Comfort Inn & Suites
8425 N. Cracker Barrel Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85743-8582
Phone: (520) 579-1099
Fax: (520) 579-6938
A beautiful garden in a serene desert landscape, this retreat has been set up by the non-profit All Creeds Brotherhood for all faiths to come meditate. You can drive out for a quiet walk or rent the sanctuary facilities for private gatherings. Call and ask to speak to Chuck Koestler for details. If you are in a group of 20 people or more, please call him in advance to make arrangements for visiting. Access is free.
After a hot day of sightseeing, cool off at Breakers Water Park at the outskirts of Tucson off Interstate 10. The special attraction here is the wave pool, which is as close to the ocean as it can get in Tucson. Your children will love the giant water slides while you relax at the restaurant or in shaded areas the snack bar. The park is also available for group events. Special rates available for birthday parties and twilight (3pm-6pm) admission.
Casas Church is one place that does not carry the religious works with the same heaviness that generally people tend to thrust upon anything concerned with religion. Apart from the usual Sunday mass, people can enjoy binging on food offered in the food court here. And if you have never been to this place before, do plan your trip, as you are in for a treat—the church serves free meal/dessert and beverages to first-time-visitors. The church also provides facilities for childcare up to fifth grade.
Right in the heart of Oro Valley lies the Cañada del Oro Riverfront Park. This green haven, spreading over 30 acres, offers great calm and quietude in this bustling resort town. There are enough facilities inside the park to allow you and your family to spend the whole day together. There are softball fields, soccer fields, a tennis court, a basketball court, and volleyball courts. Plus the park has three Ramadas, wherein there are picnic tables, so it also makes for an ideal place for a family picnic. The Cañada del Oro Riverfront Park also has an amphitheater where you might be able to catch an event or two, and thus truly experience the cultural scene of the city. For more information, please see the website.
Enjoy horseback riding and goat hugging offered by owners Connie and Al Kazal on their ranch in the rugged foothills of the Tucson Mountains. Bring your children, lots of film and a picnic basket including plenty of bread, (to feed the chickens). But be sure to call ahead for reservations. Take pictures of your kids hugging the horses and feeding the goats. Grandparents are known to enjoy this kind of stuff, too. Visit the gift shop before you leave.
Located on the scenic Gates Pass Road and surrounded by stately saguaros, the International Wildlife Museum invites visitors to take a grand tour of the fauna of the earth. African antelopes share their space with big polar bears here, who despite being taxidermied look very much alive. Apart from stuffed animals, the museum also features wildlife films, dioramas, and interactive computer games. If you are planning on bringing a larger group, discounted group rates are available.
This is definitely the place to go when the kids get hot and cranky after several hours of sightseeing. The main attraction for the teens and pre-teens is the go-kart ride, while the kiddies are more likely to enjoy the bumper boats. There are two mini golf courses, batting cages, and a huge arcade to keep a family busy and happy for hours. There is no admission fee; charges are for individual rides. Group discounts are available.
This world-famous museum is also a zoo that displays the creatures of the surrounding desert in their natural habitats. Located in the middle of the Sonoran desert about a half an hour drive from Tucson's city center, it also provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The gift shop has an excellent selection of Sonoran desert souvenirs. This is a must for any visitor staying in Tucson for more than just one day.
For a panoramic view of Tucson and its surrounding mountain ranges, drive uphill west on Speedway Boulevard, which turns into Gates Pass Road. Stop at Gates Pass, at the apex of the road, and enjoy the desert and mountain vistas from the parking lot at the side of the road, particularly at sunset. Be aware that this is a narrow winding road frequently used by bicyclists.
You don't have to drive very far to see the desert wildlife in Tucson. In fact, some coyotes have become quite urbanized here. Greasewood Park is a particularly good spot to view wildlife. Anklam Wash, a natural corridor for coyotes, javelins and other desert critters can be found running right through it. The park doesn't have many other attractions or facilities except some picnic tables and grills, but the abundant desert vegetation is a sight most foreign visitors will appreciate.
This recently opened shopping plaza, named for Josias Joesler, a renowned Swiss-born architect who shaped Tucson architecture from the 1930s to the 1950s, reflects the architect's genius. The buildings are reminiscent of an old Mexican village, combining elements of Southwest-Mexican adobe architecture with tile roofs in the typically eclectic Tucson style. The mix of businesses here is as eclectic as the style, featuring American Indian art galleries, interior design stores, boutiques, a Chinese restaurant, and a bistro. The place is definitely upscale, and still expanding.
Referred to as "Hollywood in the Desert," Old Tucson Studios is the most famous movie studio in the world. Plan to take the entire family and spend an entire day immersed in the "Old West" theme. Take care, you might run into bandits while strolling the streets or witness a bank robbery in progress. More than 350 movies have been filmed in this studio, now home to commercial photography, film and television productions.