10 Best Sightseeing Spots in Tucson: Exploring the Old Pueblo's Best

Patricia Escarcega

By , Local Expert, Tucson
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Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the United States, so you can bet there is a lot to explore in this desert metropolis. Saguaro National Park, which flanks the city to the east and west, is home to North America's largest cacti, the iconic giant saguaro. These plants are only found in parts of Arizona and California. You'll get an eyeful at Saguaro National Park, which preserves over 1.6 million of these majestic giants. For more desert beauty, make sure to pay a visit to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a 21-acre living museum that is part botanical garden and part wildlife zoo. You'll want to set...  Read more »

  • 1

    Mission San Xavier del Bac

    Mission San Xavier del Bac is one of the country's finest and best-preserved examples of mission architecture.

    Local Expert Tip: "Stop by the small marketplace located across from the mission, which features authentic Native American crafts and jewelry. "

  • 2

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a uniquely Tucson attraction that showcases the natural flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert.

    Local Expert Tip: "This is a "living" outdoor museum--bring sunscreen and water."

  • 3

    Colossal Cave Mountain Park

    Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Tucson provides a scenic escape from the city.

    Local Expert Tip: "Stop by the horseback riding stables, which offer guided trail riding for all skill levels. "

  • 4


    Tombstone, located in rugged southeastern Arizona, lets you step back in time when the Old West was still wild.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't miss the Tombstone Courthouse, which houses a number of fascinating historical artifacts related to the city's storied past. "

  • 5

    Tumacácori National Historical Park

    Tumacacori National Historical Park lets you explore the unique Spanish heritage of Southern Arizona.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take a stroll by the Santa Cruz River, located on the grounds of the park. "

  • 6

    University of Arizona

    The University of Arizona in Tucson is Arizona's oldest university and the site of many local historical landmarks.

    Local Expert Tip: "Explore the university's Main Gate area, home to dozens of shops and eateries. "

  • 7

    DeGrazia's Gallery in the Sun

    DeGrazia's Gallery in the Sun provides an in-depth look into the life, work and home of one of the Southwest's most beloved artists.

    Local Expert Tip: "The gift shop offers a wide selection of high quality DeGrazia reproductions."

  • 8

    Biosphere 2 Center

    Biosphere 2 offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the future of our planet.

    Local Expert Tip: "Wear comfortable walking shoes--the Biosphere 2 tour includes plenty of walking and standing. "

  • 9


    Tubac is one of Arizona's most historic villages and a great place to shop for authentic Southwestern arts and crafts goods.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take a hike along the nearby Santa Cruz River, a scenic trail shaded by hundreds of cottonwood trees. "



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