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
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
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
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.
Address: 8555 West Tangerine Road, Marana, AZ 85653
Website: Breakers Waterpark
4. Way Out West Ranch
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
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
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
7. Arizona Ultralight Aviation
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
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
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.
Address: 10218 W. Tangerine Rd, Marana, AZ 85654
Website: Disruptive Paintballing
10. Wild Burro Trail
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 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.
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