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Tucson
Travel Guide

Tucson featuring desert views

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

Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine
Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine
3 out of 5
720 W. Silverlake Road, Tucson, AZ
The price is £74 per night from 18 May to 19 May
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! (1,204 reviews)
"This hotel is so cute and quirky. The rooms all have artwork from local artists. There is seating outside each room which I loved. The pool is awesome. I wish the bar was open for indoor seating, instead of just take-out. They have a good selections of local wines but I’m not a fan of drinking wine ..."

Reviewed on 19 Apr 2021

Hotel McCoy - Art, Coffee, Beer, Wine
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
4.5 out of 5
7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ
The price is £191 per night from 18 May to 19 May
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! (1,036 reviews)
"Staff very pleasant and helpful. Easy to text then with our needs. Needed a bathroom by adult pool. (Nearby spa with bathroom closed due to covid) Food very good but expensive."

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2021

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
3 out of 5
7411 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £54 per night from 3 May to 4 May
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. ...
4/5Very Good! (2,934 reviews)
"Staying at this locally owned hotel made me feel good, inside and out! This firm bed was right up my alley. The staff was great, made me feel very comfortable."

Reviewed on 19 Apr 2021

3 Palms Tucson North Foothills
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
TownePlace Suites Tucson Williams Centre
TownePlace Suites Tucson Williams Centre
2.5 out of 5
384 South Williams Boulevard, Tucson, AZ
The price is £92 per night from 26 Apr to 27 Apr
Situated in Tucson, this aparthotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Park Place Mall and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Randolph Golf Complex and Gaslight ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (250 reviews)
"Great location Clean Friendly staff I would come back"

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2021

TownePlace Suites Tucson Williams Centre
Varsity Clubs Of America - Tucson by Diamond Resorts
Varsity Clubs Of America - Tucson by Diamond Resorts
3 out of 5
3855 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ
The price is £92 per night from 4 May to 5 May
This family-friendly Tucson aparthotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Tucson Botanical Gardens, El Con Mall and Himmel Park. University of ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,566 reviews)
"loved the 2 bedrooms for the kids and us. really clean unit also with nice workout facility. also, pool was nice. loved the front lobby with huge tv. not the best area of the neighborhood in tuscon. homeless people near by"

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2021

Varsity Clubs Of America - Tucson by Diamond Resorts
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Tucson
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Tucson
2.5 out of 5
405 W Rudasill Rd, Tucson, AZ
The price is £100 per night from 26 Apr to 27 Apr
Situated in a national park, this aparthotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Tucson Mall, Tucson Convention Center and Tucson Botanical Gardens. Arizona Stadium and ...
4.4/5Excellent! (65 reviews)
"Love the kitchen, desk, tv."

Reviewed on 10 Apr 2021

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Tucson
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Tucson

Top things to do in Tucson

Reviews of Tucson

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
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4 - Good 42.857142857142854%
3 - Okay
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3 - Okay 7.142857142857143%
2 - Disappointing
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5/5 - Excellent

IAN

23 Mar 2020

Amazing University and Planetary Science facilities including observatories and the Mirror Lab.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Aug 2019

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

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 May 2019

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

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Apr 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.

Cities near Tucson