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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Day trips around Southern Arizona

Bill Mason, Cat Tran Driver (Brown hair) Dennis Cady, Cat Tran Driver (black and white striped shirt) AJ Dowgiert, Cat Tran Driver (Plaid/Checkered Shirt)

“A” Mountain

“A” Mountain, also known as Sentinel Peak Park, is the perfect place to take in views of the entire city while celebrating Wildcat pride.

After a winning football game in 1914, the now-legendary “A” was constructed. To kick off homecoming each year, the “A” is lit up with golden flares and can be seen for miles.

Whether students want to partake in painting the “A”, enjoy its beauty or take in a view, they shouldn’t miss out on this iconic piece of UA history.

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Just 20 minutes from campus, the San Xavier del Bac Mission transports visitors to a completely different time zone.

The grandiose, Spanish-style mission is mixed with intricate baroque style and “has been called the Sistine Chapel of the United States,” explained Judy Parker, the museum manager.

While there, check out the local cuisine of the Tohono O’odham Nation, including fry bread tacos-—tacos made with sweetened fry bread.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

For astronomy buffs and newbies alike, the Kitt Peak National Observatory will give visitors an entirely new perspective on stargazing.

It is a little over an hour-long drive to the peak, but the 24 various optical telescopes will certainly not disappoint. Enjoy a Southwestern sunset overlooking the Tohono O’odham Nation as the stars begin to come out, while experiencing a new way of looking at the sky.

Mount Lemmon

While most people come to Tucson for the warm weather, many would be surprised to find that it snows in the desert.

Mount Lemmon is the perfect place for a weekend getaway filled with skiing in the winter and camping during the summer. Mount Lemmon offers events including an annual Oktoberfest celebration, with traditional German food, beer and live entertainment.

The rich greenery and endless hiking trails provide a cool hideaway from the warmer summer months in Tucson.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, or “Rocky Point”

For students craving a Mexican weekend getaway or spring break adventure, Rocky Point may be just the place. After a nearly five-hour drive from campus, visitors arrive in Puerto Peñasco, an oasis of endless resorts, beaches and fresh seafood.

Puerto Peñasco is home to the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. This nonprofit offers internships and volunteer work for those interested in marine biology and conservation.

While traveling across the border, always make sure to bring proper identification, including a passport and driver’s license.

Bisbee, Ariz.

A quaint mining town just an hour and 30 minutes from Tucson offers a fun place to experience a bit of the past.

The town is speculated to be haunted and celebrates with ghost tours through the city’s streets, alleyways, haunted homes and hotels. If getting scared isn’t an attractive pastime, guests can spend a day as a miner and explore the copper mines with lanterns and mining gear in tow. Visitors may even come home with some copper, gold, turquoise or silver.

Ostrich Ranch

For those days when students are looking to laugh and let off some steam, the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is the perfect place.

For just $7, feed goats, deer, ducks, donkeys, prairie dogs and, of course, ostriches. If visitors are feeling extra adventurous, they can feed goats various grains right out of their mouths and, as the ranch’s website states, “get that Goat Kissin’ picture you have always wanted!” There is even an enclosed forest filled with rainbow lorikeets, waiting to perch on guests’ shoulders.

Salt River Tubing

The ultimate summertime day trip, the Salt River is about two hours from campus and is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, along with weekends in April.

Enjoy a hot day floating down Salt River in a large tube with a cool drink in hand. Guests should bring reasonable shoes otherwise their favorite flip-flops will be gone before they know it.

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