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Nearby Attractions in Tucson

As a blend of Native American, Mexican and Western cultures, Tuscon has a rich history that is reflected in its many intriguing museums, art galleries and public spaces. Interested in Spanish Colonial architecture? The San Xavier Mission is the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring Catholic paintings and murals close to town. Love aviation history? The Pima Museum will be your cup of tea, with over four hundred historic air crafts and three WWII exhibits.  

Whatever sparks your curiosity, here’s four of the best unique and exciting museums and attractions to discover in Tucson, AZ. 


Pima Air & Space Museum

If you’re craving a day away from the infamous Arizona heat, take a trip to the Pima Air & Space Museum – one of the largest aviation and space museums in the world.

Spanning 80 acres and featuring over 400 historic aircrafts, the museum has six indoor exhibit hangars to explore (with three dedicated solely to WWII).

Want the inside scoop from a knowledgeable guide? The museum offers Tram Tours and Private Walking Tours for a small fee. Make sure to visit early – the last admission group is at 1:30 p.m. in the summer and 3 p.m. during the winter months.  

Insider Tip

Download a hangar and ground map from their website ahead of time to plan out your route. 

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The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Uncover the quirky, magical world of miniatures at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures Visitors are transported to different lands and times through stories told by over 300 miniature houses and roomboxes, expertly displayed in over 10,000 square-feet of state-of-the-art exhibit space.

The Museum’s permanent collection boasts antique dollhouses dating to 1742, contemporary fine-scale miniatures and enchanting collectibles. Some examples of current exhibits include Metal Monsters (mini American classic cars, Machined Metal Miniatures (sculpture made from metal scraps) and even an Addams Family Mini Mansion. 

Insider Tip

Check their website for details on special events, storytimes, hands-on activities and more

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mini time machine museum

San Xavier Del Bac Mission

No visit to Tucson is complete without a beautiful piece of local history. Widely recognized as a stunning example of Spanish Colonial architecture, the San Xavier Mission is nine miles south of downtown Tucson and absolutely worth a visit.

A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with awe-inspiring catholic symbolism and mural paintings.  

Insider Tip

While tours and the museum aren’t currently active, the church, gift shop and mausoleum are all open. 

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Pontatoc Ridge Trail

Trek through the Pusch Ridge Wilderness on this 4.1 mile trail. The trail begins in the foothills north of downtown Tucson and climbs steadily towards a cave at the top. While on the trail, cacti and other desert flora and fauna surround you as Tucson unfolds below you, offering a quintessential Sonoran Desert experience. 

Once you’ve conquered the steep climb to the stop, step within the cave and turn around for a perfectly-framed panoramic view of the Tucson skyline.

Insider Tip

When you come to the fork at the start of the trail, take the one on the right—trust us!

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