Spring Break is around the corner for a lot students and although many will be sunbathing near the lapping ocean, some of you may have a few friendly faces coming to you in sunny Tucson…
What do you do and where do you take them?!
While some of us may take for granted the hidden gems and activities to be had in Tucson, some of us at Zanes got together and compiled a short list of must dos when your guest comes to town.
Check it out:
University of Arizona (FREE!)
The sprawling campus in central Tucson boasts several notable attractions. History and culture buffs appreciate the Arizona State Museum and the University of Arizona Art Museum, while shoppers peruse the numerous vintage and budget-friendly shops near campus.
The U of A campus also makes a great place to simply enjoy the nice weather and take a leisurely stroll. Some suggest you visit when classes are in session, because the grounds are very peaceful and the palm trees and fountains on campus add to the warm-weather ambience. And don’t forget to stop by the university bookstore to pick up some U of A gear before you leave. BEAR DOWN!
For more information visit: http://www.arizona.edu/
Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum
Although it’s called a museum, this facility — about 15 miles west of downtown Tucson — is actually a zoo… and a sonoran hike of sorts! In fact, according to Frommer’s, it’s one of the best in the country. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s 21 acres host 300 indigenous species — including prairie dogs, Gila monsters and desert bighorn sheep — and 1,200 local plants.
Walking through the museum’s trails, visitors get acquainted with desert life. And if you feel hungry after your leisurely hike, you can enjoy a meal at one of the museum’s four eateries, all of which have great views (and delicious five star reviews) of the surrounding desert.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is open every day, although hours may vary depending on the season.
For more information visit: https://www.desertmuseum.org/
Saguaro National Park
This 91,327-acre park pays tribute to the infamous saguaro (pronounced sa-WAH-ro) cactus, a common symbol of the American Wild West. It’s divided into two districts: The Rincon Mountain District — located about 13 miles east of downtown — and the Tucson Mountain District, about 23 miles to the west of town. Each section features a visitor center, miles of hiking trails and, of course, hundreds of towering saguaro cacti.
Although both sections of the park are worth a visit, many recent visitors recommend the Tucson Mountain District over the Rincon Mountain area.
Saguaro National Park is open every day from 7 a.m. to sunset, and both visitor centers are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A $10 entrance fee is required for each car, while those who enter on foot or by bike pay $5.
For more information visit: http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm
Mission San Xavier de Bac (FREE)
Sitting just south of Tucson near the airport, Mission San Xavier del Bac (known as the White Dove of the Desert) is a stunning example of 18th-century architecture. Influenced by Moorish, Byzantine, Renaissance and Mexican architectural styles, this active Roman Catholic Church is worth visiting just for the photo ops, travelers say.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. And in case you wish to sit in on mass, the mass schedule is posted on the mission’s website.
For more information visit: http://www.sanxaviermission.org/
Pima Air & Space Museum
Housing more than 300 aircrafts and spacecrafts, this is one of the largest air and space museums in the world – in fact, the second largest next to the Smithsonian. Visitors see some of the most historic crafts, including an X-15A-2 (which set the altitude record when it reached the edge of outer space in the 1960s) and several Russian MiGs, which have been used by the Soviet and Russian army since the 1940s.
You can also tour the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). Known affectionately as the “Boneyard,” this facility features dozens of out-of-work aircraft, lined up under the desert sun.
Perched near the Davis Monthan Air Force Base in southeast Tucson, the Pima Air & Space Museum can’t be missed!
For more information visit: http://www.pimaair.org/index.php
And don’t forget:
Your local farmers markets… Here are a few around town:
→ St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers Market: 4280 N Campbell Ave Tucson, AZ 85718
→ Santa Cruz River Farmers Market:100 S Avenida Del Convento Tucson, AZ 85745 (Menlo Park)
→ Heirloom Farmer Market: http://www.heirloomfm.org/markets/ (for all their locations!)
Downtown Tucson and Second Saturdays
Free events take place throughout downtown from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., the second Saturday of every month. There is food, live music and more!
Check out what the next Saturday willlook like: http://www.2ndsaturdaysdowntown.com/
Centennial Hall (at the University of Arizona)
Centennial Hall is for every form of art and art dreamers alike! You don’t want to miss a world class performance here. Check out the latest shows: http://uapresents.org/upcoming-events