The Tucson Area
The Tucson Area Travel Guide
Jet-setters' way station
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.
The University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography houses a blue-chip collection of more than 2,225 photographers, including Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, and W. Eugene Smith; it’s also got a great museum store.
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).
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 museum offers tours of the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where thousands of old aircraft are mothballed.
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 property features a zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden all in one venue.