There are a lot of great things to see and do in Tucson, AZ.
Here is a list of four of our favorite sights and landmarks in Tucson, AZ.
Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway
“Unexpected Delight! Have half a day to kill (figuratively)? Then take the drive to the top of Mt Lemmon. The scenery changes from cactus on the bottom to a forest on the top. There are many, many pullovers that make for great photo ops. I believe it is 29 miles to the top. Lots of hiking trails along the way too. There’s a restaurant up there. It’s truly worth the drive. Even saw three deer at the top.”- Mark A., review found on TripAdvisor.com.
The Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway is in the Catalina Mountains about 15 miles northeast of Tucson. It is the only paved road that leads you to the upper stretches of Mt. Lemmon. It is arguably one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona. Mt. Lemmon is a natural wonder, it offers the driver sights equivalent to driving from Mexican deserts up to Canadian forests in only 28 short miles. This drive contains some of the most wide-ranging natural diversity that can be found in an area comparable in size in the contiguous US. Locals call the road the Catalina Highway or the Mount Lemmon Highway, however, it is officially named the General Hitchcock Highway after Postmaster General Frank Harris Hitchcock. It was designated a Scenic Byway on April 28, 1995, and over one million visitors travel the road every year. There are places to turn out for scenic overlooks as well as multiple campgrounds and picnic areas available for use on the drive. The Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway is accessible for most vehicles as the roads are paved, however large motor homes, buses, and trailers over 22’ may find the steep grades and sharp turns difficult to navigate, and there are few places available to turn around. The drive is 28 miles one way and most people accomplish it in one to two hours depending on the stops they make. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Mission San Xavier del Bac
“You have to see this Mission when in Tucson! It’s a working Mission of the old Spanish style. You’ll be blown away by the paintings and atmosphere. Be sure and watch the short film they play before going through the church. It talks about the restoration.”- Bob Y., review found on TripAdvisor.com.
The Mission San Xavier del Bac was constructed in the 1700’s. According to its website, it is the oldest European structure in Arizona. The Mission is a recently restored white adobe church, a beautiful example of Spanish Colonial architecture. The interior is as beautiful as the exterior with original statuary, and paintings. As an authentic 18th Century place, history buffs will love feeling as though they have truly stepped back in time. To this day the church retains its original purpose and ministers to the religious needs of its congregation. Every year, nearly 200,000 visitors come from all over the world to see what could easily be the greatest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the US. The church is open to the public from 7 am to 5 pm, unless a special service is being held. The museum hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm and the gift shop is open from 8 am to 5 pm. Free tours are held at specific times Monday through Saturday. You can find detailed information here. You do not need to pay an admission charge to visit Mission San Xavier del Bac, which is located about nine miles south of downtown Tucson, just off Interstate 19. Simply take exit 92 (San Xavier Road) then follow the signs to the Mission.
Cactus Forest Drive
“A great way to see Cacti and desert landscape “up close” in a car. This 8-mile one-way loop opens at 7 am, which is a great time to see any wildlife. The Saguaro were flowering during our visit in early May and it was a sight to behold. Most of the pullouts had great views and, with the early light, made for some great photographs. A very enjoyable way to spend an early morning in Tucson.”- Phil C., review found on TripAdvisor.com.
Found in the Saguaro National Park, home to the nation’s largest cacti, the Cactus Forest Scenic Loop Drive is a paved, combination one- and two-way road. Over its eight miles, it features several trailheads, scenic vistas, and pullouts. There is a guide available for $2.00 at the visitor center to the natural and cultural history of the Cactus Forest Loop Drive. If you plan to visit, keep in mind that trailers longer than 35 feet or any vehicle wider than eight feet are not permitted. Remain cautious on your drive as bikers, horseback riders, and hikers are also permitted to use the road. As a part of the Rincon Mountain District (east), the drive is open to vehicles from 7am (if staffing permits, gates may open earlier) to sunset daily. You can walk or bike into the park 24 hours a day. The visitor center is open 364 days a year from 9 am to 5 pm, closing only on Christmas.
San Pedro Chapel
“Small and well-preserved Chapel in Old Fort Lowell District. Nestled in a quiet community, it has the earmarks of antiquity. Much history surrounds this Chapel; for, it has been in the district since the Civil war, Native American occupation as well as the Hispanic population. A serene setting. Contemplate your life here.”- review by “eadieg” on TripAdvisor.com.
The San Pedro Chapel is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood. It is considered to be both a neighborhood icon and a national treasure. The San Pedro Chapel that can be seen today was dedicated in 1932. It was built over the ruins of an older church that was destroyed in a tornado. Both were constructed by the El Fuerte community, the Mexican settlers who came after Fort Lowell was abandoned. The Chapel is a City of Tucson Historic Landmark and is on the State and Federal Registers of Historic Places.
Accurate Service is proud to be a part of a community that has such close connections to its history and the nature around it. We hope you give these places a visit!
Remember, the next time you need auto maintenance or repair call the experts at Accurate Service. We offer the best automotive care in Tucson, Arizona, at the best prices. We service all makes and models of vehicles and can do any repair whether it be large or small. Call us at (520) 622-7685 or click here to schedule an appointment online.