What is Tucson AZ known for



Tucson is located in southern Arizona at the foot of vast mountainous landscapes and offers visitors 350 days of sunshine for outdoor activities and for playing golf.

An extensive artistic and cultural history, first-class accommodations and spas as well as first-class cuisine and an exciting nightlife round off the holiday for adults too. The city offers families plenty of activities for all ages - both indoors and outdoors - as well as hotels with pools, vacation deals, and kid-friendly restaurants.

The southernmost metropolis of the US state Arizona offers many attractions and cultural institutions. Archaeologists have determined that Tucson, with a history spanning more than 4,000 years, is the oldest continuously populated city in the Americas. Today over 500,000 people live in the city and around a million in the entire metropolitan area.

A large number of neon signs, which were becoming very popular at the time, were built along the main roads and highways in the 1950s. In Tucson, too, travelers will find a neon remnant: the “Miracle Mile Strip“Was a hotspot for all neon fans in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the most famous neon signs back then was the "Gateway Saguaro“With a height of nine meters. Even today, visitors can see the sign showing the iconic Saguaro cactus, the flowers of which are the state flower of Arizona.


  • Tucson has a long history of agriculture and agriculture. Tucson's agricultural history begins 4,000 years ago, much sooner than any other US city. Back then, the Tucson area was used for growing crops. Today, for example, this legacy is presented in the Mission Garden revived in downtown Tucson. The garden of the Spanish colonial power was redesigned here and placed in its original location. Historical plants are now germinating and making the garden shine.
  • This is testament to the urban heritage El Presidio in Tucson today from the former presence of the Spanish colonial power. It was not until the railroad was built in the 1880s and the University of Arizona was founded in 1891 that the city received increasing influences from the east of the country.
  • Especially with children and families, excursion destinations are like that Reid Park Zoo very popular in Tucson.
  • A visit to the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures shrinks houses, entire cities and fantastic places to miniature size. At first glance, this was founded very much curious museum by Walter and Patricia Armell with the basic idea that visitors to the museum through the over 400 exhibited Miniature houses and room models are transported to different epochs and worlds. The exhibition ranges from a British house from the 19th century to an Irish fairytale castle to a tiny Wild West street landscape with small animal figures on motorcycles. In addition to the extensive permanent exhibition, there are also regular special exhibitions, each dedicated to their own topic.
  • Tucson Museum of Art (TMA): The Tucson Museum originated in 1924. It is now considered one of the leading intermediaries for art and art education programs in Arizona. The works of the museum show modern and contemporary as well as Indian, Latin American and Asian art.
  • The Tohono Chul Park is considered one of the most important botanical gardens in the world.
  • Guided hiking tours through the fascinating cactus landscape take place in the summer months in Saguaro National Park instead of. In the eastern part of the national park are the oldest and tallest saguaro cacti, which are best viewed from the 13-kilometer Cactus Forest Drive.
  • At the summit of the Kitt Peak southwest of Tucson are 24 domes that make astronomers' dreams come true, as the largest collection of optical telescopes is located here. Engaging programs combine scientific facts with light humor so the event is sure to stay in your mind. (www.noao.edu/kpno/)
  • The rises 50 kilometers north of Tucson Mount Lemmon at 2,793 meters as the highest massif of the Catalina Mountains in the sky. On the west side is the Catalina State Park, a popular excursion destination due to its glittering mountain lakes. To the east are the Rose Canyon and the Spencer Canyon. The mountain road leads to Mount Lemmon Ski Valleywhich is the southernmost ski resort in the USA. The chairlift takes guests to the top in winter and summer to enjoy the magnificent view of Tucson and its surroundings. While skiing in winter, impressive rock formations and the cooling of the mountain air in Tucson in contrast to the heat beckon in summer to linger. The lift takes a total of half an hour to get to the highest point and is open from Thursday to Monday. (www.skithelemmon.com)
  • The traces of the natives can be found not only in museums, but also in casinos. The Pascua Yaqui tribe leads for example Casino del Sol in Tucson. This combines the casino atmosphere with the traditional Indian culture. (casinodelsol.com)
  • Cycling enthusiasts will also feel at home in the city of Tucson, which is considered to be one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country. Every year in November the "Tour de Tucson”Takes place in which teams and individual drivers compete on a national level in different disciplines.

Old Tucson Studios

Real cowboy feeling up close
Anyone in town should also visit the Old Tucson Studios, where numerous western films were shot in the past and now the spirit of the old days is resurrecting. more +

Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Mix of zoo and botanical garden
Embedded in the natural environment of the cactus forests, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum shows typical plants and animals of the Sonora desert and gives a vivid overview of life in the desert. more +

Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism

Pima Air & Space Museum

Big Tucson Air Show
Technology enthusiasts will find the world's largest aircraft and space collection from American aviation here. A visit to the large aircraft cemetery at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is also possible. more +

Photo: Visit Tucson

Catalina State Park

True natural beauty and popular photo backdrop
Catalina State Park has a well-tended campsite, picnic facilities, and even an equestrian center. This makes the state park the ideal place to explore nature in the mountains. more +

Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism

White Stallion Ranch near Tucson

Real western feeling away from everyday stress
This charming family ranch in the middle of the beautiful, pristine Sonoran Desert gives you a real feeling of the Wild West. Experienced horse owners and fighters get their money's worth. more +

Photo: White Stallion Ranch

Historic railway depot

The Wild West and its migration history

At the historic Tucson Railroad Depot, visitors learn about the exciting past of the Wild West. Exciting stories from the Wild West can be followed up close here. The famous 1882 shooting at the O.K. Corral, for example, in which gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were involved, is brought closer to visitors in an exciting way. Those interested can take a photo next to their life-size bronze statues.

Built in 1907 and restored in 2004, it houses an entrance hall designed as a passenger train, a restaurant and the excellent little one Southern Arizona Transportation Museumwho can provide further information on the development of transportation in the USA.

Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum

Every February since 1925, the streets of Tucson have heard the clatter of horseshoes on the pavement and the rattle of old wagon wheels. The Tucson Rodeo Parade since then invites cowboys and girls to celebrate the famous Tucson Rodeo. The parade is the largest non-motorized parade in the United States as the chariots are drawn entirely by horses.

For nearly 100 years of this tradition, the parade committee has more than 125 cars collected. While some of them can be viewed closely based on the traces of use, others shine proudly in the best museum condition. A visit to the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum is a great way to see this vast collection that has grown over the years. These include various historical treasuressuch as Tucson's first garbage truck or the city's first fire truck and many more. Some of the floats on display will continue to be used in the parade.

However, the museum also contains other interesting exhibits, such as one Railway exhibition and another exhibit recreating Tucson as it did in the early 1900s. The site of the museum also has an exciting historical background: It is located on the first municipal airfield in the United States. Part of the car collection is still in the former aircraft hangar.

History Pharmacy Museum

At the University of Arizona at the College of Pharmacy is the History Pharmacy Museum, which is clearly unrivaled. With its special collection it documents the Profession of pharmacist from the 19th and 20th centuries - including thousands of medical curiosities.

The museum was opened by the College of Pharmacy in 1966. The then state board inspector Jesse Halbut had amassed a collection of numerous items from pharmacies across Arizona, which he donated to the college at the beginning of his retirement. Since then, the History of Pharmacy Museum's collection has grown and preserved rich history of pharmacy practice.

Tucson as a film set

Anyone who has ever seen a classic western or the cartoon Lucky Luke knows the region around Tucson in the far south of Arizona without knowing it. Because only here do the world-famous and characteristic Saguaro cacti with their typical arms protruding into the sky grow. Without them, a western would not be a western and that is why the big film studios here in Arizona in particular have made countless western films with greats such as former US President Ronald Reagan or superstar John Wayne in recent decades.

From classics like The Westerner (1940), above Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1967) to modern western comedies like Wild Wild West with Hollywood superstar Will Smith. Visitors can still follow in the footsteps of the real cowboys today.

"The Loop" trail

Tucson offers with "The loop“, A 210-kilometer system of paths through the Sonoran Desert. The Loop is only open to non-motorized vehicles and connects parks, restaurants and hotels for cyclists, riders and pedestrians. Originally, the paths were created as a flood protection project against spring tides after the disaster of 1983 in order to be able to better maintain the dams along the river beds.

But the project looked outside the box: The road network was expanded and opened to all non-motorized modes of transport so that the nature of the desert can be experienced in a relaxed manner. In addition to Tucson, The Loop also runs through Pima County, Marana and Oro Valley.


Tucson is the hotspot for gourmets from all over the world with its top chefs, unique dishes and its turbulent agricultural history. The use of local ingredients make Tucson unique.

The "City for gastronomy“Offers special culinary creations and exceptional chefs. Whether the Sonoran Hot Dog, historic wheat, which was once introduced by Spanish missionaries, or the fruit of the prickly pear, which can even be found in local beers - the influences of different countries and cultures have shaped Tucson's cuisine and made it varied and delight the guests .

Gourmets don't miss out either. Chefs Jonas Wilder and Chris Bianco have already won the James Beard Award, also known as the Oscar of Food. While head chef Jonas Wilder in his restaurant "Downtown Kitchen"Serving international and local dishes in the city center, come to Chris Bianco's restaurant"Pizzeria Bianco“Exceptional pizzas on the table. (downtownkitchen.com / pizzeriabianco.com)

By the way, health-conscious nutrition is also very important in Tucson. And that starts with the smallest residents: while the chefs teach children about healthy eating in the morning, in the evening they create breathtaking dishes using ingredients from local producers.

Tucson's annual festivals like this are also enjoyable Tucson Meet Yourself, the Viva La Local, the Agave feast as well as the Tamal Heritage Festival to, where every vacationer and guest can taste the unique cuisine of the American Southwest for themselves. The farmers' markets, where the local chefs buy their special ingredients, are also a real insider tip.
(tucsonmeetyourself.org / vivalalocalfoodfest.com / Agave Fest / Tamal Heritage Festival)

And if you prefer something a little more fluid, there is one for you Whiskey del Bac which is native to sunny Tucson. The delicate combination of whiskey and Mexican mesquite creates a special taste experience and should definitely be tasted.

In the Sentinel Peak Brewing in Tucson, visitors can get a taste of the Southwest. The Overhaul Spicy Chili Beer Jalapenos and ghost chillies were added. (sentinelpeakbrewing.com)


Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Luxury vacation in the Wild West
One of the oldest ranches in southern Arizona is the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch on an area of ​​13 hectares in the Santa Catalina Mountains, which was built in 1929 as a girls' school - today the resort is an oasis of pure relaxation. more +

Photo: Photo Courtesy of Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Hotel Congress

The historic Hotel Congress is an icon in downtown Tucson. The hotel became famous in 1934 because the notorious bank robber was here John Dillinger was arrested with his gang.

Every January, therefore, the arrest of the "Public Enemy No. 1 ”as part of the Dillinger Days re-enacted. But apart from this event, the location knows how to convince with music, excellent drinks and a hundred-year-old bar, which ZZ top guitarist Billy Gibson once said was his favorite bar.

A fine example of a Vintage hotel is this The Downtown Clifton Hotel in Tucson. This was built in 1948, but is still very popular today. However, both the interior and the exterior are the epitome of 1950s design.

The legendary Wild West culture can still be felt today in numerous ranches and historical saloons. The Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson is the perfect place to take a ride in the Sonoran Desert. As a small highlight, the ranch offers so-called riding scavenger hunts.


With its stars and planets, the universe has been inspiring mankind for centuries. Some locations in Grand Canyon State offer unique views of the night sky. Since there is no or hardly any artificial light here, the sky can shine in all its splendor. Arizona is known as the astrotourism hotspot in the United States and is famous among connoisseurs for its clear night skies. So shield im Oracle State Park the Santa Catalina Mountains cast off the light of the city of Tucson, only 32 kilometers away, and create optimal conditions for a clear dark sky.