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Tucson, AZ

8 Incredible Places You Must Explore When in Tucson

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Asmita Karanje
Asmita Karanje
Photo by Nate Hovee from Pexels

Tucson is famous for its panoramic beauty that includes the Sonoran Desert with its spectacular cacti which includes the giant saguaro known as a symbol of the American Southwest.

The mountain ranges in all directions offer picturesque drives and even snow skiing. Tucson lay in the territory that was acquired from Mexico by the United States in the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

It is a popular tourist, health resort, and retirement community with its dry, sunny, and unique desert locale.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Here you will discover the magical world of miniatures where thousands of visitors are purportedly transported to different lands and times through the stories told by over 300 miniature houses and room boxes that are displayed in a state-of-the-art exhibit space.

The museum’s pride is its permanent collection of antique dollhouses dating to 1742, contemporary fine-scale miniatures, and other delightful collectibles.

There are also frequent temporary exhibits and special programs and events which means that there is always something fresh to visit.

Reid Park Zoo

The Reid Park Zoo is a 24-acre city-owned and operated non-profit zoo. It features more than 500 animals such as a variety of exotic animals ranging from giraffes, jaguars, elephants to flamingos making it a favorite place for families.

Though feeding the animals is not allowed, there are other activities such as riding the zoo train and carousel, and visiting the wet play area.

Outside food is not permitted inside the zoo but you can pack your own meal and have a picnic in areas just outside the zoo.

Franklin Auto Museum

An ideal place for car lovers, the Franklin Auto Museum is worth seeing for both car and history enthusiasts. The Museum includes representative examples of all Franklin automobiles as well as a library of Franklin Company research materials.

It only opens from mid-October to Memorial Day or until May and the admission cost is free for children 11 years old and below.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-famous zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, publisher, and art gallery which was founded in 1952. It features two miles of walking trails traversing 21 acres of the desert landscape.

The museum’s focal point is to educate visitors about the various flora and fauna that can be found in the Sonoran Desert region and also the over 1,000 types of plants and 200 species of desert animals.

This museum is the most visited attraction in Arizona where it attracts over 400,000 visitors each year.

It also offers different exhibitions on the historical and contemporary explanations of wildlife and plant life which include Life on the Rocks, Rivers to the Sea, and Cat Canyon.

Hike the Sabino Canyon

The Sabino Canyon is a magnificent canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest. Located just north of Tucson, it offers impressive trails, spectacular views, and challenging hiking and trekking opportunities.

Considering that the canyon is located in the desert, it has a creek nearby called the Sabino Creek. It has waterfalls that can be appreciated while crossing the bridge.

There is a tram that goes through the canyon with nine stops along the way for those who prefer not to hike.

Tucson Botanical Garden

This is a botanists’ paradise where the best of Arizona’s flora is displayed. The large compound of over 5 acres is made up of 16 individual gardens that showcase the best of Arizona’s plant life.

Among these beautiful gardens are the Zen garden, butterfly garden, children’s garden, and many more.

A gallery is also located within the compound that offers rotating exhibitions on various themes regarding botanical interest in Arizona.

Old Tucson

Old Tucson was an American movie studio and has been used for filming many movies and television Westerns from the movie Arizona, Rio Grande, and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral to the television show Little House on the Prairie.

Later on, it was opened to the public where historical tours along with live cast entertainment featuring stunt shows and shootouts were offered.

This is one of the most unique theme parks in the whole United States as it provides visitors a view of the past by recreating images of gunslingers and saloons from way back. You will have an excellent time playing pretend when you go to Old Tucson.

Arizona History Museum

Learn the history of Arizona, especially the Spanish influence in this museum. The preservation of historical items is one of the reasons why the Arizona History Museum is one of the important parts of Arizona.

The museum houses the artifacts of Arizona’s personalities such as Wyatt Earp and Geronimo. It also includes exhibits such as a mining tunnel and hosts special lectures and annual events. This is the home to the Arizona Historical Society’s library, archives, and other artifact collections enabling you to discover plenty of historical facts about the place.

Be sure to come to Tucson, Arizona. This is the place where you will discover a big part of the United States’ history.

A thoroughly modernized city without dropping the old Tucson, you will find one of the best Mexican food here while enjoying the beautiful scenic spots that surround the place.