take to the slopes on Mount Lemmon, the southernmost ski destination in the continental United States. The biggest draw for outdoorsy types, however, is Saguaro National Park. Divided into two separate protected areas that sandwich the city, this park offers 165 miles of trails that wind past towering Saguaro cacti that will take your breath away.
The same desert climate that produces the incredible biodiversity of the park is also the ideal atmosphere for storing aircraft. History buffs and aviation enthusiasts alike will be blown away by the collections housed at two nearby facilities. The Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the world’s largest aerospace museums not funded by the government, holds over 350 aircraft. Visitors can board a tour bus at the museum that will take them a few miles up the road to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. This sprawling active base is the home of The Boneyard, the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world, which features a mind-boggling collection of nearly 4,000 retired military aircraft.
These testaments to aviation history are not the area’s only locations with unique draws. Northeast Tucson’s Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures boasts over 500 painstakingly detailed dollhouses and roomboxes. Meanwhile, the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, in nearby Oracle, is a one-of-a-kind research facility initially intended to test the viability of space colonization. The result: a massive complex that houses five distinct and complete biomes—an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, a tropical rainforest, savanna grassland, and fog desert—all of which can be toured by the public.
Step outside your day-to-day and experience something new with a trip to Tucson. Find a convenient, affordable flight into Tucson International Airport from Southwest® and reserve your seat with a hassle-free booking experience. Start planning your trip today and learn more about the Southwest® Experience that awaits.
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Things to do in Tucson.
- Saguaro National Park
- Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
- Catalina State Park
- Pima Air & Space Museum
- Tucson Museum of Art
- Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
- Mission San Xavier del Bac
- DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
- Saint Augustine Cathedral