Exploring the Old West: Tucson, Arizona

This October my son and I decided it was time for our annual trip. We decided to invite my 10 years old daughter along this time. The kids had a list of musts for the trip: hiking, a nice hotel (I liked this one!), some museums and some unique sights. We threw out some location ideas and agreed on a trip to the Old West, Tucson, Arizona.

We flew into Phoenix and after an hour and half drive south arrived at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain. Can’t say enough good things about this fantastic spot. We opted to stay in a casita and were blown away by the room. Our two-room house had an unobstructed view of the hills of Dove Mountain. Request room 6722- best room at the resort!

The kids were wowed by the pool (with an awesome water slide) but we decide to head out to explore first. My daughter had never seen a desert environment before so she was eager to go. Check out our top spots below:

1. Sonoran Desert Museum:

This outdoor museum was the perfect way to start the trip. The museum highlighted animals, plants and the topography of the desert. Several trails wound through the area. We were all mesmerized by the Javelinas (indigenous animals that look that boars). The easy to walk paths also taught a lot about the Saguaro Cactus, which is indigenous only to the Sonoran Desert.

2. Old Tucson Studios:

This movie studio produced some of the most famous Hollywood westerns. Walking through the studio you feel transported back to the Old West. My kids loved the musical shows and gunfights held every half hour.

3. Biosphere 2:

This earth science center is amazing! Biosphere 2 was created to observe if a closed environmental system could sustain human life. In the 1990s, 8 scientists lived in the building researching, experimenting and observing the five biomes created. Walking thru the building is like traveling thru different environments on the globe- a savannah, an ocean, a rainforest, a desert, and wetlands. Currently, University of Arizona owns the Biosphere 2 and it is open to the public for guided tours.

4. Kartchner Caverns:

This national park was definitely the highlight of our trip. The caverns were discovered in the1974 and remained a secret for over 14 years. This underground cave tour features all different types of centuries old formations. The Throne Room features a 58-foot tall column called Kubla Khan and the largest soda straw stalactite.

5. Who can visit the Old West without a trip to the original town of Tombstone. This is truly like stepping back into the Old West. The town is a throwback to the cowboy years. Visit the OK Corral and witness a gunfight in the spot where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday fought.

Tucson, Arizona felt like a secret getaway that everyone will love. The sights, the hiking, and the yummy southwestern cuisine make this trip to the South West a must for anyone who loves adventure and the outdoors.


Happy Travels! Christy

This entry was posted in Travel on October 17, 2016.

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