What to do in Tucson, Arizona – my Top 10!


I have been coming to Tucson with my husband for about 10 years, now spending about 5 months a year here and it’s just wonderful! Being from Montreal in Canada, I particularly enjoy escaping the winter; yes, I am a snowbird! To read more about our story, clic here. Here is my Top 10 of what to do in Tucson at this point!


What to do in Tucson, Arizona : the desert


1. Hike in the mountains

Hiking is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Arizona. It keeps you healthy and the views are amazing!

There are many options, and some of my favorites are : Catalina State Park (all the trails), Finger Rock Trail (and Pontatoc Trail) and Pima Canyon. Sabino Canyon is also a very popular one (and also a very easy walk).


What to do in Tucson : hiking trails


There are countless more that I don’t know about yet!

Google them and you’ll find easily how to get there. For Catalina State Park, you’ll be charge $7.00 per vehicle. The other ones are free and they all have parking and easy access.


What to do in Tucson : hiking trails


2. Go horseback riding in the desert

There are so many places in Tucson and around to enjoy a horseback riding in the desert. It’s an incredible experience! I have been twice so far to this ranch called Houston Horseback Riding. To read about it, clic here.


What to do in Tucson : horseback riding


There is a new one I want to try (and I will tell you more about it soon, I hope). The name is La Posta Quemada Ranch. Prices start at $38.00 for a 30 minutes ride, $47.00 for an hour, and more. They also have a petting zoo ($6.00). You can get more info by calling them at 520-647-3450.

It’s right in the Colossal Cave (see point #7) so you can combine those two easily in the same day (and what a day it will be)! Experience the Wild West at it’s best!


What to do in Tucson : horseback riding


3. Spend a day at Old Tucson Studio **update : it is temporary closed**

Here is a classic, and I never get tired if it! Welcome to the Wild West! Here, in this cowboy town, countless movies have been filmed and you’ll find entertainment all day and things to see at every corner. Every body likes it!

Oh and dont forget to eat some brisket at Big Jake BBQ with some of their home made sauces – it’s just decadent!

They also offer some horseback riding tour at fair price, and since you are right into the Saguaro National Park, the views are gorgeous.

For the details, clic here.


What to do in Tucson : Old Tucson Studio

What to do in Tucson : Old Tucson Studio


4. Visit the Desert Museum 

If you would like to see the animals and plants of the Sonoran desert in their natural habitat, this is the place to see it all. Javelinas, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, and of course many birds, snakes, scorpions and tarentulas. The whole gang is here.

The cactus garden is also absolutely gorgeous and not-to-be-missed.

For more information and all the details, clic here.

Also, they have a great event in March, WineDown with Wildlife, clic here to know more about it!


What to do in Tucson : Desert Musuem


5. Drive through the Saguaro National Park

Driving here is just magical. You can hardly imagine how this place is beautiful until you see it with your own eyes!

A drive here, during the golden hour, through the narrow sinuous roads between the mountains and the thousands of majestic Saguaro cactus is simply unforgettable!

My favorite part is the road I take between Tucson and the Desert Museum (or Old Tucson Studio, which is not far away).


What to do in Tucson : Saguaro National Park


6. Spend some quality time at Tohono Chul

Enjoy a stroll in the botanical garden, visit the art gallery, the gift shop (it’s a good one), the green house or have a healthy meal at the bistro. I love coming here for breakfast or lunch, followed by a walk in the botanical garden.

If you want to see all the cactus that grows in the Sonoran desert, here you will!

Clic here to visit their website.


What to do in Tucson : Tohono Chul


7. Explore Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Here’s a new one for me this year : I took my first tour in the famous Colossal Cave and it was great! The classic tour is about 50 minutes long and quite easy. You’ll be following a solid path the whole way, with some stairs to climb – 6 floors over the tour in total, to be exact.

There are also more advance tour (90 minutes, 3.5 hours, 5.5 hours) for those who wants to go deeper inside the cave. For all the options and details, clic here.


What to do in Tucson : Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Photo : Colossal Cave


8. Visit a winery for a delicious wine tasting

I am at the moment preparing an article to share with you about some of the best Arizona wines. I have tasted some excellent ones so far (I’m impressed, I must say) and I am looking forward to sharing this article with you (link to come).

So naturally, the next activity on my list of what to do in Tucson is to visit some of its best wineries for a wine tasting tour. The Pillsbury Wine Company in Willcox is on top of my list, as well as the Bruzzi Vineyard in Young (they even have llamas there)!


What to do in Tucson : visit a winery
Photo : Pillsbury Wine Company
What to do in Tucson : visit a winery
Photo : Bruzzi Vineyard


9. Eat or have a drink at a fancy hotel 

I’ll say it : Tucson is not the most glamorous place – in general. It’s a pretty casual place, mostly a short and flips flop destination. Forget your high heels shoes and that cute little dress you just got, you will not have much occasion to wear them. And it’s OK like this!

That being said, if you would love some glam action, why not dress up and visit one of the fancy hotel around for a beautiful dinner?

Some of my favorite places to do this are the Arizona Inn and Hacienda del Sol, which both have a beautiful and rich history. One day, I also want to try the Ritz Mountain Dove.


What to do in Tucson : Arizona Inn
Photo : Arizona Inn


10. Get spiritual at the Mission San Xavier Del Bac

This historic Catholic Spanish mission was founded in 1692. It is located about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson. It’s free to visit and the interior is truly stunning and worth a visit.

The actual building was built between 1783 and 1797 and it is now being restored (they already did half of it outside, as you can see on the left on the photo below).

If you want to read more about its history, clic here.


What to do in Tucson : Mission San Xavier Del Bac



And there you go for my choices! Have you ever tried any one of those? Which one is your favorite thing to do in Tucson?

Of course, while you are in Tucson, another thing that you don’t want to miss is trying as much Mexican food restaurant as you can! Maybe I’ll share with you some of my favorite ones in another article!


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Blogue lifestyle de Montréal par Josianne



Josianne Isabel

Josianne aime profiter de la vie et adore dénicher pour vous des endroits fabuleux!

Elle partage avec vous ses découvertes, que ce soit un restaurant, une escapade de rêve, une sortie originale ou une marque qui l’a conquise.

Découvrez ses coups de cœur à travers son blogue.


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