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The best Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Art, Cultural Attractions, and just plain Fun Stuff to do and see in Tucson, Arizona.
Ask for a room at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park overlooking the Randolph Park courses to get a leg up on your golf game.
Enjoy stunning views of the Santa Catalina Mountains from your room at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort.
Admire original wood furniture built by World War I veterans during your stay at the Arizona Inn in Tucson.
Wind down with a glass of wine from The Grill’s award-winning list. Sunset views of the Westin La Paloma’s fairways are just a bonus.
Pack a to-go Bob’s BLT from local bakery Beyond Bread.
Fuel up for the drive to Benson with the carne seca at El Charro Café in Tucson.
Gaze through the 16-inch telescope at Flandrau, the University of Arizona Science Center in Tucson.
Shop for telescopes, accessories, and gifts at Stellar-Vision Astronomy and Science Shop in Tucson.
Meet raptors, coyotes, and other desert creatures at the zoo-like Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
See abundant cacti in the Sonoran Desert, a tract of land that occupies a small part of Arizona and California, and extends into Mexico. Though you could take in the cacti on the scenic driving loops that run through Saguaro National Park, the best way to see the park’s 1.6 million Carnegiea gigantea is on foot. Both parts of the park—one to the east of town and the other to the west—offer excellent cacti-crammed hikes.
View old airplanes at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base by reserving a spot on one of the twice-daily weekday bus tours from nearby Pima Air and Space Museum. As the official name implies, the Group takes care of more than 4,400 military aircraft. And while most will never leave these 2,600 acres, about 20 percent of the planes have left to fly again over the last 25 years. Some of the permanent residents also donate their parts.
FUN STUFF: TUCSON
Avoid the two giant saguaro on hole No. 11 when playing a round at the acclaimed Golf Club at Vistoso.
Fly a chopper over Tucson with Voyager Flight Services.
Despite a population of more than 1 million, the Tucson area boasts some of the best skies in the nation for stargazing, thanks to a thinner atmosphere and an innovative city ordinance passed in the ’70s that cuts artificial-light pollution.
For the best views, head to the Astronomers Inn, 50 miles southeast of Tucson near the town of Benson. Your adventure begins at sundown. Sign up for a private astronomy session (starting at $160 for up to four people) using the computerized 20-inch Maksutov Cassegrain telescope in the inn’s domed observatory. You’ll spend the next four hours picking out individual celestial objects from the dazzling wash of twinkling stars overhead.
With 38 golf courses in Tucson, you could tee off from sunrise to sunset for your entire vacation—and blow thousands of dollars. Or you could save a bundle at the town’s best-kept secrets: the five excellent municipal golf courses.
Conveniently spread throughout the city, these courses charge no more than $70 a round in the winter high season. Going municipal doesn’t limit your options, either; you can opt for a traditional layout or a desert design. No matter which course you choose, you’ll get great views of the scenic mountain ranges buttressing the town.
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