The city of Tucson is a wonderful urban getaway, with lots of natural beauty to boot. But want to know what really makes the Tucson area special? Discover unique things to do in Tucson by visiting these nine hidden gems, as uncovered by a Tucson native.
Mission Gardens. To get the true importance to the UNESCO City of Gastronomy Designation, I recommend a guided tour of this gorgeous living museum that documents 4,100 years multi-cultural heritage cultivation. You never know what native produce will be on sale!
Saguaro National Park. Come bask in the landscape and celebrate the Saguaro, the largest cactus in North America. In this most stunning of Arizona’s national parks, explore the region by car, by foot, or by bicycle. Not only does the desert produce huge cacti, but the cacti also produces Arizona’s state flower, the white blossom Saguaro.
Arizona Wine Collective. Bet you didn’t know that Arizona wines are surprisingly good! I went to high school with Jeannie and got reacquainted with her and Pete when I joined a running group they were offering through their running shoe store. Imagine my delight when they sold the running shoe store and opened up a wine store dedicated to showcasing and selling the great wines of Arizona. If you are looking for a Tucson winery, this is a must-stop.
Arizona History Museum. Originally the Arizona Historical Society, founded by Charles Poston, this amazing place is usually not crowded and has a great book store. They have both permanent and rotating exhibits, so there’s always something new to explore.
Arizona Repertory Theater. Tucson’s premiere entertainment venue for up-and-coming regional artists who put on an unbelievable run of shows. Check their website for the latest and greatest productions on offer.
B&B Cactus Farm. Located on the city’s east side, this Tucson succulent nursery has a 2-acre collection of the most unique and interesting succulents of all types. I dare you to walk away and not buy anything! They also have beautifully landscaped gardens for a relaxing stroll.
Turquoise Trail. This is a wonderful 2.5-mile loop through downtown Tucson. It’s a bit like the “Freedom Trail” in Boston. You will discover several historical sites and other structures by following the turquoise stripe in the sidewalk. Maps are available at the Amory Park Inn and is only a few blocks away.
DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun. Definitely a hidden gem, this gallery is never crowded and has beautiful grounds and great examples of mud adobe construction. With both rotating and permanent collections, viewing stunning southwestern art is a great way to spend an afternoon.
The Sonoran Hot Dog. I saved the best for last! To an outsider, the combination of ingredients of their hot dogs seems unlikely, but just try it…you’ll like it!!! The original El Guero Canelo is only a short drive from the Inn and has the best Mexican food in Tucson. This is the first stop when my kids get off the plane and the last stop before we go to the airport when they leave Tucson. The carnitas tacos, burro or caramelo are also a family favorite.