Plan Your Next Vacay at This Dreamy Desert Destination
Whether you’re road tripping through the desert or hopping aboard a plane, make sure that Tucson, Arizona is the destination of your next escape. With days full of sunshine and clear nights full of stars, it’s the perfect place to get back in touch with nature and hit the refresh button. Here are 10 things to do in Tucson for the most magical vacay ever. Tucson Itinerary
Experience true luxury at the dreamy Omni Tucson National Resort. From indulging in award-winning cuisine to enjoying a rejuvenating hot stone massage at the full-service spa, it’s clear that this resort prioritizes rest and relaxation. The grounds are absolutely stunning, and you’ll love soaking in the beautiful Arizona landscape and watching the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine on your balcony. And if you’re in the mood to get active or explore, there are plenty of resort activities like hikes, bike rides, stargazing, birdwatching and more. If a recharge is what you need, look no further than this stunning Arizona oasis.
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For truly passionate foodies, head to Tucson City of Gastronomy, the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the US. While exploring, keep an eye out for local restaurants, farmers markets and wineries that have been TCOG-certified. This certification celebrates eateries and artisans that help maintain Tucson’s culinary traditions, support the local food economy and have ethical, sustainable and community-minded business practices. Be sure to check out the website for amazing food and beverage tours.
Adventure: Rent Electric Bikes
You know what they say: the fun is in the journey, not the destination. Make your trips around Tucson a little more exciting and enjoy the magnificent desert views at your own speed when you rent an electric bike for your next outdoor excursion. Some nearby spots to check out include St. Philip’s in the Hills, the Valley of the Moon, Rillito River Park Trail and El Jefe Cat Lounge.
If your ideal day includes time on a champion-worthy green, you’ll fall head over spikes for Omni Tucson’s two gorgeous courses. The Sonoran is a desert-style course designed by Tom Lehman, and the Catalina Course is a Parkland-style course that has hosted over 30 PGA events—the pros consider the Catalina’s 18th hole to be one of the most challenging on the PGA Tour. You can’t go wrong with either, but who says you have to choose? Speaking of the pros, be sure to catch the PGA Tour Champions playing at Omni Tucson National Resort during the Cologuard Classic (Feb. 25-27).
Visit: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum lets you experience a world-renowned zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium and art gallery—all in one visit! As what can only be described as a fusion experience, you could easily spend the whole day walking through the grounds and taking in the wide variety of natural beauty on the premises. Some of our favorite highlights include learning about the prehistoric Sonorasaurus, visiting the stingray touch pool and feeling a brush of feathers during the Raptor Free Flight (on select days from Oct. to April). And don’t worry if you need to refuel during the day—the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum has two restaurants, a coffee shop and a snack stop to keep you (and your curiosity) going strong.
Calling all amateur astrologists: soak up the starlight, moonlight and all the wonders of the cosmos during SkyNights at Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter. Located at an altitude of 9,157 feet, this immersive, five-hour program is sure to be one to remember. Beginning two hours before sunset, the program includes an astronomy lecture, dinner and a guided navigation of the night sky. The event only accommodates 20 people, so you won’t have to worry about long waits to look through the telescopes. If you’re looking forward to seeing a specific celestial body, such as neighboring planets, nebulae or galaxies, be sure to plan in advance and make sure you’re there during the right time of year.
Local Insight: If you’re more of a casual observer, check out Omni Tucson National Resort’s stargazing events!
One of the best ways to enjoy any vacation is by exploring the local landscape! Whether you want to go for a nature walk or you’re looking for something more advanced, there are plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Take a half-day hike on the Seven Falls Trail to marvel at natural waterfalls, wander on the gentle, beginner-friendly Bridal Wreath path or soak up Sonoran views on the Wasson Peak Trail. Pro tip: winter is the best time to explore the latter!
Come hungry to Bob’s Steak & Chop House at Omni Tucson—you’ll need room for their mammoth-sized meals and top-tier ingredients. While some of the menu’s greatest hits include the savory jumbo shrimp scampi, the fresh chophouse salad and mouthwatering desserts, you can never go wrong with Bob’s selection of corn-fed, Midwestern prime beef. For a truly decadent night, order the prime filet and lobster with a Garrison Brothers bourbon flight.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate Easter this year, Bob’s Steak & Chop House is hosting a festive brunch on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.! During this hoppy celebration, you and your crew can enjoy everything from filet mignon and Alaskan king salmon to chile roasted leg of lamb and classics like roasted garlic whips and fresh seasonal salad.
Adventure: Hot-Air Balloon Ride
The piece de resistance of any trip to Tucson? An unforgettable hot-air balloon ride, of course! Running from Oct. through April, Tucson Balloon Rides’ 60-minute Sonoran Sunrise Balloon Tours are nothing short of stunning. While up in the air, you’ll be able to see the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park West, Tucson Mountains and Avra Valley in all their glory. Plus, each ride is completed with a champagne brunch; it’s the perfect way to start the day.
Explore: Downtown Tucson
With its recent revitalization efforts, you’ll love walking through downtown Tucson for the historic buildings, food scene and bustling nightlife. As you’re exploring, you can enjoy six districts—each with their own unique stories and flavors. Head to the Main Gate for the University of Arizona Wildcats fans, Fourth Ave for artsy bar-hoppers and Congress St for local craft brews. You can also find the Old Town Artisans in Presidio, historic theaters in Convention and the “A” Mountain in Sentinel.
Omni Tucson National Resort
2727 W Club Dr
Tucson, AZ 85742
Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.