21 Fun and Fantastic Things to Do in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona is an amazing city with so much to see and do! From hiking and biking in the beautiful desert landscape to exploring the vibrant downtown area, there is something for everyone in Tucson.

And of course, no visit to Tucson would be complete without spending some time enjoying the city’s famous Mexican food.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Tucson is the perfect destination. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Tucson!

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a must-see when visiting Tucson, Arizona.

This world-renowned museum showcases the incredible flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert through educational exhibits, live demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a unique fusion experience that combines the features of a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum, and art gallery. It is focused on the bi-national Sonoran Desert and over 85% of its exhibits are alive.

The museum features 230 animal species, 1,200 plant species, and is spread over 21 acres with two miles of walking paths. It also boasts one of the world’s most comprehensive mineral collections.

Established in 1952, the Desert Museum’s mission is to instill in visitors a deeper understanding, appreciation, and concern for stewardship of the remarkable ecosystem of the bi- national Sonoran Desert region.

Kids will love getting up close to tortoises, snakes, and other desert creatures in the museum’s extensive animal collection.

They can also learn about the many different plants that call the desert home in the museum’s botanical gardens. And be sure to catch one of the exciting live bird shows – it’s a truly unforgettable experience!

Top Review: “I love Tucson! The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is definitely place to visit if you are in town.  Truly…Do not miss it. We spent most of the day discovering the botanical gardens, walking the paths, and feeding the sting rays (surprisingly, one of our favorite things and a definite must-do!). Additionally, you can see bees, butterflies, javelinas, prairie dogs, hummingbirds, foxes, ocelots, an otter, a beaver, and more. There are so many sahuaros – it’s crazy beautiful! The desert was absolutely stunning the day we went it. The employees and volunteers were so pleasant and informative – we especially liked and learned a lot from the employees at the stingray exhibit. Lunch at the cafeteria-style diner was tasty and priced affordably. If I lived closer, I would come here several times a week to hike. I can’t wait to visit again.”Cynthia T.

2021 N Kinney Rd Tucson, AZ 85743, (520) 883-2702

Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway

One of the best things to do is to take a drive up Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway.

The Byway winds its way through the Santa Catalina Mountains for 27 miles, offering stunning views of canyons, forests, and meadows.

Along the way, there are numerous pull-offs where you can stop to take pictures or just soak in the views.

The Byway culminates at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, and picnicking in the summer or skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

No matter what time of year you visit Tucson, a drive up Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway is a must-do activity!

Sabino Canyon

If you’re looking for things to do in Tucson, Arizona, be sure to check out Sabino Canyon! This beautiful canyon is a great place to hike, bike, or just explore.

There are plenty of trails to choose from, so you can find one that’s perfect for your level of fitness.

And if you want to cool off after a long hike, there are several swimming holes where you can take a dip.

Sabino Canyon is also home to a variety of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for birds, lizards, and even javelina!

Pima Air and Space Museum

The Pima Air and Space Museum is one of the best things to do in Tucson, Arizona!

With over 300 aircraft on display, it is one of the largest aviation museums in the world.

Visitors can explore the history of aviation, from early hot air balloons to supersonic jets.

The museum also houses an extensive collection of space memorabilia, including a moon rock brought back by Apollo astronauts.

And best of all, admission is free for all active military personnel and their families.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Tucson, Arizona. The park is home to the largest cacti in the world, and it offers stunning views of the Sonoran Desert.

There are two sections of the park, and both offer a variety of activities. Hikers can explore over 150 miles of trails, and nature lovers can enjoy bird watching, stargazing, and flower spotting.

The park also has a Scenic Drive that winds through the desert landscape, and there are plenty of opportunities for picnicking and camping.

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Located just a short drive from downtown Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac is a must-see for anyone visiting Arizona.

This historic mission dates back to the 18th century and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.

The mission’s beautiful white facade is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings, and its interior is filled with stunning artwork.

Visitors can explore the mission grounds on their own or take a guided tour.

Gates Pass

Gates Pass is one of the many must-see attractions in Tucson. This scenic drive takes you through a pass in the Santa Catalina Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the desert landscape.

Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to spot some of Tucson’s famous wildlife, including javelinas and deer.

Whether you’re looking for a place to hike, bike, or simply relax and take in the scenery, Gates Pass is a great destination for all lovers of the outdoors.

Tucson Botanical Gardens

The Tucson Botanical Gardens are a must-see for any nature lover visiting Tucson, Arizona.

The gardens feature an abundance of cacti and other desert plants, as well as a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the plants in the garden, and they offer a variety of programs and tours to help visitors learn about the desert ecosystem.

In addition to the beautiful plants, the Tucson Botanical Gardens also feature a butterfly exhibit, a riparian area, and a unique collection of sculptures.

International Wildlife Museum

One of the most popular is the International Wildlife Museum. The museum showcases a wide variety of animals from all over the world, including many that are endangered or threatened.

Visitors can learn about the ecology and behavior of these animals, and about the efforts being made to protect them.

The museum also offers a variety of interactive exhibits, making it a great destination for families.

In addition to the animals, the museum also features a botanical garden, which is home to a variety of rare and exotic plants.

The International Wildlife Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Tucson.

Madera Canyon

Nestled in the Santa Rita Mountains just south of Tucson, Arizona, Madera Canyon is a standout among the state’s many natural attractions.

Hiking is the main activity here, and there are trails to suit all levels of ability, from gentle journeys through the canyon bottom to more challenging ascent’s up into the higher reaches of the Santa Ritas.

The area is also home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. In addition, Madera Canyon is one of the best places in Arizona to see the nighttime sky; far away from the light pollution of Tucson, stargazers can get an incredible view of the Milky Way.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful nature escape or an adventure-filled weekend away, Madera Canyon is sure to please.

Catalina State Park

One of the best places to enjoy the city’s natural beauty is Catalina State Park. The park is located just outside of Tucson and offers hiking, camping, and picnicking opportunities.

There are also several different trails that wind through the park, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape.

In addition, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, javelina, and coyotes.

Catalina State Park is a great place to explore the outdoors and experience all that Tucson has to offer.

Tohono Chul

Tohono Chul is one of the best things to do in Tucson, Arizona! This botanical gardens and nature preserve is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

The gardens feature a wide variety of native plant life, as well as a butterfly garden and a hummingbird aviary.

The nature preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including javelinas, coyotes, and Gambel’s quail.

Visitors can also take advantage of the many hiking trails, picnic areas, and educational programs offered at Tohono Chul.

Tucson Botanical Garden

The Tucson Botanical Garden is a must-see for anyone visiting Tucson, Arizona. This oasis in the desert features over five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, each with its own unique theme.

The Butterfly Garden is a particular favorite, with over 50 species of butterflies fluttering among the colorful flowers.

The Children’s Garden is another great spot for families, with a train ride, playground, and water features to keep kids entertained.

And don’t miss the chance to take a hands-on cooking class in the culinary garden, where you can learn to cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The Gaslight Theatre

The Gaslight Theatre is one of the best things to do in Tucson, Arizona. This award-winning comedy theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1971 with a variety of hilarious shows.

The Gaslight Theatre is perfect for a night out with friends or family, and you’re guaranteed to laughed till your sides hurt.

The talented performers at The Gaslight Theatre are always coming up with new material, so you can be sure that you’ll never see the same show twice.

If you’re looking for a fun and memorable experience, be sure to check out The Gaslight Theatre.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is one of the most unique and visually stunning museums in the country.

Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the museum was designed by famed artist Ted DeGrazia to showcase his whimsical and colorful paintings.

Visitors can stroll through ten different galleries, each filled with vibrant artwork inspired by DeGrazia’s heritage and love of the Southwest.

In addition to the stunning galleries, the museum also features a beautiful courtyard with cactus gardens and a sparkling fountain.

The nearby gift shop is also worth a visit, as it sells a wide variety of DeGrazia’s prints, pottery, and jewelry.

Cactus Forest Drive

Cactus forest Drive is a must-do when visiting Tucson, Arizona! This beautiful 8-mile loop road takes you through the heart of Saguaro National Park and offers incredible views of the desert landscape.

You’ll see towering saguaro cacti, unique rock formations, and abundant wildlife. Best of all, the drive can be easily completed in an afternoon.

So whether you’re looking for a quick adventure or a leisurely sightseeing tour, Cactus Forest Drive is sure to please.

Reid Park Zoo

The Reid Park Zoo is one of the best things to do in Tucson, Arizona! The zoo is home to over 500 animals, including lions, tigers, and bears.

The zoo also has a wide variety of reptiles, birds, and amphibians. The zoo offers a variety of educational programs and events for children and adults alike.

The Zoo Lights event is a must-see during the holidays! The Reid Park Zoo is a great place to learn about the animal kingdom and have a ton of fun!

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Tucson, Arizona is home to a variety of unique attractions, but one of the most intriguing is the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures.

This one-of-a-kind museum features an array of miniature houses and rooms, each with its own unique story.

Visitors can explore a wide range of time periods and cultures, from Ancient Egypt to the American Wild West.

The museum also features a library full of books on miniatures, making it the perfect place for anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating hobby.

Tucscon Mountain Park West

Tucson Mountain Park West is one of the best places to see the desert scenery that Tucson is famous for.

The park offers miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking. Visitors can also take a scenic drive through the park to experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert up close.

And if you’re looking for a Challenge, you can try your hand at bouldering or rock climbing on one of the many cliffs in the park.

Whatever your interest, Tucson Mountain Park West has something to offer everyone. So come on down and explore all that this amazing park has to offer!

Franklin Auto Museum

There’s so much to see and do in Tucson, Arizona! One of the best places to visit is the Franklin Auto Museum.

This unique museum features a wide collection of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles. You’ll also find a variety of interactive exhibits, making it a great place for both kids and adults.

And if you’re a fan of classic cars, you won’t want to miss the chance to see some of the most iconic vehicles from history up close and personal.

Children’s Museum Tucscon

The Children’s Museum Tuscon is an amazing place for kids of all ages! They have an early childhood area with a water play table, an art studio, and a construction zone.

Kids can also explore the “grown-up” world in the life-sized grocery store, or take a spin in the kid-sized fire truck.

Best of all, the museum is always changing to keep kids engaged and excited. Recent additions include a pirate ship, a dinosaur exhibit, and a planetarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tucson known for?

Some of the things that Tucson is known for include its desert landscape, its unique attractions like the Reid Park Zoo and the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, and its lively cultural scene. Tucson is also a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

What is the best month to visit Tucson?

The best time to visit Tucson depends on what you’re looking to do while you’re in town. If you’re interested in outdoor activities, the best time to come is between October and April when the weather is cooler. For cultural events and attractions, any time of year is a great time to visit Tucson.

Does it snow in Tucson?

It rarely snows in Tucson, but when it does it’s usually just a light dusting. The last time it snowed significant amounts was back in 2008. So if you’re looking to enjoy some winter activities like sledding or snowball fights, you might want to head somewhere else!

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