Old Dec 31st, 2001, 06:15 PM
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I will be traveling to Phoenix in April. I was planning on taking a day and driving down to Tucson. Any suggestions on what I should do/see with such a short time there?
Old Dec 31st, 2001, 06:46 PM
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ginny, go to Sabino Canyon. It is one of the few places in the desert that has water and trees. You can take a tram up the 4 or 5 mile road or hike. You can spend an hour or 2 or make it a whole day by taking a picnic lunch.
Old Dec 31st, 2001, 07:44 PM
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My first choice would be the Sonoran Desert Museum, just west of town. My wife and I spent probably five hours there and felt like we could've stayed another day. More desert flora and fauna than you can imagine. The drive out there from Tucson was nice, too--Gates Pass has some nice vistas of mountains and cacti.

You might try Cafe Poca Cosa while you're down there for lunch or dinner. We didn't get to eat there, but we hear it's good. Another place we liked was La Indita--tasty green corn tamales.

We liked Tucson more than Phoenix, but maybe that's just us. If we had our choice, we'd spend a little more time in Tucson instead of Phoenix. Anyway, that's my humble opinion. Enjoy your time in Tucson and Phoenix!
Old Jan 1st, 2002, 07:43 AM
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Why not go north instead of south & see beautiful Sedona?
Old Jan 1st, 2002, 12:07 PM
Paul Rabe
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If you're into movies, particularly westerns, check out Old Tuscon movie set. Do go to Saguaro National Park.
Old Jan 1st, 2002, 12:49 PM
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We went to the Desert Museum and the Sabino Canyon, just vefore Easter. Both were nice but terribly crowded. In fact, our favorite activity was a hike in Catalina State Park, where we saw the flowers, humming birds, butterflies as well as a stream with several little swimming holes without the crowds.
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 09:06 AM
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We did exactly what you are planning last year and did it about the same time too. We flew into Phoenix (for other business) and drove down to Tuscon for the next day.

Because it was very late when we got to Tuscon (due to a late flight in) we stayed at a Best Western hotel right off the highway - no atmosphere but who cares? We were only there for 8 hours overnight. in the morning, we took a quick detour to the grocery store around the corner to grab water and a few essentials (like sunscreen!)

We began the day by going to the Sonoran Desert Musuem first thing in the morning. It was a very neat musuem with different length walks - some shaded, others not. The volunteer guides were astounding in their knowledge. I particularly liked the hummingbird house, the tarantula talk and the turtle "bay".

We then drove into the Sonoron Desert Park and went on a brief hike (to the "petroglyphs" a few miles from the park Center(where we first stopped to grab a map). By this time it was almost lunch so it was hot! All that water came in handy! The petroglyphs were a snore but it was amazing to get away from the car noise and just hear the silence, feel the heat and see nothing but cactus on rolling hills. I wold still recommend it because it is a close "hike" that isn't strenous at all and still gets you "out there".

We determined that it was too late to try Sabino Canyon so we headed to the Air and Space Museum instead. This is really for people who LOVE airplanes (something my brother does). There are hundreds of different kinds - most of which I could not even begin to remember. What I did find interesting(being a non-aviation lover) was the crane-type helicopter that you could walk through, the Blackbird spy plane, the personalized tour of JFK's Air Force One and the very informative exhibits on WWI and WWII. The "musuem" is old but the information there is still good and the volunteers really love sharing their knowledge. Most of it is not airconditioned and is outside so after a few hours I was beat but then we walked into the space portion of the museum (which did have aircon) it was completely wonderful. It is not huge like the one in DC but there are games where you pretend that you have a rocket booster on and need to manuever; there is an original space capsule (how small!); there is a very interesting movie about how teh US got to space as well. I think the space portion was the best part. All in all, the musuem is really for those who either love aviation or have young kids that need to run around. But there is something for everyone if you find yourself there.

We finished with dinner and headed back to Phoenix. I apologize if I've said too much. If we had the time(and daylight) I would have liked to go back to Phoenix coming from the east. There was a road and countryside that sounded amazing to see. However, the moon behind the mesas driving north back to Phoenix wasn't too bad either. have a great time!

P.S. we also went to Sedona a few days later. Sedona, although interesting was quite touristy and was filled with shops, some traps others of nicer quality. The scenery was awesome but I could do without the shopping and wouldn't feel that it would take a whole day to do.
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 10:07 AM
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Tucson also has a lovely old mission, San Xavier (The White Dove of the Desert) that has been restored. I think the Desert Museum is the best attraction in Tucson.

As for Sedona, last year we went there very early in the morning with reservations for a hot air balloon trip. It was awesome! We too were turned off by the strip mall in Sedona, but it's possible to get just a bit out of town and find some wonderful hikes.

Enjoy Arizona!

Old Jan 30th, 2002, 10:37 AM
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Another vote for the Desert Museum. Sedona is one of my favorite places. I do not enjoy the town; but prefer hiking in the hills. Enjoy your trip!

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