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Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

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london
posts: 25
reviews: 10
Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

We are planning a 2 week holiday to northern Florida and Arizona. We fly in to Phoenix for the second half of our trip and were thinking of doing a one night detour to Tucson before heading to Sedona then Grand Canyon. This is primarily because my husband wants to visit the "boneyard" aircraft museum. We will get to Tucson pretty late and then just head to the museum the next morning so just need somewhere convenient to the I10 motorway I guess. Any hotel suggestions very welcome. Happy to spend around $150 but I guess we may not need to spend that much? Also are we missing out by not seeing downtown Tucson? We have 3 nights scheduled for Sedona after that so could spend 2 nights in Tucson and 2 inSedona?

Thanks very much in advance for your help, In case it helps we are early 30s couple, no kids.

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 5,376
reviews: 99
1. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

No, you do not need to spend that much. It would definitely be best to spend two nights in Tucson to give you a full day. I know you're excited about the Air & Space Museum, but you really should make an effort to visit the Desert Museum as well. It's not just a museum: it's a botanical garden, zoo, aviary, mineral museum and reptile center.

Staying near I-10 is a good idea. I would actually push you to some of the airport hotels, even though they're not well positioned for restaurants and nightlife (Tucson has a great nightlife). They are close to I-10 and are very reasonably priced for what you get. The Hyatt Place, Hilton Garden (stayed here last time; they have a lazy river in their pool), Comfort Suites, Fairfield and a few others would be good and very much in your price range.

Be sure you reserve your boneyard tour in advance and read the restrictions on what can and cannot be brought along. http://www.pimaair.org/view.php?pg=16

If you need nightlife suggestions, please let me know. Always happy to push the Downtown bars, particularly since I'm close to your age.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
posts: 3,680
reviews: 61
2. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

Parking is usually insecure along the motel "strip" just West of central Tucson... Make sure you have followed the I-10 East, at least 3 to 4 miles, before selecting lodging... carracar

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 2,680
reviews: 69
3. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

I agree with colin. It would be a shame to come to Tucson just to do the boneyard tour and then turn around and head back north to Sedona. If you're going to make the trip south I would also make sure to include the Desert Museum. You could do that and the boneyard tour in one day and then head back north to Sedona, but it will get you into Sedona pretty late. If you wanted to stay an extra night in Tucson, I'd suggest checking out the hotels in the I-10/Cortaro Farms area in NW Tucson. That will put you closer to Phoenix both coming to Tucson and then heading back north and there are quite a few good dining options in that area as well.

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
posts: 12,746
reviews: 60
4. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

There are few hotels in the area carracar describes, and aren't ones where you would want to stay. The closest hotels to Pima Air and Space Museum would be at the airport. There are many from which to choose. Time of year will affect the cost of lodging. When is your trip?

The "Boneyard" is not a museum. It is a storage area at Davis Monthan Air Force Base for aircraft out of service. The only way you can see it up close is to take a tour from the Pima Air and Space Museum. You will also want to visit the aircraft displays at the museum.

Edited: 8:05 pm, January 13, 2013
london
posts: 25
reviews: 10
5. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

Thank you so very much for your replies! We will be there in early May so hopefully warm but not too sweltering! Thanks for the hotel tips, the Hyatt and the Hilton look to be just perfect. We land into Phoenix at 6.40 so I guess we will be on our way south by 7.30pm, so arriving Tucson by 9.30. Would we be better stopping for dinner on route or to eat at the hotel when we get there? I will look into the desert museum as it sounds great! Thank you again so much.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
posts: 3,680
reviews: 61
6. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

If you are really hungry... there is a Golden Corral buffet, just West of the free way near Casa Grande... carracar

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 5,376
reviews: 99
7. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

It's sad, but Golden Corral isn't a bad suggestion for Casa Grande. I usually opt for In n' Out there. There's just not many good restaurants between Phoenix and Tucson.

If you can wait until you get close to Tucson, there are some really good Mexican restaurants you could hit for a late dinner. You won't find better Mexican food anywhere in the country. Mosaic Cafe is about a mile west of I-10 on Grant Road. There are also several restaurants just north of I-10 on 4th Avenue (6th Avenue exit) that are excellent, including Crossroads Cafe. There are also a number of good restaurants Downtown, which is just off I-10. Most there stay open fairly late.

Hotel restaurants in the US are rarely good. I've eaten at a couple of the hotel restaurants by the airport and they were both pretty bad.

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
posts: 12,746
reviews: 60
8. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

When you reach the Casa Grande exits, you will see the Promenade shopping center to the left on the east side of the freeway at Florence Blvd. There is a large selection, and you will not have to settle for a Golden Corral buffet, even though they have improved a great deal recently in terms of their offerings.

Union, Oregon
posts: 3,800
reviews: 262
9. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites at 231 S. Wilmot Road. Very close to the air museum and close to many restaurants. You need the better part of a day to see the whole air museum and boneyard. It is definately worth taking the time. See my review of the Hampton Inn.

Edited: 11:20 pm, January 20, 2013
10. Re: Night in Tucson to visit aircraft museum - hotels?

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