Top Things to Do in the Tucson, AZ Area

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
September 24, 2020

Known for its 350 days of sunshine, towering 45-foot saguaro cacti, and bustling downtown scene, Tucson calls to both the city lover and outdoor enthusiast in all of us.

From dawn until dusk, there’s something for everyone to do in Old Pueblo, whether that’s exploring the University of Arizona’s campus, immersing yourself in culture at Tohono Chul, or day-tripping to the vineyards of the Sonoita-Elgin wine region.

No matter what brings you to Southern Arizona, a vacation rental provides the perfect home base for experiencing the area’s myriad of attractions and outdoor destinations. Get acquainted with the city before booking your home away from home.

Stand Beneath the Gentle Giants of Saguaro National Park

Lying on the outskirts of the city — east and west — Saguaro National Park features the nation’s largest cacti. These silent beauties grow anywhere from 40- to 60-feet tall, towering over the desert floor. For an unforgettable photo, arrive at golden hour to catch these monumental cacti silhouetted against the multi-colored sunset.

The saguaro cacti aren’t the only ones to call these parts home. There is an array of flora and fauna, like yipping coyotes, hardy succulents and the infamous Gila monster. Enjoy the park’s grand vistas and jaw-dropping beauty as you hike the trails and enjoy scenic drives, both perfect means of experiencing Saguaro’s 91,350 acres of land.

Dive into Tucson’s Cultural Oasis

San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, Arizona

From the vibrant art scene to the many historic landmarks, Tucson has a multitude of cultural experiences in store for you. Foodies can find authentic Mexican food south of 22nd, home to mouth-watering cuisine. The heart of downtown is also quite the gourmet hub, boasting popular eateries like Maynards Market & Kitchen and El Charro Cafe.

Not a foodie? Delve into the city’s cultural history at the Mission San Xavier del Bac, an iconic Spanish Mission with a still-active parish, while Old Tucson, where 400 western-themed movies and TV shows were recorded, will entertain any and every film buff. The cultural encounters don’t end there.  Tucson is known for colorful public murals, a galore of galleries and a trendsetting music scene. Pop into Club Congress to check out the lineup before heading to town for the evening.

Explore the Sights and Sounds of Tucson

There’s truly no shortage of things to see and do in Tucson. From the botanical gardens of Tohono Chul to the endless exhibits of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, this southwest city will keep you entertained morning to night. Aerospace fanatics, let your passion fly high at Pima Air & Space Museum, while those more interested in wildlife should head to Reid Park Zoo

Trail Dust Town and Tucson Botanical Gardens provide even more opportunities for family-friendly fun. With so many Tucson attractions to explore via foot, sore legs are a real possibility. What better way to soothe the ache than a long soak in your vacation rental’s pool or hot tub

Visit Mt. Lemmon, Outdoor Adventure Central

Catalina Highway near Tucson, Arizona

Dominating the city’s northern skyline, the Santa Catalina Mountains rise to the challenge of being an outdoor lover’s one-stop-shop for recreation. The highest peak, Mt. Lemmon, soars skyward at a lofty 9,160 feet, providing the perfect conditions for winter snow. Yes, you read that right, snow in the desert — which can be enjoyed at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, offering necessities like equipment rentals and ski school.

No matter the season, Mt. Lemmon features pleasant temperatures, making it an idyllic destination for year-round mountain biking and rock climbing. Tackle the technically challenging bike trails that zigzag across the mountainside, or settle for slightly easier terrain on the opposite side of the Catalinas. For more heart-racing fun, test your limits on one or several of the mountain’s 1,500 climbing routes. Just below Mt. Lemmon, the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, famous for deep canyons and rugged cliffs, provides horseback riding and hiking opportunities in the Sonoran Desert.

Salud in the Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards

Just an hour south of Tucson lies one of Arizona’s hidden gems: the Sonoita-Elgin wine country. Here, you’ll find nearly a dozen vineyards and wineries offering tastings of everything from rich zinfandels to crisp rosé. The region is Arizona’s first American Viticulture Area — also known as a wine-growing district. 

While Sonoita and Elgin are home to the state’s oldest vineyards, the area is still maturing with new wineries regularly opening. No matter if you’re a social drinker or a true vino connoisseur, there is a unique varietal or juicy blend just right for your palette in this desert oasis.

Get Your Tucson Visitors Guide

From the rugged mountains to vibrant downtown, Tucson offers the best of both worlds, indoor and outdoor. For more details on visiting the area and discovering something you love, download the visitors guide here:

Get your free Tucson Visitors Guide

Rest Easy with an Evolve Vacation Rental

The moment you book your vacation, you should start looking forward to your trip — not worrying about the little details. When you choose Evolve for your Tucson vacation rental, you can feel confident that the home you book will live up to our standards.

Every Evolve vacation rental you book comes with a team of hospitality experts, and we’re here to help make your stay more comfortable 24/7. To help you feel even more confident, we created The Rest Easy Promise: if a stay doesn’t match our standards, we’ll make it right.

Find Tucson vacation rentals you can count on.

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