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10 Best Things To Do In Marana, Arizona

things to do in marana arizona

Marana, Arizona is a must-see city in the American southwest. Shopping, hiking and pristine golf courses are waiting for you out in the desert. Be sure to visit here if you are staying in the Tucson area. A brand new outlet mall just opened, and there are plenty of trails and historic sites to explore. Read on to learn more about the best things to do in the area!

1. Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joe Parks used under CC BY 2.0

If you are in the Tucson/Marana area of Arizona there’s a good chance you’re there to check out one of the best national parks in all of the US: Saguaro National Park. It gets really hot out in the desert, so be sure to lather up with plenty of sunscreen. There are two visitor centers - one on the east side of the park and one on the west. Here you can learn about the famous cacti which give the park its name, and you can sign up for a guided tour with a Park Ranger.

Saguaro National Park

Address: Rincon Mountain District (EAST): 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730

Website: Saguaro National Park

2. Tortolita Mountains hiking

Wild Mustang Trail
Source: Photo by Flickr user Laurenellen McCann used under CC BY 2.0

A hike in the Tortolita Mountains will really will take your breath away, but thankfully only figuratively. The Honeybee Canyon trail is a good choice even for newbies. You’ll get a chance to check out cacti, rock formations and a dry riverbed during this leisurely 2 mile (3.2 km) hike. The Southern Arizona Hiking club offers guided hikes.

Tortolita Mountains hiking trails

Address: 14810 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ

Website: Tortolita Mountains

3. Breakers Waterpark

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maddox121 ForgotH... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Whoever had the bright idea to build a super fun waterpark in the middle of the desert must be rolling in the dough. Breakers Waterpark is an extremely fun place to visit for families. A 2017 season pass is only 40 USD, which makes this one of the more affordable things to do in Marana. Waterslides like the Bonzai Pipeline and Splash Canyon will excite visitors.

Breakers Waterpark

Address: 8555 West Tangerine Road, Marana, AZ 85653

Website: Breakers Waterpark

4. Way Out West Ranch

Dehesa Boyal. Bollullos Par del Condado (Huelva)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Curiosidad~common... used under CC BY-SA 2.5

If you want a more tranquil trip through the desert trails then the Way Out Ranch is worth a visit. Instead of walking hours on foot you can enjoy a peaceful horseback ride. You’ll feel like a real cowboy as you take in the picturesque views. Animal lovers will be happy to hear that all the horses on the ranch are rescue horses.

Way Out West Ranch

Address: 38612 S Mule Deer Road, Marana, AZ

5. Catalina Brewing Company

1516 Brewing Company - Bar 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Kranewitter used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

A nice craft beer is a welcome respite from the scorching Arizona heat. Catalina Brewing Company is right next to Marana in Tucson. All the beers are made from local ingredients like prickly pear cactus or agave. Food trucks regularly stop by the bar, so enjoy some delicious snacks while you enjoy a cold pint.

Catalina Brewing Company

Address: 6918 N Camino Martin #120, Tucson, AZ 85741

Website: Catalina Brewing Company

6. Ritz Carlton Golf Course Dove Mountain

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Arizona and golfing go together like mac and cheese. There are so many wonderful courses for golfers to check out, but the one that you must visit is the Ritz Carlton Golf Course Dove Mountain. It’s a challenging course, but it’s worth visiting even if you are an inexperienced golfer. This course is also a former PGA stop.

Ritz Carlton Golf Course Dove Mountain

Address: 15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ 85658

Website: Ritz Carlton Golf Course Dove Mountain

7. Arizona Ultralight Aviation

Airline Training Center Arizona Inc. GROB-WERKE G 120A N865AF (4366206396)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tomás Del Coro used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Marana area has such pristine views that perhaps an aerial tour is in order. The pilots that take you up in their small planes also make excellent tour guides. They are experts when it comes to the history and geography of Marana. Lessons are also available and prices start as low as 45 USD. One day you might be able to fly over beautiful Marana all by yourself.

Arizona Ultralight Aviation

Address: 4901 N. Axtell Ave., Marana, AZ 85653

Website: Arizona Ultralight Aviation

8. El Rio Preserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This pristine oasis of water in the middle of the desert is a must-visit for nature lovers. It is a birdwatcher’s dream, and the waters offer a relaxing and tranquil experience. It’s easily accessible and a nice respite from a busy day of sightseeing. It’s a popular destination for disc golfers, so you might be able to join in a game.

El Rio Preserve

Address: 10190 N Coachline Boulevard, Marana, AZ 85743

Website: El Rio Preserve

9. Disruptive Paintballing

Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Is there anything cooler and more exciting than paintball? Probably not. Disruptive Paintballing in Marana is a great place for you and your buddies to hang out and have some fun. It’s very affordable at just 20 USD, but the paint costs extra. The price is 30 USD if you need to rent equipment. This is also a fun excursion for families.

Disruptive Paintballing

Address: 10218 W. Tangerine Rd, Marana, AZ 85654

Website: Disruptive Paintballing

10. Wild Burro Trail

Horseback Riding
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user D Joseph Height used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

You can go hiking or experience the national park system in southwest Arizona on horseback. There are so many options to explore this amazing location, but one trail that is not to be missed is the Wild Burro Trail. If you stay at the Ritz Carlton that’s perfect because this trail starts right in the parking lot of this luxury hotel. This is just another fantastic way to experience the phenomenal Tortolita Mountains. Guides are available and they are extremely knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to teaching visitors about the Sonoran desert.

Wild Burro Trail

Address: 14810 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ

Website: Wild Burro Trail

Experience nature in Marana

Marana AZ
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Hunnicutt II used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Marana is a great place to visit for nature lovers. The national parks and hiking opportunities give visitors a chance to experience one of the most interesting ecosystems in the United States. You can relax with a cold one, enjoy some world-class golf, or satisfy your urge for some thrill seeking. There is so much to do here.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Rob Cramer is a Canadian writer and travel enthusiast who loves to sample exotic food from all over the world. He spends most of his time traveling throughout Asia sampling bizarre delicacies like...Read more

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