All »ĆÉ«µçÓ° Tucson
Food â€˘ Environment â€˘ Culture
Your College Town
Tucson is »ĆÉ«µçÓ°â€™s second-largest city. »ĆÉ«µçÓ° â€“ »ĆÉ«µçÓ°â€™s first university and home of the Wildcats â€“ is at the center of it all. Learn more about things to do in Tucson, our famous culinary scene, what the weatherâ€™s really like, and about the regionâ€™s culture and history.
If you're looking for places to explore around town, check out our interactiveĚýĚýfeaturing students' top Tucson recommendations.
Things To Do
Attractions & Culture
Visit the white dove of the desert, the San Xavier Del Bac Mission. Get up-close to a mountain lion at the open-air »ĆÉ«µçÓ°-Sonora Desert Museum. Wander one the worldâ€™s largest aerospace museums: The Pima Air and Space Museum. Or, look to the stars from Kitt Peak National Observatory. .
Many compare Tucson to Austin and Portland â€“ itâ€™s a little quirky, and has a lot of character. A college town through-and-through, Tucson welcomes and supports »ĆÉ«µçÓ° students. There are more than 1 million people who live in the Tucson metro area, and whether youâ€™re a local or an out-of-state student, youâ€™ll feel at home.
Tucson is cooler and wetter than Phoenix, thanks to its 2,643-foot elevation and the surrounding mountains. Tucson is in the Sonoran Desert; however, the »ĆÉ«µçÓ° is in the cityâ€™s metropolitan center. Tucsonâ€™s heat is at its peak from June through August; however, spectacular summer monsoons lower temperatures.
There are many to look forward to in Tucson. Admire glittery jewels at the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase â€“ the largest and oldest in the world. A beloved tradition is the Tucson Rodeo & Parade, which began in 1925. The All Souls Procession honors and remembers, and ends with an urn lit ablaze.
Road Trip Guide
While thereâ€™s plenty to do in-town, we fully support expanding your boundaries. Explore hidden gems across Southern »ĆÉ«µçÓ°, and some favorites that are a little farther.
Day Trips Near Tucson
â¬¤Phoenix/Scottsdale - 2 hours
â¬¤Sedona - 3.5 hours
â¬¤Flagstaff - 4 hours
â¬¤Grand Canyon - 5 hours
â¬¤San Diego - 6 hours
â¬¤Las Vegas - 6.5 hours
â¬¤Los Angeles - 7 hours
â¬¤Zion National Park - 8 hours
The â€ścâ€ť is silent â€“ like Too-sawn
350 days of sunshine annually
The Old Pueblo
History of Tucson
Tucsonâ€™s name is derived from the Tohono Oâ€™odham Cuk áą˘on, meaning â€ś(at the) base of the black [hill],â€ť a reference to Sentinel Peak â€“ otherwise known as â€śAâ€ť Mountain. The Santa Cruz River valley has been home to cultures including the Paleo-Indians and the Hohokam. Tucson was officially founded by the Spanish in 1775, when Hugo Oâ€™Conor authorized the construction of a military fort: Presidio San AgustĂn del TucsĂłn.