Multicultural Diversity


Suggested 3-Day Itinerary: 

Exploring Tucson's Multicultural Diversity


DAY 1 - Roots of Tucson

Start your journey of discovery with a visit to the Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center in downtown Tucson, Arizona inside the Pima County Historic Courthouse. The Visitor Center includes exhibits, a theater, gallery and other interactive features designed to introduce you to the region and provide inspiration.

Drive to San Xavier Mission del Bac, “The White Dove of the Desert”, the finest example of Spanish Baroque architecture in North America. Founded in 1692, the Mission is an active church managed by the Tohono O’odham Nation.   Be sure to stop by the San Xavier Co-Op Farm store - just next door - for Tohono O’odham staples like tepary beans, cholla buds (ciolim) and raw desert honey.

It’s a short drive to Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain District) to see the majestic Giant saguaro, only found in the Sonoran Desert.  A short hike off of Bajada Loop Drive affords the opportunity to see Hohokam petroglyphs at Signal Hill; cool down afterwards at the Red Hills Visitor Center to learn about the Hohokam and their descendants, the Tohono O’odham, and how they utilized the saguaro for home building and sustenance. Don’t miss the insightful documentary film in the Center’s theater.

Mission Garden is a living agricultural museum of Sonoran Desert-adapted heritage fruit trees, traditional local heirloom crops and edible native plants. Located at the foot of Sentinel Peak, Mission Garden is the site of the Native American village of S-cuk Son (pronounced "Chuk-Shon"), a placed sacred to the Tohono O’odham. Their current garden plots include: Native Plants, Early Agriculture, Hohokam, O’odham Before European Contact, O’odham After European Contact, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Yoeme (Yaqui), Africa in the Americas, Medicinal, and Youth.

Dining recommendation (2 locations: Midtown & Fourth Avenue):  James Beard Award Nominee Chef Wendy Garcia’s Tumerico presents Latin-inspired vegan and vegetarian food made from organic and local ingredients.  A scratch kitchen, her menu changes daily. Her philosophy is, when you utilize fresh produce from farmers down the road, you not only support your community but also experience a freshness and quality unlike anything else.

Hands reaching over bush putting Chiltepins into a basket

Mission Garden: Hands reaching over bush putting Chiltepins into a basket.

DAY 2 - Downtown & Historic Fourth Avenue

The Sun Link Streetcar conveniently connects Fourth Avenue to Downtown Tucson (it’s free!).

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown and houses a growing collection of nearly 12,000 works of art spanning over 3,000 years of history. Rotating and permanent collection exhibitions feature Art of Latin America, Art of the American West, Indigenous Arts, and Modern and Contemporary, with related docent-led tours and educational activities.

Downtown Tucson District: Tucson’s revitalized downtown area is a hub for locally owned dining, shopping, and more. It’s the perfect place to enjoy Tucson’s world-class dining, sip on a beer or cocktail, or shop one of the many local retailers. 

Also downtown: Blue Lotus Artists' Collective (BLAC) is a non-profit gallery space dedicated to supporting and uplifting Black Artists. Located on the ground floor of the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Tucson,  their gallery is a place where the community can come together to celebrate, appreciate and see the art and talent of Black Artists.

Fourth Avenue Shopping District: Nestled between Downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona, the Historic Fourth Avenue shopping district features tree-lined sidewalks with over 100 shops, restaurants, and pubs and is home of Tucson's largest street fair. 

A 2-hour guided “Mural Bike Tour” with Tucson Bike Tours gets you up close and personal with the vibrant murals that reflect Tucson’s diversity and the pride of the city. See an amazing variety of murals from small, hidden gems to huge neighborhood identifiers in a variety of neighborhoods, including downtown, Dunbar Spring, Armory Park, Fourth Avenue, and Barrio Viejo.

Dining recommendation (Downtown/Presidio District): Eat a meal in Jojo’s beautiful courtyard, belly up to the bar in the Monsoon Room and have a creative cocktail or local beer, listen to live music, or dance until the wee hours.  The Schneider Family cares deeply for the community and strives to provide a gathering place for all.

Guitartist Musicians at Historic Fourth Avenue Street Fair

Historic Fourth Avenue: Musicians at Historic Fourth Avenue Street Fair

DAY 3 - Arts, Culture, and More

Book the “Tucson Origins Tour” with Borderlandia - a binational organization committed to building public understanding of the borderlands. Learn about the origins of Tucson and walk around El Presidio and the Barrio Viejo quarters. You'll explore the history and architecture of the community through the themes of the Indigenous, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and American Territorial eras, the regional Sonoran Row House buildings, and gain insight and perspective on why Tucson was named the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the US.

The Arizona State Museum offers opportunities to experience the ancient indigenous and enduring Native cultures of the region through content-rich exhibits, docent tours, engaging programs, hands-on workshops, a research library and archives, and an educational museum store. ASM is the oldest and largest anthropological research museum in the Southwest, home of the world's largest collections of Southwest Indian pottery and American Indian basketry and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Galeria Mitotera is a Latinx/Queer owned gallery located in the City of South Tucson. Co-Owners, Mel Dominguez and Melissa Brown-Dominguez opened Galeria Mitotera in July 2018 as a space to celebrate their culture, uplift artists of color in the community and create a safe space for community members and artist to inspire one another through art and togetherness.

Barrio Vejo Light Blue w Purple Bougainvillea

Barrio Viejo Rowhouse: Light Blue Rowhouse with Purple Bougainvillea