What is there to do in Tucson?
December 15, 2004 9:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Tucson over Christmas. Anything that is just not to be missed? Any resources besides Citysearch and The Tucson Weekly ?
posted by elsar to Travel & Transportation around Tucson, AZ (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Biosphere II!
posted by i_cola at 9:47 AM on December 15, 2004

Ventana Canyon hike is very nice.

Airplane boneyard is cool, if you like military planes.
posted by Mid at 10:05 AM on December 15, 2004

If you're going to be there on New Year's Eve, catch the Zsa Zsas at Club Congress.

Tell Milos I sent you. He used to be a friend of mine.
posted by padraigin at 10:05 AM on December 15, 2004

If you like Christmas lights, walk through Winterhaven, which is an entire neighborhood that decorates for the holiday and closes to cars in the evening so that people can stroll through and look.
posted by rushmc at 10:26 AM on December 15, 2004

My favorite place down there is the Desert Museum. The Titan Missile Museum is also super-cool. And, of course, you're only about 40 minutes from Nogales, so if you want that super-sketchy border town experience, you can get that, too.
posted by ph00dz at 10:42 AM on December 15, 2004

I second the Desert Museum, and Colossal Cave is definitely worth checking out.
posted by omphale27 at 10:54 AM on December 15, 2004

Visit Kartchner Caverns (another link) about forty miles from Tucson. We visited on a trip two years ago and were impressed because it's a living cavern with dripstones that are still growing. (For comparison, we also visited Carlsbad Caverns during the same trip, and while they were much bigger, they were not as impressive.) Kartchner Caverns had only recently opened when we were there in 2002, and it was recommended to us by an acquaintance who lives in Tucson.

I also second the Desert Museum and the Titan Missile Museum. The Pima Air and Space Museum (to which the Titan Missile Museum belongs) is also worth seeing. I liked it even though I don't know much about airplanes.
posted by amf at 10:59 AM on December 15, 2004

the tucson weekly seems to be the main listing place for local events. you can pick it up free around the town.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:19 AM on December 15, 2004

Make it to the top of Mount Lemon if you have time. There was a community called summerhaven up there..I think there were fires this summer and wiped everything out, though. It maybe grim. Oh, the seven falls hike in sabino canyon is a perfect day hike...I think it's like 7 miles...you end up at a nice waterfall where everyone eats their pack lunch.
posted by pepcorn at 12:21 PM on December 15, 2004

third the sonoran desert museum (the walk-in hummingbird exhibit is rad)... and i dig fourth avenue, too... depending on your point-of-origin and cultural inclinations i would recommend south tucson as a far more interesting locale to tourist than the hoity foothills; just mho. also (if culture's your thing and you don't mind driving just a bit) check out san xavier del bac. it's cool too.
posted by RockyChrysler at 12:27 PM on December 15, 2004

If cholesterol isn't an issue, try the 32 oz steak at Lil Abners on Silverbell, and if you're into kitschy Western fair, the old movie set for many of Hollywood westerns (John Wayne, High Chapparal, etc. ) is nearby.
posted by Pressed Rat at 1:31 PM on December 15, 2004

There's a good but long hike from the Sabino Canyon to a big swim hole called Hutch's Pool, and a short one in the Saguaro National Park West (on the way out to the Desert Museum and Old Tucson) that perches you nicely for a grand sunset view.

There's excellent cheap and filling Mexican food in South Tucson at El Guero Canelo.

For a fine dinner, there's the Cafe Poca Cosa who also do a fantastic breakfast at their Little Poca Cosa offshoot around the corner.

The Hotel Congress bars, lobby and cafe are congenial places to hang out.
posted by liam at 2:48 PM on December 15, 2004

The seven falls hike in Sabino is really great -- though I wonder how much water will be in the falls this time of year. (Aren't the falls from snow melt?)
posted by Mid at 3:07 PM on December 15, 2004

I'll add the very original suggestion that you Hike! Sabino! Canyon! It's lovely; everyone here is correct.

Also, buy some books from Bookman's.
posted by climalene at 5:05 PM on December 15, 2004

Also, if you're still checking this thread, there's the Gordon Hirabayashi Rec Area. F'ing amazing -- it's an old prison camp from WWII named for a Japanese-American guy who protested internment and was thus imprisoned there. Now it's a ruin, with some of the best educational signage I've ever seen. Some info here. Hard to describe -- the camp was a sustainable community of sorts.

It's a bit high -- when I was there in December a few years ago, it snowed. Hard. So dress warmly.
posted by climalene at 7:21 PM on December 15, 2004

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