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Tucson, AZ

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Tucson, AZ

We will be in Tucson for a wedding in 2 weeks. What should we definitely see in the 1 day we will have free to do some site seeing? We will have a rental car.

Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: Tucson, AZ

With only one day:

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum early -- opens at 7:00 AM, I think

San Xavier del Bac Mission

If you get a good, early start, drive up Mt. Lemmon in the afternoon.

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Tucson, AZ

You are from Ohio. Number one on your list should be the Spanish Mission at del Bac...this is the real deal. Depending on the day you might also find some Native American handicrafts for sale on tables outside. Don't just look at the products...look at the people and spend a little time talking to them. They have been there a very long time and have some interesting perspectives on life, etc.

tucson az
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3. Re: Tucson, AZ

The primary art of the Tohono O'Odham people who live around the mission and further west is basketry in intricate traditional designs. South of the Mission across the parking lot is a small courtyard of shops where you can find such items. The best prices locally on these items will be found at the Arizona State Museum shop on the Univ. or Arizona campus, at the Desert Museum shop, or in shops in Sells about 60 miles west on the larger part of the tribal lands.

Unfortunately most of the crafts sold on tables typically in the parking lot across from the Mission are not by these people, and are usually "Indian" jewelry from various sources. You will usually find vendors selling "fry bread" which is not really native food of these people but sold for tourists. Ask them what they eat at home.

The Tohono O'Odham people have been around for a long time, as Don says, likely descended from hunter gatherer people of at least 10,000 years in the past. They are very private people.

Edited: 11:11 pm, June 03, 2012
tucson az
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4. Re: Tucson, AZ

The suggestions from Mike are good suggestions. In summer the best time to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is early morning before it gets too hot. It does open at 7 AM, and the animals are active then.

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Tucson, AZ

Yes, the number one craft is basketry. However, you will find deals at the Mission as well as in Sells and a few other places to the west on a very special item that is not as competitively priced in Tucson. These are the miniature horse hair baskets that are exact replicas of the every day baskets but sometimes only one or two inches across. I have been collecting them for years, and they are something you should look for while at the Mission, or for that that matter, anywhere in that area while you are looking for the local native handicrafts.

Edited: 11:38 pm, June 03, 2012
Tucson, Arizona
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6. Re: Tucson, AZ

Have to agree with the Desert Museum. Definitely go early unless you're going to be in Tucson on a Saturday when they have an evening program there.

san francisco
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7. Re: Tucson, AZ

There is no room for debate on this - sorry - if you have one free day to spend in Tucson you are required to go to the Desert Museum. It should be a law (and a refreshingly sane one for AZ).

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Tucson, AZ

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. It sounds like the Desert Museum and the Mission are the places to go. We will definitely hit both of those places along with getting a Sonora Dog.

crookwell
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9. Re: Tucson, AZ

I was in Tucson from the 18/5 to 21/5 unfortunately it was very hot and on the first day I did part of the Desert Museum and part of Old Tucson as I was still suffering the affects of food poisoning after a bad feed in San Antonio and a 18hour train trip, but I loved what I saw in both places and would love to go back one day. I also did Mt Lemmon, Tombstone and a Tucson city tour. All with Reisen Tours which was a great way to travel and see everything. Also a friend took me to Tanque Verde for a beaut lunch and then a run past the White Dove of the Desert Church and the indian reversation next to it. All in all I had a fantastic time in Tucson and would love to go back someday

10. Re: Tucson, AZ

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