Tucson and Southern Arizona are a bit off the beaten path, even gloriously so, but that shouldn't prevent visitors with disabilities from enjoying this region of widely diverse natural beauty and fascinating history.
Most major museums and attractions are accessible to those with a disability and/or who require a wheelchair. But, before you visit, it's wise to call ahead or check the attraction's website for specifics on current accessibility and accommodations.
At world-famous Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, for example, 96 percent of the exhibits can be reached by wheelchair, allowing most to see the amazing flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert in safety and comfort. Equally famous, Saguaro National Park is a living forest of giant saguaro cacti, Tucson’s most iconic resident, and other exotic-looking native vegetation; some of the park's trails and its visitor center are wheelchair-accessible. The riparian oasis Sabino Canyon, in northeast Tucson, offers a wheelchair-accessible tram tour that travels 3.8 miles into the Santa Catalina Mountain foothills.
The vast Pima Air & Space Museum is generally flat and paved and offers a wheelchair-accessible tram ride (advance notice required) to indoor hangars housing an incredible collection of aircraft, including the massive Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. Tucson Botanical Gardens, an idyllic urban green space in midtown, is wheelchair-accessible via its paved main paths connecting garden art, galleries, and a regional rock-and-mineral display, plus the seasonal phenomenon Butterfly Magic. Reid Park Zoo, featuring more than 500 animals, including the wildly popular Giraffe Encounter, is ADA-accessible and provides wheelchairs for rent.
If you’re looking for beautiful works of art and require wheelchair accessibility, be sure to visit DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, celebrating the life and work of Ted DeGrazia in a scenic foothills setting. Many of Tucson’s other galleries and museums, including the Tucson Museum of Art, The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, and the University of Arizona Museum of Art also provide highly accessible facilities for their patrons.
Southeast of Tucson, in Benson, Kartchner Caverns State Park®, is not just one of the region's most spectacular sites to explore, but it also holds the title of Arizona's most ADA-accessible state park.