In the over 40 years I have spent in the Old Pueblo, I have seen Tucson change and grow to become a world-renowned city. There are international events and exhibits, acclaimed restaurants and eateries, and a vibrant downtown scene.
Maybe that’s why Tucson won an IFEA award and it’s coveted designation as a World City of Festival and Events in 2017. It’s also why we won a UNESCO City of Gastronomy Award. There are so many fun things to do and incredible places to go that it can be hard to know what’s next. I have the answers you seek.
There are also great places to go for you and your entire family, like the Reid Park Zoo or Bearizona. You’re family will learn while exploring the wonder of Tucson’s natural resources. Additionally, we will tell you about the most amazing Tucson Parks you’ve never been to.
There are so many fun things to do and places to go, lets dive right in!
Tucson is chock-full of fun things to do, you just have to know where to look! Some events are year round, while some are seasonal, so it’s important to plan ahead to make the most of your time. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Tucson and when you should go!
Tucson summers are long and hot, just how we like it! The long days make for gorgeous, cool nights, which are perfect for 2nd Saturdays in Downtown Tucson. Take the Light Rail or park at any number of the Downtown Garages to be a part of the action. Catch awesome live performances, eat some delicious food, and enjoy all that Downtown Tucson has to offer!
Did you know that Tucson has the largest celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the United States? In fact, it is the largest celebration of it’s kind, outside of Mexico. Take advantage of our rich cultural heritage by communicating with your ancestors during the All Souls Procession. This is the perfect event for older kids and young adults.
While technically a Fall event, one of my favorite things to do during our frigid Tucson winters is attend the Downtown Tucson Parade of Lights. Meticulously planned each year, this incredible parade illuminated Downtown Tucson in a cascade of ornate lights and decorations. All you have to do is find a cozy corner, warm up with people close to you, and enjoy the show!
Spring in Tucson brings new life to the Old Pueblo. Trees and cacti erupt with gorgeous blossoms as butterflies streak through the air. It’s also a great time to head downtown for the 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair!
Featuring hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors, you are sure to find the perfect gift or decoration at any one of the amazing booths. From traditional art pieces to hard-to-find knick-knacks, the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair has something for everyone!
Don’t forget about all the great places to go in Tucson and the surrounding areas. Whether planning a Stay-Cation or looking for a weekend getaway, there is always somewhere to go in Tucson!
Here is a quick guide so you know where to go throughout the year:
Tucson summers heat up fast, so escape to Mount Lemmon or A Mountain to beat the heat. A Mountain can be a fun hike, but I am partial towards Mount Lemmon. It can almost be a “Day Trip to Cool Heaven” on those 100-degree days.
Round up the kiddies (or puppies) and jump in the car for a scenic cruise just outside of Metro Tucson. You can go sight-seeing or grab a cup of coffee in Summerhaven. It is such a luxury that we have a massive mountain in our backyard for camping and exploration.
The Summer offers prime working months, so I like to get out of the city a bit when Fall rolls around. Darren and I love going to Bearizona and the surrounding area for some amazing camping. We’ve taken Keeley a bunch of times and even kayaked with her, though she has a habit of launching herself in the water at a moments notice.
While there, you owe it to yourself to do the driving tour of Bearizona. It’s a self-guided tour of the flora and fauna that make Arizona so unique!
For those cold winter months, I get a little heat from Agua Caliente Park. It is an adorable little park in Eastern Tucson that is set on a natural hot spring. While the water isn’t very warm and you can’t jump in, there is an expansive park to enjoy and the abundance of water makes it the perfect bird-watching location!
When Spring is in full bloom, there is nothing better than a hike in Sabino Canyon. With expertly manicured trails and lots of scenic lookouts, this is some of the best hiking you can get in the area!
If you go in the Spring, be sure to head over to the waterfall areas. There is nothing like standing under a cool waterfall on a warm day; it is an experience you will never forget. You can also rest at the small pools and gentle streams that feed off the waterfalls.
I’ll See You There
You really can’t go wrong with any of the fun things to do or places to go on this page. In my 40 years in Tucson, I have done it all! Allow me to share my knowledge and appreciation of all that Tucson has to offer with you. Grab a friend, choose an adventure, and I’ll see you there!