Established in 1692 by a Spanish Jesuit priest, Tucson is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Today, this historical city is popular year-round, with guest ranches, resorts, health spas, and golf courses. The Tucson area also offers diverse natural and artistic attractions. Hike in the Saguaro National Monument where the honored cacti can grow up to 50 feet tall and live more than 200 years. Visit Old Tucson, the legendary wild west town of Tombstone brings you back to the site of the Earp- Clanton shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.Package Includes:
- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel taxes
- Up to 1,000 bonus miles
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and birdwatching.
Numerous championship courses are available.
Hispanic culture and Wild West history
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Tucson International Airport is located just 10 miles from downtown Tucson.
Transfers are not included with WorldVacations packages. To get to your hotel, a shared van or rental car is the best way to go.
Tucson is a sprawling community, so if you plan on doing some traveling, an air-conditioned car or van rental is the most convenient way to go.
Sun Tran operates buses all over Tucson and will get you in the general area you'd like to go. Fares are just $1.
Historic electric streetcars operate on a track between the Fourth Avenue business district and the University of Arizona.
Many companies offer 4WD tours into the surrounding desert, lasting anywhere from four hours to all day and stressing themes from ghost towns to natural history to Indian petroglyphs and ruins.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Tucson is known as the Mexican Food Capital of the U.S., and is the birthplace of the "chimichanga," a flour tortilla filled with meat or cheese, rolled and deep-fried. Try any of these restaurants to feed your appetite:
El Charro Mexican Cafe
The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family, features traditional Sonoran-style and innovative Tucson-style cuisine.
Café Poca Cosa
Tucson's most creative Mexican restaurant. The menu changes daily, servings are plentiful, and each table gets a stack of warm corn tortillas and a bowl of beans to share.
In Tucson, ranked #1 in food by Zagat, but not the most expensive. This is a perfect place for a quiet dinner with great dishes and a fantastic wine selection.
The casual (and affordable) offshoot to the elegant and adjacent, Janos. Nuevo Latino specialties, convivial social scene, and fabulous margaritas.
A bargain Mexican hideaway and local favorite. No reservations accepted and serves until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Contemporary American dishes will delight your palate in this elegant Tucson eatery. Has a pretty covered patio with views of the mountains.
Tucson, known as Arizona's most cultured city, is one of only a few cities in the United States that is home to a symphony as well as to opera, theater, and ballet companies. Winter is the high season for cultural activities, but the arts are alive and well year-round.
Where should I go shopping?
Much of Tucson's retail activity is focused around malls, but you'll find shops with more character and unique wares in more shopper-friendly areas centered around open plazas: St. Philip's Plaza, Plaza Palomino, Casas Adobes Plaza, and around the junction of Swan Road and Sunrise Drive. Here you can find high-quality leather goods, charro suits for women (silver-buttoned bolero jackets with full riding skirts), Southwest-style jewelry, and artwork.
When are the local events?
For up-to-date information on the goings on in Tucson, pick up the Tucson Weekly, which hits the stands on Thursday, and the Friday Caliente section of the Arizona Daily Star. Here's a listing of some events you may want to check out:
Downtown Saturday Night
First and third Saturday nights of every month. Downtown art-district galleries, studios, and cafés are a buzz of activity from 7pm to 10pm.
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
February. One of the Southwest's largest and most popular shows of its kind attracts enthusiasts from around the world.
Wyatt Earp Days
May. In honor of the Old West's famous lawman, gunfights, a chili cook-off, mock hangings, an 1880s fashion show, street entertainment, dances, and more fill the streets of Tombstone.
Ladybug Elevation Celebration
June. Take the sky ride to the Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir forest, where temperatures range from 55 to 75 degrees, and see the ladybugs emerge from hibernation.
Winter West Fest
December. Old-fashioned holiday celebration with costumed, strolling musicians and carolers, stage shows, storytelling, and shopping.
What are my golf and recreation options?
With so much sunshine and near perfect weather, Tucson is home to many wonderful golf courses. Challenge your skills on a desert golf course, or enjoy a more traditional links-style layout. Play the same courses the PGA pro's do, and experience designs by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Fazio, Tom Weiskopf, and Jack Nicklaus. Customize your clients' vacation with discounted greens fees from WorldVacations. Your clients will gain access to hotel-affiliated golf courses with a stay at select hotels.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Displays the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert with a backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains, plus rated as one of America's 20 best courses by Golf Magazine. Both courses designed by Tom Fazio.
Winds through the inspiring beauty of Esperero Canyon and incorporates massive Whaleback Rock.
One of the most photographed holes west of the Mississippi, #3 plays over 107 yards of cactus and canyons.
The following hotel has use of these courses when the Golf Option is purchased:
- Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
The area surrounding Tucson is perfect for any number of outdoor activities. Take to the hills on the back of a horse or use your own two feet to hike the surrounding area for beautiful desert vistas. Rock climbing and mountain biking are also very popular activities.
If you feel like a short drive, go south and stop at Tubac for a stroll, lunch, and some quirky shopping. Then continue to San Xavier Mission. It is acclaimed by many to be the finest example of mission architecture in the United States. It is a graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine, and late Mexico Renaissance architecture.
At opposite ends of the spectrum, visit the Lost Barrio area, south of Broadway around Park for funky shops with Mexican pottery and furnishings. Fourth Avenue also has trendy, cool shops with items. On the upscale side, visit the very fancy La Encantada shopping mall at the corner of Campbell and Sunrise.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
First revealed to the public in 1999, Kartchner Caverns State Park oversees one of the top ten caves in the world, from a mineralogical standpoint. For a wonderful tour of this cave system, take advantage of a tour guided by the Arizona State Parks Department.
Pima Air and Space Museum
Even if you're not “into” planes, you'll love this amazing museum filled with all sorts of airplanes –– Blue Angels, helicopters, bombers, and even JFK's Air Force One, which you can walk through. The museum is the largest Air & Space Museum in the Western United States.
The canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson's Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. During the winter and summer rainy seasons, pools of water form in rocky outcroppings that wind up among hillsides resplendent with palo verde trees, cholla and prickly pear cactus, and graceful groves of ocotillo. For a delightful way to spend a few hours, take the tram to the top and then walk down.
Good to Know:
|Tucson International Airport
|October - May
|June - August
|Tucson is in the Mountain Time Zone, one hour behind Central Standard Time. Tucson does not adjust for Daylight Savings Time.
|None needed for U.S. citizens.
|15%-20% at restaurants, $1-$2 bellman (per bag) $2-$3 valet (per use) $2-$3 maid (per day).
|Tucson is very casual. Shorts are allowed at most restaurants, except fine dining establishments. Bring a sweater, as some of the evenings in the desert can be quite cool.