Backed by a long Spanish history, surrounded by majestic mountains that are spotted with saguaros and settled in a gorge, Tucson Arizona provides an exciting weekend vacation for people who want to temporarily escape the busyness of everyday life.

Well-known as a college metropolis, the second-largest city in Arizona, Tucson is now part of the trending foodie places on earth and was the first city in the US to be called the “City of Gastronomy” in 2015 by UNESCO.

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Aside from the exciting and delicious food options, Tucson also makes you feel at home. If you are planning to spend your time in Arizona’s food capital, here is the complete guide for an unforgettable weekend in Tucson.

Things to Consider Before Your Visit

The question as to when you should schedule a weekend in Tucson is dependent on your tolerance for the hot weather. If you travel during the summer, prepare yourself to start early in your day as it can be extremely hot during the day. However, being in the middle of the desert, the place can get cold during the evenings and winter. So, if you are not very fond of the extremes, you can hit the sweet spot in the weather by booking your vacation during early spring or mid-fall. Come April to June to see the cactus in bloom.

For the perfect weekend vacation, you can book a 3-day and 2-night stay in Tucson to give you enough time to immerse yourself in the city and its surrounding areas without rushing. Flights are available daily in Tucson Airport, and if you want to visit the tourist spots in Tucson, renting a car is imperative as the city is quite spread out.

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Accommodation Options

One of the most popular inns in Tucson would be Posada by The Joshua Tree House. Located five minutes away from Saguaro National Park’s western entrance, it has spacious suites adorned in Spanish adobe style that wonderfully blends with its environment. Planning is key though because the popularity of this place makes it hard to reserve a slot, so it is best to book way advance before your scheduled arrival for you to enjoy the restorative and beautiful experience of staying in this inn.

Hungry? Let’s Go!

From exquisite and classy food to local taquerias, the wide variety of food in the City of Gastronomy is something worth visiting.

  • Seis Kitchen offers Mexican food and the most amazing fresh tacos you will ever have in Tucson, plus their extra crispy quesadilla that will make you order seconds. For American cuisine made the French way, Agustin Kitchen is the place to dine.
  • If you want to wind down and celebrate happy hour, Penca serves amazing sangrias and modern tacos. Craving the usual comfort food but want a unique twist? Try Welcome Diner that serves the best fried chicken in town, along with mac & cheese and popcorn cauliflower.
  • Time Market is also a great option as this local market serves pizza and sandwiches in addition to grocery items. If brunch is your thing, try the Five Points Market & Restaurant which is a more laid-back market.
  • Taquería Juanito’s serves the best tacos in town. Lastly, there is Maynard’s Market & Kitchen, a posh restaurant that is popular for its French cuisine and its overall ambiance.
  • Another great place to have your drinks is the Exo Bar – the place for great cocktails, Sonoran spirits, and mescal. After drinks, you can get your coffee at Exo, Cartel Coffee, or Presta Coffee Roasters.

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Explore and Create Memories

A trip is Not Complete Without Exploring the Local Tourist Attractions

  • Next, you can go to the Desert Museum and explore the conservation zoo for local animals. Located in the desert, a few hours of touring will be worth the time and money. You may be surprised at the diversity of creatures that call the desert home. To see the animals while they are still active, it is suggested that you visit early in the morning.
  • In Tucson, you can start by visiting the Saguaro National Park. Spend a day in this beautiful place by kicking off your visit with a hike through the western part of the park in Kings Canyon. There are also other trails available like the Desert Discovery Trail, Signal Hill, and Hugh Norris. After a hike, you can get into your car to the Bajada Loop Drive and see the tallest cactuses inside the park while allowing you to see the great views.
  • The MSA Annex is also a good place to be when you want to dine, shop and drink. You can have lunch at Mercado San Agustin and get some locally made artisan goods, which can take a few hours off your weekend trip. And at night, you can go to Exo bar for some Mezcal tasting. Aside from their wide variety of mezcals, they have an extensive menu and offer several tastings that depend on your palette.
  • Looking for an afternoon stroll? Barrio Viejo, a place near downtown, is the perfect place for you to see colorful and historic adobe houses. And before heading back home, make sure you stop by San Xavier Del Bac Mission as it is 10 minutes away from the airport. This exquisite church is an example of Spanish Colonial architecture that was built between 1783 and 1797. The stark white of the church makes it stand out in the desert.

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