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Fine ways to kill a day around Tucson, Arizona


Tucson, Arizona is such a pleasant place that between golf games and cultural sites you might never want to leave. If, however, you can tear yourself away, there are a number of intriguing day-trip possibilities in the general area worth a full afternoon’s reconnoiter, at the very least.

One of our favorites? A spin southeast of Tucson, Arizona to the historic mining town of Bisbee. In addition to an atmospheric stretch of quaint shops and old buildings, Bisbee boasts some fascinating attractions linked to its copper mining past. Descend to depths on a mine train tour of the Queen Mine, explore the Smithsonian affiliated Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, and consider the town’s quirky side on an Old Bisbee Ghost Tour.

It’s ghosts of America’s Cold War past that do the haunting at the Titan Missile Museum, south of Tucson, Arizona. A one-hour guided tour gets visitors up close and personal with a real intercontinental ballistic missile capped by a big, bad nuclear warhead.

For those who have not yet learned to “stop worrying and love the bomb”, a more satisfying day-trip might be a long soak in one or more of the natural hot springs near Safford, Arizona. It’s about a two hour drive from Tucson but the reward is access to steamy pools at Roper Lake State Park Hot Springs and Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area. Privately operated sites run from tent camping (Essence of Tranquility) to more deluxe detox treatments at Kachina Hot Springs.

And finally, it’s neither rocket science nor hot springs related, but Colossal Cave Mountain Park makes for a diversionary detour when you’re out and about in the Sonoran Desert around Tucson. In addition to sweeping views of mountains and Mexico, you can spend a good 45 minutes on an educational tour of the big cave itself. Plan to leave some time spare to spot wildlife and wildflowers in season and stop in at the associated museum sites for mix of history, culture and many things cave-related.

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Tucson Tucson Tucson
Southeast ArizonaTucson is a borderland metropolitan area influenced by many cultures to make it an exciting and unique place to visit. Near Tucson is Saguaro National Park, named for the spectacular Saguaro forest found there.
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Benson Benson Benson
SoutheastBenson has a rich history tied to the railroad and Old West. A great draw for many visitors is Kartchner Caverns State Park which offers camping, hiking, beauty and of course, the caverns themselves.
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