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24 Hours in Tucson, AZ


I recently made my first trip out to Arizona and had two rules to follow: 1. I wanted to explore at least one city and 2. I needed to visit one of this state's beautiful national parks! With only a short visit of 4 days, I decided to start in Phoenix, drive myself down to Saguaro National Park, and give myself a bonus city to check out: Tucson.


While Tucson is a very small city, there's a lot more to do here than you may think. It's only around an hour away from the Mexican border, and when you combine that and the Native American tribes that have inhabited the area, you get a lot of rich culture.



Being the cramming queen that I am, I figured 24 hours in Tucson would be just enough, and I definitely felt like that was all I needed. Here are some awesome places I got to check out during my quick stint here!


 
START YOUR MORNING WITH A HIKE - SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

Most people that I know who have been to Tucson either came here because of Saguaro National Park, or at least visited it during their stay. If you know anything about the desert, you'll know that it is HOT almost all year long. With that being said, hit the trail early to avoid the intense heat. Either way, make sure to bring plenty of water!


TIP: They do not sell plastic water bottles here! Make sure to either bring your own, or you can purchase a reusable one at the visitor's center.


I did a full review on Saguaro National Park, which you can read here!


 
TREAT YOURSELF TO LATIN SEAFOOD FOR LUNCH AT EL BERRACO


Have you ever pictured dining inside a submarine? Well, at El Berraco you pretty much can! The whole restaurant makes you feel as if you've been transported into the deep blue sea - tinted windows, diver helmets hanging from the walls and a really fun atmosphere overall!



If you're a big seafood lover, you're in for a real treat here. Fried octopus tentacles, shrimp ceviche tostadas with a side of tropical salsa... It's a true foodie experience!


 
DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF SAN XAVIER DEL BAC MISSION CHURCH

Please excuse my photo of the exterior! Unfortunately, there was some renovation being done during my visit in November 2021.


This was by far one of the coolest things we got to see while in Tucson. I had seen pictures of this beautiful church floating around everywhere, so I figured I had to make a stop here. Not only is it pretty, but is rich in history also. Founded in 1692, it is currently the oldest European structure in Arizona.



Once you walk inside, you'll be in awe by the Spanish architecture, tall ceilings and hundreds of lit candles for loved ones.


 
TAKE A STROLL ACROSS THE SNAKE BRIDGE


Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like - A bridge that looks like a rattlesnake. Located in Iron Horse Park near downtown, you'll find this bridge stretched right over the road. It's the perfect place to get some interesting selfies, for sure!



 
GO BIG WITH AN ICE CREAM FLIGHT AT THE SCREAMERY


So, during our day trip in Tucson, we may have opted to have ice cream for dinner...I mean, if we got 6 different flavors in our flight, we'd be filled up enough right? Oh yes. In fact, one flight gives you the same amount as two full scoops. (Sharing is recommended!)


While you'll find many classic ice cream flavors, they've got all kinds of unique ones, too! peppermint, cinnamon roll...everything I tried was delicious!


 

This might sound like a lot for just one day, but trust me, it's doable! Tucson is a small but charming city, with a lot of different and fun things that you can check out! From the beauty of its Southwestern nature to it's quirky downtown scene, it's tough to be bored here.

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ABOUT ME

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Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!

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