10 Best Things To Do Over The Weekend In Tucson, Arizona

things to do in tucson this weekend

Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix, and is home to the University of Arizona. The city is located north of the US-Mexico border and is heavily influenced by the desert region in which it stands. The name Tucson comes from the Spanish language derived from the O'odham Cuk Ṣon, which means ‘at the foot of the black mountain’. It refers to the basalt-covered hill today known as Sentinel Peak. On a visit to Tucson, expect to find beautiful architecture, vast green gardens, desert flora and fauna, vibrant arts scene, colorful murals, and Spanish-Indian inspired culture. If you are planning a trip, here is the list of the best things to do over the weekend in Tucson, Arizona.

1. Take a mural walk along Tucson's downtown

If you love murals, you will definitely love Tucson. Its streets are filled with all sorts of murals, from the tranquil lady on Fourth Avenue near Eighth Street to the El Rio Neighborhood Center murals, to the colorful Piñata mural near Sixth Avenue and Congress Street, and to the Skeleton mural on the corner of Sixth and Toole Avenue. Every mural is unique and has a story to tell. Take a mural walk through the streets of Tucson’s downtown area.

Downtown Tucson

Address: Downtown Tucson, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona

Website: Downtown Tucson

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

2. Enjoy the shows at Club Congress

Tonight's gonna be a fun one! Nanami Ozone will be joined by Lenguas Largas, Mute Swan, and Soft Sweater (El Paso, TX) for a free show on our Club stage!

Posted by club congress on Friday, 19 July 2019

The historic Hotel Congress is the place to go for local bands and DJs on a Friday night. From game shows to jazz music, storytelling sessions to disco nights, a sabbath to music album launches, rock shows to comedy talk shows and rap shows, they have it all.

Club Congress

Address: 311 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701

Website: Club Congress

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 2am; Sat - Sun: 10am - 2am

3. Explore Tohono Chul Park

Tohono Chul, derived from the language of the Tohono O’odham, the indigenous people of southern Arizona, means “desert corner”. Tohono Chul Park is a 49-acres (19.8 hectares) botanical garden, cultural museum, and nature preserve. With the Santa Catalina Mountains in the background, the park is a beautiful place. You can spend an afternoon here checking out its wildlife like birds, bobcats, and the reptilian Gila monsters, and other exhibitions.

Tohono Chul Park

Address: 7366 N Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704

Website: Tohono Chul Park

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD (adults); 3 USD (children 5-12 years); 8 USD (senior 62+)

4. Learn all about aerospace at the Pima Air & Space Museum

Our Focke-Wulf Fw 44J Stieglitz was hanging from the ceiling in Hangar 3. Here it is back on the ground in our restoration hangar.

Posted by Pima Air and Space on Monday, 22 July 2019

The Pima Air & Space Museum covers 100 years of USA’s aviation history. It exhibits commercial, private, civil and military aircraft and is one of the largest non-government funded aerospace museums in the world. It is home to over 300 aircraft and 125,000 artifacts and attracts over 170,000 visitors annually. You can also bring your leashed pet during the tour.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Address: 6000 E. Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85756

Website: Pima Air & Space Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 15.50 USD (adults 13+); 9 USD (children 7-12)

5. Get a bird's eye view from the Sentinel Peak

Sentinel Peak, measuring 2,897 feet (883 m), is part of the largest natural resource park in the City of Tucson. It is a great place for hiking and trekking. Its Gilbert Escandón Jiménez trail winds through the Sonoran Desert terrain and serves up the beautiful views of the nearby Tumamoc Hill, the downtown Tucson skyline and that of the peak. You will find a 160-feet-tall (49 meters) block “A” close to its summit, which is why it is also called the “A” Mountain. This was constructed, using local basalt rock, by the students of The University of Arizona back in 1915 and can be seen from various parts of the downtown area.

Sentinel Peak

Address: Tucson Mountains, southwest of downtown Tucson, Arizona

Website: Sentinel Peak

6. Explore movie sets at Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios is a great place for a family day-trip. This studio has been the set for hundreds of Hollywood productions, including ‘Arizona’, 'Gunfight at the OK Corral’ and 'Rio Bravo’. Explore the theme park where you come face-to-face with gunslingers, discover how movie stunts are performed, experience live stunt shows and gunfights, walk through the movie sets, enjoy family rides, and have some good food.

Old Tucson Studios

Address: 201 Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85735

Website: Old Tucson Studios

Opening hours: Fri: 4pm - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

Price: 19.95 USD (adult); 10.95 USD (child aged 4-11)

7. Go stargazing at Kitt Peak National Observatory

things to do in tucson this weekend | go stargazing at kitt peak national observatory
Source: lorigraceaz on Instagram

With 22 optical and two radio telescopes, Arizona’s Kitt Peak Observatory is home to one of the largest arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world. Located at 2,096 meters (6,877 feet) altitude, on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains, the observatory offers a perfect sightline to the stars. They provide day-time guided tours and a variety of stargazing programs in the evening when you can gaze at the stars, planets and other astronomical points of significance.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Address: Tucson, AZ 85634, USA

Website: Kitt Peak National Observatory

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

8. Watch a movie at the Foothills Mall

Have you been to the AMC Theaters at Foothills Mall lately? The new remodeled theaters with the leather recliners are now open.

Posted by Bourn Companies on Monday, 23 October 2017

This indoor mall features eight restaurants, a 15-screen theatre complex at the AMC Loews Theatres, and retail shops such as Applebee’s, Bath and Body Works, American Eagle Outfitters and Outback Steakhouse. With over 90 stores and about 700,000 square feet (65032 square meters) of retail area, Foothills Mall has is a great place to be with family. You could eat at one of its restaurants, or watch a movie, or go shopping.

Foothills Mall

Address: 7401 N La Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85741-2308

Website: Foothills Mall

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm

9. Check out the art exhibition at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Art gallery in the middle of the desert? Yes, you read it right. Tuscon is home to a beautiful art gallery, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. Housed in Tuscon’s historic district, the art gallery is where Ted DeGrazia’s unique southwestern paintings and other art creations are displayed. Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia was a struggling, ignored artist whose art and art ‘gallery’ later got listed on the National Historic Registry as a historic district. The adobe buildings with floor inset made of the rounds of cholla cactus, and the beautiful courtyard garden featuring wild cactus, a fountain and water lilies exhibit rustic energy. Visitors can also explore the area and the various buildings such as a ceramics studio, a ghost house, a nun’s house, and many more

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Address: 6300 N Swan Rd, Tucson, AZ 85718

Website: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

Price: 8 USD (adults), 5 USD (Child aged 12-18)

10. Tour the botanical gardens at the Sonoran Desert Museum (from USD 22.0)

This 5.5-acres (2.2 hectares) urban oasis, founded in 1931, comprises of 17 individual themed gardens, including Reception Garden, Herb Garden, Wildflower Garden, Cactus, and Succulent Garden Native American Crops Garden, Historical Garden, Butterfly Garden, Backyard Bird Garden Shade Garden, Sensory Garden, and Zen Garden. The garden offers free admission on the second Tuesday of every month. So if you intend to extend your weekend break and go about doing things for free, then you could surely drop by.

Skip the Line: General Admission Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Ticket

Duration: 1 to 3 hours

A weekend at Tucson exploring desert, hills and gardens

Downtown Tucson Arizona
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Simeon87 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tucson has a lot to offer and is an amazing destination for a weekend trip. Go ahead and make your reservations today and have a great time with your family and friends.

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

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