Where is Tucson located in Arizona

Highlights in Arizona

State parks

Other highlights


Ghost towns

Tucson is located in the south of Arizona and with around 1 million inhabitants is the largest metropolis in the southern part of the state and the second largest city after Phoenix.
The city got its name from the name of the Tohono O'Odham Indians, "Chuk Shon", which means "Black Foothills".

Location / arrival
Tucson is located on Interstate 10 in southern Arizona, 61 mi or 98 km from Phoenix. The city is located on a plateau, surrounded by 2,800 m high mountain ranges, the Santa Catalina, Tortolita, Santa Rita, Rincon and Tucson Mountains. The Santa Cruz River, which dried up except for the rainy season in summer, runs through the city.

Travel time
The best travel time is between autumn and spring. It gets very hot in summer. Most of the rain falls during the summer months.

The city is one of the longest, almost continuously used areas in the United States. The first prehistoric Indians colonized the area as early as 12,000 BC. The remains of a village have been found near the present city center, which suggests that the area was used for agriculture between 1200 BC. Suggesting to 150 AD. These former residents were already digging irrigation ditches for the cultivated maize fields.
The Hohokam Indians settled the area between AD 600 and 1450. In 1699 the Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino built the Mission San Xavier del Bac and thus laid the foundation stone of today's Tucson. The city was then founded in 1775 when the Spaniards built a fortress.
With independence from Mexico, Tucson was on Mexican territory, belonged to the United States of America with the purchase of Gadsden in 1853 and became the capital of the Arizona Territory.

Tourist Attractions

In Tucson everyone can get their money's worth: The city offers several museums, theaters, a student nightlife and fascinating nature in the vicinity. The way to the city is especially worthwhile because of the various museums and cultural events.

Tucson offers a Tucson Attraction Pass, which costs $ 15 and brings savings of $ 400 when fully used. Interesting for people who are planning a longer stay or want to visit many museums. The pass is available at the Visitor Center (100S Church Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701, Tel. 520-624-1817, Fax 520-884-7804) (more information online at http://www.visittucson.org).

Downtown Tucson

  • Tucson Museum of Art: Entry $ 8 per person. Art collection of various origins, from pictures to sculptures, classified in the modern age. The museum is located in an architecturally impressive building across from Presidio Park. Address: 140 N Main Ave Tucson, AZ 85701, Tel. 520-624-2333, online at http://www.tucsonarts.com.
  • Museum of Art of the Universitiy of Arizona: Free entry. Changing exhibitions with mostly great topics. Address: 1031 N Olive Rd, Tucson, AZ 85721, Tel. 520-621-7567, online at http://www.artmuseum.arizona.edu.
  • Center for Creative Photography: Free entry, a donation is expected. Photo exhibition with interesting subjects from a large number of the greatest photographers in the USA. Address: The University of Arizona, 1030 N Olive Road, Tucson AZ, 85721-0103, Tel. 520-621-7968, online at http://www.creativephotography.org.
  • Arizona State Museum: Free entry, a donation is expected. Insightful presentation of the culture, way of life and ethnology of the indigenous people of the southwest. Address: 1013 E University Blvd, PO Box 210026, Tucson, AZ 85721-0026, Tel. 520-621-6302, online at http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu.
  • Arizona Opera: Changing pieces from October to April. Address: 3501 North Mountain Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, Tel. 520-293-4336, online at http://www.arizonaopera.com.
  • Arizona Theater Company: Changing theater performances for over 34 years. Address: 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701, Tel. 520-622-2823, online at http://www.aztheatreco.org.


In the university area, directly in front of the main entrance to the campus, the student nightlife takes place in the bars, often with live music.
4th Street Downtown Tucson and Congress Street are where most of Tucson's pubs and clubs can be found. Finer clubs and bars can be found in the foothills.

Environs of Tucson

  • Saguaro National Park: National park in a desert landscape. Saguaro cacti grow here in large numbers and of all forms (more information under Saguaro NP). The visit is an absolute MUST.
    There are pictures of the eastern and western parts here.
  • Great Air Museum: Entry $ 12 per person, hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. With over 200 machines, the Prima Air Museum is one of the world's largest aircraft exhibitions. The originals are all well cared for, the showpiece is a Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird", the former spy plane, which reaches 8 times the speed of sound at an altitude of over 12 km and was only put out of service with the use of satellite technology. Address: 6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85706, Tel. 520-574-0462, online at http://www.pimaair.org.
    Here are pictures from the Prima Air Museum.
  • Old Tucson Studios: Entry $ 15, opening hours 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Old Tucson Studios consist of a western town where some of the most famous westerns, such as Rio Lobo, Rio Bravo, but also series such as High Chapperal and parts of Bonanza, were filmed. In the spring of 1995 part of the old backdrops was destroyed by fire, but a visit is definitely worth it. The backdrops are accompanied by stunt performances, guided tours and saloon shows. Address: 201 S Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85735, Tel. 520-883-0100, online at http://www.oldtucson.com.
    Here are pictures from the Old Tucson Studios.
  • Titan Missile Museum: Entry $ 8.50, hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Titan Missile Museum is located south of Tucson on Interstate 19 (Exit 69) and was one of the many nuclear missile silos with the Titan II ICBM. At the time, the command posts were operational around the clock; it would have taken a maximum of 90 seconds from the command to the launch. The tour shows and explains the technical details and a simulation of the application is carried out - absolutely worth seeing with a "shudder guarantee". Address: 1580 W Duval Mine Rd, Sahuarita, AZ 85614, Tel. 520-625-7736, online at http://www.pimaair.org.
    Here are pictures from the Titan Missile Museum.
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park: The Colossal Cave is one of the world's largest dry caves. The tour is enriched by historical cave situations with fascinating light effects. Address: 16721 E. Old Spanish Trail, Vail, AZ 85641, Tel. 520-647-PARK (7275), online at http://www.colossalcave.com.
  • Air Force aircraft graveyard: From Saguaro NP (western part) following the Old Spanish Trail, you come to Irvington Road via Houghton Road. Along this and Kolb Road, there are over 20,000 military aircraft in a huge open space that have been decommissioned and are waiting for re-use or scrapping.
  • Arizona Sonora Desert Museum: Entry $ 9- $ 12, opening hours 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is located in Tucson Mountain Park near the Saguaro NP (eastern part) and consists of a mix of a botanical garden and a small animal zoo with plants and animals from the desert. Address: 2021 N Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 857043-8918, Tel. 520-883-1380, online at http://www.desertmuseum.org.
    Here are pictures from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.
  • Catalina State Park: Entry $ 6 per vehicle. Catalina State Park is a desert oasis at the foot of the Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson. Beautiful hikes and walks of various lengths are possible in the park. Campsites are available. Address: 11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704, Tel. 520-628-5798, online at http://www.azstateparks.com.
  • Tucson Botanical Gardens: Entry $ 5, opening hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Exhibition of different gardens with different botanical styles. Address: 2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, Tel. 520-326-9686, online at http://www.tucsonbotanical.org.
  • Sabino Canyon Recreation Area: Beautiful canyon with waters from Sabino Creek and surrounded by rock walls. Here a contrast develops between flora and fauna and the surrounding desert landscape. Address: 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Rd., Tucson, AZ 85750, Tel. 520-749-8700, online at http://www.sabinocanyon.org.
  • Mission San Xaver del Bac: Free entry, a donation is expected. Old mission station and practically the founding house of today's Tucson. Address: 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746, Tel. 520-294-2624, online at http://www.sanxaviermission.org.
  • Biosphere II Center: Entry $ 20, hours 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Biosphere II project (Biosphere 1I is the earth) was carried out for 2 years by 8 men and women in a closed ecosystem that was not connected to the environment. Address: 32540 S Biosphere Rd, Oracle, AZ 85623, Tel. 520-838-6200, online at http://www.bio2.com.
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