Choose from 3 Fun Things to Do in Tucson
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If you like sunny and warm, you’ll love Tucson, Arizona. With more than 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson can brag about being one of the sunniest cities in the United States. The 32nd largest U.S. city, Tucson is part of the Sonoran Desert.
All that warm weather makes for plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. The bike scene moves at a fast speed offering roughly 500 miles of dedicated bike lanes for residents and guests to roll along. Tucson is also surrounded by five mountain ranges; the Rincon Mountains, the Tucson Mountains, the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Santa Rita Mountains and the Tortolita Mountains. The combination creates a spectacular skyline while providing practically endless options for hiking and mountain biking.
Tucson is home to more than a million residents and the University of Arizona. It is a little more than 300 miles from the Grand Canyon and just over 100 miles from Phoenix.
Address: Tucson, Arizona, USA
From $ 41
Set in the arid landscape just outside Tucson, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum showcases the desert’s flora, fauna, and history through live-animal and multimedia exhibits. The museum spreads across 98 acres (39.7 hectares) of natural desert landscape and contains more than 230 species of animals and 1,200 kinds of plants.
Explore the Sonoran Desert via the museum’s walk-in aviary, hummingbird enclosure, desert botanical garden, stingray touch pool, and other wildlife-themed attractions. You can also walk through two miles (3.2 kilometers) of trails, enjoy periodic birds-of-prey demonstrations, and watch presentations about the area’s venomous creatures. The museum also houses an art gallery that showcases local and national artists, as well as a publishing company that produces books and guidebooks for adults and children.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is ideal for families and natural history fans.
- Children can explore and act like desert creatures in the Packrat Playhouse, a simulated desert environment.
- The museum has two restaurants, a coffee bar, and an ice cream shop. The garden also contains two small picnic areas for visitors who bring their own food.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, which are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
How to Get There
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is located on North Kinney Road in Tucson, just south of Saguaro National Park. Public transportation is limited and free parking is available on site, so it’s a good idea to arrive by car.
When to Get There
The museum and gardens are open year-round, but from April through October it’s wise to avoid hours of peak heat. From May through September, the Cool Summer Nights program offers extended hours on Saturday nights. Plan to spend at least two hours exploring the museum and surrounding gardens.
Conservation at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The Sonoran Desert boasts the greatest variety of plants and animals of any desert in the world, and is also the only place where saguaro cacti are found. The Desert Museum is dedicated to the area’s conservation and works on projects to control invasive grasses and protect pollinator species, among other efforts.
Address: 2021 N Kinney Rd., Tucson, Arizona 85743, USA
From $ 22
Step back into the gunslingin’ Old West at Old Tucson, a movie studio and theme park located near the Tucson Mountains and Saguaro National Park in Arizona. Visitors to Old Tucson might think, ‘Hey! This place looks familiar!’ And that’s because this ‘town’ has been made famous as the location for more than 300 movies and television shows. From living history presentations to historic tours to shows and special events, Old Tucson really ‘brings it’ with the Western experience.
Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, or music, the gunfights and stunt shows based on traditional Western themes will fit the bill. There’s even a can-can musical in the saloon, featuring ‘Lady Vivian and her girls.’ Be sure to watch out for a traveling salesman who might try to pitch you a great deal on snake oil. In addition to all the fun and games, Old Tucson has an element that will appeal to history buffs — historians give presentations on topics like ‘The American Cowboy,’ ‘Sheriffs of the Old West’ (keeping the peace in the Wild West was no easy task!), ‘Life of a Miner,’ and ‘The Raucous Saloons.’
All park shows and tours are included in the admission price. Pricing for select special events may vary. Certain games, food, stagecoach, and trail rides are available for an additional fee. Please note: Schedule and availability of shows and attractions at Old Tucson are subject to change or cancellation depending to film projects and filming schedules. Group pricing is available for groups of 25 or more.
Address: 201 S Kinney Rd, Tucson, Arizona, USA 85735, USA
Hours: Old Tucson runs on a seasonal schedule, with opening hours that vary frequently.
Admission: Adults: $17.95; Children (ages 4-11): $10.95
From $ 15