10 Best Museums in Tucson: Cultural Attractions You Shouldn't Miss

If spending hours in a good museum is your idea of a day well spent, Tucson boasts an impressive and diverse museum scene that you'll want to check out. This is not surprising, when you consider the city's deep and rich cultural history and heritage. 

Our top pick goes to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This "living museum" is all around one of the best places to explore the natural history of Tucson and the Sonoran Desert. 

History buffs will want to explore the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, located in the heart of downtown Tucson. The museum has one of the best collections of Latin American and Western Art in the southwest. After you're done perusing the galleries, explore the surrounding historic properties located adjacent to the museum. 

If you've got an interest in aviation history, don't miss the Pima Air & Space Museum. The museum is home to more than 80 acres of museum space with approximately five hangars and 150 outdoor airplanes ready to be explored. Be sure to set aside a few hours to explore the entire museum (there's an on-site restaurant where you can grab a bite). 

Finally, if you enjoy off-the-beaten path attractions, check out the Mini Time Machine, a museum dedicated to celebrating all things miniature. There are about 275 miniature houses and room boxes that appeal to visitors of all ages and interests. 






Since 1893, the Arizona State Museum has been collecting, preserving, researching and interpreting the cultures of the Greater Southwest, including Arizona and northern Mexico. It is the oldest and largest anthropological museum in the region,...  Read More



A major addition to the arts complex at the University of Arizona, the Center for Creative Photography was conceived by Ansel Adams and is now the chief repository for his work. The photograph collection of the Center is one of the finest and...  Read More

Arizona Historical Society Museum


The Arizona Historical Society's museum adjacent to the University of Arizona campus offers information about the development of Arizona from the first arrival of Europeans in 1540 through the times under Spain and Mexico, to territorial Arizona...  Read More



The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson is a 15,560 square foot facility that likes to think of itself as a miniature time machine where you can step back in time--in miniature form. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a self-guided...  Read More



It may seem a bit unorthodox these days to center a museum around a collection of stuffed and preserved animals and insects, but this one actually succeeds. Starting with the holdings of numerous educational institutions and individuals, the...  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



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



Aviation buffs, this one's for you. The Museum opened to the public in May, 1976, with 75 aircraft on display. Since then the collection has grown to over 250 aircraft occupying 80 acres of land. The entire museum property covers about 150...  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



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


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.