Coming for a visit? Here is some useful information you may want to know:
Places to Stay
► Hotel Accommodations
Map of hotels in Tucson: Be sure to ask about our UA discount!
At right, clockwise from upper left: Aloft Tucson University, Homewood Suites by Hilton at St. Philip's Plaza, Tucson Marriott University Park, J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort, Hotel Tucson Doubletree Reid Park and the Arizona Inn. Others nearby include the Lodge on the Desert and La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Tucson - Reid Park.
► Vacation Home Rentals
Tucson neighborhood map: For proximity, see Jefferson Park, Catalina Vista, Blenman-Elm, Sam Hughes, Miramonte, Campbell-Grant and Mountain-1st Ave.
► Enterprise Rent-A-Car
LOCATIONS AT TUCSON AIRPORT AND THROUGHOUT TUCSON
Discount - 5% off - To make a reservation, go to www.Enterprise.com and use the corporate ID: L509250
► National Car Rental
TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Discount - 10% off - To make a reservation, go to www.Nationalcar.com and use the corporate ID: L509250
Things to Do While You're Here
For a quick look at some activities that are popular in Tucson, click here or on the image at left for a printable PDF.
Read on to learn more...
In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named Tucson as the first City of Gastronomy in the United States. Tucson food traditions are rooted in pre-Hispanic Native American, Sonoran Mexican, Mediterranean mission, and western ranching culture, among others. While you can find great food all over Tucson, some of our current favorite restaurants are Penca, Elvira’s, The Little One (aka, the Little Cafe Poca Cosa), Welcome Diner, Five Points Market, Time Market and Miss Siagon. Tucson has an incredible coffee scene: Presta, OMBRE, Ren (at St. Philip's Plaza), EXO and Cartel are more than worthy for caffeine-related needs. We recommend checking out the Tucson Food blog on Tucson.com for reviews of everything restaurant related.
Tucson nightlife is centered largely around Fourth Avenue and Downton. Fourth Avenue is lined with bars and restaurants—all leading towards downtown Tucson. Destinations include the Boxyard, Hotel Congress, Playground, IBT’s and R-Bar. Tucson has a great local music scene where you can enjoy live music at the Rialto, 191 Toole and the aforementioned Hotel Congress. Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) frequently has evening events. If you’re looking for a great brewery scene, Tucson has plenty to offer: Pueblo Vida, Borderlands, Crooked Tooth, Barrio Brewing, Brother John's, Ermanos, Tap and Bottle and Tucson Hop Shop. Additionally, Five Points Market, St. Philip’s Plaza, the Mercado San Agustin, La Cocina at Old Town Artisans, and La Encantada all offer several venues for a fun night out.
Just want a workout beyond the confines of your hotel, try the UA Campus Recreation Center, at 1400 E. Sixth St., or new NorthREC facility that opened in August 2019 at Mabel Street and Fremont Avenue.
Meet Me at Maynards: A free evening social walk/run event with multiple short and long routes from 1.85 to 4+ miles every Monday, 5:30 p.m., at Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave., in the Historic Train Depot across from Hotel Congress. Parking downtown is free after 5 p.m. Check-in via smartphone or computer after 3 p.m. Live check-in begins at 5:15 p.m. at Maynards (A yoga alternative is included for $5 at Yoga Oasis, 245 E. Congress St., with check-in at Maynards first.). Ask for a hand-stamp and fill out a raffle ticket for prizes. After the walk/run, enjoy live music and the MMM Beer Garden—$2 beers and $5 wines. Closing ceremony and awards at 7 p.m. Learn more at this link.
Meet Me Wednesdays at St. Philip's Plaza: Like MMM above, but these free walk/runs are at St. Philip's Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave., just north of the Rillito River Park Path that is part of The Loop around Tucson. Pick your route, 1.2 and 2.2 miles and 5K. Dogs welcome, too. Some of our physicians also participate as part of the DocWalk outreach program, answering questions about health and fitness along the way. Check-in online after 3 p.m. or live at 5:15 p.m. Events start at 5:30 p.m. Closing ceremony and awards at 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, enjoy discounted dining at one of St. Philip’s Plaza’s great restaurants, plus several others in the neighborhood. Learn more at this link.
Parkrun at Himmel Park: Part of the parkrun international series of free, timed 5K runs hosted in 20 countries, all you have to do is show up. These run/jog/walk events are held every Saturday at Himmel Park in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood. Arrive about 15 minutes before 7 a.m. (April-October) and 8 a.m. (November-March) just south of the Himmel Park Public Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Baby strollers and dogs on leashes welcome. Other park amenities include a pool, playgrounds, exercise stations, tennis and basketball courts, and soccer, baseball/softball and ultimate frisbee fields. Afterward, enjoy breakfast at nearby Rincon Market. Click here to learn more about the runs and to register.
Some of the best hiking trails in Arizona are right here in the Tucson area. For urban hiking, see Meet Me at Maynards and the Rillito River Park/Loop above. At left, you also can visit centrally located Reid Park/Randolph Golf Complex (with its 0.5-, 3- and 4-mile loops around the park, Tucson Zoo, Dell Urich Golf Course, Randolph Recreation Center and Hi-Corbett stadium facilities used by UA Baseball; the Workout Group meets there for training runs Tuesday and Thursday evenings; and it's a popular spot for run/walk events to raise funds for research on various health conditions). There's also Tumamoc Hill/A Mountain, both on the near west side. At right, A Mountain, (aka Sentinel Peak) emblazoned with a large red-white-and-blue A, offers a 1.7 mile loop and Tumamoc Hill, home to the UA Desert Laboratory, is 3 miles to the top and back.
In the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, you've got the Finger Rock Trail (5.2 miles)—at the north end of Alvernon Way—and Window Rock Trail (7.2 miles)—starting in the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort parking lot—which are among the state's most challenging hikes. The Pima Canyon Trail, at 3.9 miles and a more gradual climb, offers a more leisurely hike. For a multitude of trails for all levels in one place, the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area (below left) can't be beat, with a visitors center, paved roadway up the center and tram for the less adventurous—but flowing water year round up at Seven Falls in nearby Bear Canyon. In the Santa Rita Mountains to the south, a must-see is Madera Canyon for hiking and biking.
This is not to mention the many fine trails at Catalina State Park off Oracle Road north of Tucson, around Saguaro National Park East, Reddington Pass/Tanque Verde Falls and Colossal Cave Mountain Park on the east side, Saguaro National Park West, Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (which is actually a natural zoo and botanical garden) on the west side. For an impressive view, stop at Gates Pass—a traditional sunset venue—in Pima County's Tucson Mountain Park on the way back from the west side.
Many of the above trails offer mountain biking opportunities as well, particularly Tucson Mountain Park. Another is the Sweetwater Preserve which lies south of the Tortolita Road/Camino del Cerro interchange on the upper west side. There's also the Fantasy Island Mountain Bike Park, off Valencia Road near Houghton Road with its 19 miles of trails and six loops.
For more on mountain biking in Tucson, visit this link.
As one of the top cities in the U.S. and world for cycling, a plethora of opportunities await you, including the aforementioned mountain biking options, the road to Summerhaven atop Mount Lemmon, and The Loop, a 131-mile circuit that circumnavigates river paths around the entire city. Key events include the El Tour de Tucson, approaching its 40th anniversary this November, and 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, a grueling mountain biking event held around Valentine's Day—now in its 20th year. Learn more here and here and here.
Golf & Tennis
If you haven't seen the 1996 movie "Tin Cup," starring Kevin Costner, Don Johnson, Rene Russo and Cheech Marin, filmed in Tucson and featuring multiple local golf courses—represented as in West Texas (where the movie was set)—watch it immediately. Courses in the movie include the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, Santa Rita Golf Course, J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort, Westin La Paloma Resort and Arizona National Golf Club. But whether you're talking Casino del Sol, Dove Mountain, Loews Ventana Canyon, the Omni National or Westward Look, about every hotel and resort in the area offers a premier golf experience, not to mention those of city-owned courses, Randolph Dell Urich, Fred Enke, Silverbell and El Rio. Learn more here.
Likewise for tennis, you'll find great facilities at these same area hotels and resorts. At the UA, there's also the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center at 900 N. Martin Ave., with its 17 regulation size courts, a center-court grandstand, lights, team rooms, a concession area, a pro shop and restrooms. Six of the courts are available on a first-come basis. In addition, you've got 25 lighted courts at the Reffkin Tennis Center at the Randolph Recreation Center at Alvernon Way and Broadway Boulevard in central Tucson, the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club at North Country Club Road and the Rillito River with its 30 lighted tennis courts, 12 pickleball courts, 11 racquetball/handball courts, sand volleyball, workout facilities and two 75-foot pools. Learn more here.
Staying a Bit Longer?
If you're staying for more than a day, your options for touristing are broader and you may want to consider seeing our Living in Tucson webpage for a list of annual events, additional attractions and day trips for roadworthy adventures. Whether you're looking for local color and culture like the San Xavier del Bac Mission, Kitt Peak National Observatory or the DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun, you'll find dozens of things to do along with seasonal events. Only a few short miles away, you'll also find historic vistas like Fort Huachuca's Buffalo Soldier Museum, Tombstone (the "town too tough to die" and home of the O.K. Corral), Old Bisbee (a historic mining town, now arts community near Tombstone), Tumacácori National Historical Park (near Tubac) and the Titan Missile Museum (near Sahuarita). There's always longer trips, too, to Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, if you're so inclined.