Pima Air & Space Museum

#6 in Best Things To Do in Tucson
Pima Air & Space Museum picture1 of 3
Pima Air & Space Museum2 of 3
Courtesy Visit Tucson

Key Info

6000 East Valencia Rd.

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Housing more than 350 aircraft and spacecraft, this is one of the largest air and space museums in the world. Visitors see some of the most historic crafts, including an X-15A-2 (which set the altitude record when it reached the edge of outer space in the 1960s) and several Russian MiGs, which have been used by the Soviet and Russian army since the 1940s. You can also tour the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). Known fondly as the "Boneyard," this facility features dozens of out-of-work aircraft, lined up under the desert sun (tours of this section of museum cost extra). 

Recent visitors described the museum as "fascinating" and praised the on-site volunteers for their extensive knowledge of each plane's historical significance. Reviewers also noted this was a great educational stop for the kids and highly recommended forking over a little extra coin to take the "Boneyard" tour. 

Perched near the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in southeast Tucson, the Pima Air & Space Museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission is at 3 p.m.). Entry to the museum costs $16.50 for adults 13 and older, $10 for youths ages 5 to 12 and is free for children 4 and younger. You can also pay a $6 if you'd like to tour the grounds via tram; Boneyard tours cost $10 each and require advanced reservations. For more information, check out the museum website.

See all Hotels in Tucson »

More Best Things To Do in Tucson

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum1 of 13
Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway2 of 13
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Although it's called a museum, this facility – about 15 miles west of downtown Tucson – is more of a zoo. In fact, 85 percent of what you'll experience is outdoors (so dress accordingly). The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's 98 acres host 230 animal species  including prairie dogs, coyotes and a mountain lion  and 1,200 local plant species (totaling 56,000 individual plants). Walking through the museum's trails, visitors get acquainted with desert life. And if you feel hungry after your leisurely hike, you can enjoy a meal at one of the museum's four eateries, all of which have great views of the surrounding desert.

Recent visitors enjoyed their time at the museum and highly recommended future travelers set aside a few hours to explore the attraction's grounds and educational exhibits. Just make sure you come prepared: wear appropriate walking shoes, sun protection and sunscreen (though, if you forget your sunscreen, there are dispensers in the on-site bathrooms). Reviewers also advised stopping by in the morning or near closing as that's when the animals are most active. Aside from the flora and fauna, visitors also praised the knowledgeable docents.

Read more
Jerry Rosen/Courtesy Visit Tucson
See full list of Best Things To Do in Tucson »

Explore More of Tucson

Recommended

The 12 Top Florida Keys Beaches

Relax on the sandy shorelines from Key West to Key Largo.

Gwen PratesiJuly 15, 2019

The 15 Best New Orleans Walking Tours

Take on the Big Easy with a stroll through its streets.

Lyn MettlerJuly 15, 2019

The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours

Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 12, 2019

The 5 Best Oahu Helicopter Tours

Tour this picturesque island from the air on one of these excursions.

John RodwanJuly 11, 2019

The 15 Best Los Angeles Tours

Maximize your time in Los Angeles with the insider tips and historical context provided by the best local tours.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 3, 2019

The 15 Best Las Vegas Tours

See a different side of Sin City – its attractions go beyond gambling.

John RodwanJuly 2, 2019

The 10 Best San Diego Boat Tours

Explore this coastal city's sights with a relaxing boat excursion.

John RodwanJuly 1, 2019

The 15 Best Nashville Tours

Engage with the city's country roots on one of these tours.

Lyn MettlerJune 28, 2019

14 Top Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit

Head to upstate New York's winemaking region for scenery, history and lots of vino.

Kyle McCarthyJune 27, 2019

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019