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Thread: Tucson AZ - favourite things to do there?

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Tucson AZ - favourite things to do there?

    Later in March, I hope to visit Tucson AZ for a few days. What are the key things to do in that area based on your visits there? I have looked at the tourist guides but experience sometimes suggests wisely what to do and what to avoid.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    I really loved the drive through the saguaro national park. I think there’s camping and such - we only stayed for a few hours.

    https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm

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    We went to the Biosphere, the outdoor flight museum and the Sonoran Desert Museum. enjoyed each of them.

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    Oh yes! I loved the biosphere. Went there twice.

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    Kartchner Caverns state park, just SE of Tucson. Tucson Museum of Art is interesting, although for me I'm glad to see any art-type museum when I travel.

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    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    I lived in Tucson for a while. Lots to do there - so much that you'll have to decide what you want to do before really making a plan. Some suggestions:
    For science buffs: University of AZ large mirror lab - where they make telescope mirrors. The campus also has a small observatory. Kitt Peak, southwest of Tucson, is an observatory on the top of a mountain.
    Plants: the city's botanical garden is a nice refuge right in the middle of town. It's not that large and doesn't take long to explore. Tohono Chul park, on the north side of town, is beautiful and has more walking, as well as a lot of birds and a charming tearoom.
    Drives: exploring the old neighborhoods is fun. Check out Sam Hughes, near the U of AZ, and the ritzy area along the river north of town where the resorts are. There's also a couple of older neighborhoods carved out of the desert in the middle of town, just south of Sam Hughes and in the area of Fort Lowell/Tucson Blvd.
    Longer drives: The route to the Desert Museum is beautiful, with lots of interesting places to stop to take photos.
    Museums: big (Desert Museum) to small (photography museum at University). The Desert Museum is really fantastic, a great place to see animals and plants. The hummingbird aviary is unforgettable. Allow at least 30 minutes to drive there from downtown, longer if you want to take in the scenery.
    Hiking: there are trails all over the place - look for an online guide to find the type of trail you like.
    Food: many great restaurants, and prices tend to be less than many large metro areas. For a charming spot that's not very pricey, check out the Blue Willow on Campbell, about 2 miles north of the University. It's in an old house and the covered patio has heaters so you can eat outside year-round (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Beyond Bread is another favorite.
    Downtown: has developed greatly in the past couple of decades. Some interesting shops and restaurants there.

    Outside of Tucson, but not too far - Sierra Vista is a popular place for birding and hiking. Any of the mountainous areas have great hiking. If you're driving from Phoenix, Picacho Peak has a trail that's well known for spring wildflowers. In late March, there should be wildflowers (mostly California poppies and firecracker penstemon) and the earliest cactus will be blooming. I think they had a lot of rain this winter, which usually brings a spectacular spring flower show.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. They really help.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Finally got to see another part of the US. May I rave?

    Nashville is fascinating in its musical history and Museum of Country Music; Memphis and Graceland are an unexpected enterprise; Arkansas has five times more trucks than cars on the road due to the inland port at Little Rock; the sculptures at the Pioneer Park in Dallas of the cattle drive are amazing;

    appreciated the dramatic change in topography developing in NM and continuing into AZ;
    visited Old Tucson with its wonderful western movie sets, Sabino Canyon, the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the unique Señora Desert Museum/Zoo/Garden, San Xavier Mission and had several trips for the very tasty treats at Beyond Bread;

    stayed in Flagstaff in order to check out Scottsdale, Sedona and the Grand Canyons before heading to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert; attended the very special memorial at Oklahoma City, the sculptures of the settlers and heard about the unbelievable fundraising efforts to beautify and renovate the city's downtown and then slowly headed home stopping in Branson overnight.

    It was fun meeting Tommy Dukes in Winslow as well as seeing the statues of 'Standing on the Corner' fame, the Cadillac ranch and other surprises.

    I had a really hard time believing what I was seeing as I looked out at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I finally sat down and simply let the shapes and colours unfold.

    I learned about the Navajo weaving as well as the jewelry making using US silver dollars melted down and the pricey local gems.

    It was all so interesting and beautiful to see. I am glad that I went for the visit and the weather was cool and comfortable.

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    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    That was a long trip!

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Trying to add photos again. The distance traveled was over 8500km according to the bus driver's log.

    IMG_0827.jpgIMG_0702.jpg

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    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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