The Tucson Area

Things to do in The Tucson Area

Jet-setters' way station

Biking Tubac’s 13-mile-long Elephant Head Trail, which starts near the top of Madera Canyon, can be a little hair-raising (the steep pitch means you’ll pick up some serious speed).

The shop sells sinful slabs of homemade fudge (locals swear by the cookie-dough variety).

Whether or not you’re a fan of Ted DeGrazia’s much reproduced art, the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is worth a visit: the adobe walls seem to glow in the morning light, and the open-air chapel, built by the artist in the 1950’s, features his colorful murals.

The center consists of a gallery, music studios, crafts studios, and a community theater that recently staged the locally written production of Justa Café.

Seventeen acres of prickles and thorns mean heaven for succulent lovers at this nursery that stocks a vast selection of garden art.

Family-oriented Mission Revival resort in the Santa Catalina foothills with over-the-top amenities, such as a 177-foot waterslide, and a celebrated 27-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course.

The two locations are good sources for warm-weather staples, including slouchy linen pants by Georgie and Warhol-print swimsuits by Diane von Furstenberg.

Guided tours at the Biosphere 2 give families an insider view into the world’s largest glass-enclosed environmental lab—with wilderness zones ranging from lower savanna to tropical, as well as a million-gallon “ocean” viewed from a 40-foot cliff.

Once a fort that marked the northern frontier of New Spain, the 150-year-old Old Town Artisans houses a cluster of charming shops (although the turquoise-jewelry quotient is a little high). The best part: sitting in the courtyard with a prickly-pear margarita.

The property features a zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden all in one venue.

One of the world’s largest telescopes sits atop Mount Hopkins. Amateur astronomers can check out the scaled-down models at the visitors’ center, 10 miles below.

Tour the stunning Mission San Xavier del Bac, also known as the White Dove of the Desert; it’s often cited as the finest intact example of Mission architecture in the Southwest.

Hike the sprawling preserve of mature saguaro stands (found only in the Sonoran Desert). Go to the west side to see petroglyphs left by the Hohokam Indians.