The city that celebrates its desert setting, Tucson Arizona was established in 1775 and served as the capital of Arizona from 1867 to 1877, until the capital was moved to Phoenix. However, it remains the most livable and beautiful city within Arizona, offering its visitors even a larger selection of attractions as compared to those found in Phoenix.
Tucson tourism owes much of its successful growth and flourishing to the development of such attractions as Saguaro National Park with its largest stands of saguaro cactus, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Old Tucson Studios, which together constitute the list of most popular places of interest within the city.
While planning your day outing in Tucson Arizona, take advantage of the Tucson Attractions Passport as a great opportunity to save money on admissions to a number of top attractions found here. Available at the downtown Visitors Center, it offers admissions to such renowned attractions as Old Tucson Studios, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Prima Air and Space Museum, Biosphere 2, the Tucson Museum of Art, Tohono Chul Park and Kartchner Caverns among other great sites.
Kids will be happy to pay a visit to the Reid Park Zoo, the Sabino Canyon tram ride, the Prima Air and Space Museum and Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. A great option for the entire family, Trail Dust Town is a Wild West themed dining and shopping center, featuring a carousel, shootout shows, a scaled-down train to ride and Golf n' Stuff - a miniature golf course with such attractions as go karts, laser tag, batting cages, a video game arcade and a climbing wall.
Among the greatest family attractions is also Tucson Children's Museum located in the historic Carnegie Library in the downtown Tucson Arizona and filled with educational and fun activities, with the exhibits like an electricity gallery and farmers' market.
Downtown Tucson is home to several historic neighborhoods, the most interesting of them maintained by the Tucson Museum of Art and situated on the block surrounding it. These are restored buildings which date from 1850 and are constructed on the former site of the Tucson presidio.
A definite must for Western art's fans, the Conley Museum of the West features 19th and 20th century masterpieces by some of the most prominent names in Western art, in addition to Spanish colonial antiques, historical maps and Indian artifacts and art. Those eager to learn about the history of Tucson Arizona are welcome to Arizona Historical Society Downtown Museum, with the exhibits covering American army days, Spanish presidio days, schools and merchants, which help bring the past of the city to life.
Alternatively you can pay a visit to Arizona Historical Society Second Street Museum, regarded as the oldest historical museum in the state of Arizona and featuring an assayer's office, stamp mill, miner's tent and a full-scale reproduction of the underground mine tunnel. Recognized as the oldest anthropological museum in the West, Arizona State Museum houses one of the most fascinating exhibits on prehistoric Native American cultures - Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest. In addition, there is a collection of 20,000 ceramic pieces.