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The best of Tucson

15 awesome things to do in Tucson

Nestled in the valley of four mountain ranges, Tucson is one of brightest gems of the Sonoran desert. Many visitors stop by to explore the beautiful outdoors—a landscape of saguaros, barrel cactus and prickly pear that they have only ever seen before on the silver screen. But Tucson also teems with a whole lot of artists, musicians, writers, dancers and acrobats that add to the city’s exciting art scene. Tucson wasn’t named a World City of Gastronomy for nothing—and this extends not only to restaurants but to our coffee roasters and microbreweries as well. Clearly, we love bragging about our town, and this list of best things to do in Tucson should make it very clear why. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 15 best restaurants in Tucson

In 2015 Tucson became a World City of Gastronomy thanks to UNESCO. The official designation confirmed what Tucsonans already knew: that the city knows how to feed its people and the city's people love to eat. After all, Tucson’s agricultural history stretches back 4,000 years, the longest of any city in North America. Because of its unique positioning just 60 miles north of the US/Mexico border, the area features an abundance of Mexican fare, but it also celebrates the diversity of residents, who hail from all over the world and shape not only the culinary scene but the variety of things to do around town as well. In addition to the variety of flavors, gastronomical purveyors are committed to buying their ingredients from local producers and celebrating local foods on their menus with items like prickly pear iced tea and nopales fries—and you should make a point of tasting them all. Without further ado, here are the best restaurants in Tucson.