Things to do in Tucson

About Tucson

Venture to landmarks like Saguaro National Park, explore the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and marvel at the Mission San Xavier del Bac for an authentic taste of Tucson's heritage and natural beauty.
Families enjoy the interactive Children's Museum Tucson, the wildlife at Reid Park Zoo, and learning at the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.
Hike through Sabino Canyon, take a bike ride on The Loop, or enjoy a sunset at Gates Pass for outdoor fun set to stunning backdrops.
Discover the wonders of space at the Planetarium, enjoy art at the Tucson Museum of Art, or delve into history at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum.
Join a Barrio Viejo walking tour, star gaze at Kitt Peak National Observatory, or savor local flavors on a culinary tour.
The Tucson Museum of Art, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, and the Arizona State Museum stand out with their diverse and engaging exhibits.
Explore indoor wonders at the Pima Air & Space Museum, soak up local history at the Arizona History Museum, or indulge in art at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures.
Perfect for short visits, enjoy quick, informative tours at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, Historic Train Depot, or a self-guided audio tour of downtown landmarks.

Best Things to Do In Tucson

Dive into Tucson's diverse attractions, rich history, and stunning landscapes with these top recommendations.

Tucson: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

What is it?
An open-air museum showcasing the Sonoran Desert's flora and fauna.
Why you should go?
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a living exhibition of the natural world, where visitors can explore 98 acres of native animal species and botanical gardens. Witness live animal presentations, stroll through the desert landscapes, and observe hummingbirds in flight. Perfect for all ages, this museum provides educational opportunities to learn about the desert's ecosystems, making it one of the top Tucson activities for nature lovers and families alike.

Tucson: Catalina State Park

What is it?
A state park offering a range of outdoor activities set against the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Why you should go?
Catalina State Park is the gateway to adventurous things to do in Tucson, with trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. The park's varied landscapes, including streams, canyons, and diverse wildlife, provide a picturesque setting for outdoor recreation and photography. Visitors come for the scenery and stay for the tranquil experience of being immersed in nature's majesty.

Tucson: The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the art of miniature crafting with enchanting displays.
Why you should go?
Unique and whimsical, The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is a magical world in small scale. Exhibits of intricately detailed miniatures transport visitors across different times and places, making it a captivating experience for art enthusiasts and the young at heart. The museum's collection spans fantasy dioramas to historically accurate scenes, offering a special perspective on creativity.

Tucson: Colossal Cave Mountain Park

What is it?
An extensive cave system offering guided tours and surrounding parkland with recreational amenities.
Why you should go?
Colossal Cave Mountain Park offers an underground adventure through stalactite-filled caverns steeped in geological and historical wonder. Above ground, the park's beautiful terrain is ideal for horseback riding, picnicking, and hiking. It's an experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the beauty of the Arizona landscape, making it a memorable addition to any list of places to visit in Tucson.

Tucson: Rillito River Park Trail

What is it?
A scenic urban trail along the Rillito River, perfect for walking, jogging, and cycling.
Why you should go?
For a relaxing outing, the Rillito River Park Trail offers a safe and well-maintained path for physical activity or leisurely strolls. This path features excellent amenities, including horse racing tracks, farmer’s markets, and art installations along the way. It’s a delightful place for visitors to unwind, exercise, and soak in the local vibe of Tucson.

Tucson: The Gaslight Theatre

What is it?
A unique destination offering lively, family-friendly musical comedy shows.
Why you should go?
The Gaslight Theatre is a local staple in Tucson, providing rib-tickling entertainment for everyone. Known for its melodramatic plays, vaudeville-style multi-genre performances, and interactive experiences, it's perfect for an evening of laughter and light-hearted fun. With a commitment to comedic twists on classic tales and popcorn to throw during each performance, visitors are in for a memorable night with every visit to this iconic theater.

Tucson: Tucson Mountain Park

What is it?
A vast park offering hiking, biking, and stunning desert vistas.
Why you should go?
Encompassing over 20,000 acres, Tucson Mountain Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It provides a picturesque backdrop for an array of activities, including hiking on its numerous trails, mountain biking, and wildlife watching. With its proximity to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Old Tucson, it’s an excellent way to connect with the natural splendor of the Sonoran Desert and relish the panoramic views.

Tucson: Fox Tucson Theatre

What is it?
A restored 1930s movie palace now hosting a variety of live performances.
Why you should go?
Stepping into the Fox Tucson Theatre is like traveling back in time. This stunningly refurbished venue hosts a dynamic range of events from concerts to classic films. Its detailed Southwestern art deco design, combined with state-of-the-art acoustics, makes for an unparalleled viewing and listening environment that culture lovers will cherish.

Tucson: El Tiradito Wishing Shrine

What is it?
A historic shrine and the only Catholic shrine in the United States dedicated to a sinner.
Why you should go?
El Tiradito Wishing Shrine holds a unique place in Tucson's folklore, attracting visitors intrigued by its poignant history and tradition of leaving wishes. Whether you're seeking solace, inspiration, or simply a connection to local legend, this site offers an offbeat and reflective experience within the heart of Tucson’s Barrio Viejo district.

Tucson: Sentinel Peak Park ("A" Mountain)

What is it?
A local landmark with a panoramic view of Tucson and hiking trails.
Why you should go?
For the best vistas in town, ascending Sentinel Peak Park, commonly known as "A" Mountain, is a must-do Tucson activity. Whether driving, biking, or walking to the summit, you'll be rewarded with dramatic views of the city and its surrounding mountain ranges. The peak is also a significant historical site, offering a glimpse into ancient Hohokam petroglyphs and the geological origins of the Tucson Basin.

TOP-5 Tours in Tucson for First Time Visitors

  • Explore the mesmerizing "Saguaro National Park" tour to bask in the beauty of iconic cacti and capture incredible sunset views.
  • Step back in time with the "Historic Fourth Avenue" tour, uncovering the eclectic mix of shops, art, and Tucson's vibrant culture.
  • Take the "Downtown Tucson Heritage" tour, featuring architectural gems and storied buildings from the city's colorful past.
  • Discover Tucson's celestial skies with the "Stargazing Tucson's Night" tour, offering insight into astronomy and constellation myths.
  • "Taste of Tucson: Culinary Delights" guides you through Tucson's best-loved eateries for an authentic gastronomic experience.

Fun Things to Do in Tucson with Kids

Tucson abounds with child-friendly activities that combine fun, education, and excitement. The Children's Museum Tucson stands out as a vibrant play-and-learn center, with exhibits designed to stimulate young minds and promote hands-on discovery in science and the arts. Close by, the Reid Park Zoo offers an intimate safari experience, allowing children to encounter exotic animals from around the world in thoughtfully created habitats. For a day of adventure and learning under the sun, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, primarily outdoors, provides families with an immersive nature experience. Kids can glean knowledge about the local ecosystems through interactive displays and up-close animal encounters. All three venues are perfect for creating joyful family memories and top the list of things to do in Tucson with kids.

Things to Do in Tucson with Family

Families visiting Tucson have a rich selection of activities at their fingertips. Engage with the stars at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, where the universe unfolds in captivating shows, and hands-on exhibits about science and technology spark everyone's curiosity. Head outdoors to explore Saguaro National Park, where easy trails allow even the littlest legs to hike and discover the majestic saguaro cactus and the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Not to be missed is the Old Tucson Studios, where the spirit of the Wild West comes to life. Here, families can enjoy stunt shows, train rides, and live entertainment, stepping onto the sets of famous western movies. Together, these attractions offer a blend of education, nature, and excitement, making Tucson a fantastic family-friendly destination.

Free Things to Do in Tucson

Experiencing the charm of Tucson doesn't have to cost a dime, with numerous free attractions offering enjoyment for all interests. Art enthusiasts will admire the public murals dotting the city, each telling a unique story reflecting Tucson's heritage and culture—a true open-air gallery. For nature lovers, the expanses of Tucson's many parks, such as the Agua Caliente Park, present a peaceful retreat with natural springs and abundant birdlife perfect for a family picnic or a serene walk. History unfolds at the Mission San Xavier del Bac, where visitors can explore one of the finest examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the United States for free. These sites offer a tapestry of experiences that capture the essence of Tucson, from its artistic flair to its natural splendor, all without the need for a ticket.

Cheap Things to Do in Tucson

Budget-friendly adventures are plentiful in Tucson, allowing visitors to enjoy the essence of the city without a hefty price tag. Immerse yourself in the eclectic atmosphere of the Mercado San Agustin, an affordable marketplace where local goods and flavorful treats abound. For a glimpse of the stars without an observatory's cost, head to Gates Pass at dusk, where the night sky reveals celestial wonders free of charge. History buffs can step back in time at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum for a minimal entrance fee, discovering Tucson's origins within the reconstructed walls of the original fortress. These attractions showcase Tucson's cultural richness, natural beauty, and storied past, proving that experiencing the city's highlights can be both memorable and economical.

Things to Do in Tucson for Couples

Couples looking for a blend of romance, adventure, and relaxation will find Tucson to be an ideal getaway. Begin your journey with a visit to the enchanting Tucson Botanical Gardens, where intimate paths meander through themed gardens, offering moments of serene connection with nature. Adventure-seekers can embrace the majesty of the Arizona landscape with a sunset hike at Sabino Canyon, providing an awe-inspiring backdrop perfect for a memorable outing. For a night of sophistication and culture, the historic Fox Tucson Theatre presents an array of performances from live music to classic films in an elegant 1930s setting. Each of these destinations offers a special ambiance that is sure to foster unforgettable memories for couples exploring Tucson's charm.

Things to Do in Tucson at Night

When the sun sets, Tucson's nighttime scene offers an array of attractions suited for every interest. Music and dance thrive in the heart of downtown at Club Congress, where live bands energie the atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for nocturnal fun. Stargazers can head out to the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory for public evenings that peek into the cosmos through powerful telescopes, revealing the wonders of the night sky. For a blend of dining and entertainment, stroll along Fourth Avenue, the bustling nightlife district filled with a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops that stay open late, offering a lively and safe environment. These after-dark activities illuminate Tucson's vibrant character and provide visitors with lasting memories of their stay in this desert city.