I am traveling with my 11 year old son, who has respiratory issues but is doing ok, to the Tucson area from Feb 11-Feb 15, and on the 15 we will be joined by the rest of our family. Hubby, daughter 15 and son 9.
We were in beautiful Tuscon two years ago and did some of the stuff but didn't do everyting by far. We did Sabino Canyon( like four times b/c we heard it was good for respiratory issues--i love that place and think it's like a piece of Eden here on earth) Dessert Museum (which we loved just aren't sure if we should repeat) Mt Lemmon, the two national parks east and west (the name escapes me Saguaro?) almost made it down to Nogales but turned around b/c we were worried about the fumes from the cars and the general pollution for my son, Reid park Zoo (also loved it)explored the University area a bit.
We also went to Scottsdale to some trolly line set-up.
So you can see we didn't do alot.
We would like to do more this time but choose well
Could you perhaps give us some ideas about the following
1- What to do when I am on my own with my son? We will do Sabino, the butterfly exhibit at the B. Gardens so far.
What about horseback riding for someone who is nervous about it--it is good for his lungs so I want him to do this at least a couple of times while we are there.
2- What should we do as a family? We were thinking of getting in Pima for the boys while the girls go for a moderate spa experience--massage and nails. What is a good value--best service for least amount of money?
Kartchier Caverns State Park ( but heard mixed reviews about this)
Tombstone--area is it worth doing this for a day? how does old tucson studios fit in with this? Do both? Only one.
should we do the dessert museum again? will the kids find it too repetitive?
3- We will leave Tucson either on the 20 or 21st and try to fit in a Grand Canyon experience. We are leaving AZ on Feb 23. We could stay less time in Tucson to get a nice experience of AZ north of Phoenix. We want to do some GC experience, Sedona, Painted Dessert
Please advise as to how to construct our trip so that we can also have down time but also see new things and not to be missed sites.
Thanks alot for the help I already received to a previous post and to the help I will no doubt receive for this one. This is an awesome site with people who really love Tucson and it's nice to be in contact with all of you.
Atarah, Welcome to my home!
Tucson is a wonderful city, as you already know from your first visit. I am not sure that you would enjoy a visit to Sabino Canyon,as it is currently undergoing major repair due to early Fall storms. The Desert Museum is always worth another visit. If you didn't take in the Raptor Free Flight Demonstration, desertmuseum.org/visit/event..., last time, then you owe it to the family to see it this time. Pima Air & Space Museum is always a good choice with the Males of the family. While your husband & son are exploring there, I would suggest that you and your daughter head down to Tubac and spend some girl time exploring the shops down there. I would suggest Tombstone over Old Tucson, as Old Tucson has lost its flavor since being rebuilt after the fire. You can take in a gunfight and have dinner at Traildust Town, http://www.traildusttown.com/, here in Tucson. For horseback riding and a Cave experience all in one place, visit Colossal Cave Mountain Park, http://www.colossalcave.com/. The folks at the Posta Que Mada Stables will make your experience on horseback fun and easy. For a Dayspa treat for you & your daughter, try Touch of Tranquility, http://www.touchoftranquility.com/.
I would base out of Williams and take the Grand Canyon Train, http://www.thetrain.com. That will take the stress out of driving into the Canyon and allow you and your family a wonderful, narrated journey along with breathtaking scenery. I would suggest Walnut Canyon, http://www.nps.gov/waca/, as it is one of the only opportunities a non-native has to get up close to pueblo dwellings. Montezuma's Castle, http://www.nps.gov/waca/, would also be something for you to consider. Sedona would be good for a drive through as you are traveling up to Williams. The Red Cliffs and Spires are beautiful, as is Oak Creek Canyon. However Sedona itself has lost its appeal with the arrival of the outlet mall. By Comparison, Jerome, http://www.azjerome.com/, is still one of my favorite towns.
Enjoy your stay in Tucson & Northern Arizona,
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