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Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

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Zaltbommel, The...
posts: 33
reviews: 259
Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

We wil be visiting the south west again this year and wil stay 5 nights in a hotel in NE Tucson (near Marana) I would like to know if our plans aren't to one sided. Or you think we miss something that cannot be missed.

(we= 2 adults in their fourties visiting from the Netherlands)

Day 1:

* Walk old town and barrio historic district of Tucson. visit transportation museum

* Get the tram in Sabino Canyon and walk the way back

* play a round of mini golf

* have dinner in Trail Dust Town.

Day 2: (Sahuarita area)

* Titan Missile museum visit

* Visit Arsaco mineral center, tour

* take a look at the Telles Family shrine

* visit a casino

Day 3:

* Visit Old Tucson Studio's for the second time. Is it still fun ?

Day 4:

* Visit Pima air & Space museum incl. the plane bone yard.

Can we spend a full day here ?

I have Kitt Peak observatory in mind as well but don't understand if from their website is we can tour the premise our selves without a tour appointment.

Is Fort Lowell worth a visit ?

Bisbee, Tombstone, Douglas, Willcox, etc we've seen those in previous trips. (yeah, we spoiled !)

Hope you all can help me make sure we have a nice vacation in Tuscon again.

Thanking you in advance of all your kind replies.

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 5,528
reviews: 99
1. Re: Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

Marana is northwest of Tucson.

You're missing the Desert Museum, which is really the must-see attraction in the area. Even if you've been, it is nice going back. You're also missing Mission San Xavier, which is worth seeing.

You may want to consider adding Tubac and Tumacacori to Day 2, just because I don't think what you have planned will fill up a full day. And, of course, that would be a good day to visit Mission San Xavier.

Old Tucson Studios is geared more toward kids. But if you enjoyed it before, then you would probably enjoy it again. I know that last summer, they closed for the season, and they may do that again, so it depends on when you're coming.

You will not fill a full day at the Pima Air & Space Museum. You may want to consider starting the day at Kartchner Caverns, just southeast of the city, for a morning tour, then visiting the museum. If you would like to tour the Boneyard, you will likely want to go there first, when they open, so that you can get a good spot on a tour (http://www.pimaair.org/view.php?pg=16).

Kitt Peak can be toured during the day. You can drive up and there are several buildings you can visit. This is free. There is also the night observation program (http://www.noao.edu/noao/pio/pop/) which you would need to reserve in advance and does cost money. There is a similar program at Mount Lemmon, but they're not open to the public during the day.

Fort Lowell is a public park and some ruins. There's really not much to it. If you're interested in frontier history, I would suggest you visit the Arizona Historical Society museum near the University of Arizona campus.

Hope that helps.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 2,722
reviews: 82
2. Re: Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

colin, as usual, has given you some really good advice. In particular, I would agree that you don't want to miss the Desert Museum.

It's not clear from your post when you're coming and a lot of recommendations would be based on that.

If you are interested in astronomy I would highly recommend the Sky Nights program at the University of Arizona Observatory on Mt. Lemmon. We've been twice an will definitely be returning again. The program is in the evening so you could still do other activities earlier in the day. If you're coming when the weather is warmer, you could even spend part of the day on Mt. Lemmon as a respite from the heat.

Union, Oregon
posts: 3,805
reviews: 262
3. Re: Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

If you are in to airplanes you can definately spend most all of a day at the Pima Air Museum and boneyard. We arrived when they opened and left at 3:30pm. Excellent museum and tour. We went to Old Tucson and really enjoyed it there, probably only a few hours to see it all, unless they are filming a movie!! After doing Old Tucson we drove down the road a little ways further and drove through Saguaro National Park West. It was beautiful. Also have dinner at El Corral Steak House on River Road. They have the best steaks, great service and rustic atmosphere.

Edited: 10:54 pm, March 12, 2013
4. Re: Third visit to Tucson area, our itinerary not to one sided ?

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