Here are some activities to consider during your stay.

Nogales, Sonora, Mexico

Arizona has so much to offer and Tucson is a great location for quick day trips that you will want to experience for yourselves.  Remember, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico is just an hour South of Tucson on I – 19. We recommend parking near the border and walking into Mexico.  Be sure to ask about limits on the amounts of alcohol and Vanilla you can bring back.

Old Tucson

Old Tucson is a fun day trip.  They advertise the old movie studio as being 12 miles and 100 years from town.  A lot of famous westerns were filmed there so you will likely recognize the town and the terrain when you get there

Gates Pass Route

If you take Speedway over the mountain to Old Tucson, you will find yourselves on the scenic Gates Pass Route.

A Mountain

That little mountain that overlooks the downtown area with the big “A” on it is called A Mountain or Sentinel Peak.   The park is open to visitors and the view of Tucson from up top is something to see.  You may pass some bicycle riders on your way up or down.  Speaking of bikes, Tucson is very pro bicycle and you will see bike paths just about everywhere. If you enjoy riding bikes for fun, there just happens to be a bike path that circumvents the entire city. One side of it runs along our Rillito River, so people can walk, run or ride for miles, without having to stop for traffic. The bike path runs under the bridges that span the Rillito from North to South.

Biosphere 2

For those of you interested in ecology and the research going into sustaining life in an enclosed environment whether that be in space, on the moon, or on mars, you do not want to miss Biosphere 2, located about 40 minutes north of Tucson on the Oracle highway.

Colossal Cave

Tucson’s Oldest cave attraction that Tucsonans have been visiting since they were children, is Colossal Cave. Colossal Cave has been open to the public for generations. 

Kartchner Caverns

About 45 minutes to the Southeast of Tucson, a second, more dramatic hidden cave was discovered and kept secret by the family for many years before being sold to the State of Arizona. This cave is now called the Kartchner Caverns.  The main room was prepared to protect the geology of the cave before it could be opened to the public.  This cave has been perfectly preserved since it was never open to the public until recently.  The main room is so large that only the Carlsbad Caverns can compare.  It has been hailed as Arizona’s best attraction, (next to the Grand Canyon of course.)

Davis Monthan Air Force Base

Tucson is also the home of Davis Monthan Air Force Base.  Each year the base is open for one weekend in March to allow the public to see historic and modern aircraft up close, in addition to seeing the Thunderbirds perform their incredible tight formation stunts.

Pima Air and Space Museum

If you missed the airshow, you can always visit the Pima Air and Space Museum, which offers one of the largest selections of military and civilian aircraft currently on display in the country.

Tucson Community Center

There is always something going on at the Tucson Community Center, be sure to check their calendar of shows and events.

Tucson Music Hall

The Tucson Music Hall has its own calendar of events.  It is located next to the Tucson Community Center downtown.

Tucson Museum of Art

The Tucson Museum of Art is located in the downtown area.

Ted DeGrazia Museum

The Ted DeGrazia museum is located in the same place it was when Ted himself was working there and selling his art to the locals for bargain prices before he became famous.

Desert Diamond

Some of the local casinos offer some of America’s best musical and comedic talent.  Check out the Desert Diamond and Casino Del Sol.

University of Arizona Wildcats

Tucson is the home of the University of Arizona Wildcats.  The U of A campus offers museums, art galleries, exhibits, and often times sponsored activities on the mall (main strip of grass located in the center of the campus). Of course, Basketball and Football games draw huge crowds so check your schedule before you try parking near the U of A stadium.

Kitt Observatory

If you are into astronomy, do not miss the Kitt Observatory.  Located west of Tucson to escape light pollution, one can schedule tours in advance and see this observatory up close.

Flandreau Planetarium

If you love watching the stars and do not want to drive to the Kitt Observatory, check out the U of A’s Flandreau Planetarium.  The shows include a ticket to see real moon rocks and other interesting scientific collections.

Downtown Saturday Night

If you want to see the nightlife in downtown Tucson, be sure to check out Downtown Saturday Night, which is a family-friendly event held every 2nd Saturday of the month.  They close the streets down to traffic so people can mill about and enjoy the galleries, evening entertainment, food, street performers, etc.

4th Avenue Street Fair

Tucson also loves their 4th Avenue Street Fair, which is held in March and in December.  Come see what our local artisans have to offer.

Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is held beginning in February through most of March each year.  It is not cheap but it is a lot of fun.

Glass Gallery & Studio

In addition to the various restaurants and bars located on 6th Avenue near the U of A, there just happens to be an interesting glass gallery located in the vicinity on 6th Avenue.

Gem and Mineral Show

The largest gem and mineral show in the world is held from January to February in Tucson each year. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show have something for everyone.

Dove Mountain

Golf Tournaments;  Dove Mountain is the home of the Accenture Golf tournaments.

Winterhaven Festival of Lights

If you are here during the Christmas holidays, one community in Tucson has staged a neighborhood Christmas lighting event for the last 60 years or so-called the Winterhaven Festival of Lights. Each year the decorations are even more impressive than the last. On certain days, they shut down traffic from coming and going to allow children and visitors to safely walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the show.

Kino Sports Complex

The Kino Sports Complex offers its baseball and soccer facilities to many different organizations.  It might be worth calling to see what events will be open to the public.  Some of the major league teams used to practice here.

Tucson Roadrunners

If you love hockey, be sure to check out the game schedule for the Tucson Roadrunners.

Reid Park Zoo

The kids always love the local Reid Park Zoo.  Be sure to get there early when they feed the animals, especially in the summer time.


When the kids get restless, you can always take them to Funtasticks.  They recently opened a mini water park there in addition to the go-karts, miniature golf, video games, etc.

San Xavier del Bac

For you, history buffs, don’t miss out on exploring the missions that were built by the first conquerors to inhabit the southwest. Father Kino established the San Xavier del Bac located in Tucson, which is still in operation. A short trip south to the town of Tubac, you will find the old Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac. Tumacacori will take you back in time when you step into La Mision San Jose de Tumacori. Be sure to check out the museum which teaches just how difficult life was in the area for those who tried to establish this mission.

Desert Museum

The Desert Museum is well worth the price of admission. The diversity of wildlife in the Sonoran Desert is astounding and this is where you can see for yourself just how wild the wild west really is.

Sabino Canyon

Tucson is proud to have so many amazing hiking trails, National Parks, and observatories within minutes of downtown Tucson. To get out of the heat, Tucsonan’s often would make their way to Sabino Canyon located in the beautiful Catalina Mountains. Water runs year round in the streams and since vehicle traffic is no longer allowed one can enjoy the serenity and solitude this canyon escape has to offer. For those who want to make the hike up to seven falls where I hear clothing is sometimes optional depending on the season, be sure to read up on the trail before you go.

Mount Lemon

Mount Lemon is the perfect spot for overnight camping, sight seeing, and even skiing in the winter.  The little town of Summerhaven sits on top of the mountain and offers visitors the perfect diversion from the confines of a crowded city.

Patagonia Lake

If you are heading to Lake Havasu on the Colorado, or Lake Pleasant near Phoenix, you will not likely want to visit Patagonia Lake, but Tucsonans who want to get out on a lake, this is their best bet.  It’s not too far and they even offer boat rentals.

Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park located North on the Oracle highway offers overnight camping and several beautiful hikes along running streams that flow down from the Catalina Mountains.

Picacho Peak

Picacho Peak is where the only civil war battle in Arizona was fought during the Civil War.  This park allows visitors to park where the trail head departs up to the top of the peak.  The trip to the top can be accomplished in under two hours by inexperienced mountaineers; but only if it is cool and each hiker carries a minimum of two full quarts of water.  The views from the top are amazing so be sure to take pictures.  Plan on at least a four hour round trip to make it back down before dark.

Ostrich Farm

At the base of Picacho Peak, you will find an attraction that draws many people in just out of curiosity.  It’s our local Ostrich Farm.  Rooster Cogburn Farms will teach you about raising Ostriches and other critters as well.  They even allow the kids to pet and feed.


One of the biggest copper and silver mines in Arizona was located in Bisbee, Arizona.  A town that has preserved that old west feel. The Copper Queen mine offers a guided tour on their underground train that is well worth the price of the ticket.  It is hard to imagine men spending their lives underground as they dug up millions in gold, silver, and copper for the mining companies. Here are many small shops and restaurants within walking distance of the Copper Queen Hotel so plan on staying all day.


Tombstone is famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral.   The Cowboys and Wyatt Earp’s men reenact the gun fight several times each week.   Be sure to check their times so you don’t miss it.  You can pay to see the old Birdcage Saloon that has been preserved exactly as it was when it closed back in the 1800’s.  Grab lunch at Big Nose Kates, and enjoy the many shops that cater to those interested in the history of this famous town that was built around the silver mines that were operating there.  You can even take a tour of the mine that runs right under the main street.

RESTAURANTS: For a unique dining experience, here are a few ideas:

Lil Abners

Lil Abners:  Steaks cooked using mesquite wood on an outdoor fireplace.   It has that southwest feel and the steak and beans are fantastic.

Pinnacle Peak Steak House

The famous Pinnacle Peak Steak House has been serving great food for decades.  They are still located in Traildust Town, which is a western-themed area located on Tanque Verde Road.

Hi Falutin

For a steakhouse that is more centrally located, try Hi Falutin on Oracle.


For quick pasta or pizza, give Sauce a try.


Tucson has their very own fast-food chain that rivals the big chains except their specialty is subway sandwiches and slushy fruit drinks with real fruit that people around here cannot live without. Be sure to stop at one of the many Eegees locations you see around town.

Beyond Bread

Another local chain that people rave about is Beyond Bread.  They bake the bread fresh every day and the sandwiches and salads are simply amazing.


We love the many Mexican Food options Tucson has to offer but for value, try the Baja Café on Campbell or La Mesa Tortillas for burros made with fresh tortillas.

Saffron Indian Bistro

For Indian food, we like the Saffron Indian Bistro. For classic American cuisine, Wildflower will cater to just about any craving.

Pei Wei

If you are in the mood for good value in Chinese cuisine, it is hard to beat Pei Wei.

Serial Grillers

For great burgers and pizza don’t miss Serial Grillers.  If you want a light and refreshing juice bar, stop by Juice Envy.