DAY TRIPS FROM TUCSON
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IF YOU NEED A BREAK FROM THE GEM SHOW

The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
A favorite of locals and visitors alike, the beautiful, eco-friendly Sonoran Desert Museum wins awards every year as one of the "Best of Tucson." Attractions include: animals in their natural habitats, including mountain lions and long horned rams; minerals of the Southwest; gorgeous landscaped collections of cacti and succulent plants; live insects and reptile exhibits; and a raptor rescue center. This is much more than just a world famous zoo. Situated about a half-hour drive west of central Tucson, this is a great introduction to the real sights and sounds of the Sonoran Desert. Highest possible recommendation.

2021 North Kinney Road
Tucson, AZ
(520) 882-2702
www.desertmuseum.org


Saguaro National Park
Pronounced "soo-wah-rah," the saguaro is the archetypal image of the American Southwest for so many people. The tall, slow growing cactus "trees" have appeared in almost every western film of note, and help give Tucson and the surrounding Sonoran Desert their unique character. A short drive west from Tucson will take you to this beautiful and wild national park. Various trails allow the casual observer, or the seasoned naturalist/hiker to truly experience the Wild West. An excellent National Park Service website (see link below) will help you plan your visit. For visiting big city dwellers, particularly, this is a never-to-be-forgotten desert experience. The modern visitor center with exhibitions and a bookshop with a fine selection of Southwestern nature titles is well worth a stop.

3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ
(520) 733-5158
www.nps.gov/sagu


Pima Air and Space Museum
Aviation enthusiasts will go directly into orbit when they see the stunning collection of civil and military aircraft on display at one of the world's largest air and space museums. With almost 300 aircraft on permanent exhibit, dedicated air and space fans will want to allow the better part of a day to enjoy this vast museum — part indoor, part outdoor. Some of the many highlights include John F. Kennedy's Air Force One, World War II heavyweight bombers including a pristine B-17 and B-29, Cold War era weapons such as a B-52 and a collection of Russian Migs. Amazing and awe inspiring.

6000 East Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ
(520) 574-0462
www.pimaair.org


Titan Missile Museum
A chilling and breathtaking trip through time — back to the fingers-on-the-button Cold War. Visitors travel underground on a guided tour to see the last accessible Titan II missile, still sitting in its silo after all these years. Just the blast doors on top of the silo weight three tons! The Missile Museum was also used as a filming location for the motion picture Star Trek: First Contact. Easily done in a half-day trip from Tucson and highly recommended for military history enthusiasts.

1580 West Duval Mine Road
Sahuarita, AZ
(520) 625-7736
www.titanmissilemuseum.org


Bisbee, Arizona
Once the largest city in Arizona, Bisbee almost became a ghost town after the Copper Queen open pit mine closed down. During the 1960s bohemians and artists began moving into this weird and charming southeastern Arizona gem. The town is perched along a steep-sided valley, and is home in roughly equal parts to retired miners, avant-garde artists, and genuine Arizona desert eccentrics. The winding main street is packed with art galleries, rock shops, and antique stores. Bisbee is odd, funky, and totally unique. Situated about 90 miles southeast of Tucson, it is a lovely drive to an elevation considerably higher than Tucson. If you're lucky you might see coyotes or hawks along the way. Allow about 2 – 2 1/2 hours each way. It is doable as a day trip if you leave early, but you might enjoy the experience of spending the night. We recommend having a drink at the grand Copper Queen Hotel, but booking your room at the Eldorado Suites in Brewery Gulch. The underground Copper Queen Mine tour is an absolute must. You get to wear miner's helmets and everything.

Bisbee Chamber of Commerce