9 Best Things To Do in Tucson, Arizona

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

9 Best Things To Do in Tucson, Arizona

If you’re looking for things to do in Tucson, Arizona, you’ve come to the right place.

For the last five years, my wife and I have been traveling the USA full time in our vintage Airstream. We’ve found that southern Arizona, especially Tucson, is an ideal travel destination (during the winter & fall).

Tucson has great breweries, miles of hiking trails, and lots of culture.

Today we’re sharing the best of what’s around.

Let’s dive in!

Saguaro National Park

Price: $25

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re looking to get outside and explore some of the most beautiful desert areas, you have to check out Saguaro National Park. This desert is diverse with plants, wildlife and history. It’s the perfect place to visit and explore the many succulents and desert animals. 

Address: 2700 N Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743

What’s the Word: A recent Google review says, “Saguaro exceeded my expectations by a lot! Was able to stop at both Saguaro West and Saguaro East and they are two entirely different experiences. Can’t really go wrong as both are picturesque. West is better if you prefer more large cacti up close to the trail and East is better if you prefer mountain views in the background.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.7/10

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Price: Free

Why You’ll Love It: This mission is a must-visit while in Tucson, whether you’re a history buff or not. This beautiful mission was originally established in 1692, making it the oldest structure in Arizona. You can walk around the peaceful grounds or even attend a mass service.

Address: 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746

What’s the Word: A review from Google says, “Serene and nurturing. Historic and current. Plus the kindest people you will ever meet are running the place – especially the uniquely and authentically stocked gift shops. A must experience place.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 8.9/10

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Price: $22

Why You’ll Love It: There is no better place to learn about what makes the Sonora Desert so special. This is a very nice zoo that gives insight and education into the plants and wildlife of the area. The Arizona-Senora Desert Museum has large animals from black bears and mountain lions to small reptiles like snakes and scorpions.

Address: 2021 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85743

What’s the Word: A recent review from Google says, “I loved the museum. The exhibits had all kinds of desert critters I’ve heard about and not seen. It was very hot that day so it was difficult for us to stay and enjoy for a long time. The drive out to the museum was beautiful too! Highly recommended.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.4/10

Discover the Sabino Canyon

Price: $8 for a day use

Why You’ll Love It: The Sabino Canyon is a must visit for getting out and hiking. The tall mountains and canyons make this a unique landscape. There are lots of wildlife and hiking for all abilities.

Address: 5700 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750

What’s the Word: A recent review on Google says, “Of all the parks in the Tucson area, this one is my favorite. They offer more than enough variety of trails and hiking adventures. It is not only a breathtaking view but educational and therapeutic as well. I would highly recommend several visits to see it all.“

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.4/10

Explore the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Price: $15

Why You’ll Love It: Whether you’re looking to get out for a nice walk or learn about the local plants, this is the perfect place. Not only is it beautiful to visit but the gardens offer a variety of classes and programs that you can attend. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place to spend your day.

Address: 2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712

What’s the Word: A recent Google review says, “Beautiful, cool, green escape from the hot, dry desert. It is one of my favorite places in Tucson! There is even a fun train display with moving trains, and sand trays that my kids love playing in. The kids also really enjoy the butterfly house. We come here all the time!”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.4/10

Grab a Beer at Borderlands Brewing Company

Price: Starting at $5

Why You’ll Love It: There is nothing more refreshing than getting a cold craft beer on a hot day. Borderlands Brewing is located in the historic part of town providing a rustic atmosphere. They also have great food.

Address: 119 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

What’s the Word: A recent Google review says, “A nice place to grab a beer and hang out! Awesome atmosphere! The bartender was super friendly. I would recommend this place over and over. Cheers!”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.3/10

Get a Glass of Wine at Rancho Rossa

Price: Starting at $6

Why You’ll Love It: Did you know there are wineries in the Arizona desert? Well there are and this one is very good. They have award-winning wine and a great atmosphere, perfect for wine tasting.

Address: 201 Cattle Ranch Ln, Elgin, AZ 85611

What’s the Word: A recent Google review says, “Great vineyard and tasting room! If you are 1) an animal lover, or 2) a deadhead, you will LOVE this place! The lady working was very knowledgeable about their wines and super friendly. Had a great flight, $6 for 6 tastings. Fun spot on the wine trail to check out, and absolutely love the fact that they put proceeds towards rescue organizations.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.7/10

Best Tucson Campground: Gilbert Ray Campground

Price: $20

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re looking for a great campground with beautiful desert views, Gilbert Ray Campground is your place. For only $20 a night, you get electricity at your site and there are water filling stations all over. The spaces are spread out and the night sky is incredible.

Address: 8451 W McCain Loop, Tucson, AZ 85735

What’s the Word: A recent review from Google says, “Incredible campground, Saguaro on every terrain, and incredible view on the mountains.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.4/10

Best Tucson Hotel: Lodge on the Desert

Price: Starting at $96

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re wanting to stay at a beautiful hotel that is centrally located in Tucson, the Lodge on the Desert is what you’re looking for. Keeping with the mesa architecture, this hotel puts you in the local culture. There are also great restaurants in the area for a perfect date night.

Address: 306 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711

What’s the Word: A recent Google review says, “I’ve visited here two times now and both times were worth every dime. Great service. Lovely rooms. And the front desk was very sweet.”

Tucson Arizona Vibe Score: 9.8/10

Trip Routing to Tucson, Arizona

If you’re traveling with an RV, trip planning to Tucson is essential.

We use RV Trip Wizard to route our cross country trips.

It allows us to avoid steep passes, tolls, and tunnels – making travel day way less stressful! Try RV Trip Wizard Free for 7 Days.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

One comment

  1. The recent forest fire has changed things. Things may not be so beautiful. That aside youve mostly hit on pay places and missed one of the areas most beautiful drives and hiking areas. At least before the fire. The Mt Lemmon Highway winding up from the low elevation of Tucson up to the tiny town of Summerhaven at just over 9000′. Coronado NF so no fees to enter. Great hikes. Nice NF campgrounds.

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