10 Best Sightseeing Spots in Tucson: Don't Miss These One-of-a-Kind Destinations

Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the United States, so there is a lot of ground 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 aside several hours to explore the trails and exhibitions and this unique desert museum.

Explore Tucson's Spanish and Native American heritage at Mission San Xavier del Bac, founded in 1692 by the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino.

If you have time for a day trip, the historic village of Tubac (roughly 50 miles south of Tucson) is the perfect place to pick up authentic Southwestern and Mexican arts and crafts.

Tombstone, located about 70 miles southeast of Tucson, is another great sightseeing opportunity. Walk the streets of "the town too tough to die," including the historic Birdcage Theatre, Boothill Graveyard, and of course, the site of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Back in Tucson, be sure to check out the Pima Air and Space Museum, one of the largest aerospace museums in the world. 




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

Southeast Arizona


About 50 miles south of Tucson is the artsy little town of Tubac. Start off at the Visitor's Center in the La Entrada de Tubac shopping center, where you can pick up maps and plenty of brochures about local attractions. You'll certainly want to...  Read More

Biosphere 2 Center


Biosphere 2 is a self-contained, man-made habitat that comprises all of the elements from Earth (Biosphere 1). It is a sealed glass and space frame construction with seven wilderness ecosystems. Today, Biosphere 2 is operated as a research...  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



The setting for many favorite Western movies (including Tombstone, Gunfight at the OK Corral, The Three Amigos, and countless John Wayne flicks), the Old Tucson Movie Studio had become something of a cinematic legend. Though a fire destroyed...  Read More

Southeast Arizona


Tombstone is located about 70 miles southeast of Tucson, perfect for a day trip. Some of the biggest legends of the Old West originated right here – Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, the gunfight at the OK Corral. Today's Tombstone is touristy, to be...  Read More



Although discovered by two amateur cavers in 1974, the existence of Kartchner Caverns was not commonly known until 1988 when the state purchased the caves and surrounding land for use as a public park. Guided tours last about 1 and a half hours,...  Read More



San Xavier is considered one of the finest examples of Mission architecture in this country. Founded by Father Eusabio Kino, today it serves as the parish church for the Tohono O'odham tribe and often hosts concerts. The elaborate interior has...  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



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.