Things to Do in Tucson

Once you’ve booked your accommodations from CasaGo’s hand-selected inventory of high-quality, professionally managed vacation homes, you’ll undoubtedly be looking for things to do in Tucson to get the most out of your time here.

Tucson is known for everything from stunning desert landscapes and real cowboys, to fine art and golden retirement living. There is so much to explore here that celebrities like Paul McCartney, Harrison Ford, Farrah Fawcett, Diana Ross, Savanna Guthrie, and John Wayne have all lived here. Here are some of our top picks to consider adding to your itinerary.

Things to Do in Tucson

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Tucson Restaurants

The first thing you must know about Tucson food is that we do Mexican cuisine right. Take your pick from the many Mexican Tucson restaurants beloved by critics, locals, and visitors alike. El Charro Café claims the right to the first ever chimichanga, developed in the 1920s. Café Poca Cosa “is to taste what Disney’s Fantasia is to sight and sound,” wrote a food writer for Tucson Weekly, adding that menu is “unique, entertaining, and highly innovative” nouvelle Mexican. The Tucson Tamale Company on Broadway looks unassuming from the curb, but it’s been featured in Travel & Leisure, on NPR, and in Food Channel features. El Guero Canelo Restaurante Mexicano will blow your mind with its famous Sonoran hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with tomatoes, pinto beans, onions, yellow mustard, jalapeno sauce, and mayo in a bolillo roll. Elvira’s serves up five different chicken moles, as well as Mexican steaks, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and flan that is simply to-die-for, which is complemented by live musical performances on the weekend. Last, but not least, you won’t want to miss Mi Nidito, host to countless celebrities and presidents. Other respected Tucson foodie hotspots include:

  • Agustin Kitchen – for French/American cuisine crafted by Ryan Clark, one of Tucson’s most acclaimed chefs. Expect a plate that is as beautiful as it is delicious and a long list of artful libations.
  • Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse & Saloon – A 50-year staple serving up steaks hearty enough for a real cowboy. If you’re not in the mood for the standard thoroughfare, there’s always mesquite-smoked trout and all-you-can-eat pork ribs served up family-style in the cozy, Western-themed dining room.
  • Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails – Legendary chef Janos Wilder has had many ventures around Tucson, but this endeavor serves up an eclectic menu that includes quail stuffed with pork carnitas wrapped in bacon; Ma Po Tofu with crayfish, leeks, and Sichuanese chili bean paste; and beer batter fish tacos with remoulade.
  • Maynard’s – This Fodor’s favorite is “an anchor in the downtown district,” they say, with French-inspired cuisine that includes oysters, steak tartare, coq au vin, and burgers with pommes frites. You won’t be disappointed, even if you simply order the homemade ice cream and stay a moment to watch the trains pass.

Tucson Casinos

Six hours from Las Vegas, gaming capital of America, you can bet on a good time in Southern Arizona with all the Tucson casinos for the choosing. Casino Del Sol Resort has been owned and operated by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe for over 20 years with slot machines, tables, fine dining, a 5,000 seat amphitheater, golf facilities, spa treatments, and an outdoor events arena.

Not to be outdone, the Tohono O’oodham Nation’s Desert Diamond Casino offers three locations with the state’s biggest uncapped jackpots, fine poker and blackjack tables, Bingo, a good mix of old and new slots, and the Monsoon Nightclub for elegant entertainment.

Spas in Tucson

Spas in Tucson are renowned for pampering with luxurious treatments and unique offerings that cater to A-listers and jet-setters from around the globe. These scenic retreats offer wellness packages that cater to mind, body, and spirit to leave you feeling completely energized, rejuvenated, and balanced when you leave Tucson.

  • Miraval Resort & Spa – Miraval is a hit with high-powered TV hosts like Oprah and Ellen, who come for the spiritual centering, but also with fitness buffs like Julianne Hough and Giuliana Rancic, who like the challenging workouts. Here you’ll find anxiety-calming horse grooming, Chinese qigong, deep tissue massage, fear-conquering pole jumping courses, and 200 other activities.
  • Canyon Ranch – Stars like Debra Messing, January Jones, and Jane Seymour have come to Canyon Ranch for personalized relaxation and healing programs, Watsu water massage, herbal Ayurvedic body treatments, spiritual cleansing, smoking cessation detox, custom footwear analysis, and cutting-edge care from medical doctors in a variety of sub-specialties. The spa has become so popular, 10 Celebrity cruise ships now have Canyon Ranch spas for their clientele.
  • Hashani Spa – This award-winning spa is tucked away in JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort on the west side of the city and caters to spa connoisseurs. Guests enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding desert and unique aromatherapy treatments using natural desert botanicals. The spa menu offers everything under sun — even custom treatments paired with guided tours of Saguaro National Park. The property also features multi-level pools, a waterslide, and a Lazy River, as well as Nickelodeon-themed activities for kids.
  • Green Toes – Green Toes is another charming Tucson spa if you only want to spend a few hours centering yourself. Described as “eco-chic,” the comfortable, quiet salon is an essential go-to for locals in need of facials, massage, mani-pedis, and quick beauty boosts. You’re bound to find your serenity surrounded by products that are 100% vegan, organic, and chemical-free.

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Tucson Parks

Tucson is a paradise for nature-lovers. Tucson parks are among the best places to soak up the scenery. Try these:

  • Saguaro National Park – Thousands of saguaro cacti are preserved within the borders of this beautiful park. Overnight camps will take you from 3,000 to 8,000 feet in 15 miles. Wildlife in the park includes big mammals like gray fox, coyote, bobcats, mountain lions, ringtails, peccary, deer, coatis, jack rabbits, and cottontails.
  • Catalina State Park – Hike, star-gaze, or horseback ride through the flower-dotted hillsides in the Sonoran Desert. Guided bird walks are among the most popular attractions, but there are also great loops for equestrian riding, wildflower viewing, and places to camp.
  • Sentinel Peak Park – Hike through the site of an ancient Pima village up to the mountain’s peak, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Tucson valley cityscape.
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park – Get a closer look at crystals, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, boxwork, and helictites on a one-hour trek through a desert cave, sip Arizona beers at the Terrace Outdoor Café, or saddle up for a horse ride at the historic La Posta Quemada Ranch.

Tucson Nightlife

The best Tucson nightlife opportunities are concentrated along Congress Street and down 4th Avenue in Downtown Tucson. Craft breweries like Barrio Brewing Company, artsy cocktail peddlers like R Bar, and gastro pubs like Dante’s Fire are all the rage in the district these days. A few of our favorite late-night spots for live music include:

Find dancing and drinks at any of the major resorts in the area. Or break out your dancing shoes at:

  • H2O Discotec
  • Zen Rock
  • The Aquadec
  • Sagebrush Cantina

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