A ride down I-10 in this neck of the woods is a little on the monotonous side. Why not break up an otherwise uneventful drive with a little diversion? Tucson would be a great option. It sits smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, and that means you’ll get to soak up some seriously awesome desert vibes. It’s like stepping into a wild west movie, complete with saguaro cacti and stunning sunsets.

Spend a few hours, or maybe even a day or two, exploring Tucson. Here are 5 really cool things to do in Tucson, Arizona:

1. Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Senora Desert Museum - Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide
Arizona-Senora Desert Museum – Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide

Nestled in the stunning Sonoran Desert, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum offers a unique blend of zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum. Explore the expansive outdoor exhibits showcasing native desert flora and fauna, including elusive animals like the javelina and desert tortoise. Engage in informative animal presentations and encounter majestic raptors up close. Stroll through beautiful cactus gardens and learn about the fascinating desert ecosystem.

Money

Admission Cost

Adult admission (13-64) to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is $29.95, seniors (65+), and military pay $27.95, and children (ages 3-12) are charged $19.95 Under 3 Free. Prices may vary, so it’s best to check the official website for up-to-date information.

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Hours of Operation

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is generally open (October-May) from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, with extended hours during the summer months. However, it’s recommended to visit the official website or call ahead to confirm the current operating hours.

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Time Needed to Visit

Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours exploring the various exhibits, gardens, and presentations at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Route Map

Directions from I-10

From Interstate 10 east or west, take exit 257 onto Speedway Boulevard and head west. Continue on Speedway Boulevard until you reach the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is located at 2021 North Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona 85743.

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Website

For more information, visit the official Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website at www.desertmuseum.org.

2. Explore Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide
Saguaro National Park, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide

Tucson is fortunate to be home to Saguaro National Park, where you can immerse yourself in the iconic beauty of the saguaro cactus. Hike scenic trails amidst towering cacti and breathtaking desert landscapes. Enjoy panoramic views from the park’s overlooks and learn about the saguaro’s unique adaptations at the visitor centers. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness stunning sunsets painting the sky in vibrant colors.

Money

Admission Cost

The entrance fee for Saguaro National Park is $25 per vehicle for a seven-day pass. Individual and motorcycle rates are also available. It’s advisable to check the National Park Service website for the most up-to-date fee information.

Open Sign

Hours of Operation

The Saguaro National Park visitor centers are generally open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, while the actual park itself is accessible 24 hours a day. However, it’s recommended to verify the operating hours on the official website or by contacting the park directly.

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Time Needed to Visit

The time needed to explore Saguaro National Park depends on your interests. A scenic drive can take a few hours, while hiking and immersing yourself in the park’s beauty may require a full day or more.

Route Map

Directions from I-10

From Interstate 10 east or west, take exit 251 onto Speedway Boulevard and head west. Continue on Speedway Boulevard until you reach Saguaro National Park’s eastern entrance at 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, Arizona 85730.

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Website

For more information, visit the Saguaro National Park website: www.nps.gov/sagu.

3. Wander through the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens - Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide
Tucson Botanical Gardens – Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide

Experience tranquility at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, an urban oasis showcasing diverse plant species. Meander through themed gardens, such as the fragrant herb garden and the ethereal butterfly garden. Admire the vibrant blooms of seasonal flowers and discover hidden gems like the Zen garden. The gardens also host various educational programs and exhibits throughout the year.

Money

Admission Cost

Adult admission to the Tucson Botanical Gardens is $15, seniors (65+) and students pay $13, and children (ages 4-17) are charged $8, children under 4 are Free. Admission prices may vary, so it’s advisable to check the official website for current rates.

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Hours of Operation:

Tucson Botanical Gardens are typically open from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. However, it’s recommended to check the official website or contact the gardens directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information on operating hours.

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Time Needed to Visit

Plan for approximately 1-2 hours to explore Tucson Botanical Gardens at a leisurely pace, though you can spend more time if you wish to take part in workshops or educational programs.

Route Map

Directions from I-10

Take exit 256 onto Grant Road and head east. Continue on Grant Road until you reach 2150 North Alvernon Way, Tucson, Arizona 85712, where the Tucson Botanical Gardens are located.

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Website

For more information, visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens website: www.tucsonbotanical.org.

4. Explore Mission San Xavier del Bac

Historic Mission San Xavier del Bac - Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide
Historic Mission San Xavier del Bac – Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide

Step back in time at Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission dating back to the late 18th century. Marvel at the impressive Spanish Baroque architecture and intricate details of the mission’s interior. Admire the vibrant frescoes and religious artwork, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. Take a guided tour to learn about the mission’s fascinating history and its significance to the local community.

Money

Admission Cost

There is no set admission fee to visit Mission San Xavier del Bac. However, donations are encouraged to support the maintenance and preservation of this historic site.

Open Sign

Hours of Operation

Mission San Xavier del Bac is open for visitors daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It’s recommended to check the official website or contact the mission for any updates on operating hours.

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Time Needed to Visit

Plan to spend around 1-2 hours to explore Mission San Xavier del Bac, appreciate the architecture, and learn about its history. Guided tours may extend the visit time.

Route Map

Directions from I-10

Take exit 209 onto 29th Street and head west. Continue on 29th Street until you reach San Xavier Road, where Mission San Xavier del Bac is located at 1950 West San Xavier Road, Tucson, Arizona 85746.

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Website

For more information, visit the Mission San Xavier del Bac website: www.sanxaviermission.org.

5. Delve into art and culture at the Tucson Museum of Art

Tucson Museum of Art - Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide
Tucson Museum of Art – Tucson, Arizona | I-10 Exit Guide

Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Tucson at the Tucson Museum of Art. Explore a diverse collection of art from different periods and cultures, ranging from traditional Native American art to contemporary works. Admire the museum’s rotating exhibitions featuring renowned artists and emerging talents. Take part in art workshops and lectures to engage with the local creative community. Don’t miss the museum’s beautiful outdoor courtyard, where you can relax and enjoy the artistic ambiance.

Money

Admission Cost

Adult admission to Tucson Museum of Art is $12, seniors (65+) pay $10, and students (ages 18+) are charged $7. Children under 18 can enter for free. However, it’s advisable to check the museum’s official website for the most up-to-date admission fees.

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Hours of Operation

The Tucson Museum of Art is typically open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with additional hours on certain days. It’s recommended to verify the current operating hours on the official website or by contacting the museum directly.

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Time Needed to Visit

Depending on your interest level and the current exhibitions, plan to spend 1-3 hours exploring the Tucson Museum of Art collections and any temporary exhibits.

Route Map

Directions from I-10

Take exit 258 onto Congress Street and head east. Continue on Congress Street until you reach 140 N. Main Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701, where the Tucson Museum of Art is situated.

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Website

For more information, visit the Tucson Museum of Art website: www.tucsonmuseumofart.org.


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One of the most complete road travel resources of its kind on the Internet! The Interstate 10 Exit Information Guide features exit service listings for the entire length of I-10 from California to Florida! Food, gas, lodging, rest areas, attractions and more…