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Tucson Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com

Plan Your Tucson Vacation

The Old Pueblo, as Tucson is affectionately known, is built upon a deep Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Old West foundation, and you can find elements of these influences in the city's architecture, restaurants, and friendly, relaxed vibe. Arizona's second-largest city is both a bustling center of business and development and a laid-back university and resort town, with abundant hiking

trails and nature preserves. Tucson is particularly popular among golfers and spa-goers. Saguaro National Park, along with the four mountain ranges surrounding the city, provides a variety of outdoor activities.

Metropolitan Tucson has more than 850,000 residents, including thousands of snowbirds, who flee colder climes to enjoy the sun that shines on the city more than 340 days out of 365. The city's tricultural population (Hispanic, Anglo, Native American) offers visitors the chance to see how these cultures interact and to sample their flavorful cuisine.

The city also has a youthful energy, largely due to the population of students attending the University of Arizona. Although high-tech industries have moved into the area, the economy still relies heavily on the university and tourism. Come summer, though, you'd never guess; when the snowbirds and students depart, Tucson can be a sleepy place.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Get close to the cacti Unique to this region, the saguaro is the quintessential symbol of the Southwest. See them at Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park.
  2. Enjoy Mexican food Tucson boasts that it's the "Mexican Food Capital," and you won't be disappointed at any of the authentic restaurants.
  3. Explore the Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum Anyone who thinks that museums are boring hasn’t been here, where you can learn about the region’s animals, plants, and geology up close in a gorgeous, mostly outdoor setting.
  4. Tour Mission San Xavier del Bac The "White Dove of the Desert" is the oldest building in Tucson. Ornate carvings and frescoes inside add to the mystical quality of this active parish on the Tohono O’odham Reservation.
  5. Stroll the U of A campus Stop in at one of the five museums, then walk University Boulevard and 4th Avenue for a taste of Tucson's hipper element.

When To Go

When to Go

Summer lodging rates (late May to September) are hugely discounted, even at many of the resorts, but there's a good reason: summer in Tucson...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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