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8 Top Tourist Places to Visit in Tucson

Tucson is a lively city that is in the southern part of Arizona with a gorgeous backdrop of desert views. Although Tucson is a large city, it has a long and diverse history that is reflected in its arts, culture, and the numerous recreational activities it has for its visitors. Here are 8 of the top tourist attractions and places to visit when you're in Tucson: Here are 8 of the top tourist attractions and places to visit when you're in Tucson:

1. Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is among the attractions that make a stopover in Tucson an important consideration for those intending to visit Arizona. The park is located in two parts each situated on the opposite sides of the city and the park is host to the nation's largest cacti which is the Saguaro. These majestic plants with their shame arms directed upward are one of the slowest growing cacti and could live to over 150 years. Some of the best ways to explore this part of the country is on foot, bike or on horseback especially with these massive cactus in the backdrop. Visitors to the desert should also not miss the visitors’ center to get more information about the importance of the saguaro in the Sonoran Desert.

2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Described as a museum, botanical garden, zoo, and natural history park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is among the area’s must-visit sites. The AWRC offers an opportunity to stroll through regional wildlife enclosures with exhibits of mountain lions, coyotes, roadrunner, and others. Witness one of the greatest collections of plants that thrive in desert and arid regions such as cactus to agave plants. There are also programs of raptors flying freely daily, artworks, and nature trails all through the desert. If you want to know what is beyond the sandy dunes and cacti that surround this amazing park, this is the perfect place.

3. Old Tucson Studios

Visit Old Tucson Studios and be transported back to a different era. This 1939 movie studio and theme park is a location famous for producing movies like Westerns with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Today, it has been mostly preserved to represent history and is enjoyable as a ride where you can experience real live-action stunts, train tours around the sets, gold rush activities, and buildings built to depict a mid-1800s frontier town. It is fun for the whole family and a can’t-miss for anyone who enjoys the Western genre.

4. Mission San Xavier was founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692 as a civilian settlement and was later established into a mission in 1700 by Father Ignacio Altolaguirre.

This is a mission that is a few miles south of downtown Tucson and it is an impressive representation of the Spanish Colonial style of architecture. Popularly referred to as the “White Dove of the Desert,” the colossal mission had its origin in 1783 when Spanish missionaries established the structure. It has a beautiful white stucco frontage, and a towering campanile while the interior boasts of beautiful Mexican–Spanish and Native American motifs and motifs. Tours offer information about the artwork, the building, and the historical background of San Francisco’s mission.

5. Sabino Canyon

Within 15 minutes of Tucson’s urbanscape, Sabino Canyon provides a relatively low-impact opportunity to view and experience the Sonoran Desert. There are too many cacti or the saguaros and other desert vegetation and the cottonwoods that grow along the Sabino Creek during the season. Other activities on the area include hiking, walking, and biking and there is a scenic narrated tram tour through the canyon, you can also have a picnic alongside the creek or just marvel at the desert mountain scenery.

6. Tucson Botanical Gardens

With more than a dozen of concentrated gardens and nearly two thousand of cacti and other desert plants arranged inside, the Tucson Botanical Gardens provide visitors with a great chance to take a break and get acquainted with the desert plants. Stroll along meandering walkways that go through cactus gardens, an aromatic plant garden, a drought-tolerant plant area, a butterfly area, and other areas. Further enhancing the appeal are such features as ‘featured spaces’ and ‘selected displays’ together with such attractions as butterflies’ let go, summer performances and luminaries' nights. Finally, for the most breathtaking sunsets over Tucson and the twinkling of the city lights, one has to visit the gardens’ observation deck 5 to 10 minutes before the gardens close.

7. Biosphere 2

Formerly a research-based sealed ecosystem, Biosphere 2 is an interesting place to visit as a tourist attraction near Tucson. Wander around the Agroforestry system, an almost 4-acre glass house that used to house researchers, and get a closer look at the tropical rainforest exhibit, ocean, grasslands, desert, and other ecosystems mimicked in the structure. Presently under the University of Arizona jurisdiction, this museum also has sections that demonstrate climate change studies and present educational space science initiatives that are being conducted in the institution today.

8. Pima Air & Space Museum is located in Tuscon, Arizona and has four branch museums, including the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Aviation and space-related airplane lovers should not miss the Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the biggest museums of this kind in the world. Situated approximately 15 miles south of Tucson and spread over a vast area of open land, you can come face-to-face with more than three hundred and fifty aircraft and space vehicles. These include presidential planes Air Force One, Air Force Two, World War II bombers and fighters, and space pioneers that have visited the Moon and Mars. The fascinating exhibits elaborate on the history of flight. Don’t also forget to hop onto a tour bus to the Aircraft Boneyard where more than 4,000 planes are preserved.

Lush desert views, multilayered indigenous and migrant histories, art museums, cowboys, and more; it is a city that has an incredibly diverse list of attractions for visitors. Thus, go out and tour these top places to witness all that there is to see in “The Old Pueblo” for visitors. No matter if you’re going on trail with the giant cacti, studying desert fauna and flora simply moving back in time and visiting the sites of the Old West, or even enjoying the views of the missions and aircraft – you won’t be let down by Tucson.