Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is a “must-see”. It is really more like a zoo and botanical garden than a museum. Has knowledgeable docents to interpret the exhibits. Lots of walking, but wheelchairs and strollers available there. 883-2702. www.desertmuseum.org
Arizona State Museum
This is the oldest and largest anthropological museum in the Southwest. Major collections of prehistoric artifacts of the Hohokam, Mogollan, and Anasazi cultures. Exhibits and photographic collections documenting the lifeways of historic and living American Indians. This is a major center for archaeological research and has a vast library on Southwest-related topics that is open to the public. On the campus of the University of Arizona, just inside the Main Gate at Park Ave. and University Blvd.
Center for Creative Photography
Permanent and rotating exhibits by new and established photographers. Lifetime archives of renowned artists such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Off of 2nd St. University of Arizona Fine Arts complex. 621-7968.www.creativephotography.org
Flandrau Science Center
Hands-on science exhibits, laser and planetarium shows and lectures (special age-adapted shows for children), mineral museum, nighttime telescope viewing, science gift store. Cherry and University Blvd. on the University of Arizona campus.
DeGrazia Foundation Gallery in the Sun
This jewel of a home and gardens houses the vast collection of the themed works of this legendary multi-media Tucson artist, Ted deGrazia (1909-1982) who mined his own gold with which to make the gold leaf that adorned some of his works. Themes of some of the collections include Indian lore, bull fighting and rodeos, Spanish exploration of the southwest. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 299-9191. www.degrazia.org
Discovered in 1974 by two University of Arizona college students, this “living” cave (its formations are still growing) was kept secret and protected from harm for 14 years. In 1988, the State Legislature (most voters not even aware of what they were approving) appropriated funds for the creation of a state park. The park opened in 1999.
This unique new tourist destination in Benson, AZ (about an hour’s drive) is often booked. However, they release 100 tickets every day for walk-in visitors. If you’re there before 8 a.m. (aim for7:30) you may get in. It’s worth a shot. It is located nine miles south of I-10, off State Hwy 90, exit 302. (Southeast of Bed and Bagels). Phone first to see if reserved tickets available: 1-800-285-3703. See: http://www.pr.state.az.us
Other places of interest near there are Chiricahua National Monument, Tombstone Courthouse State Park, Fort Huachuca, Bisbee, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve, and Nogales, Mexico. (See below.)
This popular day trip destination is just across the Mexican border from Nogales, Arizona. Eat at LaRoca restaurant. Great seafood, Mexican dishes, and mariachi music. Prescription drugs are very cheap in Nogales. Fun to shop for Mexican craft items, such as goods, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, glassware, baskets, and paintings. No special insurance or visa required. Protected parking for about $3.00 at McDonald’s or Burger King one block from the border on the American side.
Pima Air & Space Museum
See retired Air Force One, where Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president and 250 other historic airplanes, including inhabitants of two hangars devoted to World War 2 aircraft. Visit the Challenger Learning Center for exhibits and activities on space travel and exploration. Go for a virtual ride in the Morphis flight simulator and experience travel via a spaceship, an F14 fighter plane, and other aircraft. 6000 E. Valencia. 574-0462.www.pimaair.org
Reid Park Zoo
Travel from the mountains of South Africa through the Asian rain forest to the African savanna in one day. This gem of a zoo houses more than 500 exotic animals from around the world. Entrance: 22nd st. and Randolph Way (one block west of Alvernon). 791-4022.www.tucsonzoo.org
San Xavier Mission
This beautiful historic Catholic church, built in 1783 is known as “the white dove of the desert”. Founded (in a different building by a Spanish Jesuit, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1692), the church has been run by the Franciscan order since the late 1760’s. Today's church was built in 1783. It is situated on one of four Tohono O’odham reservation sites in the Tucson area. Visitors are welcome to tour the church and museum and at Sunday masses, some of which feature mariachis and other music. Call 294-2624. Directions: Houghton south to Valencia (about 9 miles), Valencia to I-19, I-19 a short distance to Exit 92. www.sanxaviermission.org
Tubac Art Colony
This historic town and artist colony was founded in 1752 as a Spanish Presidio or fort, and is the oldest European settlement in Arizona. There are 120 shops, artist studios, and galleries, The Presidio State Historic Park and Museum and the Tubac Center for the Arts. Many special events and art exhibits. 40 miles from Tucson via I 19 north, exits 40 and 34.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Stroll through specialty gardens, e.g., cactus and succulents, birds and butterflies, sensory, native American crops, Mexican… There are many fountains, the historic Porter home, a gift shop, nursery, and daily tours and classes.
2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9255.www.tucsonbotanical.org
Tucson Children’s Museum
Hands-on fun for sightseeing-dulled or heat-dazed children! Four robotic dinosaurs, giant walk-through maze, real police motorcycle and firetruck to climb on, giant bubble to view from the inside, miniature grocery store, science exhibits and experiments, music room, toddler section…Housed in the historic Carnegie Library building,
200 S. 6th Ave. 792-9985.www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
Established in 1924 and located in the historic El Presidio District, the Tucson Museum of Art maintains a permanent collection of more than 5,000 works. In addition, the Museum mounts 10-12 visiting exhibitions of works in a variety of media each year. The Palice Pavilion houses pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial, and Latin American Folk Art. The Goodman Pavilion features western artists, including Joseph Henry Sharp, William Merritt Chase, Marsden Hartley, and Olaf Wieghorst. Adjacent and part of the museum is the historic Casa Cordova, Tucson’s oldest house. Pick up brochures there and start a walking tour of the historic district and major arts destinations.
It’s worth the 3 ½ hour drive and an overnight stay to visit the historical X Diamond Ranch and experience a hands-on archeological learning experience. The Little Bear ruin site lies adjacent to the South Fork of the Little Colorado River, right on the ranch property among the foothills of the White Mountains and contains many rooms with different masonry styles. The construction of the site as well as the types of pottery found clearly indicate that the ancient people that built it occupied the area during the three hundred year period between 800-1100 AD. Staff offers lectures, videos, and hands-on opportunities to excavate, stabilize, and reconstruct artifacts and learn about the life and lifestyle of the ancient peoples of the Southwest. The on-site Little House Museum has artifacts from the Old West and a John Wayne collection. Wayne’s ranch was next door to the X Diamond. Call Charles Rand (928)-333-3541 for information and arrangements. www.xdiamondranch.com
Bed and Bagels of Tucson
A Tucson Bed & Breakfast. Children and pet friendly vacations.
Bed and Bagels, pet friendly vacations, Tucson bed & breakfast
Call for Reservations 520-603-2912 Sharon@BedAndBagels.com 10402 E Glenn St, Tucson, AZ 85749