TucsonUnited States of America

Image for Tucson featuring mountains and tranquil scenes

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!(2 area reviews)

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

Downtown Tucson
Tucson Museum of Art showing outdoor art

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
Starr Pass, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
trover photo by Tim Brewer

Starr Pass

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

While Starr Pass may not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Greasewood Park and Tucson Museum of Art.

Starr Pass
Barrio Historico, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
trover photo by David M. Simpson

Barrio Historico

You'll enjoy the museums and architecture in Barrio Historico. You might want to make time for a stop at Jewish History Museum or El Tiradito Wishing Shrine.

Barrio Historico
Flowing Well Neighborhood, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
trover photo by Richard Remington

Flowing Well Neighborhood

While visiting Flowing Well Neighborhood, you might make a stop by sights like Sporting Chance Center and Silverbell Golf Course.

Flowing Well Neighborhood
Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona, United States of America
trover photo by Melissa Nicholl

Dove Mountain

While visiting Dove Mountain, you might make a stop by sights like Golf Club at Dove Mountain and Gallery Golf Club.

Dove Mountain

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
£82
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

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

4.1/5Very Good! (3,641 reviews)

"It rained and there was lots of flooding of all the sidewalks. Room was clean though"…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2020

3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
4.5 out of 5
7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ
£203
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

This family-friendly Tucson hotel is located in the mountains, within 1 mi (2 km) of Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club and Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,028 reviews)

"Family friendly and the hospitality of the staff was excellent. We cannot wait to return for another stay."…"

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2020

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine
Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine
3 out of 5
720 W. Silverlake Road, Tucson, AZ
£91
per night
Mar 26 - Mar 27

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tucson Convention Center, Children's Museum Tucson and Fox Theatre. Rialto Theatre and University ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (713 reviews)

"this hotel has a lot of character and charm.Very clean and fun."…"

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2020

Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine

Popular things to do in Tucson

Saguaro National Park
Image for Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

4.5/5(4 reviews)

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

Sabino Canyon
Image for Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon

5/5(5 reviews)

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

Old Tucson Studios
Image for Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios

4.5/5(3 reviews)

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

Pima Air and Space Museum
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Pima Air and Space Museum

4.5/5(5 reviews)

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

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

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

4.5/5(4 reviews)

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

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Image for Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens

3.5/5(2 reviews)

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

Top activities in Tucson

Tucson Attractions Savings Passport
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Tucson Attractions Savings Passport

72% of travellers recommend
£10
Per adult
Admission to the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum
Image for Admission to the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum

Admission to the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum

96% of travellers recommend
£1
Per adult
Old Tucson Theme Park Admission
Image for Old Tucson Theme Park Admission

Old Tucson Theme Park Admission

82% of travellers recommend
£18
Per adult
Escape Room Tucson
Image for Escape Room Tucson

Escape Room Tucson

£19
Per adult
Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson
Image for Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson

Urban Adventure Quest - Tucson

100% of travellers recommend
£6
Per adult
Operation city Quest of Arizona
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Operation city Quest of Arizona

£8
Per adult

Reviews of Tucson

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 46.15384615384615%
4 - Good
6
4 - Good 46.15384615384615%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 7.6923076923076925%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Aug 1, 2019

We visited the Gaslight theatre which was outstanding fun!! The cast were very entertaining and committed

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

May 4, 2019

I loved the Desert Museum and the drive through the pass to get there

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Apr 21, 2019

Tucson has lots to offer any visitors. We hve visited many times. Old tucson, san xavier del bac, mount lemmon, the sonoran desert museum, pima airspace and many more local attractions. It is also a short drive to bisbee, tombstone and mexico.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Tucson

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