Located in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the vibrant city of Tucson, also known as the City of Sunshine, is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and enjoys a warm and dry climate for the most of the year. Whether you live in Tucson, or are stopping by for a vacation, we are sure that you will find OROGOLD’s list of things to do in Tucson quite useful.
Saguaro National Park
When it comes to the American Southwest, saguaros, a native cactus species that can grow up to twenty meters in height, are an iconic symbol, and the Saguaro National Park contains an entire army of these majestic plants. This is the lowest desert area in North America, meaning that there is an abundance of flora and fauna that is usually not found in the desert, as well as a great selection of wildlife. There are two main sections of the park, each of which has hiking trails running all the way through them, so you will never be short of areas to explore.
Old Tucson Studios
The make-believe Western town of Old Tucson, with a nickname of Hollywood in the Desert, was reconstructed in 1940 to be the filming location for multiple Western movies. Surrounded by nothing but desert and hills, many John Wayne films amongst numerous others have been filmed here. Visitors are able to wander through the town on their own, but OROGOLD would recommend a guided tour if you would like to find out more about the history of the set and the different movies that have been filmed here. There is plenty of entertainment, from re-enacted wild shoot ups to trail rides to panning for gold, and it is definitely worth visiting for any Western fans.
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
This ode to Arizona’s Sonora Desert is a zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden all rolled into one, guaranteeing to captivate both adults and children alike. The displays feature living animals and plants that are native to the Sonora Desert, with over 40,000 plants, as well as endangered animal species, including the Mexican wolf and the Sonora chub. OROGOLD recommends sticking around for the bird show, where you will experience hawks flying over your head, as well as the chance to appreciate these beautiful birds up close.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Located in southwest Tucson, this mission station was originally founded in 1692, and appears to rise mysteriously from the desert floor, just outside of the Santa Cruz River. While the mission used to be surrounded by natural springs, these are no more, but the entire area is still breathtakingly beautiful. Featuring Baroque architecture combined with Native American, Moorish, and Spanish motifs, visitors are able to explore the old church, as well as its grounds and the nearby hill and cemetery.
Whether you’re in the city for a quick weekend break, or have a week or two to spend exploring, Tucson will delight you with all that it has to offer. From natural attractions to historic and cultural landmarks, Tucson is most definitely worth a visit.