Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block#9 in Best Things To Do in Tucson
The Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block pays tribute to the city's vibrant past not just in its name, but also in its appearance. Its galleries are housed in historical adobe homes that together make up an old-fashioned, Mexican-inspired village. Each structure is dedicated to a different artistic theme, such as the American West, Latin America and contemporary art. The museum also hosts notable traveling exhibitions.
Many recent visitors praised the diversity of the exhibits and their unique setting. However, some note that the museum's size has hindered the growth of its collections (it is currently building a large, new wing). In addition to the museum's artworks, it also receives kudos from reviewers for its on-site gift shop and cafe.
You'll find the Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block in the El Presidio district, about 2 miles west of the University of Arizona campus (recent visitors also recommended checking out the art museum at the university). The museum welcomes guests from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. General admission costs $12 for adults, $7 for youths between the ages of 13 and 17 and college students with IDs, and is free for children 12 and younger. Tucson Attractions Passport holders can bring a friend for free. If you're hoping to save on admission, schedule your visit for the first Thursday of the month, when admission is free from 5 to 8 p.m. Parking is free. For more information, visit the Tucson Museum of Art's website.
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#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.