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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Family fun in the desert sun

Pascal Albright

Tucson Botanical Gardens, located on 2150 N. Alvernon Way, is home to many plants of Southern Arizona. It has 25 different gardens, striving to be the “best small, public garden in America.”

Admire Tucson’s natural beauty at Saguaro National Park

The saguaro cactus serves as a symbol of the Southwest. According to the U.S. National Park service, “these majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park.” The park offers opportunities to camp or hike. Prices are listed on the camp’s website.

The park’s two locations can be found on both the east and west sides of Tucson.

Estimated time from campus: 30 minutes for both locations             

Experience the Tucson Botanical Gardens

The Tucson Botanical Gardens was named as the “best Secret Garden in America” by Reader’s Digest. The garden itself is a five-and-a-half-acre assortment of 17 different gardens. 

It offers sights of lively succulents, herbs, native plants and tropical butterflies. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The garden offers a discount for students, charging $15 for adults, $13 for students and $8 for children. Children under the age of three can get in for free.

Estimated time from campus: 10 minutes

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Experience wildlife at the Reid Park Zoo

The Reid Park Zoo, located at 3400 E . Zoo Ct., offers tourists and residents the opportunity to see over 500 animals. According to the zoo’s website, “animals tend to be more active and visitor attendance tends to be lowest early in the morning and just prior to closing.” The zoo offers many events for families and offers a discount when visitors purchase group tickets.

Estimated time from campus: 12 minutes

See artwork at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

The Tucson Museum of Art, located at 140 N. Main Ave., is both an art museum and education institution. 

According to the Museum’s website, there are a variety of ongoing art exhibitions, including “European Art,” “Native American Culture and Arts,” “Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Art” and “Latin American Folk Art.”

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Estimated time from campus: 10 minutes

Learn something new at the Pima Air & Space Museum

According to its website, the Pima Air & Space Museum “is one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world.” The museum offers several tours, including one of the 80-acre aircraft boneyard. The faculty gives tours of the museum, offering opportunities to learn about military aircraft. The museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Estimated time from campus: 20 minutes 

See the stars at the Kitt Peak National Observatory

The Kitt Peak National Observatory is a U.S. observatory that offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about astronomy through museum tours, stargazing, programs and exhibits. Being on top of a mountain, the observatory provides tourists the opportunity to look at beautiful sights of the nighttime sky. 

The observatory offers daytime and nighttime hours, with daytime visitor center hours from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. More information on visiting the Kitt Peak National Observatory during the day and night can be found at

Estimated time from campus:1 hour 16 minutes

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Tour Old Tucson

Old Tucson, located at 201 S. Kinney Rd., is a former movie studio and theme park located near Saguaro National Park West. Old Tucson offers tourists many opportunities to learn about the old west and movie-making from the days of John Wayne.

According to the Old Tucson website, the studio offers a video presentation entitled “Remembering John Wayne,” an Old Tucson Historic Tour, live music and more activities. Old Tucson is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The rest of their hours and admission information can be found on

Estimated time from campus: 25 minutes

Take a stroll down the Historic Fourth Avenue

According to its website, Fourth Avenue “is surrounded by many significant historical sites that have contributed to its development — first as a residential area — and later as a commercial district.” Fourth Avenue is a downtown strip of bars and restaurants, antique stores and entertainment.

A few places to shop on Fourth Avenue include Hippy Gypsy, Everest Souvenirs and La Iguana Art Gallery. Restaurants down Fourth Avenue include Lindy’s, BOCA Tacos Y Tequila and TallBoys Breakfast AF. More information on what Fourth Avenue has to offer can be found on

Estimated time from campus: 5 minutes

Visit some historical landmarks 

Tucson has been part of America since the 1860s. Some of the historical events since that time have been kept alive through the stories that get passed down from generation to generation and through the historic buildings preserved here. 

A few historic landmarks to visit here include the El Tiradito Wishing Shrine, Presidio San Agustin del Tucson and the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House. 

According to Zocalo Magazine, the El Tiradito Wishing Shrine is a shrine in Tucson that comes from a tale of love and death, all from a man in the 1870s who was known as “The Castaway.” 

Presidio San Agustin was a military fortress that was built in the 18th century by Spanish soldiers. “The Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum is a re-creation of the Presidio built in 1775,” according to its website.

Estimated time from campus for all: 10 minutes

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