INA Weekly Brief

Fun Things to do in Tucson, AZ

November 28, 2017
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Are you getting excited about the INA Conference 2018? Registration opens in a few days (December 1st) but while you wait to register we thought you might like to hear about some of the fun and exciting things you can do in the area outside of the conference. You might want to consider coming a day early or staying a few extra days to get all these extra excursions in.

Sonoran Desert Museum  

The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most museums, about 85% of the experience is outdoors!
The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium.
21 interpreted acres with two miles of walking paths through various desert habitats

  • 230 animal species
  • 1,200 types of plants — 56,000 individual specimens
  • One of the world’s most comprehensive regional mineral collections

Old Tucson Studios

Old Tucson Studios is one of Arizona’s top Wild West attractions, featuring live-action stunt shows, musicals and live entertainment, vintage rides for the kids, genuine southwest BBQ and special events throughout the season. Step back in time as you make your way through town, walking the same streets made famous by movie legends such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Martin, Sharon Stone and Martin Short. Immortalized in more than 400 films and commercial productions, Old Tucson remains the region’s premier film location.

 

 

The Mini Time Machine Museum

The Mini Time Machine was created from the imagination and dedication of Founders, Patricia and Walter Arnell. Pat’s fondness for miniatures began in the 1930’s when as a young girl she received her first miniatures – a set of Strombecker wooden dollhouse furniture. It wasn’t until the Arnells moved to Tucson in 1979 that Pat began collecting in earnest. The Arnell’s became very active in the miniature community becoming recognized members and supporters of important organizations such as NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) and IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artisans).The collection grew and the Arnells dreamed of a way to share it with more people. They envisioned an interactive space where the entertaining and educational aspects of the collection could be enjoyed by everyone – a place that would be enchanting, magical and provide a rich sensory experience. The concept of “the mini time machine” was born out of the notion that a visitor would be seemingly transported to different eras by the stories and history of the pieces in the collection.

 

Karchner Caverns

photo courtesy Arizona State Parks

In November 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains. They were looking “for a cave no one had ever found” and found it. The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their awesome discovery. Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected. Tenen and Tufts spent several years looking into the possibility of developing the cave themselves. Some members of the Kartchner family lived in Tucson and were very impressed with the development and operation of Catalina State Park by Arizona State Parks. They decided to approach State Parks to see if the agency was interested in acquiring this outstanding resource.

 

Sonoita Wineries

The oldest commercial vineyard and winery in Arizona, Sonoita Vineyards was started in 1974, opened in 1983 and now includes over 50 acres of vines.  Aided by the unique growing conditions of the Sonoita Appellation (AVA – American Viticultural Area), the winery consistently creates award-winning wines, including a Cabernet Sauvignon chosen by national wine critics to serve at a Presidential Inauguration Gala.  Perched at an elevation of 5,000 feet among rolling grasslands, the vineyard is surrounded on three sides by soaring mountain ranges.
The staff is small making each vintage of wine a one of a kind experience. The small staff does all the production and vine care under the guidance of Lori Reynolds, the Winemaker and granddaughter to the founder Dr. Gordon Dutt, and Robi Reynolds, the Vineyard Manager.

 

Saguaro National Monument

Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

 

 

 

San Xavier del Bac

photo courtesy Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, AZ

A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. It is a place where visitors can truly step back in time and enter an authentic 18th Century space. The church retains its original purpose of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners.

 

 

 

 

Pima Air and Space Museum

The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world! Featuring over 300 historical aircrafts, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. Sitting on 80 acres the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976. Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses five indoor exhibit hangars (two dedicated to WWII). Docent-led walking tours and museum ground Tram Tours are offered daily. The museum is the exclusive offeror of bus tours of the 2,600-acre “Aircraft Boneyard”/U.S. military and government aircraft storage facility, Monday-Friday, non-federal holidays only.

 

Mt. Lemmon

The Summerhaven subdivision of Mount Lemmon, Arizona is a community approximately 29 miles north of Tucson in the center of the Santa Catalina Mountains at an elevation of 8000’. The whole Santa Catalina mountain range is mistakenly called Mount Lemmon. The peak of Mt. Lemmon (9,157’) is actually more of a knoll, located adjacent to the University of Arizona Stewart Observatories. The average temperature on Mount Lemmon is approximately 30 degrees cooler than that of Tucson which makes Mount Lemmon quite popular during the summer months.

 

 

Food

Looking for an amazing food experience. Check out this article from the New York Times about the best places to eat in the area.

Don’t forget that our hotel is not just an ordinary place to lay your head. The JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass is a full-service resort and spa. Plan to spend some time around the pool, hit the golf course, or book a treatment at the spa. You won’t have to leave the resort to have an amazing time.