Whether you are in Tucson just for the conference or for an extended visit there are a wide range of attractions available for tourists including galleries, dining, hiking trails, museums, and other educational outlets. Below are a selection of recommendations that we hope you will consider during your stay.
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- University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) – The museum’s permanent collection includes more than 6,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings with an emphasis on European and American fine art from the Renaissance to the present.
- Center for Creative Photography – The Center for Creative Photography is the premiere research collection of American photographic fine art and archives, promoting creative inquiry, dialogue, and appreciation of photography’s enduring cultural influence.
- Joseph Gross – The Joseph Gross Gallery is interested in pursuing interdisciplinary exhibitions that bridge the gap of traditional and non-traditional art. The gallery offers career development opportunities to students and emerging artists, while increasing public understanding of contemporary art.
- Arizona State Museum – The Arizona State Museum is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest. Experience the vibrant and enduring Native cultures of the region through content-rich exhibits, dynamic docent tours, engaging programs, exciting travel tours, hand-on workshops, a research library, and an educational museum store.
- Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory – 90 minute tours provide a unique opportunity to learn how innovative engineering and optical technology melds with manufacturing techniques to produce the largest and most advanced giant (8.4 meters / 27 ft) telescope mirrors in the world on the University of Arizona campus.
- University of Arizona Poetry Center – As a premier example of a thriving public/private partnership, the Poetry Center connects the University of Arizona with the greater literary community in Tucson and beyond. Architect Les Wallach employed a design principle called ‘a progression toward solitude.’ As visitors move from west to east through the building’s meeting and gathering spaces, they experience a gradual retreat into the peaceful solitude of the library collection.
- Student Union – Offers a variety of fast food and dining options. Below are a few highlighted recommendations, but more restaurants cant be found following the link.
- The Arizona Room combines an elegant, relaxed setting with some of the best views on campus. Students and staff will enjoy the new buffet-style dining menu with an added emphasis on table service.
- The Cellar is an energizing, sports-themed restaurant in the Student Union’s lower level offers the optimal fan experience. Wildcat games and NFL Sunday Ticket play across nine wide-screen TVs, and a jumbo screen plays a projection of the big game.
- Pangea offers a rotating, all-you-care-to-eat menu of international cuisine brings you along on journeys to Italy, Spain, Mexico, China, and Japan. Nourish your appetite for travel at any of our 10 serving stations Monday through Thursday, and then treat yourself to a decadent, all-you-care-to-eat Vegas-style Brunch on Fridays.
- Park Student Union Restaurants – Also offers a variety of restaurants, but for those with a tighter schedule. Below are a few we have featured.
- La Petite Patisserie sells fresh French pastries, sweet and savory crepes, smoothies, coffee and espresso in an easy to-go environment perfect for those in a rush.
- Core is UA’s newest and healthiest place to eat on campus. It is our mission to be food your body loves: to always offer healthy, tasty and unique food options that meet your needs. And yes, we look for local, organic options whenever possible. At Core you will find healthy, custom built salads, organic vegetables, fruits, prepackaged salads, vegan options, and all natural organic sodas and milk.
- Molto Gusto offers a small selection of flatbreads and paninis that can be ordered and picked up through online ordering.
- Other on campus dining options
- The Counter is located just under the McClelland Hall, not from from the School of Art. The Counter is a food truck that allows you to make your own sandwich with a great variety of breads, meats, cheeses, and condiments. The Counter also offers a diversified option of sides, drinks, and desserts.
- Fuel is a modern eatery located inside the Campus Recreation building. Fuel feeds hungry Wildcats healthy way! Using the Eat Like a CHAMPTM program, Fuel offers nutrient dense foods designed a winning performance. Choose from fresh delicious flatbreads, salads, wraps, power bowls, and hand crafted smoothies. Fuel also provides many options for hydration with the largest selection of sport drinks tailored for your workout style along with many other beverages including Vitamin Water and soy milk.
15 minutes or less from campus, driving
- Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) – Established by artists, MOCA is Tucson’s only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art from Tucson and around the globe. MOCA is committed to thinking globally, acting locally, and engaging with the ethics and aesthetics of contemporary life.
- Tucson Museum of Art – The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown, and features original and traveling exhibitions focusing on Art of Latin America, Art of the American West, Modern and Contemporary Art and Asian Art as well as tours, education programs, studio art classes, and Museum Store to delight and educate visitors.
- 4th Ave Shops – Selection of bars, restaurants and shops a short distance from campus. Walking south on Fourth Ave will also take you downtown.
- 6th St galleries – Meet local artists in their galleries.
- Etherton Gallery – Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Etherton Gallery is one of the leading galleries of fine art photography in the United States. The gallery is best known for its extensive inventory of classic and contemporary photography and works by emerging photographers expanding the medium in compelling ways. Our exhibitions consistently highlight the most important figures in the history of the medium and we remain dedicated to making great works of photography accessible to novices and experienced collectors alike.
- Davis-Dominguez Gallery – The DAVIS DOMINGUEZ GALLERY offers an exciting exhibition schedule of contemporary art in its most traditional forms; fine paintings, drawings and sculpture. We provide every convenience to the collector. Tucson is home to a remarkably large, diverse community of professional visual artists, many of whom have earned national and international recognition. It is from this talent pool that DAVIS DOMINGUEZ GALLERY draws a wide ranging team of artists, including a number of painters currently working elsewhere who still maintain a strong “Tucson Connection.” The “look” of the gallery is Modern, with a generous mix of 20th Century styles represented.
- The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures – Showcases more than 300 antique and contemporary dollhouses and roomboxes as well as temporary exhibits.
- Tucson Botanical Gardens – Located on the site of the historic Porter property, Reader’s Digest named Tucson Botanical Gardens as the BEST Secret Garden in America. Among mature trees and expertly cultivated foliage, specialty gardens such as the Cactus & Succulent Garden, Barrio Garden and Herb Garden highlight the diversity of native plants while offering a lush oasis in the heart of Tucson.
- Reid Park Zoo – Travel from South America to the Asian rain forest, and then to the African savannah in one day all from Tucson at the Reid Park Zoo.
- Raices Taller 222 – Sponsoring activities to promote the understanding and appreciation of art by the public, especially by the traditional and historical cultures of Tucson, by minorities and others underserved by the arts. Making art and the creative process available to those who might not otherwise have access to them through community outreach to all age groups: children, adults and seniors. Promoting solidarity, synergy, and opportunities for artists’ growth, and encouraging creative expression from individual member artists. Raices Taller 22 is Tucson’s only Latino based contemporary nonprofit cooperative art gallery and workshop located in the Downtown Historic Warehouse District.
- Main Gate Square Dining – Located just on the edge of the west side of campus, this two block area has a number of eating options.
- No Anchovies is a pizza joint crafting specialty pies. After a recent renovation, they now offer bars on two floors, a nightclub, 65 big screens and a state-of-art sound system from Martin Audio. Their pizza line is bigger than ever with Slices and we serve plenty of homemade favorites from Sandwiches and Fresh Salads to Fried Apps and our Famous Loaded Tots.
- Pelio Grill Greek Taverna and Catering is a small, local, family owned business created by George Markou. He uses recipes passed down from his parents, both natives of Greece. Pelio Grill features dishes from Alli Meria, an enchanting village located on Mount Pelion in Greece.
- The Dutch Eatery & Refuge offers New American-style cuisine alongside classic Dutch dishes..
- 4th Ave Dining – Has a selection of bars, restaurants and shops a short distance from campus. Walking south on Fourth Ave will also take you downtown. Here are a few we have highlighted, but there are many tasty options available on this street.
- Bison Witches is a nontraditional bar featuring gourmet deli sandwiches and bread bowls. A great selection of microbrews, table side service, and a full bar makes for a lively atmosphere.
- Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar is a stylish hangout featuring craft beers and wines, plus New American eats and live music in a warm space.
- La Indita is a traditional Tucson favorite offering Mexican and Native American cuisine. Located in a delightfully painted storefront on the east side of Fourth Ave, La Indita has an intimate dining room or al fresco on the shady patio.
- Cafe Poca Cosa – Tucson’s perennial critical darling, an upscale Mexican cafe known for fresh, creative Mexican fare.
- Tucson Tamale Company – Unwrap happiness inside our award-winning gourmet tamales. With over 20 different flavors, there’s a lot of happiness to be unwrapped at Tucson Tamale. Our tamales are naturally gluten free and because we don’t use lard, we make many vegetarian and vegan varieties.
- El Güero Canelo – A must-visit Mexican food stand famous for its iconic Tucson Mexican specialty, the Sonoran Dog. These bacon-wrapped hot dogs are topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes and onions, mayonnaise, and salsa verde. The slightly-sweeter buns are obtained from Mexican bakeries.
- Veg in a Box – Cheery vegetarian cafe in a colorful, cozy space for vegetarian eats, smoothies & juices.
- Prep & Pastry – High-ceilinged, wood-beamed eatery for housemade pastries & elevated breakfast dishes & sandwiches. We use only locally sourced ingredients because we believe you deserve only the best which is always what you will get at Prep & Pastry.
- Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue – This easygoing counter-serve restaurant features traditional Hawaiian Plate Lunches, homemade desserts and a daily special with island flair.
- Trident Grill – Neighborhood watering hole with 24 beers on tap, a menu of seafood, burgers & pub grub near the University of Arizona.
- Maynards Market & Kitchen – Historic venue with a takeaway counter, a gourmet shop & a bar & eatery with seasonal American fare. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in downtown Tucson. Casual eatery and wine shop in the market. Fine dining in the kitchen. Happy hours at both locations.
- Lovin’ Spoonfuls – offers entirely plant-based breakfast, lunch and dinner in a warm and gracious atmosphere. Even the non-veggies love our food! In addition to our regular menus, we also offer gluten-free, fat-free, whole food and soy-free menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Barrio Brewing Co. – Located in downtown Tucson this rustic-chic brewpub has well-known happy-hour specials, shuffleboard & up to 12 house beers on tap.
- Sabino Canyon – With soaring mountains, deep canyons, and the unique plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert found here draw over a million visitors a year to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The wonders of the desert foothills and rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains are marvelous and accessible. Located in the northeast side of Tucson, near Loews Ventana.
- Biosphere 2 – Come tour one of the world’s most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. The Biosphere 2 facility serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching provider of public education. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe.
- Kitt Peak National Observatory – Kitt Peak National Observatory supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun. Sharing the mountaintop site with the National Solar Observatory, KPNO operates three major nighttime telescopes and hosts the facilities of consortia which operate 22 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes. Kitt Peak is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ
- San Xavier del Bac – Visit the well-preserved mission that is more than 300 years old. Located just south of Tucson.
- Saguaro National Park – Its 2 sections are on either side of the city of Tucson. The park is named for the large saguaro cactus, native to its desert environment. In the western Tucson Mountain District, Signal Hill Trail leads to petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people. In the eastern Rincon Mountain District, Cactus Forest Drive is a loop road with striking views of the desert landscape.
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium. The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most museums, about 85% of the experience is outdoors!
- Old Tucson Studios –Old Tucson is Where the Spirit of the Old West Comes Alive! Whether you’re looking for a day of Western fun and entertainment for your family or for your company, Old Tucson is the perfect location to take a step back in time. Old Tucson offers fun for the whole family, including western experiences featuring gunfights, saloon musicals, living history presentations, film history tours.
- Mt. Lemmon – Mount Lemmon, with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet, is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. As escalation on the mountain increases, the plants change from cactus and pine trees.
- Gates Pass – Gates Pass is a mountain pass along the crest of the Tucson Mountains. The road through the pass is a scenic route west of Tucson, Arizona.
- Tohono Chul – Embrace the authentic beauty of the Sonoran Desert year-round at Tohono Chul, Tucson’s charming crossroads of nature, art and culture. Deemed “One of the World’s Ten Best Botanical Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Tohono Chul has been celebrated by Tucson as one of its “best kept secrets” for over a quarter of a century.
- Catalina State Park – Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife and nearly 5,000 saguaros. The 5,500 acres of foothills, canyons and streams invites camping, picnicking and bird watching — more than 150 species of birds call the park home. The park provides miles of equestrian, birding, hiking, and biking trails which wind through the park and into the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet.
- Heritage Orchard at Tumacácori National Historical Park – Tumacácori National Historical Park is working toward the reconstruction of a portion of the historic mission orchard. The park continues to strive to do the research necessary to identify, obtain, and propagate historic fruit tree stock that will be planted at the park. This is a monumental task requiring both funding and labor. The following article gives a synopsis of much of what is involved in making the reconstructed mission orchard as historically accurate as possible.
Near Loews Ventana
- Flying V Bar & Grill – Upscale, hotel cafe offering Southwestern fare such as tableside guacamole plus mountain views in Loews Ventana Resort.
- Canyon Cafe – Relax as you admire stunning views of the Catalina Mountains—from Canyon Café’s indoor dining room or refreshing outdoor terrace in the Loews Ventana Canyon. This casual spot serves modern American cuisine with Southwestern soul, and heart-healthy options that are anything but boring. Enjoy signature dishes like Prime Rib “Enchilada Dip” or something with a Southwestern twist like our Thin Crust Pizza with red chili chicken and Chipotle Cheddar Mac & Cheese. And don’t miss the Blues, Brews & BBQ Brunch on Sundays.
- El Charro Cafe Ventana – Established in 1922, El Charro Café of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation’s Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Café is truly as Gourmet Magazine wrote: “A Taste Explosion”.
- Risky Business Restaurant & Bar –Risky Business is a family restaurant and sports bar. Whether you’re taking the family out for dinner, enjoying a casual lunch with your colleagues, or catching a game with friends, any of our 2 Risky’s locations is ready to serve you. Stop by and discover what makes Risky Business everyone’s favorite place to unwind!
- Ginza Sushi & Izakaya – Japanese restaurant/bar serving tapas-style food and drinks in a lively atmosphere. Customers usually share dishes with one another in their party rather than ordering individually. In addition to our ample sushi menu, we offer traditional Izakaya staples, sashimi, salads & tempura.
- Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine – With just one taste, you will understand why Peruvian Cuisine
is one of the best in the world with the special blending of spices, international influences and ingredients imported from Perú. Fresh dishes made from scratch Unique, authentic, delicious Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine at the southwest corner of Sunrise and Kolb.
- Commoner & Co. – You can’t beat Commoner & Co. for exquisite dinner, great happy hours, and Sunday brunch. Keep it fresh & keep it fun. Commoner and Co. turns traditional classics on their ear!