Tucson / Southern AZ itinerary

Old Dec 23rd, 2023, 02:07 PM
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yk
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Tucson / Southern AZ itinerary

Hello, after taking in all your input (Thanks so much), here is a rough itinerary for our trip in February. Now I wish we have more days to spend there as I am cramming way too much. we may not get to everything on our list.... or we may?

Tuesday ó arrival into Phoenix before noon, pick up rental car, get lunch somewhere, stop by Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, if time allows, stop at Picacho Peak state park for a 1-mile hike, then drive to Bisbee

Wednesday ó Queen Mine tour at 9am, stop by Bisbee historic museum, drive to Tombstone, lunch/historama, gunfight re-enactment at 1pm, walk around town, then drive to Tucson for airbnb

Thursday ó Rodeo Parade, rodeo museum, followed by Tucson Rodeo

Friday ó 9:45am Big Room tour @ Kartchner caverns, Pima Air & Space Museum, if time allows, loop drive at Saguaro East, or visit mini Time machine museum

Saturday ó 9am San Xavier del Bac Mission; 10:30am Titan Missile tour; Afternoon at Az-Sonora Museum and Saguaro West

Sunday ó Sabino Canyon (most likely we will take the shuttle to the last stop and hike down), then over to Saguaro East if we didn't visit on Friday; or to Mini Time Machine museum

Monday ó leave Tucson, leisure drive + lunch somewhere before Taliesin West 1pm tour; desert Botanical garden vs stopping at Old Town Scottsdale to walk around. Return car at PHX airport and take hotel shuttle to hotel for the night

Tuesday - early flight home

(originally I had planned for us to visit Kartchner caverns on the way from Tombstone -> Tucson , but we are being mindful of not wearing the same clothing after visiting the mine in Bisbee, that's why I rearrange the itinerary to visit the caverns on a separate day so we can at least change our clothing. I called the cavern and they said for shoes, they can spray disinfectants on them.)

Since we are staying at an Airbnb in Tucson, most likely we will be making simple dinners at home, but we definitely would welcome restaurant recommendations for lunches near each of our sightseeing spots on various days. We do have to pack lunch on Sunday I suppose. Our Airbnb is located in the NE of town "Campus Farm" area? not too far from the river. If you have suggestions for a good restaurant near there we wouldn't mind going there for dinner one night.

Please let me know if there are any major errors on my itinerary, or other ideas for my itinerary ? My son wanted to visit the Old Tucson studios but i told him no...
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Old Dec 23rd, 2023, 05:18 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy the time with your son.
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Old Dec 24th, 2023, 06:23 AM
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Looks like a good YK itinerary to me.

If you need to drop something then I'd cut one or both of Suguaro West or East. You will see a lot of saguaro cacti all around the area, including at Sabino Canyon. Taking the shuttle up to the top an walking down is a great idea. Definitely take one of the trails down - I prefer the one by the river but we usually do a loop up and back. In April there should still be plenty of water flowing in the creek at Sabino as well - which can be an odd sight in the desert.

If you're downtown Tucson and looking for a cute place to shop & have lunch/dinner, check out the Old Town Artisans/Jo-Jo's restaurant. It's an historic building with a treed center courtyard with outdoor seating. Lunch menu is probably more kid friendly. There are lots of great taquerias all over the area. Our cue is to look for the one that has a lot of pickup trucks parked outside - we take that as a sign of local hard working guys like it... I'm also fond of roadside bbq which is often nothing more than a bbq pit trailer, some picnic tables and a few pop up shade gazebos... If you or your son are foodies with a taste for bbq meat, you may find road side bbq better than anything we get back here in the east.





Last edited by J62; Dec 24th, 2023 at 06:27 AM.
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Old Dec 24th, 2023, 08:27 AM
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Have fun and please report back!
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Old Dec 24th, 2023, 12:56 PM
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The Tucson Rodeo sounds fun. I've been meaning to go to another rodeo (the last time was when I was eight).
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Old Dec 25th, 2023, 06:00 AM
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Sounds excellent. I agree the rodeo should be a blast for you. (We root for the cows and horses.)

If you do make it to the Mini Museum if looks like the pencil tip exhibit is returning on Feb 15.
https://theminitimemachine.org/exhib...ai-pencil-art/

Not familiar with many restaurants in that area but we did once enjoy the small family run Pho Ngan in a strip mall next to SAS shoes on Grant. There is an upscale grocery store called AJ's in the La Encanta shopping center that has historically been good to pick up deli items. However, you should have both a Sprouts and Trader Joe closer to you. Beyond Bread and Tumerico are maybe 10 minutes away.

Have a fabulous and safe trip!
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Old Dec 25th, 2023, 04:57 PM
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Saturday- the Az-Sonora Museum will take the whole afternoon. This will be a special visit, and I bet m-ykís favorite in Tucson.
When our grandkids were m-ykís age they also loved the Old Tucson Studios.
Only visit one of the Saguaro East or West locations.
You asked for dining near your AirBnB. It looks like there is a Prep and Pastry near there. We havenít been to that location but have eaten at their other places many times, good food.
You are visiting Tucson at the height of itís high season so expect traffic although not as much as Phoenix.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Dec 25th, 2023 at 05:09 PM.
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Old Dec 25th, 2023, 06:28 PM
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Thank you all, I will jot down the dining recommendations. The pencil exhibit looks amazing. I'm really torn regarding Saguaro NP; my son LOVES participating in junior ranger programs so we can't skip this. Perhaps we will go to Saguaro West because he wants to see the Petroglyphs.
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Old Dec 25th, 2023, 08:31 PM
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Saguaro West works in well with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. The Desert Museum has a great gift shop. .
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Old Dec 30th, 2023, 07:25 AM
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I think the initial day including the drive to Bisbee is way too full, especially considering that you will have left Boston early and picking up a car i at PHX can be a nightmare.and agree that desert museum is best if you spend several hours. Try to see the raptor show there, itís really well done and fascinating.i think itís in the early afternoon and imo the best thing there.

What kind of food are you looking for? On Cambell which is near you there are many interesting restaurants.which I could recommend , , there are many good places to eat near Saguaro.and you are also very near the 4th Ave. itís very fun to take the trolly around downtown area

i think I remember you saying your family doesnít like Mexican food?

itís great you are coming for rodeo! Itís a huge deal here( schools are closed for it! Very fun but very crowded. Get thereearly!!



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Old Dec 30th, 2023, 06:07 PM
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No, my son loves tacos (i do too)! I have a feeling we will eat lots of tacos on this trip! But we are always open for asian foods as well.
Fingers crossed i can get some shut eye on the flight to Phoenix!
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Old Dec 30th, 2023, 07:52 PM
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Happy to hear you both like tacos. My favorite is fish tacos.
Youíll be spoiled for the variety offered. And burritos and chimichangas which originated in Tucson. The Mexican food there is Sonoran, the province near Arizona border. Make sure you order Tres Keches( cake) for dessert.
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Old Jan 1st, 2024, 11:38 AM
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P.S. yes our Airbnb is pretty close to Campbell Ave
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 06:13 AM
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We enjoyed La Parilla Suiza in Tucson for Mexican food. If your son likes tacos he could probably branch out to try other dishes.

I think that your Saturday itinerary is overly ambitious especially when you add in time for lunch and driving. between sites. I agree with others that there is lots to see at the Az-Sonora Museum and the programs featuring different animals are good. I'd not count on making it to Saguaro West afterwards.

We enjoyed the Rillito Farmer's Market (near you --Sundays)

We did not visit the Titan Missile museum. It makes me think of Dr. Strangelove --not that I'm recommending that for your son.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2024, 08:29 AM
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Good to know your son likes Taco, you will be spoiled for choice .
min addition to many Sonoran places there are restaurants presenting foods from many states. The one Vt mentions serves Mexico City type.and there is an excellent Jalisco based restaurant near me itís very fun to go to the original Seis kitchen located in Mercado St Augustin, itís an historical neighborhood and has a fun vibe, and they have food from many regions of Mexico. They also have breakfast.
Their Baja fish tacos are to die for.

Kung Fu Noodle with homemade noodles and fresh to order dumplings and a nd Szechuan spcialiities is really really special
and located at Campbell and Fort Lowell and although there are many good Korean places my favorite by far is a hole in the wall strip mall place on Broadway called Kim Chi time.their Folsom Bim Bim bop is addictive.

on Tamburro


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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 06:40 AM
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yk
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oh my, we might have to spend another week in Tucson to go to all these places! I was hoping to save some money by cooking at least dinner at the airbnb.
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Old Jan 4th, 2024, 09:07 AM
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yk, no home cooking allowed while youíre in Tucson! Dive into Sonoran Mexican and the broad variety of other ethnic foods!!
Seis Kitchen( Mexican) is very good. There is one on River Rd near Campbell too.
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Old Jan 7th, 2024, 05:09 PM
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I find Casa Grande National Monument underwhelming
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Old Feb 3rd, 2024, 08:44 AM
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A shared link to an article on Linda Ronstadt’s favorite places in Tucson:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/30/t...smid=url-share

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Old Feb 4th, 2024, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for posting that MmePerdu.
I know someone here on Fodors will appreciate that Barrio Bread is number one on the list.

(On our last road trip to Tucson, a couple years ago, I brought a sack of the Barrio pizza dough mix home, made fabulous crust! We also brought a couple loaves with us to have in the Chiricahua.)
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