The 98-acre Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is home to more than 230 animal species and 1,200 varieties of plants. The museum was founded in 1952 and interprets the natural history of the Sonoran Desert and nearby ecosystems. There are two miles of walking paths that cover 21 acres of desert landscape.
El Tiradito is a popular shrine in the Old Barrio section of Tucson, Ariz. The shrine is said to be the only Catholic shrine in the country that is “dedicated to a sinner buried in unconsecrated ground.” According to one version of the legend, the shrine is dedicated to Juan Oliveras, an 18-year-old ranch hand who apparently had an affair with his mother-in-law. His father-in-law apparently later killed Oliveras. The original shrine dates to 1870, but the current version was apparently built in the 1920s. The shrine was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Mission San Xavier del Bac was built between 1783-1797 in what was then New Spain. San Xavier Mission was established in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, founder of the chain of Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert. A Jesuit of Italian descent, he often visited and preached in the area, then the Pimería Alta colonial territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The mission is an absolutely magnificent example of Spanish Colonial architecture.
Old Tucson is half movie studio, half theme park that is located near the western portion of Saguaro National Park. The studio was built in 1938 by Columbia Pictures to serve as a replica of 1860s Tucson for the movie Arizona. Over the years, dozens of movies have been filmed at the studio, including 1993’s Tombstone. Today, guests can walk the studio’s streets, ride on a miniature train, watch shows and see how gunfights are filmed.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the world’s largest aerospace museums. The museum is home to roughly 300 aircraft displayed across more than 80 acres.
Tucson, AZ 85701
The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block’s mission is Connecting Art to Life. The Museum was founded 1924 in the El Presidio Historic District of downtown Tucson. It is Southern Arizona’s premier presenter of fine art and art education programs. The Museum features permanent and traveling exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary, Native American, American West, Latin American, and Asian art. The 74,000 square foot Museum offers tours of exhibits, public education programs, and studio art classes. The main Museum occupies a contemporary building. The Museum’s Historic Block of 19th and 20th C. adobe and Mission Revival-style buildings, encompassing an entire four-acre city block, includes the John K. Goodman Pavilion of Western Art, which displays the Museum’s notable art of the American West collection, the Museum restaurant Café a la C’Art, and other exhibition and studio spaces.