Desert Heat: 10 Best Romantic Things to Do in Tucson



With gorgeous desert scenery and a laidback charm, Tucson and romance go hand and hand. Whether you and your sweetie are looking for a day of outdoor adventure, or prefer a night out in the city, the list of romantic things to do in the Old Pueblo are varied and unique. 

Nature lovers will want to spend a day at Tohono Chul, a sprawling botanical garden that showcases the native flowers, trees, plants and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. Not only is the scenery stunning, the garden is also home to an art gallery and a romantic bistro. 

When day ends, be sure to head to Tucson Mountain Park, home to Gate's Pass, one of the city's most scenic outlook points. At sunset, the desert becomes flooded with amber light from the setting sun, creating a magical setting for a romantic evening. 

For romance in the city, go for a stroll at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, where the city's historical adobe buildings set the stage for a romantic outing. The art museum's charming cafe, Cafe a la C'art, tucked away in a lovely historic house on the museum grounds, offers a quaint, comfy spot for a gourmet brunch or lunch.




Ted DeGrazia is a Tucson legend. His home and the surrounding buildings, originally built in open country in the foothills of the Catalinas, are now surrounded by the city. The gallery, his former home, his workshop, and the roofless chapel were...  Read More




Carnival of Illusion is a unique "parlour show" that celebrates the wonder, fun and mesmerizing spirit of magic and illusion. The show offers an evening of "Old World" magic that blends the whimsy of a vaudeville roadshow with the sophistication...  Read More




Within its boundaries, this 20,000 acre park has miles of hiking trails and numerous incredible desert vistas. If that sounds appealing, a hike up to Gates Pass will reward you with a charming stone gazebo from which to take in a stellar sunset...  Read More




Saguaro National Park is the only place in the world that protects the saguaro cactus, a symbol of Arizona that grows only in the Sonoran Desert. You can see the well-known plant as well as other types of desert life that have shown resilience...  Read More


Sabino Canyon
Photo courtesy of Larry Reynolds


Situated on the northeast edge of town in the Catalina Mountains, Sabino Canyon is a popular year-round spot for walking and picnicking because it doesn't require a hike into the mountains. That's because a shuttle bus travels the 3.8 miles to...  Read More




Set in the heart of the city, the Tucson Botanical Gardens offers plenty of winding pathways taking visitors past floral exhibits, greenhouses, classrooms for instruction, and a superb exhibit on xeriscaping, a concept of planning yards and...  Read More




The Reid Park Zoo has been a midtown Tucson institution since it was founded in 1967. The city-owned park and non-profit zoo stretches out across 17-acres in the heart of the city and is home to more than 500 animals. You'll see ostriches,...  Read More




The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of Tucson's star attractions, with good reason. Part zoo, part natural history museum, and part botanical garden, the facility is set on 21 acres and is home to numerous animals that roam freely within...  Read More


Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block


The Tucson Museum of Art houses a permanent exhibit of pre-Columbian art, Western art, Latin American art (from ancient to contemporary), modern and contemporary art, and Asian art, plus traveling exhibits. It also houses an art school and an...  Read More




Tohono Chul Park is an award-winning botanical garden in northwest Tucson. The park has been open for more than 25 years, bringing together nature, art and culture in unique and insightful exhibits. The park's gardens were designed to attract...  Read More


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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia

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