Of course, if you are visiting Tucson, you are going to spend time looking at those gigantic, impressive cactus of the Saguaro National Park. You’ll find the park to the east and the west of the city, so you can hardly escape it.
But what else is there to do in this beautiful western city?
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Why not visit the beautiful mission built by the Spanish called San Xavier del Bac? Known as the White Dove of the Desert, this beautiful site is much more than a place to visit as a tourist. Even though docent tours are available almost every day of the week, it is still a functioning church that serves the local community. Check their website for the mass schedule.
Franklin Auto Museum
Have you heard of the Franklin Automobile company? This American company manufactured cars from 1902 to 1934 in Syracuse, New York. Tom Hubbard so appreciated the design of these cars, that he collected them and decided to share them with the public. Visit the late Hubbard’s museum that features more than 20 antique and classic cars in the fall, winter, and spring. The museum is closed during the summer.
Arizona-Senora Desert Museum
The Arizona-Senora Desert Museum is rather tricky to pin down because it is part zoo, part botanical garden, part bird sanctuary, and part art museum. What we can tell you is that it celebrates all things desert. Expect to spend more than three hours visiting this museum. Let the kids learn what it feels like to be a packrat as they scurry through the indoor playground. Senior and youth prices are available.
Pima Air and Space Museum
If classic cars aren’t your thing, then what do you think about visiting aircraft? Featuring over 360 aircraft on 80 acres, the Pima Air and Space Museum has plenty to see and do. Participate in a flight simulator for a Boeing 720 and tour three hangers full of WWII airplanes. See presidential planes, a moon rock, and the aircraft that brought the hostages back from Iran when you visit this impressive museum.
Old Tucson Studios
Feel like you took a step back into the past by visiting the Old Tucson Studios. The studio was initially built for filming the movie Arizona, but it has also been used as the location for over 400 movies, TV, and commercial shoots throughout the years. It’s still used periodically today.
Your visit to the studios will include live stunt shows, train rides, and costumed reenactors. At least we think they are reenactors and not real cowboys.
DeGrazia Gallary in the Sun Museum
This museum is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it covers a 10-acre area that features the home and grave of local artist Ted DeGrazia. The adobe gallery features permanent and traveling exhibits and celebrates the work of this child born of Italian immigrants.
Although there is much to see and do in Tucson, don’t forget to spend time with the most area’s most notable feature — the desert landscape.