a single saguaro with arms stands before white clouds on a sunny day

Is Tucson Worth Visiting? What You Need To Know To Decide

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Have you been thinking about coming to Tucson but wondering, is Tucson worth visiting?

With its spectacular natural attractions, vibrant downtown area, and unique southern Arizona vibe, you are certainly not alone in asking that question. It seems like a great place, right? But is it suitable for tourists?

You’ve come to the right place as we have visited Tucson and will give you the scoop on that question and more.

Let’s look at why the answer to your question is yes and what you can expect from the city when you arrive.

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Is Tucson Worth Visiting

Absolutely!

As a couple who’s been to Tucson (and the surrounding areas like Tombstone and Bisbee) and loved it, we can tell you that it’s a fantastic destination that’s definitely worth visiting.

saguaro cactus stand tall in front of a tucson sunset, is tucson worth visiting, absolutely

For starters, the weather is fantastic, especially if you’re coming from a colder climate. You can expect sunny skies and warm temperatures most of the year, making it a great place to escape the winter blues.

But what really makes Tucson special is its natural beauty. The city is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes, with mountains and canyons to explore. The Saguaro National Park is a must-visit, with its iconic cacti and beautiful hiking trails.

But don’t think Tucson is all about the outdoors – it also has a vibrant cultural scene. There are plenty of museums, galleries, and historical sites to explore, and the University of Arizona adds a youthful energy to the city.

And let’s not forget about the food!

Tucson has a fantastic food scene with a focus on regional cuisine. You can’t visit Tucson without trying some local Sonoran-style Mexican food. It is seriously delicious.

Tucson has something for everyone (except the ocean!) – from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences to mouth-watering cuisine.

It’s a great place to visit, and we highly recommend it!

Is It Safe To Vacation In Tucson

As with any travel destination, safety is important to think about when planning a vacation.

Overall, Tucson is considered a relatively safe city for tourists, but like any urban area, some areas may be less safe than others.

the city of tucson with a mountain backdrop

Theft, not violence, tends to be the biggest crime against tourists, so use common sense and be particularly watchful when out after dark.

Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation in Tucson:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: As with any city, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye out for potential safety hazards. Avoid walking alone at night and stay in well-lit, busy areas to help minimize the crime risk.
  • Lock your doors and windows: Whether you’re staying in a hotel, motel, or Airbnb, make sure to lock all doors and windows to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Please don’t leave valuables in your car: Car break-ins are common in Tucson, so it’s important not to leave anything visible in your vehicle. If possible, park in a well-lit, secure area.
  • Be cautious on the roads: Tucson has a high rate of traffic accidents, so it’s important to drive carefully and obey traffic laws.

Overall, you can have a safe and enjoyable vacation in Tucson by using common sense, being aware of your surroundings, and taking a few precautions.

What Is The Best Month To Visit Tucson

Tucson is a great destination year-round, but the best time to visit can depend on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowds.

That being said, April and November are generally considered to be two of the best months to visit Tucson.

palm trees in a row with a single blue sky background

April is a great time to visit because the weather is warm and pleasant, with average high temperatures in the mid-80sยฐ F.

It is a fantastic time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions, such as Saguaro National Park, without having to endure the extreme heat that can be present during the summer months. And if you are lucky, you might see some desert wildflowers blooming!

You can also catch some of the city’s popular events in April, such as the Tucson Folk Festival and the Pima County Fair.

November is another great time to visit Tucson, as the weather is mild and comfortable, with average high temperatures in the mid-70sยฐ F.

The fall foliage in the surrounding mountains is a beautiful sight, and there are many outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking and golfing.

In November, you can also experience some of Tucson’s popular cultural events, such as the All Souls Procession, a unique and colorful celebration of life and death.

Overall, both April and November offer excellent weather and plenty of things to do, making them two of the best months to visit.

๐Ÿ“Ž Tip: While April and November might be the BEST months to visit, anytime over the winter (Dec – Mar) will be a great time due to the cooler weather. Avoid coming in summer when it is 100ยฐF every day.

How Many Days Do You Need In Tucson

When it comes to how many days you should plan for your Tucson vacation, it all depends on what kind of activities and attractions you want to experience.

saguaro national park with mountains and saguaro cacti, this is why tucson is worth visiting

Generally speaking, two full days is enough time to get a taste of the city, but you will have a lot that you miss out on and will need to pick and choose your activities.

If we are being honest, we spent just two days in Tucson, one of them at Saguaro National Park. And we can say from first-hand experience that we wish we had spent at least a couple more exploring the city (and sleeping in the comfy bed we had near the attractions).

So if you want to experience all that Tucson has to offer, you will want to stay longer than we did.

A week will be ideal if you’re looking for a longer vacation full of adventure, history, and exploration.

Spending more time will also allow you to explore more in Saguaro National Park. Our one day was just enough for a taste of what we could have done there.

Or you can wander outside the city for a day trip or two. There are plenty of places less than 3 hours from Tucson to keep you busy, including Picacho Peak State Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and Tombstone.

Is Tucson A Walkable City

Tucson is a relatively walkable city, but its walkability can depend on the specific area you are in.

The downtown area, for example, is relatively compact and easy to explore on foot.

long exposure of downtown tucson with streaks of white for car headlights passing the city sights

Many of the city’s museums, galleries, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance of each other, and the Tucson Sun Link Streetcar provides a convenient and affordable way to get around.

However, outside of the downtown area, Tucson is a sprawling city with many suburban neighborhoods and commercial spaces that are less pedestrian-friendly.

The city’s hot climate can also make walking uncomfortable during the summer when temperatures can soar into the triple digits.

If you are planning to explore Tucson on foot, choosing the right time of day and the right area to walk in is important.

It is best to avoid walking during the hottest part of the day and in the evening to stay in well-lit, busy areas to ensure your safety.

Overall, while Tucson is less walkable than some other cities, such as New York City or San Francisco, it is still possible to enjoy many of its attractions on foot, particularly in the downtown area.

What Is The Best Way To Get Around Tucson

The best way to get around Tucson depends on your preferences and the specific areas you want to visit.

Let’s discuss some of the options!

Public Transit

Tucson has a bus system operated by Sun Tran, which provides service throughout the city and surrounding areas.

The city also has a streetcar that runs through the downtown area, Fourth Avenue, and the University of Arizona campus.

Fares are affordable, and passes can be purchased online or at various retail locations.

This is a great way to go if you plan to stick mainly to the downtown attractions.

a beautiful blue doorway with cactus and flower pots out front

Biking

Tucson has a strong biking culture and is home to many bike lanes and trails.

In fact, Tucson is one of the top cities in the US when it comes to being bike friendly.

Many hotels offer free bikes or ways to rent them, and there are also several bike-share programs in the city. Or you can rent a bike from one of the local bike shops for a few days.

Tucson also has several tour options if you want to bike for just a couple of hours as a fun experience. We have a whole post about the best bike tour options, but if you want to go straight to our favorite, it is the taco bike tour.

Again, this is a perfect option if you are sticking to a smaller section of the city.

Ride-Sharing

If you want to stay downtown for most of your visit and need a quick ride once in a while, Tucson has all the primary sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

This is a better option than renting a car if you only need it a few times during your visit.

They are widely available and provide a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.

Car

Renting a car is a popular option for visitors to Tucson, as it provides flexibility and convenience for exploring the city and the surrounding areas.

Tucson has a well-developed highway system, and parking is generally easy to find in most areas.

If you’re planning to explore the city and surrounding areas extensively, renting a car will be the best option as you will save more than ride-sharing multiple times per day.

a single saguaro with arms stands before white clouds on a sunny day, is tucson worth visiting, we think so

Where To Stay In Tucson

Luxury – ๐Ÿ’ต ๐Ÿ’ต ๐Ÿ’ต – JW Marriott Tuscon Starr Pass Resort

  • Luxury resort with 3 golf courses, 3 outdoor pools, & 4 dining options
  • On-site spa & fitness center
  • Located in saguaro cactus forest (gorgeous secluded setting but not located downtown)

โžก๏ธ Check Rates & Availability at Marriott Tuscon Starr


Mid-Range ๐Ÿ’ต ๐Ÿ’ต – Double Tree By Hilton Tucson Downtown Convention Center

  • Convenient location to downtown
  • Restaurant & bar on-site
  • Very comfortable, clean rooms

โžก๏ธ Check Rates & Availability at Hilton Tucson Downtown


Budget ๐Ÿ’ต – Graduate Tucson

  • Unique decor makes it more of an experience and less of a generic hotel stay
  • Rooftop pool & bar
  • Downtown location close to many attractions

โžก๏ธ Check Rates & Availability at Graduate Tucson


FAQs For Tucson

Not that you have decided that Tucson is worth visiting, let’s discuss some common general questions about the city.

Is Tucson A Friendly City

Yes, Tucson is known for being a friendly and welcoming city.

Tucsonans are known for their relaxed and laid-back demeanor, and visitors often comment on the warmth and hospitality of the residents.

The city has a strong sense of community and a diverse population, contributing to its welcoming atmosphere. It is also home to many cultural festivals and events throughout the year, which provide opportunities for locals and visitors to come together and celebrate.

In addition, Tucsonans are generally proud of their city and its unique culture and history and are often happy to share their knowledge and recommendations with you.

Whether you need directions or advice on where to find the best Mexican food, you’ll likely find Tucsonans to be helpful and friendly.

Overall, Tucson is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a friendly and welcoming city to visit. Its friendly residents and vibrant culture make it a place that many visitors return to time and time again.

a tucson landscape scene with sunny foreground desert but storm clouds brewing in the sky above, this is why tucson is worth visiting

Why Are Tucson Sunsets So Beautiful

Tucson is well-known for its stunning sunsets, which are often a brilliant mix of oranges, pinks, and purples.

There are several reasons why Tucson sunsets are so beautiful.

The first is its geography. Tucson’s location in a valley surrounded by mountains makes it an ideal setting for stunning sunsets. The mountains provide a dramatic backdrop, and the open sky allows for an unobstructed view.

The second reason is dust and a bit of pollution. While dust and pollution are not typically viewed as positive things, they do contribute to the beauty of the sunsets.

The desert landscape surrounding Tucson creates a lot of dust, which can scatter the sun’s rays and create vivid colors during sunset.

Additionally, pollution from cars and other factors can create haze in the sky, enhancing the sunset’s colors.

And finally, the beauty comes from the weather.

Tucson’s dry climate and low humidity often create clear skies, which allow for vibrant and clear sunsets. The lack of clouds also means that the sun is not blocked as it sets, allowing for a full display of colors.

Overall, Tucson’s unique geography, dust and pollution, and weather conditions combine to create some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Whether you’re watching from a mountaintop or simply sitting on the patio of a bar, Tucson sunsets shouldn’t be missed during your visit to the city.

Is Tucson A Dark Sky Community

Yep!

So what does this mean? It means that the city has taken steps to minimize light pollution and preserve the dark sky for stargazing.

It was recognized as a dark sky community in 2001 for the city’s efforts to reduce light pollution and preserve the natural beauty of the night sky.

This designation requires communities to adopt outdoor lighting ordinances that limit the amount of artificial light and require the use of energy-efficient lighting fixtures that direct light downward.

kitt peak observatory in tucson sits below a sky of stars

To Finish – Is Tucson Worth Visiting

Well, what do you think? Is Tucson worth visiting?

Hopefully, you feel the answer is a resounding yes and are already starting to plan your trip!

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a weekend away, Tucson has something for everyone.

With its stunning natural beauty and variety of activities, attractions, and restaurants, there’s no doubt your trip will be one to remember!