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Stuff to do around Tucson

Posted on February 16, 2024 by The Drive

Here at The Drive Tucson, we are always thinking about road trips. Especially road trips you can take while the family is in town for the holidays. The Tucson-area has some really special places to take your relatives. Even if you have been to any one of these places before, they are still a wonderful place to build memories. We thought we would assemble a list of some of our favorite places to hit the road and enjoy a drive. Happy driving!

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a is a 98-acre fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery & classes, natural history museum, and aquarium and art gallery, founded in 1952. Located just west of Tucson, it features two miles of walking paths traversing 21 acres of desert landscape. A local favorite for generations.

Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park Zoo has been a destnation point for Tucsonans for decades. The zoo features more than 500 animals. It was unofficially established in 1965 by Gene Reid, the Tucson Parks & Recreation Director at the time.

Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon was named for botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain. Mount Lemmon is always a pleasant and beautiful road trip. Just make sure if you stop by The Cookie Cabin that you bring some back for us!

Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon is a significant canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest. It's a popular recreation area for many of our local residents as well as visitors of Southern Arizona, providing a place to walk, hike or ride.

Tucson Botanical Gardens

The Tucson Botanical Gardens is transcendently impressive and a tranquil oasis in the heart of Tucson. TBG strives to be recognized and respected as the best small public garden in America. This is one of Tucson's gems. For us, the Tucson Botanical Gardens never gets old. They're mission is to connect people with plants and nature through art, science, history and culture.

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 advances our understanding of natural and human-made ecosystems through integrated research to increase the resilience and sustainability of Earth systems and human quality of life. They advance research in unique facilities, conduct interdisciplinary science education, and foster leadership initiatives focused on developing scalable solutions for our planet and beyond. This place is CRAZY COOL.

The International Wildlife Museum

The International Wildlife Museum is dedicated to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the diverse wildlife of the world as well as explaining the role of wildlife management in conservation. Founded in 1988, the museum highlights over 400 species of insects, mammals and birds from around the globe.  Some of the collections are more than 100 years old and all the animals found at the museum were donated by various government agencies, wildlife rehabilitation centers, captive breeding programs, zoos and individuals.

Pima Air & Space Museum

The Pima Air & Space Museum features about 400 historic aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. Sitting on 80 acres the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976. Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars (three dedicated to WWII).

Titan Missile Museum

At the Titan Missile Museum, visitors journey through time to stand on the front line of the Cold War. This preserved Titan II missile site, officially known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. This one-of-a kind museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war. What was once one of America’s most top-secret places is now a National Historic Landmark.

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium is a science museum and planetarium in Tucson, Arizona. It is part of the University of Arizona. It is named after American author Grace Flandrau. The Eos Planetarium Theater has a 15.2 meter dome and seats 146 people. The science center includes fossil and mineral exhibits

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Photo Credit: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun celebrates both the life of Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia and his art. Established in 1950 by DeGrazia, the Gallery in the Sun is a Tucson tradition that is a favorite among visitors and local Tucsonans alike. DeGrazia and his work are characterized by their rebellious approach and passionate depiction of Southwestern life.

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