Explore Tucson’s Sabino Canyon via Sabino Canyon Shuttle Tours

Explore one of Tucson’s most popular hiking destinations, Sabino Canyon, without setting foot on a trail. The Sabino Canyon Crawler offers shuttle tours through the wonders of Sabino Canyon, located on the northeastern edge of Tucson in the Coronado National Forest.

The electric shuttle journey begins at the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Visitor Center and accommodates up to 60 passengers on one of two tours. The Sabino Canyon Tour is a 7.4-mile one-hour round trip hop-on, hop-off experience, offering places to hop out and explore the canyon. From here, guests can choose to continue on foot to the Visitor Center or show their ticket to get back on the shuttle at designated stops.

The Bear Canyon Tour is a 30-minute two-mile tram ride with three stops where hikers can access trails, including the popular Seven Falls trailhead. The moderate to difficult hike to see the intermittent series of waterfalls is 8.4 miles round trip from the Visitor Center, which is shortened with a ride on the shuttle.

No matter which tour you choose, you can learn about Sabino Canyon along the way. Using earbuds, you can hear the recorded narration in English or Spanish about how the canyon was formed, fascinating historical and cultural insights, the diverse flora and fauna, including coyotes, mountain lions, hawks, rattlesnakes, hummingbirds, and lizards.

Taste Sri Lanken Food and Fusion at The Curry Pot

By Stacey Gregory

Discover international flavors from The Curry Pot, a family-owned and operated food truck serving dishes inspired by Sri Lanka, an Indian Ocean island influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Indian, Arab, Malay, and Moor cultures. The closest Amjaad (AJ) and Shuhana (Shu) Jhan could find Sri Lankan food was Texas or California, so they started The Curry Pot food truck in 2016.

“One amazing thing about Tucson is there’s a lot of variety, and there’s a lot of people who like to try different dishes and new things,” said AJ. “One of our regular customers said if Indian and Thai food had a baby, that’s what we serve. We also have a fusion menu with curry quesadillas and curry fries.”

AJ makes all the chicken and meat curries and other sides, while Shu creates all the vegetarian curries, samosas, and other menu items. Their vegetarian dishes are vegan because they use coconut milk instead of yogurt or dairy products. The most popular dishes on the menu are the chicken curry bowl and the beef or vegan samosas, and vegan side dishes. Plus, all of their rice and curries are gluten-free. Kids can order cheese quesadillas or cheesy fries and everyone will want dessert.

“There’s a misconception that all of our food is spicy. Our curries are actually about a four out of ten on the spiciness meter,” said AJ. “Some brave souls want to go up to ten, and we can make that too. Our mildest dish is the curry quesadilla, the cheese tones down the spice. We also offer free samples.”

You can find The Curry Pot every Thursday night at Casa Video and Film Bar and various locations on Saturday and Sunday; the schedule is posted on social media and their website.

Dapper Barber Studio

Southwest Style & Beauty

By Stacey Gregory

Gabe Guzzo and Rene Contreras took a leap of faith and teamed up right as the pandemic began to open Dapper Barber Studio. The barbers’ risk paid off as the 12-seat barbershop thrives, offering services to men and women of all ages. Stop in the family-oriented barbershop for the royal treatment, with services including hot towel shaves, steam facials, black mask peel-off facials, and eyebrow treatments. Haircuts range from trims to designs to the best fade in Tucson.

Beard trims and eyebrow sculpting round out the services. To keep looking fresh, the studio offers a full range of hair, skin, and beard products to take home, including the exclusive Dapper Don’s hair pomade, texture powder, beard oil, and beard balm. 1980 W. River Rd, Ste. 120, 520-638-8243

Cheers to Beers at 1912 Brewing

By Stacey Gregory

Tucsonans love beer, especially locally crafted concoctions. Arizona pride is evident from the very start at the 1912 Brewery, named after the year Arizona became a state. What began in Tucson natives Alicia and Allan Conger’s garage is now an award-winning brewery and taproom that pays homage to the military.

Allan served ten years in the Marine Corps and purposefully created a community for veterans and craft beer enthusiasts where military flags hang from the ceiling and visitors can pre-purchase a pint for a veteran. You can choose from more than 20 beer styles on tap, including blondes, red ales, India pale ales, sours, goses, stouts, and barrel-aged beers, served at the copper bar. Some standout 1912 craft brews are a fusion of Alicia’s Hispanic culture, local Tucson ingredients, and Allan’s military background with names like Ta Weno (Mexican amber) and Weapons Check (Irish red ale).

Yet 1912 Brewing is most known for its acidic and tart sours and goses, from the heavily fruited and sweet Baya Gose to the dry and smooth Oeste with flavors indicative of Tucson. There are even Mexican candy goses such as the 1912 Sandia Loca Gose with sweet notes of watermelon that expand into smooth notes of chamoy and tamarindo with kisses of chili.

“We use local ingredients in our beers, showcase local beer and wine, and support local charities and artists, including painters, photographers, musicians, and the talented group of Tucson food trucks,” said Allan. “We also work with various veteran organizations to bring people together and to give back to combat veteran suicides.”

Beyond brews, the menu features wine, cider, and mead from Superstition Meadery. You won’t have to go far for snacks either, with pizza, salad, popcorn, and locally made chips and salsa on hand, plus a rotation of food trucks offering different tastes of Tucson. You can also pick up Jim’s Jarhead Jerky and support a veteran-owned small business.

El Be Goods

Southwest Style & Beauty

By Stacey Gregory

Feel good about what you buy and who you get it from at El Be Goods. This women-owned, women-run boutique offers sustainable, ethically sourced, and fair-traded apparel, accessories, home goods, beauty products, novelties, paper products, and more, with a selection of local Tucson and handmade goods as well.

“The vision of El Be Goods is to prioritize the importance of and introduce people to slow fashion. You can get sustainable fashion at an approachable price here,” said shop owner Laura Stupar.

She opened the boutique almost four years ago. While she has traveled all around, her roots are in Tucson, so she used her background in fashion to create a safe, community-driven shop. In addition to the brick-and-mortar store, you can find El Be Goods at charity events and community partnerships like the pop-up shops hosted in the Royal Room twice a year.

“We focus on making connections with people. It’s not just about converting the transaction or ringing somebody up. It’s about making personal connections with each person that comes in, whether they purchase or not, and sparking those connections.” 160 S. Avenida Del Convento, 520-372-2336

Meet the Artist: Lisa Cardenas

By Stacey Gregory

Tucson native Lisa Cardenas is best known around town as an award-winning tattoo artist, yet there’s more to the successful business owner. She’s a self-proclaimed art nerd and hardcore crafter who values social justice and elevates other artists.

Her journey to tattooing started through art. Growing up, she took art classes in school, with a dream as a teen to be an animator. She got her degree at The University of Arizona and moved out to LA, where she discovered a lifestyle that wasn’t quite right for her. So she returned to Tucson and started tattooing in 2008.

 

“I started tattooing because I really missed my desert home and it seemed like that was the only serious art career I could pursue in Tucson,” she said. “I landed an apprenticeship at Red Sky Studio and realized quickly that this was a very fulfilling art career.”

In her third year of tattooing, Cardenas opened Haunted Hands Studio, a small shop downtown, working solo before moving to the Metal Arts Village on Fort Lowell and Dodge. Here, she found someone to share the space with and realized she wanted to work with other artists again.

“I realized I missed working with other tattoo artists, so that was when I started hiring a couple more people,” said Cardenas. “I eventually found this place and set it up so that I could have resident artists and have room for guest artists.”

Cardenas signed the lease on her current space at 6th and 6th right when the pandemic began. While the timing was not ideal, she used it to transition, tattooing at the Metal Arts Village while she created the perfect space adorned with her personal touches.

“I wanted to create a unique space that didn’t feel like an average tattoo shop,” she said.

The two-story space features a desertscape wall mural she painted that ascends to the second floor–the sun on the mural is a vintage light fixture she made. The front desk she crafted from a bowling lane and some scrap wood, and hanging overhead is an impressive vintage lamp chandelier she built over six months while the world shut down.

“I collect vintage lamps at estate sales. I knew I wanted to hang them up there; I just didn’t know how,” said Cardenas. “I found a table, flipped it upside down, and wired everything together. It took four people to hoist it up there. Then I hung all the lamps and wired it together myself.”

Haunted Hands Studio has four artist booths plus a guest artist booth. There’s also a boutique-style shop on the first floor where local Tucson creators can sell their wares, including macrame, candles, jewelry, t-shirts, paintings, and illustrations. Many of the wares feature strong women-empowerment messages, something Cardenas feels especially proud of.

“We want to be an ally to any marginalized community. Artists see those sides of society and sympathize, whether because we’re part of it or just want to support our fellow weirdos,” she said. “I want to do my part, and I feel being a woman helps with that. I feel strength in that. It inspires me to do more, and it permeates my artwork. The fact that it speaks to other people and helps other people feel empowered; that’s a really big deal for me.”

Haunted Hands is open by appointment only, and Cardenas has plans to open the studio for shopping and hopes to host curated art exhibits.

Brewer Allan Conger

The people of Southern Arizona put their spin on places to visit.

By Stacey Gregory

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Allan Conger spent ten years in the Marine Corps before finding his way back to the Old Pueblo, attending The University of Arizona, and meeting and marrying Alicia, a Tucson native. Not only does he like beer, but he also discovered a creative outlet through homebrewing.

“I like being creative, so we started brewing beer in our garage,” said Conger. “Folks thought we were pretty good at brewing beers, so Alicia and I thought we’d give it a go and try and work for ourselves.”

They opened 1912 Brewing Company, named after the year Arizona became a state. Allan is the brewer, and Alicia runs the taproom.

“The atmosphere is laid back and welcoming.  Our guests often describe it as feeling like home, and they can find something they like because we make such a wide variety of styles,” he said.

1912 offers more than 20 beer styles with about seven core brews on tap. Two flagship brews include Weapons Check (an Irish Red) and the award-winning Naughty Naranja (a gose). Seasonal options (fruit-permitting) include the favorite blueberry pie gose.

“My wife is Hispanic, so we also like to bring in Mexican ingredients, like our Mexican Candy gose,” he said.

When he’s not creating new flavors, Conger is exploring Tucson. He shares some of his favorites here.

Conger’s Tastes of Tucson

The obvious choice, but one not to be overlooked, is Tucson’s Mexican cuisine. You’ll find it on just about every street in the city. One of his favorites was also a 2021 Travel Magazine, “The 10 Best Hot Dogs in the USA,” and that’s The Sammy from El Guero Canelo. This is a Sonoran-style hot dog (a hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, and jalapeño sauce) that has two hot dogs instead of just one.

“One Sammy dog is a full meal,” he said. “In the summer, a great addition is their mangoyada made with mango, chamoy, ice, tajín, and lime.”

Tucson has other options, too. The Parish tops his list. Tucson’s only Southern fusion gastropub offers bold dishes like Guedry’s Gumbo with crawfish hush puppies and an extensive selection of craft beers and unique cocktails created with housemade infused spirits.

“I love their compressed watermelon, pickled berry, and pork belly salad,” said Conger. “The people there are also great, including the owners. They push the envelope with different techniques and flavors.”

And when it comes to date night, the couple’s favorite cocktail is a whiskey sour at the Good Oak Bar, a downtown establishment serving local and regional whiskey and agave-based spirits, Arizona beer and wine, and delicious pub fare.

Follow Conger Around Tucson

Going outside is high on Conger’s list of things to do in Tucson. He spends time hiking and mountain biking at Sweetwater Preserve. The more than 880-acre preserve draws hikers, bikers, equestrians, walkers, and runners year-round. The 15 miles of trails were ranked #4 in the nation by Singletracks.com.

“You can spend quite a bit of time here, walking around and seeing all the different aspects of nature. It’s a good workout not too far from town,” he said.

He also points out the nightlife is a bit unusual in Tucson. The swanky Owls Club cocktail bar was once a funeral home built in the 1920s in downtown Tucson. Armory Park’s neighborhood haunt offers an extensive whiskey selection, an old-world wine list, well-curated spirits, and a modest beer program.

Another downtown Tucson funeral home was transformed into Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink with a second location in Oro Valley. Both modern Italian eateries serve elevated wood-fired pizzas and pasta, but the downtown location has the Tough Luck Club. The popular downtown basement speakeasy serves cocktails in the basement of Reilly.

Tombstone Re-enactor Sunny Quatchon

The people of Southern Arizona put their spin on places to visit.

By Stacey Gregory

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who loves Tombstone more than Sunny Quatchon. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she arrived in Mesa, Arizona, around 1986, moved to Sierra Vista in 2005, and found her sweet spot in Tombstone in 2010. She discovered The Town Too Tough To Die while searching for a vintage dress to match her handcrafted millinery (women’s apparel for the head).

“I’m a re-enactor, so I came to Tombstone to have an 1880s Victorian dress made. When the shopkeepers saw my bonnet, they asked if I would sell them in their store, so that was the start of me in Tombstone,” said Quatchon.

Today, she keeps busy as a Certified Tourism Ambassador for Visit Tucson, volunteers for the City of Tombstone marketing department, and works with the Arizona 80 Foundation promoting local attractions along 72 miles from Benson to Douglas on Historic Highway US 80.

“I’m far too busy doing tours to make beautiful hats anymore,” she said. “I am a step-on tour guide for the tour buses that come into town from places like Tucson and Phoenix. And besides that, I also show international writers and travel agents from the Arizona Office of Tourism around Tombstone and our Cochise County, the Land of Legends.”

Quatchon loves to dress in her vintage clothes and share the wonders visitors can explore in Southern Arizona’s Benson, Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas... and also the enchanting nearby Sonoran cities of Agua Prieta, Naco, Cananea, and Nacozari, Mexico.

Follow Quatchon Around Tombstone

Here, she shares some of her favorite attractions. Tombstone is known for the O.K. Corral, the legendary gunfight site, but there’s so much more to see and do there. Quatchon’s favorite is the Good Enough Mine Tour, a walking tour of an authentic 1880s silver mine that now includes an added dining experience called the Toughnut Dinner Theatre.

“The tour actually has four different levels so visitors can explore depending on how much of the stairs and climbing they want to do,” said Quatchon. “At the new dinner theater, you can go deep into the heart of the mine, sit on a dynamite case, have your dinner, and be entertained.”

The famed Oriental Saloon not only features family-friendly indoor live gunfight shows daily and live music every weekend to complement the full-service bar, but it also has electronic bingo Wednesday through Sunday, a big draw. Quatchon thinks it’s because people love to play electronic machines!

She also likes to show visitors the exciting Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, plus the Bird Cage Theatre and Old Courthouse State Park museums. Her other favorite Tombstone gem is the only Gothic Revival adobe church in the world—Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church at 3rd and Safford Streets.

“It’s the oldest Protestant church in Arizona, built in 1882 by Endicott Peabody with financial help from Wyatt Earp, who helped Rev. Peabody hang the classic silver oil lamps from the high ceiling. Tombstone has so many ties into history, and I love taking the tours to Saint Paul’s,” she said.

Follow Her Through Southern Arizona

Quatchon’s tours do not end in Tombstone. Along Old Highway 80, she likes Benson, Arizona, which caters to the RV crowd with more than 1,200 RV sites. It’s the Gateway to Cochise County and is home to Karchner Caverns State Park. Tip: make your reservations ahead of time for the Kartchner cave tour!

She enjoys Bisbee’s Queen Mine Tours too. Guests don a hard hat, miner’s headlamp, and a yellow slicker before boarding a train to head underground. The Copper Queen Hotel has entertained guests and ghosts since 1902 and is filled with Edwardian-era decor, Art Nouveau antiques, grand pianos, and Tiffany chandeliers.

“And then when we get down to Douglas, oh my goodness. The lobby of the 1927 Gadsden Hotel is priceless, all white marble and Tiffany stained-glass windows,” she said. “Downtown Douglas is being refurbished as we speak, and soon will be the largest Dual Port of Entry in the country.”

Quatchon, looking the part in her vintage clothing, is an absolute magnet when promoting her True West town at many important tourism conferences.

“Whether it be Benson, Tombstone, Bisbee, or Douglas—I like to stay with my tours as much as I can so that when we get to our destination, I can answer any questions and just be a good hospitality person wherever we happen to be,” she said.

Artist and Entrepreneur Sloane Bouchever

The people of Southern Arizona put their spin on places to visit.

By Stacey Gregory

Out of all the places in the world artist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and international traveler Sloane Bouchever chose to raise his family in Bisbee, Arizona. Born in New York City and raised all over the East Coast, he found himself exhibiting his paintings and working as a fashion model for the likes of Armani and Versace in Europe for a decade, eventually meeting his wife in Zurich, Switzerland. They started a family in Barcelona, Spain, before returning to the US.

“My wife Danielle and I moved to Bisbee in 1991 with our two little kids,” said Bouchever. “We were searching for a cheap place to live that offered affordable homes, liberal attitudes, great weather, and lots of working artists.”

A man of many talents, he founded more than 20 companies, and as a very early adopter of the Internet, he has been called an eCommerce pioneer. His current company provides encryption services to thousands of online merchants. He and his wife are also international and local humanitarians whose foundation has built multiple schools, medical facilities, libraries, and community centers in Haiti. His most passionate project to date though is the Artemizia Foundation, a contemporary, graffiti, and street art museum and commercial gallery.

“Our growing collection encompasses 700 works of art by 100 artists from 40 countries with a 50-50 ratio of female to male artists, 40% of whom are non-white artists,” said Bouchever.

Visitors can see major pieces by Swoon, Banksy, Lady Pink, PichiAvo, LeDania, Cey Adams, and Ai Weiwei. The unexpected collection is one of many surprises in Bisbee, and he shares his favorites with you.

Follow Bouchever Around Bisbee

Bouchever lives in Bisbee due in part to the thriving arts community, with more than 200 artists and many art galleries. A community project known as the Broadway Stairs transformed the alleyway of Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch with hundreds of thrift store paintings literally nailed to the walls and fences. International street artist MuckRock (Jules Muck) is a dear friend of Bouchever and has painted more than 60 murals on people’s homes and buildings, so he always takes out-of-towners on a “muck tour.” And, of course, visitors will want to explore the new location of Artemizia Foundation in the restored 818 Tombstone Canyon schoolhouse built in 1917.

On the south side of Bisbee is a former open pit copper mine known simply as “The Pit” by locals that he calls a mind-bender. Soldiers, miners, railroad laborers, and other young men started playing baseball in 1909 at the city’s historic Warren Ballpark. Explore the city’s rich past at The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate.

“Bisbee has changed significantly over the past 32 years, it’s gone much more upscale, but Bisbee is still a liberal oasis in a conservative desert, as we like to say. Local T-shirts simply read ‘Mayberry on Acid’,” he said.

Bouchever’s Tastes of Bisbee

When asked to recommend places to eat, he shared an extensive list. The Copper Pig is his family’s new favorite spot and is a neighborhood eatery that serves upscale comfort food.  They have enjoyed Cafe Roka’s small plates and entrées for 30 years. Dot’s Diner is perfect for outdoor Sunday brunch surrounded by vintage Airstream trailers. Must-try dishes include the grilled pork with noodles and the pho at Thuy’s Noodle Shop and the Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down pizza at Screaming Banshee. He also says you can’t leave out The Quarry for the world’s best “Bitchin BLT.” And the longest continually run bar in Arizona is still operating—St. Elmo’s Bar was established in 1902 and is a beloved dive bar.

“For a tiny town, we’re incredibly lucky to have such diverse and wonderful dining and drinking options,” said Bouchever.

Art & Beyond Tucson’s Must-See Museums

By C. Jill Hofer

T-Town is a treasure trove of art, artifacts, and interesting items on display. Tucson’s museums provide much more than a cool respite from the daytime heat.  They give visitors a close-up look at art from ancient to contemporary and offer a trip back in time and a window to the many cultures that converge to make us who we are today.

TUCSON TIME TRAVEL

The tapestry of Tucson is rich and colorful with a diverse, multi-faceted history. See how the fabric of the Old Pueblo is woven together at Tucson’s many museums inspired by the past.

IGNITE SIGN ART MUSEUM

Two girls look at vintage neon signs inside the Ignite Sign Art Museum in Tucson

The Ignite Sign Art Museum is described as an “out-of-control rescue mission” to preserve and restore historically significant  signs of Tucson. Marvel at neon-bending demonstrations, partake  in scavenger hunts and other interactive activities, or simply bask in the glow of the vintage signs of yesteryear.

THE PRESIDIO SAN AGUSTÍN MUSEUM

This recreation of the Spanish colonial fort built in 1775 later became the founding structure of the city of Tucson. Artifacts are brought to life through docent tours and re-enactments of the daily lives and traditions of Native Americans and territorial settlers.

TUCSON RODEO PARADE MUSEUM

A model train diorama of Tucson sits inside the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum

A time capsule of Southern Arizona’s ranching and Western heritage, the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum showcases life in the 1900s through recreations of historic spaces as well as numerous railroad artifacts and more than 100 horse-drawn vehicles on display.

ARIZONA HISTORY MUSEUM

Celebrate the proud history of southern Arizona at the historic Josias-Joesler-designed Arizona History Museum. You’ll cruise through transportation history with wagons and a 1912 Studebaker car; explore treasures including Spanish colonial silver and Old West firearms; walk through a replica of an underground mine; and discover the stories and artifacts of Geronimo and Wyatt Earp.

MILES OF SMILES FOR ALL AGES

Kids of all ages in the Old Pueblo can delight in a plethora of museums purposely curated with the whole family in mind. These destinations beckon with exploration, discovery, and family fun.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM TUCSON

A little Asian girl runs forward with her hands outstretched.

Spend the day exploring this hands-on children's museum, which is home to an abundance of immersive, interactive, educational exhibits. This vibrant attraction welcomes all visitors to learn, discover, and create together.

THE MINI TIME MACHINE MUSEUM OF MINIATURES

Marvel at a dizzying array of antique and contemporary exhibitions of expertly curated miniatures collections. Demonstrations, artist receptions, storytime, and special events complement the awe and amazement which is guaranteed with every visit to this world-class Tucson treasure.

ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM

Two hawks stand on a branch

Explore the Sonoran Desert’s vibrant ecosystem through a wide variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Traverse slopes and grasslands and stroll through cat canyon, hang out in the hummingbird aviary, and more.

DIG DEEP TO NATIVE ROOTS

Many area museums are rooted in the Native American history of the Old Pueblo. Gain a greater understanding and appreciation at these spaces dedicated to the earliest beginnings of Tucson’s culture.

AMERIND MUSEUM

Just a few miles outside Tucson in the stunning Texas Canyon is the Amerind Museum, where you can explore the traditions and the contemporary lives of Native Americans and gain cross-cultural insights through Native American art, history, culture, and archaeology.

YOEMEM TEKIA FOUNDATION MUSEUM

Dedicated to the preservation of Yaqui culture, customs, history, and traditions, this museum features a gallery, gift shop, and mini café. You can also attend history nights and workshops, including traditional flower-making, embroidery, and cooking classes.

TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION CULTURAL CENTER & MUSEUM

A historic photo of a group of women and men from Tohono O'Odham

The permanent collection of important art and artifacts at the Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum extends to the great outdoors with nature trails and petroglyphs, preserving culture and instilling pride through education, programs and outreach.

SALUTE THE MILITARY

Tucson is home to veterans from all branches of the armed services and area museums offer outstanding opportunities learn more about Tucson’s military history.

PIMA AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

The Pima Air & Space Museum is the 80-acre home to thousands of artifacts and more than 400 historic aircrafts, viewable outside and within indoor exhibit hangers. Three hangers are specifically dedicated to WWII. Let your imagination take flight viewing examples from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner.

390TH MEMORIAL MUSEUM

Inside the 390th Memorial Museum hanger with vintage military airplanes

The 390th Memorial Museum offers a compelling look at WWII history as told through the stories of the 390th Bomb Group personnel. Learn about these heroes and the 673 airmen who sacrificed their lives in 1943. Admission is included in the Pima Air & Space Museum entrance fee.

HISTORY ON WHEELS

Curious Tucsonans and visitors alike ponder the questions, “Where did we come from?” and “Where are we going?” These museums offer a look some of the ways we got from there to here.

TUCSON AUTO MUSEUM

Classic cars on display inside a museum

The Tucson Auto Museum shares its pristine collection of up to 75 iconic cars along with a wealth of automobilia. There’s something drool-worthy for every automobile aficionado from mid-century classics to vehicles from the movie Batman Returns.

SOUTHERN ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM

The historic Southern Pacific Railroad Depot is home to the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, providing educational outreach, oral history, and archival collections dedicated to Tucson rail history. Visit for a special event or just to be amazed at Engine #1673, originally built in 1900 as a steam engine.

ART MUSEUMS

It’s no surprise that the Old Pueblo was described as a “mini mecca for the arts” by the Wall Street Journal—some of the finest art in town is found in these museums.

DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN MUSEUM

A gallery shop.

Established in 1950, the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum celebrates the life and art of Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia. View the six permanent collections and rotating exhibitions as well as the work of up-and- coming local artists in the open-air mission with a top-notch gift shop.

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN TUCSON

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson was established by artists as Tucson’s only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Originally a downtown firehouse, the space is bursting with innovative art and the museum maintains a full exhibition and artist-in-residence program.

TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART

A gallery filled with art.

The Tucson Museum of Art hosts 2,000 works of art in a blend of historic adobe and modern architecture. Two main rotating exhibitions complement the permanent collection of sculpture, textiles, paintings, pottery, and more.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA’S MUSEUMS

The first university in Arizona Territory has been a hub for Tucsonans to gather, learn, and connect since 1885, offering culture, entertainment, and a wealth of art for the public’s enjoyment.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA MUSEUM OF ART

Two guests sit on a bench looking at a painting

The University of Arizona Museum of Art offers something for everyone with special events, art talks, book signings, and rotating shows on contemporary topics as well as special examples from artists of all ages.

ARIZONA STATE MUSEUM

The outside of the Arizona State Museum

Since 1893, Arizona State Museum has studied the region’s 13,000-year human history and the Indigenous cultures of our area. Discoveries and findings are shared and expanded through gallery tours, master classes, and travel experiences offered through the oldest and largest anthropological research facility in the US Southwest.

ALFIE NORVILLE GEM & MINERAL MUSEUM

Conveniently located in the Historic Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson, the Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum boasts three major galleries: Mineral Evolution, Arizona Gallery, and a Gem Gallery. The collection spans from 1892 to modern times and features many touchable specimens as well as interactive exhibits.

COIT MUSEUM OF PHARMACY & HEALTH SCIENCE

For an Rx on the history of pharmacy, the Coit Museum of Pharmacy & Health Science is just what the doctor ordered. Home to one of the world’s leading pharmacy collections, this unique museum displays pharmacy and health sciences with complimentary admission.

THE JOHN E. GREIVENKAMP MUSUEM OF OPTICS

Discover a clear view of the past through The John E. Greivenkamp Museum of Optics’ collection of antique and historical optical devices including telescopes, microscopes, lenses, and cameras from the 18th century to the present.

UNIQUE, MEANINGFUL, AND IMPACTFUL

The wealth of interesting and enlightening museums is indicative of Tucson’s diverse, creative, and insatiably curious residents and visitors. Add these interesting spaces to your must-see list.

TUCSON JEWISH MUSEUM & HOLOCAUST CENTER

The outside of the Tucson Jewish Museum

Located in the first synagogue in the Arizona Territory, the Tucson Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center explores the legacy of Jewish experiences in our area. The center provides education about the Holocaust and other genocides while promoting diversity and human rights through dynamic features highlighting present-day social justice issues.

YUME JAPANESE GARDENS

Japanese tapestries hand on the wall.

The cultural center and museum at Yume Japanese Gardens leads visitors through exquisite garden paths to a gallery brimming with Japanese art. Observe traditional folk artifacts, costumes, decorative arts, and woodblock prints, as well as ceramics, textiles, metal works, and the largest Ikebana flower vessel collection in the United States.

If a society can be measured by its creativity, art, and artists, Tucson makes the grade. Explore the myriad of museums to amplify your inspiration and expand your knowledge and understanding of the many forms of art preserved and displayed in the Old Pueblo.