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Local Culture and History

Getting to know real Tucson is easy, given its many museums. Nearly all of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum experience is set outdoors, where walking paths take you through desert habitats home to 230 animal species and 1,200 types of plants. See a huge collection of Native American artifacts at the Arizona State Museum, located on the University of Arizona campus. Tour Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish mission with a still-active parish. Learn about aerospace and military history at Pima Air and Space Museum and the Titan Missile Museum. No visit to Tucson is complete without a stop in nearby Tombstone, site of the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, or a trip to Old Tucson, where 300 western-themed movies and TV shows were filmed.


Luxury Resorts and Guest Ranches

A variety of accommodations awaits visitors here. Canyon Ranch offers world-famous spa services and integrative health programs, or you can indulge in an extensive list of Ayurveda and Asian spa treatments at the Miraval Resort. Golfers can play at the two Tom Fazio designs at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort or the scenic courses at Omni Tucson National Resort.

For a truly authentic experience, spend your days (and nights) on a guest ranch. At Tanque Verde Ranch, you’ll feel like you’re in a luxury hotel, but one where you can take a Jeep ride across the desert, cross it on horseback or mountain bike, or go for a cactus walk. White Stallion Ranch has its own rodeo, offers rock climbing and even lets guests participate in wild Mustang training.


Explore the Outdoors

Before you explore it, take in the landscape here from Kitt Peak National Observatory, a 2,096-meter astronomical observatory site set in the Quinlan Mountains. Take a tram tour through Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Wander through the tranquil gardens and trails at Tohono Chul or Tucson Botanical Gardens. Cool off in the underground caverns of Colossal Cave Mountain Park or Kartchner Caverns State Park. Go camping, explore hiking trails and see the massive saguaro cacti at Saguaro National Park. Catalina State Park has family-friendly short loops, bike trails, equestrian paths and a connecting hike to the 2,792-meter peak of Mount Lemmon.

Fun Fact

Signature Tucson dishes at a local restaurant
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Tucson is the first city in the USA to be designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

Sun breaks through the clouds over a cactus tree in Tucson
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The sun shines 350 days of the year in Tucson.

A colorful trogon, one of Tucson's many bird species
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After the Amazon rainforest, Tucson hosts more bird species than anywhere else on earth.

Photo: Scott Olmstead

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