Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
This renowned combination zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden reflects the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, featuring wildlife like coyotes, bears and mountain lions in their natural settings and aviaries, one for hummingbirds and the other for varied desert birds.
University of Arizona Museum of Art
Tucson’s premier art collection. Seven centuries of art – one museum. Home to the spectacular, 26 surviving panels of the Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo, acknowledged by scholars as the finest 15th century Castilian altarpiece outside of Spain. Dynamic, changing exhibitions, check website. Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 4 pm. Closed: Mondays and University holidays. Admission: Adults – $5 / children, students with ID, UA faculty and staff – free.
Rocks and Ropes
Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway
Mount Lemmon is a famous “sky island” with an elevation of 9,157 feet. The overall climate is very different from that of the surrounding desert area. Located in the Coronado National Forest, it is the home of Ski Valley the town of Summerhaven, and is the site of an astronomical observatory.
Reid Park Zoo
Reid Park Zoo is a hidden gem, nestled in the center of Tucson, and is the perfect place to enjoy time outside while discovering the wonders of wildlife.
Experience the beauty of one of the most unique Southwestern desert canyons on a Sabino Canyon tram ride. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. During the winter and summer rainy seasons, pools of water form in rocky outcroppings that wind up among hillsides resplendent with palo verde trees, cholla and prickly pear cactus and graceful groves of ocotillo.
Pima Air & Space Museum
Be amazed at one of the world’s largest aircraft collections including hangars of World War II planes, supersonic spyplanes, the world’s smallest bi-plane, plus many other unique private, military, and commercial air and spacecraft documenting the evolution of flight. 300 aircraft, 80 acres, 5 indoor air-cooled hangars.
Tucson Museum of Art
Blending the traditional with the inventive, the Tucson Museum of Art presents original and traveling exhibitions with a focus on Art of the American West, Art of Latin America, Modern and Contemporary art, and Asian art. Located in downtown, the Museum also includes a historic block that provides visitors with a unique look into Tucson’s past.
Children’s Museum Tucson
The Children’s Museum Tucson provides fun, play based, interactive, hands-on learning experience for children and their families. Come play in our Public Safety gallery, Electri-City, Dino World or our health and wellness exhibit. For kids four and under, there is the Enchanted Forest Wee Play space just for them. The Museum is open 7 days a week during the summer months.
International Wildlife Museum
Highlights the diversity of animals world wide. Explains the role of science-based wildlife management for sustainable-use conservation, with emphasis on the role of hunting in biologically responsible wildlife management. Animals are displayed both by taxonomic group and in realistic dioramas which highlight the habitats in which the animals live. The museum has many touchable specimens on display. Insects including butterflies, moths and beetles are featured, as well as mammals, birds and some reptiles.All exhibits are indoors and the facility is air-conditioned. Wildlife movies run hourly from 10 am until 4 pm.
Tucson has a variety of parks and sports fields available to meet your recreational needs. From multi-purpose paths to new lighted soccer fields and a wide variety of ramadas to host family picnics to larger corporate or social events.
The Rilato Theatre is a performance theater and concert venue located in downtown Tucson, Arizona. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Trail Dust Town
In the early 1950s, Tucson was a sleepy desert community of approximately 45,000 people. It was then, as legend has it, well outside of the Tucson City limits, several ‘Old West’ buildings were constructed as a set for a Glenn Ford movie. Afterward, this conglomeration of buildings developed into a western-themed commercial complex known as Trail Dust Town. Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse quickly gained popularity and became the anchor of this complex. Today, Pinnacle Peak and Trail Dust Town are rich with their own history, and people come from all over the world to experience the old west at these centerpieces of Tucson. Don’t miss a wild west stunt show by the Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros! Showing Wednesday through Sunday at 7 and 8 PM, the shows are full of lots of high-falls, low-falls, gunfights, fistfights, explosions, and family friendly slapstick comedy! Take a ride on the CP Huntington Railroad! The miniature train is fun for all ages, and its path reveals some of Trail Dust Town’s hidden gems. Enjoy the carousel and Ferris wheel at Polly Anna Park! This new park is a beautiful area perfect for an evening of rides, popcorn, and taking in the blissful Tucson weather. Polly Anna Park is also available for birthday parties! Home to many shops, Trail Dust Town is a perfect destination for gifts and souvenirs. Trail Dust Town is also home to the elegant Savoy Opera House- a beautiful venue with Victorian charm. The Savoy is ideal for weddings, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, and more. The Museum Of The Horse Soldier features an impressive collection of original United States Cavalry artifacts. Uniforms, weapons, and equipment dating from the Civil War through the end of the mounted cavalry in 1942 are on display.
This 18-hole golf course, designed by famed Tom Fazio, is built around the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, and features the famous 100-yard par 3 signature hole.
St. Augustine Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Augustine (also called Saint Augustine Cathedral) is a mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. It is located in Tucson, Arizona.
Fantasy Island is a popular area for mountain bikers. It is located on the east side of Tucson near Irvington and Harrison
Directions: Go south on Harrison until it ends and hits Irvington. Drive right across Irvington and park in the dirt lot. Chances are that there will be several parked cars in this area.
I have found Fantasy Island trails to be fun but I have yet to find a good map of the area and the trail intersections are sporadically and poorly marked. If you are not with a knowing local, be prepared to be mostly lost here. You will eventually find your way back to a road but you may ride longer than anticipated. Beginners should ride the Bunny Loop from the Valencia Road parking area. Keep eyes peeled for small trail signs unless you are up for riding the washes at the north end of the area.
Arizona Historical Society
The Arizona History Museum’s focus is southern Arizona history from Spanish colonial through territorial eras. Exhibit topics include mining and transportation. The Arizona’s Treasures exhibit features Geronimo’s rifle, 18th-century Spanish silver artifacts, and hands-on exhibits for children.
Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed Improv Comedy Troupe has been entertaining Tucson audiences for over eleven years with their unique style of interactive comedy! Every show is different because every audience is different! Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. family friendly for all ages, and uncensored shows 2nd & 4th Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. We are a nonprofit 501c3.
Casino Del Sol
Casino Del Sol, Southern Arizona’s premier entertainment and gaming destination, offers nearly 1000 slot machines, live blackjack, poker and bingo. There are 6 restaurants and three bars, live entertainment Thursday – Saturday nights and world-class entertainment at AVA Amphitheater.
San Xavier Plaza
Great American Playhouse
Located in beautiful Oro Valley, Arizona an evening at The Great American Playhouse is always a treat for the whole family.
Get to the Theatre plenty early. As you arrive for the evening’s performance, you will be greeted by glamorous ladies and dapper gents. They link their arms through yours and chat with you as they escort you to your seat.
The show starts before the curtain goes up, so come early and enjoy the entertainment before the first act. Drinks and free popcorn help provide early arrivals the energy to laugh and sing during the entire show.
In addition to all original, outrageous musical comedies we offer musical parodies of classic movies, TV shows, and Broadway hits, with a melodramatic twist! Each show also features a high-energy variety show we call ‘The Olio’ following the play with more singing, dancing and comedy. It’s 2 shows in 1!
From the time you enter the theatre, you escape to a place with no worries of everyday life. While you are waiting for the start of the show, you will be treated to a dazzling display of piano pyrotechnics playing music to sing-along. Leave your inhibitions outside!
When the show starts, be ready to boo and hiss the dastardly villains who justly deserve our scorn. Cheer for the wholesome heroes and innocent heroines, because they truly deserve our praise. The Great American Playhouse actors love audience participation. Who knows, maybe you’ll be dragged on stage! Sing along and tap your feet to the music of the olio performers who make sure that no-one gets bored between acts.
A variety of tasty food selections are optional and can be ordered right at your table. The menu includes pizza, cheese crisps, sausage and meatball sandwiches, ice cream treats, beer, wine and soft drinks.
South of Cushing St. between Main Ave. and Stone Ave., downtown Tucson. Private businesses and residences.Throughout the area you’ll find examples of typical Sonoran architecture—original, thick-walled adobe homes and businesses, many painted with vibrant colors.
The trail is close to town (north of 1st Avenue and Ina Road) and goes out and back so you can hike as far as you want. Most hikers turn around at the dam for a 5-mile walk, about 4 hours for the leisurely hiker. You may miss the dam, a small structure and pond tucked into the west wall of the canyon. Beyond the dam the trail shows its lack of use and is rough and sometimes hard to follow. The trail gets steeper as you climb and has a few scrambles near the top. Count on a full day if Pima Saddle is your destination.
P1 Kart Circuit
Musselman Honda Circuit is a fully functional fully lit racetrack located right here in Tucson. We have the most exiting and fastest go karts around and we specialize in go kart & motorcycle rentals as well as corporate and group events. We host monthly track days for both beginner and advanced drivers/riders for drifting, autosport (cars), sport bikes/supermoto and race karts. Check out the website for more information!
Pusch Ridge Stables
For Tucson’s finest riding come out and experience Pusch Ridge. We offer the best trails and horses, individually selected to suit you. Both the novice and the advanced rider can enjoy the splendor of acres of natural desert or mountain trails that will allow you to peek into the past and view unrivaled beauty. Special nature trails and moonlight riding add to the magnificence of Pusch Ridge.
To increase your enjoyment of Tucson’s great outdoors, allow us to pack you into the mountains for an overnight. Or, join us for an early breakfast ride and watch the desert awake. An evening steak ride through our foothills permits you to witness the awesome colors of a western sunset. Any of these experiences can be yours by joining us at Pusch Ridge.
Whether your group is small and intimate or large and looking for fun, one of our hay rides is perfect for you. We use only horse-drawn wagons and follow desert paths to secluded camp sites where mesquite fires await you. Special activities such as a hoe-down, volleyball or horseshoes are available.
UA Science: Flandrau
Located at the heart of the University of Arizona campus the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium explores our universe from earth to space and everything in-between, bringing science alive for young and life-long learners alike. Changing exhibits through the year focus on biology, energy, optics and more, weaving in ground-breaking UA research and revealing the world of science careers for budding scientists.
Sit back, relax and tour the universe in southern Arizona’s only Planetarium Theater. Our star projector can project more than 8,000 stars, perfectly recreating the visible objects of the night sky hour by hour. On family days, students from the UA College of Science lead Science Discovery activities in physics, marine biology and other areas.
We also operate the only weekly, free, public astronomy program in Arizona. Stop by the Flandrau observatory and let our volunteer astronomers show you Saturn’s rings, the cloud belts of Jupiter, the Andromeda galaxy and other stunning and beautiful images that will forever transform the way you see our own world.
The University of Arizona Mineral Museum on the lower level of Flandrau houses one of the top-5 gem and mineral collections of the world. With a core collection dating back to 1892, the Mineral Museum now holds more than 26,000 specimens. The Mineral Museum’s permanent exhibit of over 2,000 specimens includes stunning minerals and meteorites from Arizona, Mexico and around the world.
Flandrau also offers Science Camp-ins, Star Parties, Portable Planetarium shows, Science Cafés, and Laser Light Shows.
Kino Sports Complex
Multi-purpose facility with meeting and party room basketball court, pool, soccer, baseball and softball fields.
Finger Rock Trail
Finger Rock Trail is a scenic but very demanding hike. The first section of the trail (~ 1 mile in distance) is fairly flat, and takes you through beautiful desert. This section is also your best chance of seeing wildlife before beginning the treacherous ascent. During the rainy season the river alongside the trail flows heavily. After the final river bed crossing the trail bends nearly 180-degrees and initiates the ascent. The majority of the trail is very steep and there are sections of worn down rock that create very slippery surfaces. Good quality shoes are a must for this trail, and sneakers are sufficient as long as the souls are not worn down. The views of the canyon as well as Tucson itself are breathe taking. Once you reach the saddle, the trail splits to form a Y. To remain on Finger Rock Trail, you stay left on your ascent (East). The steepness reduces significantly at this point, and the terrain changes drastically as you are engulfed into a forest. The trail continues for another 1-2 miles along the mountain tops. The very end of the trail is unclear though, and many people have reported never actually finding the final destination.
In terms of time, if you hike at a fairly fast pace with few stops, you will average about 5 hours round trip. However, you could easily spend all day on this trail if you decided to picnic or simply take your time. Regardless, the hike is enjoyable and you will certainly get a workout.
As for gear, be sure to bring lots of water, snacks and sun protection. This hike is not recommended during the hot summer months because the majority of the trail offers little shelter from the sun. The first mile though, yields a beautiful get away any time of year.
Upon completion of the hike, one of the most satisfying aspects is siting your acknowledgement afterwards, when traveling about the city, because The “finger” is easy to identify from just about anywhere in Tucson.
Omni Tucson National Resort Golf Course
This golf course is the home of the PGA Northern Telecom Open.
Agua Caliente Park
Open from 7:00 a.m. to Sunset every day of the year. The park is open by permit only on Easter.
Ranch House Visitor Center and Art Gallery, Rose Cottage, and Bunkhouse are closed on all county holidays.
Arizona State Museum
The oldest anthropological museum in the region, the Arizona State Museum has been collecting and interpreting the cultures of the Southwest since 1893
This is a great hike up a well paved hill with fantastic city views. Since this hike is on university property it is one of the only hikes in the Tucson Mountain Range that permits night hiking, making this the perfect hike for sunrise/sunset watching. Tumamoc Hill is a research station that has been studied since 1906. Travel is permitted all the way to the top but on pavement only. With continued respect this route should remain open to the public!
Old Tucson is Where the Spirit of the Old West Comes Alive! Please note: Old Tucson is closed for the season and will re-open on October 4, 2014. In addition to the old movie sets and memorabilia of its rich Western film history, Old Tucson is now the premier attraction in the Southwest to experience what life in the Old West was really like. Heritage Square contains 12 new movie quality sets and 3 new streets in the “town square.” The design of the new building sets was led by Gene Rudolf a credited Art Director for many movies including Young Guns II, The Great Gatsby, The Right Stuff, and many more. Recent additions are the Native American Village and Living History Program. Just a stroll down the street is an adventure as you learn about the perils of cross-country travel via stagecoach, the demands of life as a sheriff in a Wild West town, and other topics discussed throughout the town. Old Tucson Living History programs are designed to be entertaining yet educational. Our goal is to create the atmosphere of a western town circa 1853 to 1912 that lets guests step back in time. Old Tucson has adopted a new logo to represent its expanded focus on Old West history, heritage, and culture in addition to its storied film history and world-famous entertainment. This broadening of scope is represented by the iconic wagon wheel, symbolic of the great westward movement of settlers to the southwest in the 1800s by wagon train. The seven spokes of the wheel represent the strong cultural and historic groups that made significant contributions to Tucson’s rich heritage: Native Americans, Spanish Colonials, Mexicans, Western Cowboys, Ranchers, Chinese, and African-Americans. The seven spokes join at the wheel’s hub (the location of the Old Tucson name), representing the synergistic joining of cultures and heritages at Old Tucson for a living western experience found nowhere else. Moving us toward the future, the wagon wheel reminds us to honor and celebrate our history, heritage, and diverse cultures. Old Tucson – Where the Spirit of the Old West Comes Alive!
Starr Pass Golf Club
Finishing a round at this 18-hole course gives players an inviting desert golf experience, as the course winds its way through desert washes, over mountain passes and into box canyons.
Arizona Theater Company
Touching lives through the power of theatre, Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) is the preeminent professional theatre in the state of Arizona. Boasting the largest seasonal subscriber base in the performing arts in Arizona, ATC is the only resident company in the US that reaps the benefits of a two-city operation. Now entering its 48th season, more than 130,000 people a year attend performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the intimate and elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of shows reflects the rich variety of world drama – from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works – along with a wide array of outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Named by Reader’s Digest as the Best Secret Garden in America, Tucson Botanical Gardens is an “Oasis in the Heart of Tucson. Featuring seventeen residentially-scaled specialty gardens, including a Barrio Garden, Zen Garden and a Cactus & Succulent Garden landscaped with unusual rocks from the Harrison Yocum collection. Tropical Butterflies from around the world are featured in the Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion October-April. Experience an outdoor Garden Railway, botanically-inspired gift shops, year-round tours, art exhibits and lunch at Café Botánica. Closed Thanksgiving, the second Sunday in October,Dec. 24 & 25, Jan. 1, July 4.
La Paloma Golf Course
This 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, appealing to pros and beginners alike, is situated on the lovely 250-acre Westin La Paloma resort and offers magnificent city and mountain views.
Museum of the Horse Soldier
Incorporated in 2013, Museum of the Horse Soldier is one of a few museums dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Military’s mounted services. Visitors to the museum can explore the history of U.S. horse soldiers and their roles in times of peace and conflict during the 18th – 21st centuries. The Museum of the Horse Soldier offers a unique opportunity to discover and explore military history through informative and engaging exhibits, featuring many rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts.
Widely regarded as the “Crown Jewel” of Downtown Tucson, The Fox is right in the center of Tucson’s cultural hub and has an intimate connection with the history of performing arts in Tucson. The Fox has become an important symbol of the recent resurgence of a thriving city center and continues to make strides adding to the economic growth of the downtown area and Tucson as a whole.
The Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was incorporated in July of 1999 and was formed for the express purpose of returning the theatre to the community. The foundation generates community interest and investment in the past, present and future of the theatre by sustaining a place that offers high quality performing arts, cultural activities and films in order to inspire, excite, entertain, engage and educate guests from all over Southern Arizona.
The Foundation is an Arizona 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed out of the citizen’s group known as the Fox Theatre Revival Committee, which began looking at ways to save the theatre in 1997. This group was composed of people who wanted to see the theatre restored, and re-opened. The stated mission of the Foundation is the purchase, restoration, renovation, and operation of the historic Fox Tucson Theatre, located at 17 West Congress, in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The Foundation is guided by a professional staff and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. For further information on the theatre, contact the Foundation office at 520-624-1515.
Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros Wild West Stunt Show
The Curse of Captain Cutthroat is now playing. A High-Impact Wild West Stunt Shows that are fun for tourists and locals alike, and we are family friendly (if the lil’ ones can stand the loud noises). These comedy action driven shows are performed Wednesday through Sunday at 7:00 and 8:00 PM (Off Thanksgiving and Christmas day). Ticket price is $4.00 Per person, 3 and under are free. The Pistoleros perform outdoors on a full-size old west town street replica. The 30 minute shows feature falls from two story buildings, fiery dynamite explosion effects, lots of fist-fighting and, of course, gun-fighting! Shows may be cancelled because of inclement weather. The Stunt Show has been a part of Trail Dust Town since 1997, and we invite you to enjoy it, along with Pinnacle Peak Steak House, Museum of the Horse Soldier, unique shops and plenty of rides for little, and big kids. Happy Trails!
Tucson Mountain Park
A 20,000-acre desert natural preserve that accommodates many outdoor activities.
The Loft Cinema
Voted BEST OF TUCSON every year since 2002 by readers of the Tucson Weekly, The Loft Cinema is a mission-driven, membership-supported nonprofit cinema that screens new independent American and foreign films and documentaries, along with classic art films, interactive events including a monthly short film contest, sing-a-longs and cult favorites. Patrons can enjoy beer, wine, pizza, tamales along with fantastic films. The main theatre seats 500 people and boasts the largest screen in Southern Arizona. In addition to our regular programming, The Loft hosts an annual international film festival in the fall and a free children’s film festival every July. The Loft is a member of the Sundance Institute’s Art House Project, based on our excellence of programming and service to the community. In 2012 The Loft was selected to be an official venue of the Sundance Film Festival in their Sundance USA program and we have hosted a screening direct from Sundance with the filmmakers every year since. The Loft is one of 7 American cinemas to be a collaborating partner with Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue in 2012, an honor The Loft also enjoyed in 2011.
The Mini Time Machine Mueseum of Miniatures
More than 300 antique and contemporary dollhouses and roomboxes are showcased, sure to delight all ages. The magic of this place cannot be overstated.
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park has something for:
1. The kids (they love it when the water is running)
5. Serious Rock-climbers
6. Hikers of all types (Romero Canyon/Pools trail eventually hooks you into the entire Catalina Mountains trail system.
7. Flowers almost year-round
The Coronado National Forest consists of Five Ranger Districts and a Supervisor’s Office. One District office is located in each of the following Southern Arizona Communities; Douglas, Nogales, Safford, and Sierra Vista. The Santa Catalina District office is located in Tucson as is the Supervisors Office.
For more than 40 years, the home of the late collector Tom Hubbard has been the center of Franklin Automobile history. Featuring more than 20 antique and classic Franklin automobiles, as well as a collection of prehistoric artifacts collected by archaeologist Alice Carpenter, the museum is located in a quiet subdivision in the center of Tucson. Open publicly – Mid-October through Memorial Day weekend – Wednesday through Saturday; 10 am to 4 pm. Private tours available year-round; phone or e-mail for arrangements. Large groups are requested to call ahead.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona (UA) is a place without limits-where teaching, research, service and innovation merge to improve lives in Arizona and beyond. We aren’t afraid to ask big questions, and find even better answers.
Tohono Chul Park
Cultivate your appreciation for the Sonoran Desert’s natural beauty and the impression it makes on everyone who explores our “Desert Corner”. Here, the seasons inspire wondrous events both in nature and culturally; Tohono Chul celebrates every opening, whether for an internationally known artist or an exquisite cactus flower. Wander the natural desert gardens—escape the noise of everyday. Engage in our sincere passion to evolve “The Desert Corner” as an integral crossroads of nature, art and culture.
Houston’s Horseback Riding
Enjoy a few hours on the miles and miles of trails in the Sonoran Desert and Saguaro National Park or in one of their horsemanship classes. The ranch is located in the serene Tanque Verde Valley surrounded by old mesquite trees.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Built in the 1700s, this recently restored white adobe church, representing a wonderful example of Spanish colonial architecture, is beautiful inside and out, with colorful frescoes, sculptures, and carvings.
The Gaslight Theatre
The Gaslight Theatre provides musical comedy melodramas 6 nights a week, and 5 different shows per year. Westerns, sci-fi spoofs, the famous Christmas shows, and everything in between. Cheer the hero and boo the villain while enjoying your favorite beer or soft drink, pizza, ice cream, and mountains of free popcorn.
Carnival of Illusion
Laugh, have fun, and celebrate at Arizona’s only intimate illusion show. Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed transport you on a beguiling magical journey around the world in their Vaudeville-inspired magical parlour show limited to just a few dozen guests. The “Magic, Mystery, and Oooh La La” happens select Fridays and Saturdays evenings during high season.
The Rogue Theatres
Located in the Historic Y just west of the University of Arizona, The Rogue Theatre provides an intimate space to present compelling literature.