Underrated Cities: Exploring Tucson, Arizona

Me next to a ‘Rachel’ sized airplane!

This spring Dan and I hit up Tucson, Arizona for a family Bar Mitzvah. We stayed a few extra days to explore, and we did not regret it! Though it is a fairly small city, Tucson is jam packed with awesome things to do from hiking to breweries to a plane graveyard –> yes it is as cool as it sounds. Here are the places that are MUST VISIT locations on your trip to Tucson!

Pima Air and Space Museum: This place was awesome. It was $16.50 for a day pass (kids between 5-12 are $10 and kids under 4 years old are free). Dan and I went with some other family and I can’t say enough good things about it. They had huge hangars, many of which were themed, that you could wander and explore. The staff and volunteers there were kind and clearly passionate about the planes. They were very willing to tell stories or answer any questions. They had an entire hangar dedicated to the Pacific in WWII including a Japanese fighter pilot. The most fun part thought, was their plane graveyard. They have an unimaginable amount of land that is just planes. You can walk up to them and under them and touch them. They had Blue Angels and B3 Bombers and even an old Air Force 1 Plane. This is a great place to come for kids or adults. We spent about 3 hours there but probably could have stayed longer if we didn’t have an event to get to.

Thunder Canyon Brewstillery: We went here to have dinner and a beer while watching the NBA finals. Both their food and beer was top notch. We even got some of their beer to go for the rest of the trip. If you are looking for a solid place to eat in the downtown area, this is a great option. One block away is the main avenue of restaurants and shops if you want to walk around before or after dinner.

Screamery Ice Cream: This ice cream was delicious. The ‘unique’ factor of this company is all of their dairy is 100% grass fed. Take that as you will, but either way it is absolutely delicious. It was a great stop in downtown Tucson after dinner and walking around for a bit.

Mount Lemmon – Coronado National Forest: Easily the most beautiful drive I have ever done. My favorite part was the transition from desert to forest as you worked your way up the mountain. There were some great stop off points where you could take pictures of the landscape, hike, and explore a bit. When we started our journey it was 95 degrees Fahrenheit and when we got to the top it was 65 degrees. We went up 6,600 feet. It was truly breathtaking. I couldn’t stop staring and I am glad I wasn’t driving because I would have probably gotten so distracted I would have run us right off of the road.

Sabino Canyon – Coronado National Forest: We went to Sabino Canyon on one of our last days in Tucson. You could hike the Canyon or take a tram ride. We decided on the tram ride as we wanted to hear the history of and learn about the canyon. Also, it was HOT down there! We did hike a little bit and did enjoy that. The tram ride was great and we got to see a lot of the canyon in a fairly short time.

Tucson was an amazing city to visit. I am sure there was SO MUCH MORE we could have done, but our time there was definitely worth it. This is a beautiful city where everything seems to be a 15 minute drive. If you are looking for somewhere to go that can hold adventure or relaxation, this is the place to be!


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