Tucson, Arizona

19 Jan, 2009

Tucson, Arizona

When you spend a holiday in Tucson, Arizona, you’ll be surprised at the variety of offerings and tourist attractions that the city has for you. Make sure you put the places discussed in this article in your itinerary. In fact, you should put them at the top of your list. Here are some of the places you should visit while on holiday in Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Anyone who wants to appreciate the diverse flora and fauna in the nearby Sonora Desert should visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It is tagged as a museum but it is more than that. It has live animal exhibits, as well as plant life exhibits. The museum also has exhibits of artwork by local and out-of-state artists.

Art exhibits include:

• The Ironwood Gallery
This is a permanent exhibit offered by the museum. It is open daily from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.

• Art Institute Instructors Invitational
This is an upcoming exhibit that will run from January 10 until March 29, 2009. This art exhibit goes beyond animals; it features a wide span of art styles from instructors at the Art Institute.

Animal exhibits on the other hand include the Raptor free flight, an exhibit in the open desert featuring indigenous birds of prey like the Harris’ hawk, ferruginous hawk and the common barn owl, among others. This exhibits runs from October 26, 2008 until April 12, 2009.

Sabino Canyon

Tucson, Arizona - Sabino Canyon

Tucson, Arizona - Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon is located deep inside the Coronado National Park in Tucson. It offers a view to desert landscapes that can make a photographer drool. It is also home to a vibrant and abundant desert wildlife. As a tourist, you can partake of several tours including:

• Sabino Canyon Trail
This is in itself composed of several trails. The trails vary in difficulty from easy and to trails that are best taken by expert or intermediate hikers. The tram rides to the starting point of these trails are narrated tours at their core as well.

There are a total of three trails namely:

1. Blackett’s Ridge Trail
This can be accessed by getting off at tram stop number 2. The trail leads to a flat peak which offers panoramic views of the park.

Tucson, Arizona - Sabino Canyon - Blackett’s Ridge Trail

2. Telephone Line Trail
The trail follows and looks over the Sabino Creek. This tour starts off at tram stop number 9.

3. Hutch’s Pools
This is recommended for intermediate or advanced hikers. The trail is lengthy, and takes about six to hours. Like the Telephone Line trail, the hike starts at tram stop number 9.

• Bear Canyon Trail

Tucson, Arizona - Sabino Canyon - Bear Canyon Trail

This tour has no narration included, in contrast to the previous tour. It spans two miles and has three stops included. The stops are starting points for two hiking trails:

1. Sabino Dam
Although this tour starts at tram stop number 2, the Dam can be accessed from the parking lot. The dam’s creek is home to gila chubs and green sunfishes.

2. Seven Falls
This tour starts at the end of the tram ride. This is a very challenging hike that passes through Sabino Creek and ends at the Seven Falls.

Kitt Peak National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Kitt Peak National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Aside from flora and fauna, a holiday in Tucson provides you with another opportunity that you shouldn’t miss: a chance to look at the stars up close and personal through high-powered astronomy telescopes.

Right above the Sonora Desert is the Kitt Peak National Optical Astronomy Observatory, home to over 24 optical and 2 radio telescopes. The Observatory is the home base for eight astronomical research institutes, which explains the high number of telescopes in its vicinity. The observatory has been existing for 40 years already.

The observatory has several offerings for visitors including:

• Guided tours
Tour guides are available to take you around in an informative tour. The tours are available at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. daily.

• Night observation programs
An offering that astronomy enthusiasts will surely appreciate, the observatory has three observatory domes that allow visitors to look at the stars through some of their powerful optical telescopes. This service has been available since October 2002. The observatory claims to host almost 7000 people every year.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Tucson, Arizona - Pima Air & Space Museum

Boasting to be one of the largest air and space museums in the entire world, the museum is host to a large number of exhibits focusing on aeronautics and space travel. It is open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Exhibits include:

• Hangar 1 South, or the Spirit of Freedom Hangar
The exhibits house some of the rarest aircraft in the world. The hangar allows visits a close at an SR-71 Blackbird, Martin PBM-5A and a North American F-107.

• Hangar 3
Hangar 3 is home to vintage World War 2 aircraft. Warplanes parked in the hangar include a Mitchell B-25, an A-25 and a German Fi-156 Storch. You can also find combat gliders used during that great war.

• Hangar 4
In Hangar 4, visitors can feast their eyes on restored aircraft. A B-29 Superfortress is one of the airplanes that you can find in Hangar 4. Like Hangar 3, most of the exhibits pertain to the Second World War

• Hangar 5
If you wonder how vintage aircraft are restored, Hangar 5 will answer your questions for you. The hangar features live staff and volunteers busy at work bringing back the splendor of old airplanes.

• WW2 Barracks
This is an authentic World War 2 barracks and air shelter that was once used by the crew at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The building was acquired by the museum and moved to its premises at Tucson.

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  • flora y fauna de sonora
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