Tucson is the ideal destination for the outdoor enthusiast in all of us.
Case in point: Sentinel Peak Park, also known by locals as "A" Mountain. This local landmark is well-known for its painted 'A' (in honor of the University of Arizona), but brave the steep hike to the summit and you'll be rewarded with a whole other view. Sweeping panoramas of the desert metropolis make this a worthy excursion for visitors.
Need to escape the city heat? Make the drive up to Mount Lemmon in north Tucson. The drive only takes about an hour, but thanks to the mountain's altitude (about 9,000 feet), the weather is much cooler. In the winter, a small ski resort opens for season. And in the summer, Mount Lemmon proves a gracious escape from the scorching summer temps in the desert valley below. The views are awesome, and the small mountain town of Summerhaven offers shopping and dining.
Back in town, one of the most scenic hikes in town is at Sabino Canyon, a popular spot for walking, biking, hiking, horseback riding and picnicking. The recreation area is crisscrossed by the Coronado National Forest, so there's plenty of trails to explore. The canyon is accessible to visitors of all abilities, and there's even a shuttle bus that travels roughly three miles into the head of the canyon to drop off and pick up visitors.
If you want to stay in town, check out Santa Cruz River Park, which gives you access to miles of walking, hiking and bike trails.