Sights & Sounds of Tucson
This can be split into three one-day tours.
Become familiar with Tucson's past, present, and future on a city drive-tour including El Encanto Estates (a historic neighborhood), the University of Arizona, downtown historic districts, and "A" Mountain. Make sure to include the Arizona Historical Society, with its fascinating array of long-term exhibits recounting Arizona's history from Spanish colonial times through the 20th century.
Break for lunch and shopping at Old Town Artisans, located in downtown Tucson's El Presidio Historic District. Housed within the 150-year-old restored adobe buildings are distinctive shops, galleries and eateries, featuring contemporary and traditional art and fine crafts from hundreds of local and national artists.
Visit Mission San Xavier del Bac, the oldest intact European structure in Arizona and one of the finest examples of Spanish mission architecture in the United States. Founded in 1692 by a Jesuit missionary, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, the mission was created to serve, as it still does, the Tohono O'odham ("Desert People") of the village of Wa:k. Visitors can learn about the history, architecture, culture, and surroundings of the mission -- known as "The White Dove of the Desert" -- during docent-led tours, which are free (donations accepted) and last approximately 45 minutes. Find tour information on the Patronato San Xavier website: patronatosanxavier.org.
Enjoy dinner and try your luck at one of Tucson's casinos, Desert Diamond Casino or Casino del Sol. Or enjoy dinner at one of Tucson's many award-winning Mexican restaurants like El Charro or Café Poca Cosa.
Video: White Dove of the Desert
Featured Day 1 Itinerary & Points of Interests Map
Take a drive-through tour of Saguaro National Park West and get a breathtaking view of thousands of saguaros, the giants of the desert.
Break for lunch and a tour at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, which tells the unique story of the plants, animals, and geography of the Sonoran Desert region. More than 300 species of live animals and 1,400 species of plants indigenous to the Sonoran Desert are exhibited in naturalistic habitats. Stop at Old Tucson, the famous movie location and theme park. Take a step back in time and enjoy watching a simulated gunfight and saloon show. Or, visit the International Wildlife Museum, a natural history museum, where you get a close-up view of more than 400 different species of insects, mammals, and birds from around the world preserved in artful life-size dioramas. The museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits and interactive displays for all ages.
For the evening, dine at one of Tucson's many steakhouses, some even offer traditional Western entertainment.
Video: A Day at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum!
Featured Day 2 Itinerary & Points of Interests Map
Enjoy the views at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area--a true desert riparian oasis. The narrated ground-tram ride lasts 45-minutes and travels through some of the most camera-worthy scenery in the Tucson area. Head west to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, built to showcase the unique Southwestern art of Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia. The gallery is a unique adobe construction with beautiful decorative features and contains rooms exhibiting original DeGrazia paintings and sculptures on subjects such as Padre Kino, Cabeza de Vaca, and Yaqui Easter.
Break for lunch at La Encantada and experience an upscale outdoor specialty shopping center with decor that celebrates the splendor of old-world Spanish traditions alongside modern sophistication. It features plazas, fine dining, and the trendiest national and local retailers.
Drive south to the Pima Air & Space Museum, where more than 250 aircraft are on display, representative of America's aviation history. This impressive aircraft collection ranges from the first (a replica of the Wright Flyer) to the ultimate flying machine, the famous SR-71A Blackbird.
Dine at a Tucson Originals restaurant, an organization of many of Tucson's best independent fine dining, casual, and neighborhood restaurants preserving Tucson's culinary sense of place by encouraging the support of local establishments.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Video: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
Featured Day 3 Itinerary & Points of Interests Map
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