Tucson is an exciting town that provides residents with many things to see and do. Whether you enjoy fun and adventurous outdoor activities like hiking along scenic trails or would rather spend time at a prestigious museum or take a lovely guided tour through the historic city, there’s a little something for everyone in Tucson.
The fantastic weather and majestic scenery that the city is known for offers a spectacular backdrop that will follow you as you explore the many attractions that you can find in and around the area. If you have recently purchased a home in Tucson or are thinking about doing so in the near future, these attractions are a great way for you to get to know more about all that the city has to offer!
Already in town and looking for something to do? Below is a list of the top things to do in Tucson that you can do TODAY!
10. Visit the Historic Old Tucson
If you want to learn more about the history of Tucson, the Old Tucson attraction is the perfect destination for you. Old Tucson is a wild west attraction that will take you back to a time when cowboys ruled the west and digging for gold was a top occupation. This attraction is great for the whole family and features a wide variety of exciting activities that everyone can partake in.
The claim to fame for Old Tucson is as a shooting location for many of the most popular wild west movies in the first half of the 20th century, which provides you with the opportunity to walk along the same streets as legends like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Some of the other exciting activities that are available for you and your family to enjoy include panning for gold, going horseback riding along nearby trails, and partaking in target practice at a shooting gallery. The price of admission is $10.95 for children between the ages of 4-11 and $19.95 for adults.
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9. Learn About the San Xavier Del Bac Mission
The San Xavier Del Bac Mission is an old Spanish Catholic mission that’s located in downtown Tucson and is considered to be among the most popular historic attractions in and around the city. Today, the Mission is the oldest European structure in all of Arizona as it was originally built in the late 18th century. If you want to see some gorgeous architecture, this is a great place to visit. The church is open to the public everyday from 8:00AM until 5:00PM with museum hours ending 30 minutes before closing time.
The museum itself includes a large number of exhibits that allow you to get a glimpse of what the church was like at its formation along with many artifacts from back then. Make sure that you catch the 20-minute video at the start of the museum for some historical information about the site. Although touring the museum is free, there are donation boxes around the area if you’d like to help with keeping the site in prime condition.
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8. Take a Food Tour Through Downtown Tucson
Anyone who loves food and wants to sample dishes from a wide range of cuisines should place the Tucson Food Tours at the top of their to-do list! This walking food tour is considered to be among the top attractions in Arizona due to the variety of experiences that it can provide. There are three tours available for you to select that allow you to eat, drink, and take in the immense culture of the city of Tucson. The main downtown Tucson walking tour takes you to six local vendors while providing you with stories of the sites and attractions in Downtown Tucson. The tour lasts for around four hours and costs $59 per person.
The second food tour takes you along 4th Avenue and the Main Gate Square, which is an area that boasts a large number of delicious eateries along with a rich history. You’ll visit five restaurants during this tour, some of which have been featured on the Food Channel. The duration and cost of this tour are the same as the previous one. The third and final tour is more of a drink tour than a food one as it takes you to several breweries and distilleries in Downtown Tucson. The Brewstillery Tour provides you with a variety of beer flights and spirits as you take tours of the most popular breweries in the city. You’ll also be provided with food samples at two of the five stops. This tour lasts for 3.5 hours and costs $59 per person.
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7. Explore the Kartchner Caverns (with Camping Too!)
Kartchner Caverns is a beautiful state park nearby Tucson that offers guided tours, a discovery center, hiking trails, and camping opportunities if you’d like to spend your nights amidst some of the best natural areas in the state. This state park is known for its guided cave tours that allow visitors to walk through 2.4-miles of awe-inspiring cave passages. Keep in mind that you can only take pictures within the photo tour. Along with the cave tours, Kartchner Caverns offers a large variety of additional things to do for the whole family.
Many species of animals that are common throughout the Arizonan desserts can be viewed within the park, which include 63 different types of birds, a variety of reptiles, numerous mammals like gray foxes, and a countless number of insects. If you’d like to go hiking, four separate trails can be found throughout the park. The Foothills Loop Trail is a difficult 2.5-mile trail that will test your endurance. If you want to enjoy the scenery, consider taking the Hummingbird Garden Walk outside of the discovery center. The two standard cavern tours cost anywhere from $5-$23 depending on age. The Saturday Helmet and Headlamp Tour costs $30, while the photo tour is priced at $125 per person.
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6. See the Animals at the Reid Park Zoo
If you’d like to see animals in a more controlled setting where you can view them up close and even feed some of them, you might want to visit the popular Reid Park Zoo. This is a 24-acre zoo that’s owned by the city and is home to more than 500 species of animals! The zoo is separated into different sections that you can visit, which will take you from the dew-soaked rain forests of South America to the sprawling savannas of Africa.
During your tour of the zoo, you’ll be able to view ostriches, rhinos, Aldabra tortoises, tigers, jaguars, elephants, and poison dart frogs. Placards are situated around the zoo to keep you informed about the different animals that you’ll see. When you want to visit the zoo with your friends or family, ticket costs are $6-50 for children 2-14, $8.50 for seniors 62 and older, and $10.50 for adults.
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5. Hike or Take a Tram Ride Through the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is a favorite among residents of Tucson. If you enjoy spending time among nature, The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area should satisfy your needs entirely. You’ll view majestic mountains and cavernous canyons as you take a hike across the various trails in the park or go on a tram ride for a more comfortable tour across the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The tram routes allow you to gain access to the Bear and Sabino canyons for some additional photo-taking opportunities. There are nine shuttle stops along the Sabino route that give you the ability to engage in activities like bird watching, swimming in the pools surrounding Sabino Creek, and having a picnic in an area that’s been practically untouched by civilization. When considering a visit, day passes are $5.00 and annual passes are $20.00.
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4. See a Waterfall and Stay Cool in the Wading Area in the Picturesque Seven Falls
The Seven Falls hiking trail is almost unanimously considered to be the best and most beautiful trail in Arizona. This picturesque hiking trail extends for nearly eight miles and features a gorgeous waterfall as its main attraction. While the trail is a lengthy one, it’s only moderately difficult, which means that it should be safe for most people who have any kind of experience with hiking. While the waterfall is the most popular aspect of the trail, there’s a separate wading area nearby that allows you to stay cool while dipping your feet into the water. The trail is completely free to anyone who wishes to hike it.
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3. Take a Stroll Through the Tucson Botanical Gardens
If you’re searching for something pleasant and soothing to fill up your time, consider taking a stroll through the Tucson Botanical Gardens. These gardens provide visitors with a lush oasis where they can view a wide variety of beautiful plants. If you want to know more about the Tucson Botanical Gardens as you’re walking among them, three distinct tours are available that offer amazing experiences.
The Garden Tour focuses specifically on plants that are native to Tucson, while the Edible Tree Tour provides you with a look at more than 100 species of trees that provide food. Take the Backyard Bird Tour for a unique bird watching opportunity that will teach you some basic watching techniques. All of these tours are free with admission. If you want to learn more about ecology and various nature subjects, a wide range of classes are held regularly at the Gardens. Tickets cost $8 for children from 4-17, $13 for students, members of the military, and seniors, and $15 for adults.
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2. Visit the Pima Air & Space Museum
If you’re at all interested in the frontiers of space, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to the Pima Air & Space Museum. During your visit, you can view nearly 300 different aircraft that are spread out over 80 acres of land. You can learn all about the history of air travel, which ranges from the first planes to rockets that have been sent to space.
There are more than 100 panoramas and exhibits on display at this museum, all of which offer extensive information about air travel. Some exhibits focus specifically on space, while other exhibits are centered around WWII aircraft that no longer fly. You can purchase a single-day ticket for anywhere from $10.00-$16.50 or a two-day ticket for $12.50-$22.00. Children four and under get in for free.
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1. Learn at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
If you want to learn about natural history, there’s no better place to visit than the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which acts as a botanical garden, zoo, and museum of natural history. All of these attractions are situated on a 98-acre site where you can watch birds of prey take flight and can view different art galleries that have a focus on nature and animals.
There are also plenty of fun and games for your children to partake in, which include a life on the rocks exhibit as well as a dig for fossils activity. The children’s activity center will provide your kids with hours of fun. When visiting the zoo portion of this museum, you can view thousands of different animals and fish. The botanical gardens are comprised of more than 40,000 plants across 1,300 species. Suffice to say, you can spend three days at the museum and still find something new to enjoy.
Learn more about the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Hopefully this guide gives you a sufficient list of activities for you to enjoy your visit in Tucson. If you’d like to learn more or are interested in buying or selling a home in this beautiful city, contact the Tucson Real Estate Professionals at Grogan & Grogan Tucson Luxury Real Estate today! We’re more than happy to provide you with unrivaled experience and dedication to getting you the best price for your home!