4 Outdoor Arts Gems of Tucson
Arizona is for lovers — lovers of nature in harmony with human-made art. Head to Tucson to check out these four destinations, where human culture and the natural habitat combine in ultimate symbiosis.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is “to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.” Visitors will find over 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds along the walking paths. On the grounds are also the galleries of the Desert Museum Art Institute, The Walden Aquarium and the ASDM Press, which publishes guidebooks on wildlife and natural history featuring the Sonoran Desert region.
Pima Air & Space Museum
The Pima Air & Space Museum began as a display of World War II and 1950s aircraft lined up along the fence of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base by commanders who wanted to share these engineering marvels with the public. In 1966, the Tucson Air Museum Foundation of Pima County was formed to fund and direct the curation of relics already on the base as well as aircraft from across the country.
Gallery in the Sun
Arizona artist Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia began construction on this site in the 1950s to create a space to house his work that spoke to his devotion to nature. The Gallery in the Sun is an adobe structure built to integrate seamlessly with the outside environment, complete with rock floors and open-air skylights in the roof. DeGrazia’s artwork also spans a wide range of mediums, from watercolor to sculpture to jewelry.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Venture into the Tohono O’odham San Xavier Indian Reservation to experience this 300-year-old architectural treat. The mission, originally established by Italian Jesuit priest Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1692, continues to serve the Tohono O’odham community in its artful sanctuary and outdoor courtyard. Click here to learn more and schedule a docent-led tour.
Ready to venture into the majestic Southwest? Amtrak has you covered. Tucson is serviced by the Sunset Limited, one of the most scenic train routes in the country. Click here to see the full route guide.