Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Large multipurpose museum
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of the most popular attractions in all of Arizona. Located across 98 acres, the museum includes a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, and natural history museum. The museum includes more than 230 species of animals and 12,000 species of plants. The museum is committed to preserving and educating people about the natural history, plants, and animals located in the Sonoran Desert.
Opening Hours: Sun-Fri 7:30am=5pm Sat 7:30am-5pm
Watch Out For: zoo, aquarium, garden, and museum
Address & Phone Number: 2021 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 883 1380
Pima Air & Space Museum
Air and spacecraft artifacts on display
The Pima Air & Space Museum is home to one of the largest aviation collections in the country. The museum encompasses more than 189,000 square feet and is home to more than 300 aircrafts. There are four different large hangars where the planes are stored and displayed. The Space Gallery includes a full-size replica of the Apollo capsule, a replica of the X-15, and a lunar rock sample. The museum is also home to the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame.
Opening Hours: Sun-Sat 9am-5pm
Watch Out For: over 300 aircraft on display
Address & Phone Number: 6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 574 0462
Award winning vineyard
Although located about a hour south of Tucson, the drive is worth it. Callaghan Vineyards offers award-winning wines. Their wines are globally recognized and renowned, and have even been served at the White House. In 2006, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano listed Callaghan Vineyards as one of Arizona’s Treasures. Their tasting room is open Thursday-Sunday from 11am-4pm.
Opening Hours: Mon-Wed closed Thurs-Sun 11am-4pm
Watch Out For: tasting room
Address & Phone Number: 336 Elgin Rd, Elgin, AZ, USA. +1 520 455 5322
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 1996 and features seasonal temporary exhibits. Check out their online website to find out what exhibits they will be featuring in upcoming seasons. With so many changing exhibits, it is worth coming back for a second trip. The museum itself is located in an old firehouse, and the interior of the museum is modern and unique.
Opening Hours: Mon-Tues closed Wed-Sun 12pm-5pm
Watch Out For: seasonal temporary exhibits
Address & Phone Number: 265 S Church Ave, Tucson, AZ +1 520 624 5019
Thunder Canyon Brewery
With two locations in Tucson, Thunder Canyon Brewery is well known for their handcrafted beers and homemade food. The brewery has been around since 1997 and is very involved with the local community. They also offer tours of their brewery (call ahead to make a reservation), so go try their award-winning Warhead Stout brew and check out their weekly specials for great deals.
Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Watch Out For: tours of the brewery
Address & Phone Number: 220 E. Broadway Blvd Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 396 3480
De Grazia Gallery in the Sun
Gallery listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Artist Ettore Degrazzia established De Grazia Gallery in the Sun in 1950, and today the museum houses many of his most famous works. The gallery consists of six permanent collections of his paintings that depict famous historical events and the native cultures of the Southwest, since he is famous for capturing everyday Native American culture. The building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Opening Hours: Sun-Sat 10am-4pm
Watch Out For: Native American art depictions
Address & Phone Number: 6300 N Swan Rd, Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 299 9191
El Charro Café
Famous Mexican cuisine
Besides being a Tucson mainstay since 1922, El Charro Café is also ‘The Nation’s Oldest Mexican Restaurant.’ Since their opening they have been owned by the same family, and their menu features Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and Tucson-style Mexican cuisine. They have won many awards, and the restaurant was named ‘One of America’s 21 Most Legendary Restaurants’ by Gourmet Magazine. People come from all over to try their food.
Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm
Watch Out For: chimichangas
Address & Phone Number: 311 N Court Ave Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 622 1922
Arizona State Museum
Oldest and largest anthropology museum
The Arizona State Museum is ‘the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest.’ The museum is located on The University of Arizona’s campus and is dedicated to both research and education. Their collection has more than 25,000 artifacts of American Indian basketry and the largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery. In total, the museum is home to more than 3 million artifacts.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Sun closed
Watch Out For: American Indian artifacts
Address & Phone Number: 1013 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ, USA. +1 520 621 6302
Saguaro National Park
Large desert national park
Saguaro National Park is comprised of an area of about 150 miles around Tucson, and it is divided into two areas – the Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District. Try the Valley View Overlook Trail or one of the five picnic areas in the Tucson Mountain District. The Rincon Mountain District also offers a scenic Cactus Forest Loop drive. The park is also home to the nation’s largest cacti, the giant saguaro.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Watch Out For: home to the largest cacti
Address & Phone Number: +1 520 733 5153
Kitt Peak National Observatory
Astronomical observatory site
Kitt Peak National Observatory has a large array of optical and radio telescopes. The observatory is located on the Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory employs a team that conducts research at the site. People can come and visit the center and learn about what the team is doing at their visitor center.
Opening Hours: Sun-Sat 9am-4pm
Watch Out For: research at the visitor center
Address & Phone Number: 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson +1 520 318 8000
By Chloe Hanschen