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TucsonUnited States of America

Arizona’s second-largest city is known for its desert landscapes, mountainous regions, science scene and cosmopolitan culture. 

Tucson is a modern city and thriving science hub set amid the sparse Sonoran Desert landscape and enclosed by five mountain ranges. The warm, dry climate, national parks, hiking trails and wildlife attract over a million outdoor lovers every year. Dubbed “Optics Valley,” the city is a world leader in optics manufacturing and astronomical research.

The roots of the cultural heritage that has shaped Tucson can be seen in Native American arts and crafts, old Hispanic neighborhoods and 19th-century American architecture. Tucsonans embrace their desert surroundings and celebrate nature and the outdoor lifestyle.

Explore the scenery with a hike through Saguaro National Park. The large, fleshy cactus has come to symbolize the American West. Tucson has the country’s largest population of saguaro cacti. Learn about native flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. A visit to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens will also immerse you in the beauty of the desert’s plants.

Visit Biosphere 2 to see how Tucson was at the forefront of one of the most ambitious experiments of recent times. Eight people lived for two years under glass domes in the desert. Tour the facility to see how it contributes to our understanding of climate change. Visit Pima Air & Space Museum with aircraft and spacecraft revealing 100 years of aviation history.

Head into the city to experience Tucson’s artistic and cultural scene. Visit art galleries, bookstores and jewelry shops. Art aficionados will enjoy the Tucson Museum of Art, which covers an entire city block in the El Presidio Historic District in the downtown area. The institution is devoted to art from the last 3,000 years. Stay downtown to watch dance, theater, music or film performances at the Fox Tucson Theatre, a restored movie palace from the 1930s.

Tucson has a good public bus system called Sun Tran and the downtown area is easily explored on foot. If you want to travel outside the city limits and explore the desert scenery you will need to rent a car.

Where to stay in Tucson

Downtown Tucson

Downtown Tucson

3.5/5Good!(413 area reviews)

Theaters, river views, and live music are just a few things travelers like about Downtown Tucson. Sights like Fox Theatre and Children's Museum Tucson are spots to explore, and you can get around the greater Tucson area at Ronstadt Transit Center.

Downtown Tucson
Found a good BBQ place! I guess one good BBQ place is good for AZ, right?

Starr Pass

4.5/5Wonderful!(46 area reviews)

While Starr Pass isn't home to many top sights, Greasewood Park and Fox Theatre are some notable places to visit nearby.

Starr Pass
A male ruddy duck all decked out in his best colors. I really wonder why the bill is blue on the male of this species.

Flowing Well Neighborhood

3.5/5Good!(49 area reviews)

While there might not be top attractions in Flowing Well Neighborhood, you can explore the larger area and discover places like Tucson Mall and Sporting Chance Center.

Flowing Well Neighborhood
If you’re planning a trip to Arizona, you can’t beat the views and hospitality of the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain!

Dove Mountain

5/5Exceptional!(12 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Dove Mountain, Golf Club at Dove Mountain and Gallery Golf Club are top sights worth seeing.

Dove Mountain
A very nice project worth seen, office closes at 5pm. Take a look and learn about this inspiring project.

West University

4/5Very Good!(27 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in West University, Rogue Theatre and Postal History Foundation are top sights worth seeing.

West University
Tucson Museum of Art showing art and interior views

El Presidio Historic District

You'll enjoy the bars and seafood restaurants in El Presidio Historic District. You might want to make time for a stop at Tucson Museum of Art or Presidio San Agustin del Tucson.

El Presidio Historic District

Top Hotels in Tucson

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
3 out of 5
7411 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ
The price is $53 per night

This family-friendly Tucson hotel is located in the mountains, within 3 mi (5 km) of Tohono Chul Park, Oro Valley Aquatic Center and Quail Canyon Golf Course. ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,780 reviews)

"Only the slightly-too-small parking lot is a problem. Otherwise, the staff and facility are excellent, and it is reassuring to see their army of housekeeping staff hustling around each day."…"

Reviewed on Jul 29, 2020

3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
4 out of 5
3800 E Sunrise Dr, Tucson, AZ
The price is $98 per night

This family-friendly Tucson hotel is located in the mountains, 2.5 mi (4 km) from Finger Rock Trail, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Joesler Village and St. Phillips ...

4.2/5Very Good! (956 reviews)

"No Queen beds only doubles, and 1 king is not enough for a family of 4."…"

Reviewed on Jul 29, 2020

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
4.5 out of 5
7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ
The price is $139 per night

This family-friendly Tucson hotel is located in the mountains, 0.6 mi (1 km) from Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Park Place ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (980 reviews)

"Nice but could use an update inside. Need another pool as the one was a bit too crowded"…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Getting around Tucson

To get the most out of Tucson and the surrounding area, you should rent a car, which is the best way to get to many of the national parks and desert attractions nearby. There are lots of rental agencies all over town. Alternatively, use the extensive local bus network and the Tucson Streetcar, which connects various locations downtown. Outside the heat of summer, cycling is also a good option for exploring the sights. Visit the Regional Transportation Authority website.Browse Tucson rental cars.

Best time to visit

If you’re looking for warm – but not too hot – weather, reasonable room rates and smaller crowds, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are perfect for visiting Tucson. The searing heat of the summer sees temperatures routinely above 100 F (38 C), making it too hot for the hiking and other outdoor activities which are so great in this area. Winter is warm, but can be busy with visiting snowbirds.

Popular places to visit in Tucson

Saguaro National Park
Image for Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

4.5/5(915 reviews)

Hike, bike or drive through fields and forests containing one of the most recognized cactus plants in the world.

Pima Air and Space Museum
Image for Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air and Space Museum

4.5/5(370 reviews)

One of the largest aviation museums in the world houses aircraft and spacecraft from the 1920s to the present.

Old Tucson Studios
Image for Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios

4.5/5(377 reviews)

This Western movie studio and theme park with rides, gunfights and stunt shows has been the setting for hundreds of Hollywood productions.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Image for Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

4.5/5(665 reviews)

Encounter wolves, rattlesnakes, coyotes, bighorn sheep and rare plant species at this living museum in the desert.

Sabino Canyon
Image for Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon

4.5/5(514 reviews)

Experience the natural beauty and wildlife of a large desert canyon on foot, by car or on a narrated tram tour.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Image for Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens

4.5/5(322 reviews)

Wander through cactus, herb and wildflower gardens and learn about desert plants in this flower-filled sanctuary in the city.

Top things to do in Tucson

Old Tucson Theme Park Admission
Image for Old Tucson Theme Park Admission

Old Tucson Theme Park Admission

$23
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Tucson Attractions Savings Passport
Image for Tucson Attractions Savings Passport

Tucson Attractions Savings Passport

$25
Per adult
72% of travellers recommend
Escape Room Tucson
Image for Escape Room Tucson

Escape Room Tucson

$24
Per adult
Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson
Image for Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson

Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson

$19
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Arizona
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Arizona

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Arizona

$10
Per adult
Oasis Tour of Tucson
Image for Oasis Tour of Tucson

Oasis Tour of Tucson

$50
Per adult

Reviews of Tucson

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1781
5 - Excellent 37.08099104726213%
4 - Good
2150
4 - Good 44.76368936081616%
3 - Okay
747
3 - Okay 15.552779512804497%
2 - Disappointing
84
2 - Disappointing 1.7489069331667708%
1 - Terrible
41
1 - Terrible 0.8536331459504476%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 7, 2020

Nothing unique, passing through

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

Tucson is beautiful with excellent weather which I love but now it’s become a complete dump! I want to move away from this place.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

Amazing sunsets

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 31, 2020

Tucson rocks and this hotel provided affordable accommodations in a prime location.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 27, 2020

Lots of places to eat and shop. Busy roads and lots of construction.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 27, 2020

I love Tucson.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Tucson

Image for Milder temperatures, blooming wildflowers, and fewer crowds makes spring one of the best times to visit national parks across the US.

Milder temperatures, blooming wildflowers, and fewer crowds makes spring one of the best times to visit national parks across the US.

Milder temperatures, blooming wildflowers, and fewer crowds makes spring one of the best times to visit national parks across the US.
Image for Supporting the Family Travel Association at its second annual summit

Supporting the Family Travel Association at its second annual summit

Supporting the Family Travel Association at its second annual summit
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Having fun while staying fit

Having fun while staying fit
Image for Dishing on the best hotels around the world to rejuvenate the soul

Dishing on the best hotels around the world to rejuvenate the soul

Dishing on the best hotels around the world to rejuvenate the soul
Image for Finding Zen for the new year at Canyon Ranch spa and resort

Finding Zen for the new year at Canyon Ranch spa and resort

Finding Zen for the new year at Canyon Ranch spa and resort

Cities near Tucson