Saguaro National Park
These giant cacti are the quintessential symbol of the American Southwest, and they grow all through the Park that lies both east and west of Tucson. Saguaro take around a century to reach their typical statuesque, many-armed form and if you visit in April or May you'll see them covered in white blooms. Hiking or horse-riding in the Park makes for an unforgettable experience.
At the Pima Air and Space Museum there's the chance to view over 300 planes and spacecraft, including the plane JFK sometimes used as Air Force One. Trips also run from the museum to the ghostly 'Boneyard' on the base next door - an enormous collection of around 4,000 retired military aircraft, including almost every plane flown by the US Air Force since World War Two.
Old Tucson Studios
On the site of the studios where a long list of classic Western movies were shot, this recreated Frontier town not only tells the story of that rich film history but lets you experience a slice of life in the Old West. There's stunt shows, gunfights, shops, restaurants, and musical reviews complete with high-kicking saloon girls.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Even if you don't find time to venture deep into the desert yourself, you can see it up close at this inspiring natural history museum. There's 21 acres of zoo and botanical gardens to explore, and a chance to see Mexican wolves, ocelots, black bears, prairie dogs, roadrunners - and much more.
Visit Tucson and you'll have the chance to sample some of the finest Mexican food in the whole of the States. Whether it's exquisite enchiladas or first-rate fajitas you're after, you'll find them here. Open since 1922, El Charro Café is the oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant in the country - and it's right here in Tucson.