5251 S. Julian Drive, Tucson, AZ, US, 85706
- Phone: (520) 294-5250
- Fax: (520) 889-1982
Installed in 1962, the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope is the greatest solar instrument in the world. Named in honor of the famous astronomers Robert McMath and Keith Pierce, it was designed by Myron Goldsmith. Stretching to an approximate 110 feet (33.52 meters), this solar telescope has been responsible for many discoveries, one of which includes the presence of water vapor on the great star. Pride of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, it still remains a mecca for astronomy enthusiasts.
Apart from well-stocked public libraries, Tucson offers several other places for the literary-minded traveler to indulge in their passion. University Of Arizona Poetry Center stores a wealth of literary resources such as 35,000 books, periodicals, audio/video recordings for almost any branch of poetry from Whitman to Ginsberg and beyond. It also offers frequent poetry readings from both local and visiting writers in its comfortable beautiful adobe house, and it's all free.
Himmel Park was voted Best Playground in Tucson by the readers of the Tucson Weekly, and with some justification. The park actually has three playgrounds. The westside section, near the pool, contains the toddlers' structure with beginner's slides and swings; then, there's more swings and the popular Giganto Slide of Death for the bigger kids, while the northeast side features a big climbing structure with several platforms and even more swings. All areas have lots of sand and picnic areas around them. Keep this place in mind if you're traveling with two-10 year olds.
If you want to see the "Best of Tucson," this is how you do it! Old Pueblo Tours has a "Tucson At Its Best" tour that includes the University of Arizona, Hotel Congress, Fox Theater, Presidio San Agustin del Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac and your choice of either the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or Old Tucson theme park and film studios. They also tour Southern Arizona.
You've heard that wild cats roam the Sonoran Desert. Visit the historically significant U of A campus and discover that Wildcats rule the playing field as well. Tour the grounds, first broken for construction in 1887 and experience the sites, sounds and action that helped make this campus one of the top-rated schools in the nation today. Take in a light and laser show at Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium or a stage show at Centennial Hall. Wildcat souvenirs are available for sports enthusiasts of all ages. Contact the Visitor Center in advance for a guided walking tour, hosted by a U of A student. Visitor parking and public transportation are available.
This building duplicates an old post office in Naco, with historic stamps and Civil War documents on display. It's a paradise for any stamp collector or history buff. The old post office offers tours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Large groups are required to make reservations. The staff also offers regular post office services on the premises.
For a taste of historic Tucson, take a ride on one of the track trolleys leaving from the University of Arizona's main gate on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. This all-volunteer "museum" has reinstated and refurbished the trolley system that was carrying passengers around downtown Tucson from 1906 to 1930. Old Pueblo Trolley has definitely given the city a return of its old charm.
Explore historic sites in and around Tucson with the experts working at Center For Desert Archaeology. Visit the village of the ancient Hohokam, a people who lived here more than 700 years ago, and see rock art sites in the Tucson mountains. The deserts and mountains around Tucson contain many remnants of ancient people, but you will need reliable people to guide you to those places, so call them and ask for schedules reservations and prices.
The steam rail locomotive is the Southern Pacific 1673 which was born in Tuscon. The arrival of the railroad marks the rail history of Tuscon. The railroad today is present as a heritage in the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. 20th March of every year is celebrated as a festival at this museum as it is the day of the rails. The best known preserve of this museum is the Southern Pacific Locomotive 1673 and is a great place to visit and view the historical preserve of Tuscon.
This is the earliest work of public art in Tucson. Situated in front of what is now Tucson's Children's Museum, it was created in 1920 by San Francisco architect Bernard Maybeck and artist Beniamino Bufano, then transported to Tucson by train. Designed in a neoclassical style to fit the neoclassical building next to it, the monument commemorates the days of Tucson's rugged pioneers.
The many Victorian homes built along the wide streets in the Armory Park Neighborhood are a must see for any one interested in territorial architecture. The neighborhood just north east of downtown Tucson derives its name from a former Army post abandoned before the turn of the century. Easily walkable, there are many examples of Victorian-era homes that became popular once the railroad was built and building materials from the east became available. Armory Park has been on the Registrar of National Historic Places since the 1950’s when it was saved from demolition to make way for a freeway. The area features the old Carnagie Library, the Masonic Temple, the Temple of Music and Art and over four hundred homes built soon after the turn of the century. -Ted Parks
Sonora is presently the most controversial piece of public art in Tucson. Since its installation in 1991, the painted steel structure in front of the main library downtown has elicited hostile responses from residents as well as very mixed reviews from the media. According to artist, Black, the concept was taken from Tucson's natural environment, reflecting the serrated peaks of the Sonoran desert and the cascading streams in Sabino Canyon, yet some people do not appreciate the stark contrast to the austere architecture of the library building in both style and color. You'll just have to go and see for yourself.