Tucson Journals

Tucson's Top Seven

A travel journal to Tucson by Vera Marie

Quote: Visitors to Tucson have many choices, but seven attractions lead the pack

Tucson's Top Seven

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
A recent visitor to my “hacienda” was convinced that she would find cowboys tying up their horses outside saloons on dusty streets. There are still a fair number of horses around, but the streets are paved and four-wheel-drives outnumber four-legged mounts these days. The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum helps newcomers understand the seeming contradiction of a lush desert. Mountains surround Tucson. In the Santa Catalinas, Mt. Lemmon hosts winter skiers a half-hour drive from the warm valley. In Saguaro National Park and Sabino Canyon recreation area, hikers, birders, mountain bikers and rock climbers find plenty of adventure near Tucson. Tucson’s Spanish presidio was founded in 1775, but earli...Read More

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Arizona Sonora Desert Museum"

Quote:
I always remind visitors to put on their sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes when we go to the Desert Museum. Although there are some buildings, most of the museum is outdoors.Cactuses as small as your fingernail and 300-year-old giant saguaros line the paths. Lizards scurry across rocks and regal mountain sheep pose in their fenceless exhibit area. In the hummingbird walk-through exhibit, bright bundles of feathers whiz by our heads. If the exploration makes us hungry, we can stop at a snack shop or dine at the snazzy indoor/outdoor Ironwood Terrace. Location: Fourteen miles west of Tucson. Take Speedway west over Gates Pass Road to Kenny Road and follow the signs. If you are...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2021 North Kinney Road
Tucson, Arizona 85743
(520) 883-1380

Saguaro National Park

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Attraction

Quote:
The forest of saguaro cactuses look like a bunch of bad guys marching up the hill, hands held high in surrender. And if the scenery looks familiar, it is probably because you have seen it in dozens of Western movies set in a dozen western states. But don’t be fooled. The saguaro only grows in the Arizona-Mexico border area and the thickest growth is in this park which edges Tucson on the east and the west. Drive, bike or hike through the startling landscape and stick around for a five-star Tucson Sunset. Location: Red Hills Visitor center on Kinney Road, near Arizona Sonora Desert Museum on the west side of Tucson. Reach the East visitor center by driving east on Speedway Boule...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Saguaro National Park
3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, Arizona 85730
(520) 733-5158

Old Tucson Studios

Attraction | "Old Tucson Movie Studios"

Quote:
Most asked question: Did Old Tucson burn down? Yes, it did, but it is back. An unfortunate fire wiped out decades of western movie memorabilia, but the old Western streets, the cantinas, saloons, banks and general store have been rebuilt, where, the promoters say, "Legends come alive." None of this is real of course, but never mind. Pull on your cowboy boots, settle your Stetson on your head and saunter out west of Tucson to a place that lets you play cowboy or saloon girl, and be the movie star you always knew you were. Location: Take Speedway Boulevard west and follow the signs to 201 South Kinney Road.Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday ten to six and some ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Old Tucson Studios
201 South Kinney Road
Tucson, Arizona 85735
(520) 883-0100

Pima Air and Space Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
"I remember how cold it was," says a veteran who flew in the giant B-39 bomber when he was only seventeen. World War II veterans serve as volunteer guides and bring the exhibits to life at Pima Air and Space. Many flew in the planes they are explaining. The third largest air museum in the country, after the Smithsonian and the Dayton Airforce Museum, Pima Air and Space sprawls over 80 acres. Visitors get up close and personal with 250 airplanes sitting outdoors preserved by the dry desert air or in four hangars. From a copy of a Wright Brother’s plane to the sleek supersonic stealth aircraft, from a tiny homemade BumbleBee to the huge spacecraft-carrying "guppy," Pima Air...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Pima Air and Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road
Tucson, Arizona 85706
(520) 574-0462

Sabino Canyon

Attraction

Quote:
Tucked away on the northeast side of Tucson, this once-isolated canyon is now surrounded by civilization. When I get inside this gorgeous oasis, however, I forget that there is a city just over the hill. Hike or bike in, or ride the tram. The handy, environmentally correct tram stops several times along the way so we can get off and splash in Sabino Creek or have a picnic on a rock. The driver keeps up an amusing patter and lets you in on the legends of the Canyon. Go early in the morning if you want to watch the sun paint the rocks red and gold. You may even get to share your path with a coyote. The experienced and well-prepared hiker can set off from her...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Sabino Canyon
5600 North Sabino Canyon Road
Tucson, Arizona 85750
+1 520 749 2861; Shu

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "San Xavier Mission"

Quote:
I love the way the soft curves of the white building’s domes stand out against the blue Arizona sky. And I am amazed each time I enter the richly decorated interior of the “Dove of the Desert.” Nothing represents Tucson’s Spanish and Indian heritage better than the San Xavier Mission, just south of downtown. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino founded the mission in 1700 to serve a village of Papago Indians. Untutored, anonymous artists recreated Spanish style with native materials. The structure we visit today survives from the mid-eighteenth century. San Xavier (pronounced ha-veer) is getting a face lift thanks to the generosity of people around the world. The intricately painted interior has been r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Mission San Xavier del Bac
1950 West San Xavier Road
Tucson, Arizona 85746
+1 520 294 2624

Biosphere 2

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I drive north of Tucson on Oracle Road, with the towering Santa Catalina Mountains on one side, and a broad valley on the other. Turning off toward the town of Oracle, I always expect to see the glass sides of Biosphere 2 gleaming against the brown desert, but it hides behind cactus-studded hills until I have passed the gatehouse. After I park and purchase a ticket, I stroll down the path to the orientation building and join a group clustered around a guide. In the auditorium, we watch a film narrated by Alan Alda, as he explains the history of Biosphere 2, so named because Earth is THE Biosphere. This glass structure in the desert was man’s feeble attempt to replicate Earth. O...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2000

Biosphere 2
32540 S Biosphere Rd
Tucson, Arizona 85623
(520) 896-6200