Tucson Travel Guide

  • San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona Aug 2010
    San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona Aug...
    by jumpingnorman
  • City of Tucson
    City of Tucson
    by danieltrue
  • Tucson
    by Kaspian

Tucson Things to Do

  • Pima Air and Space Museum

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    There were also aircraft from other countries on display. Here you see two British Aircraft and some Russian Migs that were exported to other countries. I do not know the nomencalture for the first aircraft can one of our British friends help me with that? Info from a fellow VTer (thanks!): The RAF plane you mention is an Royal Air Force Avro...

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  • Mt. Lemmon

    We were staying at a hotel on the east side of Tucson, and I just saw on the Tuscon To-do magazine the word Mt Lemmon, saying that it offered great views of the city. So, I added Mt Lemmon to my navigation system and saw this road on the map which seemed to go up a mountain...and sure it was :) Just a few minutes driving from our hotel and we were...

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  • San Xavier del Bac Mission

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Spanish Mission of San Xavier Del Bac was built in between 1783 and 1797. It is a National Historic Landmark, and has been in continuous use for over 200 years. It was built by Tohono O'odham laborers. The epitome of great southwestern architecture and a relic from a time when pioneers exploring the American interior came from the South instead...

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Tucson Hotels

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Tucson Restaurants

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  • Asian fast Food

    I eat at the Panda Express mostly when I'm on a road trip. I love the fast service and easy, yet tasty food options. My favorite is the Beijing Beef on white rice, I alternate with the Kung Pao Chicken with noodles. My daughter is into the sweet and sour chicken, while my husband prefers the Honey Walnut Shrimp. I will tell you, if you have to make...

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  • Great Sea Food Restaurant

    It has been many years since I have eaten at the Red Lobster. Having grown up on a diet of Fish, I have always found it harder to eat meat regularly as my husband is quite the beef guy. However, I decided to go on a fish diet for a week and started with sea food at Red Lobster.We were seated immediately since it was early in the evening (5:45), our...

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  • Eat With a View of the Desert and Its...

    This restaurant began as an eight stool, two table café in 1956 it has since expanded to accommodate its many customers. Although the food is of average quality, it is the best choice when visiting either Saguaro National Park East or Colossal Cave. The dining area has large glass windows that looks out onto the desert, which was my favorite part....

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Tucson Nightlife

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  • 4th Avenue area

    I lived in Tucson, AZ for 20 years. If you want to meet the local crowd, go to some concerts down on 4th Avenue in a bar or club (unfornately, the live jazz bar and restaraunt "Cafe Sweetwater" has closed boo-hoo but there is a club in its place). Also, many times a year, the Avenue hosts outdoor parties (other than the Street Fair) where you can...

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  • Downtown

    West of Sixth Avenue: Vaudeville: No theater is performed, but it is a fairly cool bar. Tables, chairs and pool tables are all crowded in front of medium-sized stage against a short bar. Live music most nights, usually with a cover under $5. This is where the pretentious indie crowd heads on every night but Monday. The Red Room: The Red Room is...

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  • Casino

    This Indian casino is the one most convenient to Tucson. It has 6 restaurants in addition to its multiple rooms of slots and tables.

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Tucson Transportation

  • You need a car to get around

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, unless you are going from Tucson to Phoenix on a shuttle. Although, the direction between Tucson and Phoenix is a diagonal straight line veering northwest, believe me, it is a convoluted labyrinth, or a very expensive one-hundred and twenty mile trek. As a result of “one more airline...

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  • Driving in Tucson

    Driving around Tucson I must admit that I didn't have a lot of problems with finding a parking lot for my car. Surely it's not so easy to find a free parking in a downtown (there are parkometers with limited parking time at daytime in business days), but there are a lot of parkings around Tucson Convention Center. Look at my picture and follow the...

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  • By The Time I Get to Phoenix

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, unless you are going from Tucson to Phoenix on a shuttle. Although, the direction between Tucson and Phoenix is a diagonal straight line veering northwest, believe me, it is a convoluted labyrinth, or a very expensive one-hundred and twenty mile trek. As a result of “one more airline...

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Tucson Shopping

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  • Native American Crafts

    These are the very best quality Native American Art stores in Tucson. If you want to be sure that jewelry, carvings, rugs, baskets and any other type of Indian art is authentic and handmade by Native American people ,these are the stores you want to go to and buy there. There are so many fakes in the market place and it's important to keep the...

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  • Crafts - Other than Native American

    Explorations has a fine (and eclectic) selection of furniture and crafts from around the world. Moroccan tiles and ceramics handmade in Fez are displayed next to Chinese silks and boxes. Saris are laid out neatly within large Mexican cabinets. The small room at the front of the shop contains a kaleidoscope of pinned butterflies from the Amazon....

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  • Shopping Malls

    Tucson Mall has a great selection of shops to choose from. It offers large department stores (including J C Penney, Sears, Dillards and Macy's) and small specialist stores - it's a great opportunity to pick up any items you may require during your trip. MALL OPENING HOURS : Monday to Saturday : 10:00 - 21:00 Sunday : 12:00 - 18:00 The Mall also...

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Tucson Local Customs

  • General city Information

    The combination of college students, a somewhat cowboy mentality and large liberal population give Tucson a great bar scene. A few of things to know about Arizona law: 1. Bars can open at 6am every day, and some actually do. 2. Last call is at 2am. 3. Opening and closing of the bars is also tied to the general alcohol sales. Meaning that you can...

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  • Cars in Tucson

    Most drivers drive alone in their cars. Does it mean that each person has/use its own car? Hmmm... they support driving with at least 2 persons (including a driver) inside a car - as I remeber they built special lane on I-10 (only in greater urban areas like in Phoenix) called "carpool" on a freeway just for such cars. But sometimes my car was the...

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  • Tucson's Cultural Influences

    In this area there are at least two cultures mixed: Hispanic (Mexican) and Native Americans. Haha, I tried to speak with these two young smiling people on my picture in ITL Coffee Shop. I must admit that I coudn't understand them although they were talking in English. They could understand me but I coudn't them :-(((. Did they use youth or Tucson...

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Tucson Warnings and Dangers

  • Crime

    As long as you stay in the TUCSON city limits you should be fine. Do not go to South Tucson which is a city of its own. It is a working class area with gangs and lots of car theft reports. To be on the safe side, just stay north of downtown. Its definitely not one of the most dangerous cities around, but like every other large city, there can be...

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  • Flooding in Tucson

    Tucsonans and other desert-dwellers are often made fun of for the idea that we freak out about a little rain. What people fail to understand though is that Tucson really does not have any sort of drainage system: it's all natural. Streets gradually flow into washes, which gradually flow into one of our "rivers" and then the water sort of gets lost...

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  • Encounters with desert plants and...

    Coming from the wilds of Canada, I'm used to bushwacking. "Bushwacking," means just pushing your way through plants and trees and making your own trail where there wasn't one before. Well, you can't do that sort of thing here because the flora bites back! And it hurts! Every single plant seems to have its own spiky defenses--cactus, aloe, and trees...

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Tucson Tourist Traps

  • Biosphere 2

    This was one of the best tours I've ever been on, and I've been on lots of them. I remembered hearing about Biosphere 2 years ago, but learned so much about the experiments on this tour. The facility is incredible - the ocean, the rain forest. There isn't anything like it anywhere else in the WORLD. The idealism of the people who dreamed, and...

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  • Old Tucson Studios

    Although I have been to Tucson a number of times, I have not visited this, mainly because a friend who lived there when I fist went said it was a complete tourist rip off. OK I have to say, after talking to some who have been there, I would say if you have kids they would probably have a great time at Old Tucson. Be aware, however, that it is not...

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  • Old Tucson Studios

    Although I have been to Tucson a number of times, I have not visited this, mainly because a friend who lived there when I fist went said it was a complete tourist rip off. OK I have to say, after talking to some who have been there, I would say if you have kids they would probably have a great time at Old Tucson. Be aware, however, that it is not...

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Tucson What to Pack

  • Pack for the Desert

    if you plain on camping and they do not provide working showers, still bring a towel and soap theres a lake or river someplace! its not the best but it will work. bring your camera it will be a good item to capture your memorys brig sunscreen and plenty of water you dont want to get dehidreted

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  • Packing for the Trip !

    if you plain on camping and they do not provide working showers, still bring a towel and soap theres a lake or river someplace! its not the best but it will work. bring your camera it will be a good item to capture your memorys brig sunscreen and plenty of water you dont want to get dehidreted

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  • Not just desert weather

    Rain gear during monsoon season (July/Aug) is important! Winter nights are cool, temps can and do drop below freezing. And if you're heading up to Kitt Peak for star gazing, bring all your cold weather gear; you'll need to bundle up. Sunscreen is crucial; AZ leads the nation in skin cancer cases.

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Tucson Off The Beaten Path

  • Kitt Peak National Observatory.

    The road leading to Kitt Peak is Arizona Highway 86 also known as the Tucson-Ajo Highway. It runs through the Tohono O'odham Nation. You drive down 86 until you come to Junction 386 the Kitt Peak turn-off. Kitt Peak is 12 miles up the road. Please note that this is a mountain road with steep grades and lots of sharp turns. There are no facilities...

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  • Nogales, Mexico

    I read several articles on Nogales Mexico, and not having traveled there for a few years, I was unsettled about whether to go on a recent trip to Tucson. I was told not to for safety reason, by two different businesses telling me to go to Tubac instead. Years ago I noted that Tubac while pretty was considerably higher in prices although you would...

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  • Tombstone and the O.K. Corral

    Tombstone, is located about 70 miles out of Tucson, which is a perfect day trip. In this old historic mining town, the main attraction are situated in and around Allen Street. More info on my Tombstone page.

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Tucson Sports & Outdoors

  • Hike Cochise Stronghold - Dragoon...

    I've always wanted to hike this and finally had the opportunity. Cochise Stronghold is about 1 hour from Tucson and well worth the drive. This is an out and back hike which makes for a long day hike. Guide books have it at 4.5 miles one way but it is longer. From where I parked my car, my GPS put the round trip at 12 miles. The entire hike I didn't...

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  • Hike Blackett's Ridge Trail - Santa...

    This is another out and back trail, and a trail I would definitely do again. I always enjoy hiking late in the afternoon and try and time it so that I can watch the sunset. Blackett's is especially good for this because as you descend back to your car you are facing the sunseting. The photos of the sun setting I have added are without any filters...

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  • Hike the Brown Mountain trail - Tucson...

    I really enjoyed this hike. I recommend doing the hike as an out and back. Also, just before sunset is especially nice.. The hike is just over 4 miles total out and back. It has a climb at the beginning then rolls along a ridge with beautiful views of the Tucson Mountains. If hike during the day be sure to bring plenty of water. If at dusk, a...

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Tucson Favorites

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  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

    Driving along Arizona highways I occasionally saw these birds running across the desert. It's impossible to photograph them in open wild because they are so hyper so fast. In Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum I got the opportunity to see them in captivity. Even in the cage they are still hyper and hardly stay still.

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  • Desert scenery

    The flower of the saguaro cactus is the state flower of Arizona. One can see this cactus everywhere around Tucson. They can grow very tall, about 15 feet. It takes about 50 years to grow one arm, so the one on my photo must be a baby. I saw the most beautiful saguaros along a picturesque winding road, driving from Tucson to the Old Tucson Studios.

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  • General city Information

    I always plan my Arizona trips around their wonderful state parks. You can find state parks that are out of the way, or state parks in or near major cities, such as the wonderful Catalina State Park in Tucson. This park is known for bird watching, excellent hiking, and offers very nice camping facilities. This is a place to settle into if you have...

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Comments (1)

  • toddecus's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Tucson is a way better travel vacation destination than the manicured lawns in the middle of the desert in Phoenix.

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      I tend to agree. Phoenix is a sprawling mini la/ golf resort. Tucson is more like a gritty Hugh plains drifter town. Nit as swanky but more character.

 
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