Old Tucson Studios Arizona’s Hollywood in the Desert Voted “Best Western Movie Set” by True West magazine, and listed among five one-of-a-kind Tucson sites by USA Today, Old Tucson Studios features film and television shoots throughout the year and daily Wild West entertainment.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place!
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves an ancient Hohokam farming community and “Great House.” Created as the nation’s first archeological reserve in 1892, the site was declared a National Monument in 1918 “in order that better provision may be made for the protection, preservation and care of the ruins and the ancient buildings and other objects of prehistoric interest thereon.
Casa Grande Valley Historical Society & Museum Experience the 19th Century mining boom as you tour the exhibit. See the miniature agricultural display. Learn how irrigation turned sandy plains into lush cotton fields. See what Casa Grande looked like in 1879 when the railroad ended here and the city was named Terminus. Discover the people that come alive through our Research Facilities and Photographic Reproductions.
Picacho Peak State Park Picacho Peak was often used as a landmark by early explorers. During the 17th century, dedicated Jesuit priest Father Kino mentioned Picacho Peak in records of his journeys into Arizona, and in 1775, the DeAnza Expeditions passed by the Peak. In 1846, the Mormon Battalion, on their way to California to fight in the war with Mexico, constructed a wagon road through Picacho Pass. The forty-niners traveled the same road on their way to California, and in 1858, mail and passengers traveled this route via the Butterfield Overland Stage. This route is now used by the Transcontinental Railroad.The most significant Civil War battle in Arizona took place near Picacho Peak on April 15, 1862, when an advance detachment of Union forces from California attacked a Confederate scouting party. The battle lasted for 1-1/2 hours, and three Union soldiers were killed. Every March, “The Civil War in the Southwest” comes alive again as over two hundred re-enactors converge on Picacho Peak on foot and horseback. Visitors enjoy viewing exciting mock battles that took place in Arizona and New Mexico during the Civil War. Also on display at the March reenactment are recreated military camps and living history demonstrations.
Saguaro National Park Enormous cacti, silhouetted by the setting sun, for most of us the Giant Saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. And yet, these majestic plants are only found in a small portion of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants, on the edge of the modern City of Tucson.
The City of Tombstone ”The Town too Tough to Die,” Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona’s old mining camps. When Ed Schieffelin (SHEF·e·lin) came to Camp Huachuca (hwah·CHEW·kuh) with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he’d find his tombstone rather than silver. Thus, in 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement that adopted this name.
Sabino Canyon Experience the beauty of one of the most unique Southwestern desert canyons on a Sabino Canyon tram ride. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife.
Pima Air & Space Museum where history takes flight, is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, and the largest non-government funded aviation museum. You’ll see more than 275 aircraft and spacecraft including many of the most historically significant and technically advanced craft ever produced, both from the United States and throughout the world
Kartchner Caverns State Park It all began with a drop of water. A shallow inland sea covered this area 330 million years ago, depositing layers of sediment that eventually hardened into limestone. Millions of years later this Escabrosa limestone along with other rock layers uplifted to form the Whetstone Mountains. The Escabrosa limestone , due to a type of tremor or fault, down-dropped thousands of feet relative to the mountains above. Rainwater, made slightly acidic by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and soil, penetrated cracks in the down-dropped limestone block and slowly dissolved passages in it. Later, lowering groundwater levels left behind vast, air-filled rooms. Kartchner Caverns’ wide variety of decorations, called “speleothems”, began forming drop by drop over the next 200,000 years.
San Xavier del Bac Mission is situated in the Santa Cruz Valley nine miles south of Tucson, Arizona. Framed in the warm browns of the surrounding hills and the violet shadows of more distant mountains, it rises, brilliantly white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage. The imposing dome and lofty towers, the rounded parapets and graceful spires etched against the vivid blue complete a skyline with a graceful enchantment.
Blackwater Trading Post: Drop in to see fine Hohokam pottery, baskets by Tohono O’odham and Pima, and art & crafts of other Southwestern tribes. You can shop for Native American jewelry and crafts. It’s on the north side of AZ-87; head west 4.3 miles from the AZ-2877/87 junction or from I-10 you can go east 9 miles on AZ-387 and AZ-87. Open daily; donations welcome. (520) 723-5516.