My Top 3 Tucson Travel Secrets

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Pssst. Baby boomer travelers, want to know a secret?

Travel bloggers are revealing their top 3 travel secrets in an internet game of tag. Here, click on over to Barbara Weibel’s blog, Hole in the Donut, for a very good explanation.

OK. So back to the secret. My secret. Jill of Travelogged tagged me, so now I’m writing a post revealing my top three Tucson travel secrets. Hmm, so which secrets should I tell?

The view from my favorite Tucson picnic pavillion. A secret that I'm not sharing.
The view from my favorite Tucson picnic pavilion. A secret that I’m not sharing.

How about three Tucson travel secrets to visit on your next trip to my headquarters in Arizona?

Did you know that Tucson offers exceptional night sky viewing? We even have city and county ordinances about night lighting to protect our starry view. That’s because several mountaintop observatories are located in the area like the National Optical Astronomy Observatory on Kitt Peak or the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins. Come here, lean in a little closer. Let me tell you about  Mt Lemmon SkyCenter, operated by the University of Arizona. Situated on Mt. Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains, it’s the closest observatory to Tucson. On a visit, not only do you get to look through a 24″ telescope at the night sky, you also view Adam Block’s (Program Coordinator) extraordinary astrophotography. Sky night programs ($48) include an expansive night view from a mountaintop, a light dinner and the enthusiasm of Adam Block as he shares his love of observing the universe with you—it’s a secret worth knowing.

Want to eat breakfast or lunch in a lush garden setting? Bet you thought that Tucson is all desert? Well it is. But Thono Chul Park proves that gardening in the Sonoran Desert is not only possible, it’s beautiful. Sit on the patio of the Tohono Chul Tearoom, housed in a hacienda style adobe building, for breakfast as hummingbirds zoom in for a sip from red salvia blossoms. Desert wrens will be fighting over the toast crumbs that you leave behind. My favorite? The Tohono Chul Omelet filled with bacon, cheddar, pepperjack cheese and guacamole. When you’re finished, visit the gardens ($7.00 entry fee) to walk the trails or browse the art exhibits in The Gallery.

My third secret will take you about an hour southeast of Tucson to a museum filled with Native American history and culture. Located among the boulders of Texas Canyon, Amerind Museum houses the largest private collection of Native American artifacts and art in the country. Travel from Alaska to South America as you wander through the exhibits of archaeological finds. When it’s time for lunch, enjoy a picnic on the grounds before exploring Cochise Stronghold. Now that’s a real journey to the old west.

OK. I’ve told you my three Tucson travel secrets. Surprise! I’m throwing in a bonus tip. For Mexican food with a gourmet twist, visit La Olla Mexican Café in the Tucson suburb of Marana. Owner Ken Gallardo whips up Sonoran style classics, adding his own imaginative touches. The results? Delicious! You’ll see me there on Saturday nights. I’m partial to the pork carnitas accompanied by tamale pie.

Do you have Tucson travel secrets to share? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.

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