Reunite in Tucson for a week of exploration, adventure and relaxation. Head to the top of Mount Lemmon for an alpine break, explore downtown’s coffee shops and high-end vintage stores, or take to the skies in a hot air balloon.

MORNING
Up, Up and Away. Why not kick off your friend reunion by piling into a basket first thing in the morning and taking to the skies? A sunrise hot air balloon ride from Balloon America will take you and your friends up anywhere from 50 to 2,500 feet above the Tucson Mountains and Saguaro National Park.

AFTERNOON
Relaxation Station. Check in at your resort—choose from options like the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Loews Ventana Canyons Resort—where you’ll be immersed in spectacular mountain terrain and treated to unsurpassed relaxation. Take a dip in one of the pools, book a treatment at the spa, play a round of golf or just enjoy drinks on the patio as you soak in the desert views.

EVENING
If you haven’t heard, Tucson was recently designated as the first City of Gastronomy in the U.S. by UNESCO. With some 4,000 years of agricultural history, Tucson aims to preserve its heritage through native crops. Luckily, visitors can benefit from this delicious history at places like Maynards Market & Kitchen, which offers house-cured meats and locally baked fresh bread.

MORNING
Good Eats. If it’s the weekend, revel in some farmer’s market freshness at St. Philip’s Plaza—from locally roasted coffee to every freshly made treat you can imagine and some gorgeous Southwest art to boot. If it’s a weekday, the Plaza still offers great shopping and restaurant options—don’t miss chicken and waffles at Union Public House for lunch.

AFTERNOON
Brrrrrrr. Whether or not it’s winter, head 9,000 feet up to the incomparable views from Mount Lemmon Ski Valley where you can ski (yes, it snows in the desert), take a skyride, hike the trails, grab some eats fireside at a cozy little restaurant and even spend the night at their campground or cabins.

EVENING
Night Tour. Created as a result of an 1887 earthquake in Mexico, Sabino Canyon is home to some gorgeous hikes, including Seven Falls which, as its name suggests, takes you to some hidden cascading waterfalls depending on the season. But for a spectacular alternate view of the desert landscape, reserve a spot on the night tram tour. Marvel over the starry skies and the moonlight saguaros—and see which animals have been taking siestas all day long.

MORNING
Shop ‘Till You Drop. What else can you fit in your suitcase? La Encantada is a two-level outdoor shopping center with high-end retailers like Tiffany & Co., Crate & Barrel, Kate Spade and Williams-Sonoma. If you like finding a good deal, the Tucson Premium Outlets are going to be right up your alley. Here, factory stores offer up to 65 percent off name-brands such as Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Nike, Coach and Le Creuset.

AFTERNOON
Swirl and Sip. Arizona is quickly becoming recognized for its thriving wine industry—discover a bit of the local viniculture at the city’s tasting rooms, Flying Leap and Sand Reckoner, where you can enjoy flights poured by the makers themselves.

EVENING
Yoga and Cocktails. Wind down your evening with Yoga in the Courtyard at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the heart of downtown. Not Tuesday? You can still visit Martin Drug Co. where the yoga class would be held—once Tucson’s first soda fountain and pharmacy, today it’s a cool little lounge where they pay homage to their history through cocktails like the Penicillin (a mix of whiskey, lemon and ginger syrup).

MORNING
Get Pedaling. See Tucson’s historic neighborhoods, vibrant art and historic architecture while also getting your cardio in by taking a Tucson Bike Tour. Don’t worry, the tour pace is relaxed and there are plenty of stops, so you don’t need to be a seasoned rider to enjoy.

AFTERNOON
Downtown Discoveries. The area surrounding Congress Street in downtown Tucson is bustling with eclectic boutiques, eateries and entertainment. If it’s the right time of the year, you might catch the Gather Vintage Market happening, otherwise, shop for some classic fashion statements at Desert Vintage and How Sweet It Was, or pick up tickets for a show at the The Rialto or Fox Tucson Theater.

EVENING
Serious Mixology. Continue your downtown-area tour with happy hour at The Dutch Eatery & Refuge on humming University Boulevard. Try the Apricot Rum Fizz (think a rum and ginger beer combo) with a side of fully loaded fries. Afterward, hop on the street car and head downtown to check out the historic Hotel Congress—built in 1919—where you can enjoy live music and dancing on their outdoor patio and grab some grub at their award-winning Cup Cafe.

MORNING
Hit the Trail. There are few things more serene than the desert at sunrise. Embark on the Romero Pools hike at Catalina State Park which promises sweeping views of Mount Lemmon and the city below, amazing wildflowers and, of course, some refreshing collections of water to cool off in.

AFTERNOON
A Market Lunch. The Mercado San Agustin is known as a hidden gem in Tucson—a collection of shops and eateries with a weekly farmer’s market. Start off with some freshly made churros and orejas (a puff pastry cookie) at La Estrella Bakery before heading to Agustin Kitchen for a taste of American and French cuisines combined—everything from fresh, raw oysters to a wild mushroom tartine.

EVENING
Authentic Grub. End your day with something central to the Southwest’s food culture: tamales. Alton Brown named Tucson Tamale “the best Western-style tamales,” and locals agree. Don’t be put off by the unassuming interior—you came for the food. Green chile pork, blue corn and veggie, and chile relleno are just a few of the options to choose from here.

 

PLANNING A LONGER STAY?

Read more at visittucson.org