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Why fly to Tucson?
The skyscrapers sit in a landscape of cacti and sweet golden sand where scorpions and tarantulas play merrily. Tuscon sits in the Sonora Desert and is flanked by a set of mountain ranges.
Here you will find golfers taking in a round at some of the most scenic courses in the country and stargazers enjoying the clear night sky as the city has enforced strict bans to eliminate light pollution.
To get a little close and personal with the Tuscon Mountains you can head toward the west of the city. For a nice hike head to the King Canyon Trail. This 1930s trekking spot provides natural relaxation and there are some great spots for picnicking. You can stop part way or hike it up to the top of the Tuscon Mountains for a fantastic view.
If you only check out one museum while you're in Tuscon you should head to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This museum is very much alive with all sorts of species calling the large area home. The museum is composed of a natural history museum and you can walk through desert trails and discover the region's natural history. The site also has a zoo and acquarium.
Within the city itself there are a host of things to do whether it's the downtown arts and entertainment district or dining and shopping. You can find everything from country bars to sushi joints and of course some delicious Mexican fusion cuisine that will leave the taste of Tuscon firmly implanted in your taste buds.
You can check out some of the cities oldest and most renowned buildings in the center core like the Fox Theater or head to one of the oldest neighborhoods like El Presidio for a taste of old Tuscon.
Some of the best shopping is close to the University of Arizona and boasts hip shops selling unique and locally-crafted merchandise.
An interesting trend in Tuscon shopping is its recent boom as a thrift-store lovers paradise. And not just any thrift stores but rather it has become a destination destination for uber fashionistas. The city is peppered with thrift stores carrying fantastic deals on designer goods that are hard to come by anywhere else.
Although it's a thrift store haven, Tuscon is also where one of the largest annual gem and mineral shows is held. At the end of January, movers and shakers in the business begin to flood the city and this mineral and gem bonanza goes right through to the middle of February, turning the city into a glittery buzz of parties and gem trading.
Tucson is an interesting mix of outdoorsy, yet slick and also quite homey when you visit one of the many family-run restaurants. You'll love the city and you will absolutely never forget the site of the desert and mountain matrimony that creates the backdrop for it all.
Tuscon has cook-your-bacon-and-eggs-on-the-car-hood kind of weather through most of the year. The summer months easily blast upward into the high 30s. The fall cool-down means a slide into the mid teens in the evenings while winter months slip into the low 10s at night but can be in the high teens in the afternoons. Tuscon gets some rain throughout the year but the bulk of it arrives during monsoon season in July and August, which has caused some flooding in the past.
When to fly to Tucson
The winter months are a popular time to visit Tucson as large swathes of the US are very cold at this time. The balmy temperatures are great for desert exploration and hikes as well as golfing. Flight ticket prices from December to February can be far higher than at other times of the year.
The sleep-inducing heat of the summer as well as the heavy rains tend to scare off tourists which means flight ticket prices drop to an all-time low. If you book a flight ticket from June to September you can find yourself a deal and enjoy some of city's great indoor amenities on those rainy days.
Getting into Tucson
Your portal into Tuscon opens up at the Tuscan International Airport which sits just 20 minutes outside of the city center. Before you book a hotel, check to see if they provide complimentary shuttles from the airport as a number of facilities do. If your hotel does not provide a shuttle than you can use the van service and share the cost of travel with your fellow passengers. Alternatively, the public transit buses also have a stop at the airport or head to the lower level of the airport and outside you will find line-up of taxis.
Getting around Tucson
Tuscon has a great public bus service that can get you around most parts of the city. Additionally the quaint old trolley serves the city center where many of the things you will want to see are located. Additionally, taxi service is also an option.
- Visit the Pima Air and Space Museum to learn about all sorts of military aircraft that have retired in Tuscon. Your guides can tell you all about the specs of some of the genius flyers like the spy planes.
- If you are a fan of Ansel Adams work you will want to head to the Center for Creative Photography, which is housed at the University of Arizona campus. You will find new exhibits as well as work by other important photographers like Edward Weston.
- For some great souvenir shopping that is local and and really not touristy at all, head to Plaza Palomino. The shopping center has some great local and handmade jewelry among other crafty items.
- Go stargazing at Kitt Peak National Observatory and see what stars look like in a city that has made a strong effort to reduce man-made light.
- Compare flights to Tucson from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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