After morning pickup at your hotel in Phoenix, relax during the 2-hour drive to Tucson, one of Arizona’s oldest cities.
Also known as The Old Pueblo, Tucson features plenty of charming Southwest architecture and a rich cultural heritage. See a prime example of Spanish architecture at Mission San Xavier del Bac, a Spanish Catholic mission that was founded by a Jesuit missionary in 1692, but is now run by Fransciscans. The church earned the nickname 'White Dove of the Desert' due to its striking white adobe main building and ornate sandstone entryway.
In downtown Tucson, take a tour of the dynamic arts and historic district. Have time on your own at Old Town Artisans, a collection of shops that sell Native American and Mexican pottery, jewelry and textiles, among other Southwest handcrafts. Purchase lunch and browse the wares in this historic complex, which is made up of authentic adobe buildings from 1850s.
After lunch, head out to Sabino Canyon and take a 45-minute narrated tram ride that winds through the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Sabino Canyon is located in the Coronado National Forest just outside of Tucson, and you'll have stops for photo ops of the desert scenery.
You'll also visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, one of Tucson's most popular attractions. Founded in 1952, the museum features informative displays about the history, plant and animal life of the Sonoran Desert. The 98-acre property is home to more than 1,200 plant species and 230 animal species. Visitors can also explore a short nature trail, and watch demonstrations about the region's venomous creatures and birds-of-prey.
Your tour ends with return to Phoenix in the early evening.