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These are some of the many things to see in Tucson

  • Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum - 2021 N. Kinney Rd. (Near the Saguaro National Park). As you can understand, the many and varied plants in the desert survive by carefully preserving every drop of water that comes their way – and here in the Museum talks explain many of the mysteries of the Cactus and desert environment. Here you can walk along 2 miles of tracks, see a Raptor Bird show, see 230 animal species, visit a Hummingbird Aviary, Art Institute, see an amazing collection of rocks & fossils and just enjoy the 98 acres of grounds. See www.desertmuseum.org
  • Tucson Botanical Gardens – 2150 North Alvernon Way Tel: (520)326 9686. Here you will find 17 specialty gardens and changing art Gallery exhibitions. See www.tucsonbotanical.org
  • Tohono Chul – 2150 North Alvernon Way sets out to provide the link between nature, art and culture – with gardens, art galleries and a bistro. See www.tohonochul.org
  • Saguaro National Park – covers roughly 500 square miles of the country to the east and west of Tucson. The western side boasts a Saguaro Cactus forest, whereas the eastern side is where you are more likely to see bears, cougar and coati (Kudamundi) – that look like a racoon with a reddish brown body and a long bushy tail with dark ring markings. On the west side head to the Red Hills Visitor Center at 2700 N. Kinney Rd. Tel: (520) 733 5158 where the National Parks Service provide information about the Park, plants and animals, camping and picnic areas. On the east side head to 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail. Tel: (520) 733 5153.
  • Sabino Canyon – located at 5900 North Sabino Canyon Rd in the Coronado National Forest – Catch a tram that runs from the car park up the Canyon into the Santa Catalina Mountains, a 3.8 mile journey crossing over 9 stone bridges on the way. Also Bear Canyon tram too. This is a good place to have a picnic, bike or walk partway on trails or catch the trams that run here from one of the many stops along the way.
  • Old Tucson Film Studios – 201 S. Kinney Rd (See www.oldtucson.com Tel: (520)833 0100). More than 300 movies have been shot here using the Old Tucson main street location. If you want to get a feel for the 'old west' from the time of guns, gunslingers, saloons, horses and hitchin' rails, this is the place to come. Good fun and lots to see and enjoy.
  • Tucson Museum of Art – 140 Main Avenue in the historic 'block' of old Tucson. Here you will find more than 7000 works of art in the museum.
  • Casino Del Sol Resort – 5655 W. Valencia Rd Tel: (520) 838 6506– game tables, spa, golf, rooms, entertainment, conference rooms.
  • Mine Tour – Asarco Mineral Discovery Center – See www.asarco.com (mine tour) 1421 W. Pima Mine Rd – about 15 miles south on I-19, exit 80. Here you can see a working open cut copper mine, and learn about mining.
  • Wineries – About 50 miles south of Tucson, there are a number of wineries around the small village of Sonoita at the crossroads of Highway 82 and 83. This area is higher than Tucson at an elevation of 4200 feet above sea level with grasslands rather than cactus, and good soil making it ideal for cool climate wines to grow. See www.sonoitaaz.com and www.azhopsandvines.com There are a number of wineries and B&B's also to stay over.
  • Tombstone – is located 70 miles south east of Tucson with the name itself reason to visit. Tombstone was once a booming silver mining town in the late 1800's when the Tough Nut Mine was in its heyday, and the town boasted 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, brothels and dancing halls, with the Bird Cage Theater said to be the wildest place in town. Tombstone is also where the gunfight at the O.K Corral between outlaws and Marshall Wyatt Earp took place in 1881 and the town's cemetery was called "Boot Hill" –gaining its name from the practice of burying outlaws and others after hangings, headfirst down into a hole, their boots sticking out above the ground! Today East Allen Street is still lined with the old buildings and boardwalks, and there are re-enactments by actors of the shootouts when Tombstone was a wild town. Some of the buildings to look out for are the Bird Cage Theater, Crystal Palace, the Cochise County Courthouse and the Schieffelin Opera House Hall built in 1881.
  • Biosphere 2 – 32540 S. Biosphere Rd, Oracle at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains.(See www.b2science.org) Tel: (520) 838 6200. This is a MUST SEE truly amazing place to see on a one hour + tour. If you think of the whole world of oceans, air, land, trees, mountains, earth and said you wanted to re-create the planet in one place so that you could study it – then you have found it in Biosphere 2. Think of climate warming, air pollution, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados – all involve planet earth and questions. Biosphere 2 may well help you understand more about the world that we all live in.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory – see www.noao.edu/kpno Tel: (520) 318 8726. This is an observatory on Kitt Peak Mountain on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, about 56 miles south west from Tucson off Ajo Road on H'wy 86. The observatory has 24 optical telescopes and 2 radio telescopes for both night viewing and daytime experiences.
  • Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory – 670 Mount Hopkins Rd, Amado. 56 miles south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains. Part of the Smithsonian Institute, the visitor center has displays and exhibits on astronomy, astro physics and natural science.
  • Reid Park Zoo – see www.tucsonzoo.org Tel: (520) 791 3204 3400 East Zoo Court. The zoo has over 500 animals, birds and reptiles to see spread out over its 24 acres of grounds.
  • International Wildlife Museum – See www.wildlifemuseum.org Tel: (520) 629 0100 Located at 4800 West Gates Pass Boulevard has dioramas of different animal habitats from around the world with the animals that live there. There are no live animals to see, all are stuffed taxidermy creations designed to allow you to get up close to study each animals and learn about it.
  • Mini Time Machine – see www.minitimemachine.org Tel: (520) 881 0606. Located at 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. See the world in miniature houses, towns and villages in three galleries. Incredible detail and skill in building tiny villages, enchanted worlds, streetscapes, and houses. An amazing collection that will enchant you as you enter a fascinating world in miniature.
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park – see www.colossalcave.com Tel: (520) 647 7275. 16721 East Old Spanish Trail. Here you can explore the cave system in the mountain and also see different animals too – including Peccary, Rock Squirrel, 'Jack' Rabbit, and even a skunk. The Park Ranch Museum here also has some interesting information and displays too.
  • Kartcher Caverns – See www.azstateparks/com/parks/kaca Tel: (520) 586 2283 located at 2980 Arizona 90 (about 55 miles south of Tucson). Here you will find 2.4 miles of underground passages in the caverns, with great Stalactites, stalagmites and limestone formations to see. You can also camp in the park here too, but need to book. A quick way to remember the difference between Stalactites and Stalagmites – "When the mites go up, the tights come down".
  • Children's Museum Tucson – 200S. 6th Avenue. See www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org Tel: (520) 792 9985. This museum is designed for children, including very young ones too. It is based around an interactive learning experience involving Science, Technology, Art, Mathematics and Engineering.

Tucson has a lot to offer as you can see, and being close to the Mexican border, there are lots of good Mexican restaurants too.

When travelling in Arizona it is important to always have enough water with you and if intending to hike or bike you also need to be extra prepared.

Happy Travelling!

I hope you have a great time in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Geoff Stuart

Happy Traveller

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