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Twila

Guidebook for Tucson

Sightseeing
18th century Spanish Colonial architecture. Located on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. Called "The White Dove of the Desert." Sunset photography opps. Vendors often sell delicious fry bread in the parking area. Small gift shop with good quality local offerings. Hours: Daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free
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Mission San Xavier del Bac
1950 West San Xavier Road
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18th century Spanish Colonial architecture. Located on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. Called "The White Dove of the Desert." Sunset photography opps. Vendors often sell delicious fry bread in the parking area. Small gift shop with good quality local offerings. Hours: Daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free
World's largest Astronomical Observatory. Visitor Center. Elev. 6875' Often 15-20 degrees cooler. West of the city on Hwy. 86. Approx. 1 hour from my location. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the great daytime views! Daytime guided tours. Evening stargazing programs with dinner available by advanced reservation. Admission is free to the Visitor Center and observatory grounds. Fees for arranged tours. Visitor Center Hours: Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. noao.edu/kpvc/ for detailed information
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Kitt Peak National Observatory
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World's largest Astronomical Observatory. Visitor Center. Elev. 6875' Often 15-20 degrees cooler. West of the city on Hwy. 86. Approx. 1 hour from my location. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the great daytime views! Daytime guided tours. Evening stargazing programs with dinner available by advanced reservation. Admission is free to the Visitor Center and observatory grounds. Fees for arranged tours. Visitor Center Hours: Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. noao.edu/kpvc/ for detailed information
Wear good walking shoes and carry water with you! One of the largest aviation museums in the world. 80 acres, 6 indoor exhibit hangers. Bus tours of the 2600 - acre "Aircraft Boneyard." Daily hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Last admission at 3pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Adult admission - $16.50 Seniors+Active Duty Military - $13.75. Tours extra. www.pimaair.org
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Pima Air & Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road
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Wear good walking shoes and carry water with you! One of the largest aviation museums in the world. 80 acres, 6 indoor exhibit hangers. Bus tours of the 2600 - acre "Aircraft Boneyard." Daily hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Last admission at 3pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Adult admission - $16.50 Seniors+Active Duty Military - $13.75. Tours extra. www.pimaair.org
Copper mining museum heritage collection. Underground mine tours with history exhibits & a crystal cave in this small historic town located 90 miles southeast of Tucson on 1-10. Makes a great day outing. Take the Queen mine tour. Visit downtown shops for unique jewelry, galleries and antiques. Museum Hours: 10:00 a.m. daily. Admission: Adults $8 Srs.$7. For current mine tours and cost call 520-432-2071. www.queenminetour.com and bisbeemuseum.org
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Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
5 Copper Queen Plz
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Copper mining museum heritage collection. Underground mine tours with history exhibits & a crystal cave in this small historic town located 90 miles southeast of Tucson on 1-10. Makes a great day outing. Take the Queen mine tour. Visit downtown shops for unique jewelry, galleries and antiques. Museum Hours: 10:00 a.m. daily. Admission: Adults $8 Srs.$7. For current mine tours and cost call 520-432-2071. www.queenminetour.com and bisbeemuseum.org
"The town too tough to die." Home of the 1881 much- celebrated 30 second gunfight between the Earps, the Clantons and the McLaurys at the O.K. Corral. Very touristy! Lots of shops, restaurants, and saloons along the genuine boardwalks. Free parking and unlimited people watching! Gunfights daily. Reeanctments: 11am,12 noon, 2pm, 3:30pm. About 70 miles east from Tucson off 1-10.
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Tombstone
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"The town too tough to die." Home of the 1881 much- celebrated 30 second gunfight between the Earps, the Clantons and the McLaurys at the O.K. Corral. Very touristy! Lots of shops, restaurants, and saloons along the genuine boardwalks. Free parking and unlimited people watching! Gunfights daily. Reeanctments: 11am,12 noon, 2pm, 3:30pm. About 70 miles east from Tucson off 1-10.
A favorite destination for astro-photographers. Elevation: 9157' SkyNights 5 hour program offered most evenings throughout the year weather permitting. Includes an astronomy lecture, light dinner, sunset, and guided navigation of the night sky. Binocular and telescope views. 30 miles from Tucson. Very cool evenings. Take jackets. For more program info and tour schedules go to skycenter.arizona.edu or call 520-626-8122
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Mt. Lemmon Sky Center Observatory
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A favorite destination for astro-photographers. Elevation: 9157' SkyNights 5 hour program offered most evenings throughout the year weather permitting. Includes an astronomy lecture, light dinner, sunset, and guided navigation of the night sky. Binocular and telescope views. 30 miles from Tucson. Very cool evenings. Take jackets. For more program info and tour schedules go to skycenter.arizona.edu or call 520-626-8122
Very popular with locals. Summit 9159'. Sky Island located 30 miles NE from Tucson in the Santa Catalina mountains. Usually 30 degrees cooler. Panoramic views of forest, rocky cliffs, desert floor and distant mountain ranges. Travel through 4 different life zones in less than 25 miles from the desert floor to alpine forest. Beautiful curved road with pull outs. Hiking trails. Birding. Be sure to stop at the visitor center at the top for trail maps and local advice. At the top eat at the Cookie Cabin - cookies and pizza or my favorite, the Iron Door Restaurant located across from the ski lift. Serves German inspired dishes. Breakfast and lunch menu. Take water bottles, cameras, sun screen, long sleeve shirt or jacket. visitmountlemmon.com
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Mount Lemmon
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Very popular with locals. Summit 9159'. Sky Island located 30 miles NE from Tucson in the Santa Catalina mountains. Usually 30 degrees cooler. Panoramic views of forest, rocky cliffs, desert floor and distant mountain ranges. Travel through 4 different life zones in less than 25 miles from the desert floor to alpine forest. Beautiful curved road with pull outs. Hiking trails. Birding. Be sure to stop at the visitor center at the top for trail maps and local advice. At the top eat at the Cookie Cabin - cookies and pizza or my favorite, the Iron Door Restaurant located across from the ski lift. Serves German inspired dishes. Breakfast and lunch menu. Take water bottles, cameras, sun screen, long sleeve shirt or jacket. visitmountlemmon.com
Growing, immense, limestone cave with beautiful colors and formations. Average cave temp. 72 degrees; 99% humidity. 5 different cave tours daily except Dec. 25 & one week in September. Tours last about 75 minutes, 45 min underground. Located 50 miles southeast of Tucson. I-10 to Exit 302. Hwy. 90 south to entrance. Admission: $7 per vehicle, waived for those with tour tickets or campground reservations. Most tours are $23, $13 for ages 7-13 and $5 for ages 6 and younger. Daily Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Online reservations recommended and arrivals 30 minutes prior to tour. Reserve online or call (877) MY-PARKS and select Option #2. To make same day cave tour reservations (based on availability) please call (877) MY-PARKS and select Option #2. You can call seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Please be advised: video or photography inside the cave is not permitted. See website for additional info. https://azstateparks.com/kartchner/cave-tours/tours
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Kartchner Caverns State Park
2980 Arizona 90
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Growing, immense, limestone cave with beautiful colors and formations. Average cave temp. 72 degrees; 99% humidity. 5 different cave tours daily except Dec. 25 & one week in September. Tours last about 75 minutes, 45 min underground. Located 50 miles southeast of Tucson. I-10 to Exit 302. Hwy. 90 south to entrance. Admission: $7 per vehicle, waived for those with tour tickets or campground reservations. Most tours are $23, $13 for ages 7-13 and $5 for ages 6 and younger. Daily Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Online reservations recommended and arrivals 30 minutes prior to tour. Reserve online or call (877) MY-PARKS and select Option #2. To make same day cave tour reservations (based on availability) please call (877) MY-PARKS and select Option #2. You can call seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Please be advised: video or photography inside the cave is not permitted. See website for additional info. https://azstateparks.com/kartchner/cave-tours/tours
Great sunset and city night light views! From the west side, the scenic route up to the top of the pass is a slow, winding, 2 lane road among the Saguaros. There are a number of pull outs for stops. At the top, there's a large parking lot. Stop and take a look at the city views here. Popular with motorcyclists and bicyclists. This is a slow road! Don't plan on going fast! Gates Pass turns into Speedway heading east. Used by locals as a short cut between Speedway and Kinney Road and beyond.
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Gates Pass
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Great sunset and city night light views! From the west side, the scenic route up to the top of the pass is a slow, winding, 2 lane road among the Saguaros. There are a number of pull outs for stops. At the top, there's a large parking lot. Stop and take a look at the city views here. Popular with motorcyclists and bicyclists. This is a slow road! Don't plan on going fast! Gates Pass turns into Speedway heading east. Used by locals as a short cut between Speedway and Kinney Road and beyond.
Drinks & Nightlife
Hip venue with American/Contemporary French fare located downtown next to the historic train station. Indoor or patio dining. I prefer the patio. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner made with locally sourced products. Vegetarian friendly. Service is always good. Great Happy Hour food specials and good selection of local, domestic and international wines and micro brews. Weekend - live music on the patio! Warning: Noisy when the trains go by but worth it for the Catalina mountain views, food and great ambiance. One of my favorite spots to gather with friends. Reservations recommended. Hours: M,T,W,Th - 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. F,Sat -7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 400 North Toole Avenue Phone: 520-545-0577
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Maynards Market & Kitchen
400 North Toole Avenue
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Hip venue with American/Contemporary French fare located downtown next to the historic train station. Indoor or patio dining. I prefer the patio. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner made with locally sourced products. Vegetarian friendly. Service is always good. Great Happy Hour food specials and good selection of local, domestic and international wines and micro brews. Weekend - live music on the patio! Warning: Noisy when the trains go by but worth it for the Catalina mountain views, food and great ambiance. One of my favorite spots to gather with friends. Reservations recommended. Hours: M,T,W,Th - 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. F,Sat -7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 400 North Toole Avenue Phone: 520-545-0577
There are wonderful restaurants with sidewalk seating, fun bars with live music, and lots of people watching. Hotel Congress is a great hang out place! Historic! All on Congress street. Congress is one way heading west. Go into town on Broadway which is one way heading east. North/South streets tend to be one way. Side street or parking lot parking. Street parking is free after 5 pm. I have maps available. https://hotelcongress.com
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Downtown
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There are wonderful restaurants with sidewalk seating, fun bars with live music, and lots of people watching. Hotel Congress is a great hang out place! Historic! All on Congress street. Congress is one way heading west. Go into town on Broadway which is one way heading east. North/South streets tend to be one way. Side street or parking lot parking. Street parking is free after 5 pm. I have maps available. https://hotelcongress.com
Great selection of Craft beer. Close to downtown and university area. Local watering hole. Food trucks nearby. Hrs. Mon-Wed 12pm - 11pm, Thur,Fri, Sat 12pm-12am Sun 12pm-10pm. 403 N 6th Ave. Phone: 520-344-8999 thetapandbottle.com
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Tap & Bottle - Downtown
403 North 6th Avenue
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Great selection of Craft beer. Close to downtown and university area. Local watering hole. Food trucks nearby. Hrs. Mon-Wed 12pm - 11pm, Thur,Fri, Sat 12pm-12am Sun 12pm-10pm. 403 N 6th Ave. Phone: 520-344-8999 thetapandbottle.com
Downtown federally - recognized historical icon. Built in 1918. A fire in 1934 exposed the Dillinger gang. Who was John Dillinger? Find out online! Includes a nightclub, restaurant, several bars, music and events venue. Lots going on in and around the area. Busy on weekends. Off street parking can be a challenge but there are a few parking lots and garages in town. 311 Congress St. hotelcongress.com
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Hotel Congress
311 Congress Street
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Downtown federally - recognized historical icon. Built in 1918. A fire in 1934 exposed the Dillinger gang. Who was John Dillinger? Find out online! Includes a nightclub, restaurant, several bars, music and events venue. Lots going on in and around the area. Busy on weekends. Off street parking can be a challenge but there are a few parking lots and garages in town. 311 Congress St. hotelcongress.com
Parks & Nature
World-renowned, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a 98-acre zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum, publisher, and art gallery founded in 1952. Located just west of Tucson, Arizona, it features two miles of walking paths traversing 21 acres of desert landscape. A must see!
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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2021 North Kinney Road
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World-renowned, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a 98-acre zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum, publisher, and art gallery founded in 1952. Located just west of Tucson, Arizona, it features two miles of walking paths traversing 21 acres of desert landscape. A must see!
Located in the Catalina Mountains and part of the Coronado National Forest, this beautiful canyon offers outdoor recreation including hiking, swimming, biking ...Take the tram to the top. Lots of hiking trails. Stop in the Visitor's center first to pick up maps and advice. A day use fee of $5.00 is required. The tram tour (optional) is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12. Sabino Canyon Trail. Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Weekends & Holidays 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recarea/?recid=75425 https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60950-d209268-Reviews-Sabi
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Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
5700 North Sabino Canyon Road,
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Located in the Catalina Mountains and part of the Coronado National Forest, this beautiful canyon offers outdoor recreation including hiking, swimming, biking ...Take the tram to the top. Lots of hiking trails. Stop in the Visitor's center first to pick up maps and advice. A day use fee of $5.00 is required. The tram tour (optional) is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12. Sabino Canyon Trail. Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Weekends & Holidays 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recarea/?recid=75425 https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60950-d209268-Reviews-Sabi
Mt. Lemmon, with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet, is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. Scenic hiking, birding, stunning views, restaurants. Mt. Lemmon Cookie Cabin - Mountaintop log cabin serving pizza, chili & other American eats, plus huge homemade cookies. Great desserts!
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Mount Lemmon
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Mt. Lemmon, with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet, is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. Scenic hiking, birding, stunning views, restaurants. Mt. Lemmon Cookie Cabin - Mountaintop log cabin serving pizza, chili & other American eats, plus huge homemade cookies. Great desserts!
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Saguaro National Park Tucson Mountain District (West) Visitor Center
2700 N Kinney Rd
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Saguaro National Park West
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Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 North Alvernon Way
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Tucson has 2 National Parks. Saguaro West and Saguaro East. Beautiful scenery on paved roads through the Saguaros in Saguaro NP East.
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Saguaro National Park
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Tucson has 2 National Parks. Saguaro West and Saguaro East. Beautiful scenery on paved roads through the Saguaros in Saguaro NP East.
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Catalina State Park
11570 North Oracle Road
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Arts & Culture
"Arizona State Museum (ASM) is the oldest and largest anthropological research museum in the U.S. Southwest, with expansive collections that are exceptional resources for the teaching, study, and understanding of the region’s 13,000-year human history." Large permanent collection of pottery.
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Arizona State Museum
1013 East University Boulevard
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"Arizona State Museum (ASM) is the oldest and largest anthropological research museum in the U.S. Southwest, with expansive collections that are exceptional resources for the teaching, study, and understanding of the region’s 13,000-year human history." Large permanent collection of pottery.
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Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
140 N Main Ave
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Shopping
Cat Mountain Station is a beautifully restored southwestern style 1950s shopping center located just west of Tucson, on the way to Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, near the southern gateway of the Tucson Mountain Park. Collection of small, unique shops and galleries which beautiful work by local artisans. Very good finds at Buffalo Trading Post. New & Recycled goods. wonderful clothing and unique things.
Cat Mountain Station
2740 S Kinney Rd
Cat Mountain Station is a beautifully restored southwestern style 1950s shopping center located just west of Tucson, on the way to Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, near the southern gateway of the Tucson Mountain Park. Collection of small, unique shops and galleries which beautiful work by local artisans. Very good finds at Buffalo Trading Post. New & Recycled goods. wonderful clothing and unique things.
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MSA Annex
267 South Avenida del Convento
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Old Town Artisans | Downtown Tucson Shops
201 North Court Avenue
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Historic village 45 miles south of Tucson Take 1-19 south to exit 34. 20 miles shy of the Mexican border. 130 artist studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. Nearby is Tubac Presidio State Historical Park. Great place to spend the day to get your shopping fix. Unique southwest shopping. La Paloma is a favorite with good quality imports from Mexico, Central and South America. Favorite restaurants: Shelby's Bistro, Elvira's, Tubac Deli & Coffee Co, and a regional favorite just south of town, Wisdom's Cafe. Try the fruit burritos and margaritas! Most shops open daily 10am-5pm. www.visit arizona guide/tubac
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Tubac
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Historic village 45 miles south of Tucson Take 1-19 south to exit 34. 20 miles shy of the Mexican border. 130 artist studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. Nearby is Tubac Presidio State Historical Park. Great place to spend the day to get your shopping fix. Unique southwest shopping. La Paloma is a favorite with good quality imports from Mexico, Central and South America. Favorite restaurants: Shelby's Bistro, Elvira's, Tubac Deli & Coffee Co, and a regional favorite just south of town, Wisdom's Cafe. Try the fruit burritos and margaritas! Most shops open daily 10am-5pm. www.visit arizona guide/tubac
Essentials
Deli counter Pharmacy Liquor Money Services Self Checkout Western Union Wells Fargo Bank nearby
Fry's Food And Drug
3640 S 16th Ave
Deli counter Pharmacy Liquor Money Services Self Checkout Western Union Wells Fargo Bank nearby
Budget Friendly with limited merchandise. Good place for buying bottled water. Have a cooler which stocks ice cream bars. Good on a hot day! 5 minutes from my location.
Family Dollar
3191 S Kinney Rd
Budget Friendly with limited merchandise. Good place for buying bottled water. Have a cooler which stocks ice cream bars. Good on a hot day! 5 minutes from my location.
Convenience Store and gas station, some fresh food, hot and cold drinks, variety of snacks. Restrooms. ATM Open 24/7
Circle K
550 W Ajo Way
Convenience Store and gas station, some fresh food, hot and cold drinks, variety of snacks. Restrooms. ATM Open 24/7
Everything Else
Surrounded by mesquite trees in the desert, this refined casino resort run by the Pascua Yaqui tribe is 10 miles from Tucson International Airport and Tucson Mountain Park. The casino offers slots, table games and a poker room. Dining options include a posh steakhouse, a beach-themed eatery, and a lounge with live music on the weekends, plus 6 bars. There's also an outdoor pool, a spa, a golf course and an outdoor concert venue. Just 15 minutes away. . . .
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Casino Del Sol
5655 West Valencia Road
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Surrounded by mesquite trees in the desert, this refined casino resort run by the Pascua Yaqui tribe is 10 miles from Tucson International Airport and Tucson Mountain Park. The casino offers slots, table games and a poker room. Dining options include a posh steakhouse, a beach-themed eatery, and a lounge with live music on the weekends, plus 6 bars. There's also an outdoor pool, a spa, a golf course and an outdoor concert venue. Just 15 minutes away. . . .