University of Arizona Campus#12 in Best Things To Do in Tucson
Price & Hours
This sprawling campus in central Tucson boasts several notable attractions. History and culture buffs appreciate the Arizona State Museum and the University of Arizona Museum of Art while shoppers enjoy perusing the numerous vintage and budget-friendly shops near campus. If you're visiting during the fall, head over to the Arizona Stadium to watch the Wildcats take on notable Pac-12 football rivals, while basketball fans can watch the school's team play at the McKale Center come winter and spring.
The University of Arizona campus also makes a great place to simply enjoy the nice weather. Some travelers suggest you visit when classes are in session because the grounds are peaceful and the palm trees and fountains on campus add to the warm-weather ambiance. And don't forget to stop by the university bookstore to pick up some Wildcat gear before you leave.
You don't have to pay to explore the campus, but the museums do charge entrance fees and you'll have to buy your game-day tickets at least a day or two in advance. There is street parking around the campus, but there are also plenty of garages; most charge $2 per hour. For more information on things to do on the University of Arizona campus, visit the school'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.
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