If you’re spending winter all cooped up in a less-than-ideal climate, get moving and point your rig to the Southwest. Hop on the interstate and head to Tucson, headquarters for dozens of the best snowbird attractions in Southern Arizona that will keep you awestruck and entertained the entire season.
Join this iRV2 Discussion Forum topic to hear from Southern Arizona fans who share their insider’s tips to the best attractions, including:
Saguaro National Park
The biggest cacti on the planet and a diverse range of desert and mountain wildlife are waiting for you at Saguaro National Park in Tucson.
To the west and east of this desert city lies a huge national park filled with rugged animal life ranging from the desert tortoise to the coyote and the Mexican owl to the Arizona mountain king snake.
The park features a epic bucket list of Tucson’s best hiking trails for every ability, traversing elevations ranging from 2,180 ft to 4,687 ft. Since the park is comprised of two districts on either side of this large city, you’ll need at least 35 minutes to get from one side to the other. The good news is your entrance fee allows you to explore both sides of the park for seven consecutive days.
Tucson’s many RV parks range from old to new. Most are packed full of snowbirds in wintertime but two spots that usually have space include:
- Tucson LazyDays KOA. A full-service park with resort style amenities and even an on-site full-service restaurant/cantina with regular entertainment.
- Pima County Fairgrounds. This isn’t the Ritz, but it’s neat, safe, and gets the job done at a fraction of the price of resort-style RV parks in Tucson. The only caveat? If an event is happening, guests must vacate the park.
Just south of Tucson you’ll find Bisbee. Formerly an old hillside mining town and now home to an eclectic mix of artists, bikers, cowboys, and winter snowbirds, Bisbee remains true to its founding roots with a historic downtown corridor, vintage architecture, and a small town feel.
Bisbee highlights include:
- A right start to your day at the Bisbee Breakfast Club.
- Going underground in the Copper Queen Mine and grabbing a pint of craft beer at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company.
- Doing some leisurely antiquing and shopping for locally made products and art.
- For an easy walk to downtown, book a stay at the Queen Mine RV Park.
If you love Old West history you’ll want to visit Tombstone, one of the last Wild West towns in America and spot of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Founded in 1879 when silver ore was discovered nearby, Tombstone was the former home of Doc Holladay, Wyatt Earp, and dozens of other Old West legends who inhabited the “Wickedest Town in the West.”
Begin at the free tour of Boothill Graveyard, then step back into history with Bisbee Walking Tours. No day in Tombstone is complete without a visit to the Bird Cage Theater, which in 1882 the New York Times dubbed as “the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.”
Tombstone has a whopping four RV parks to choose from in the vicinity, including:
- Wells Fargo RV Park Located just a few steps away from the OK Corral.
- Tombstone RV Park and Campground A pet-friendly campground with a free guest shuttle to Tombstone.
If you have your own Southern Arizona favorites, be sure to stop by the iRV2 Forums and chime in with your insider tips!
You omitted several world famous attractions in and around Tucson:
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum & ‘Old Tucson’ Studios
Pima Air & Space Museum (near the Air Force Base)
Titan Missle Museum (underground silo tours)
Kitt Peak National Observatory complex
Kartchner Caverns & Colossal Cave
Madera Canyon (birding)
Jay Fishman says
We just spent January in Tucson. The weather was awesome. Stayed at the Voyager RV Resort. Nice place. Nice people. Nice location. We will return. This is our first time to Tucson and not our last for sure. Plenty to see and do. We went to Tombstone, Bisbee, Tubac, Pima Air & Space Museum, Davis Monhan AFB boneyard tour, downtown food tour; Mt. Lemmon. Next year we’ll make sure to get to the Titan Missile Silo and the Tucson Desert Museum. I also want to take a desert ATV guided tour which is about an hour away. Lots of nice golf close by. Tucson is not in the over developing sprawl mode like so many other cities. It’s easy to get around and everything isn’t under construction. And if you want to scoot into Mexico, Nogales is not far; a straight shot down Rt 19. We had a great time and look forward to going back.
Vince Sadowski says
We just returned from a trip to southern AZ from our winter home in Quartzsite.
You neglected to mention what we considered the best attraction we saw which was Old Tucson where 400 movies were shot. We were there from 10:15 to closing time at 5 PM and didn’t see it all. There is one scheduled show after the other including stunt actors, medicine wagon show, music and dancing and gunfights. Lots of entertainment for your dollars.
While neither Rene Agredano nor any other skilled travel writer could do anything more than just scratch the surface of the manifold attractions in Southern AZ, as attested to by the additions of the above commentators, I would like to add a few cautions.
First of all, we Tucsonans pride ourselves on being the pothole capital of the state (maybe even the world). So get your wheels aligned before the onslaught of 100 degree weather finds you hitting the roads for home. We also enjoy the smallest per capita police force in the state so don’t be careless regarding thieves and crime. If you go hiking, please be careful about rattlesnakes; they’re practically everywhere and masters of camouflage. Get your dog rattlesnake avoidance training. My dog Reesie saved me twice from getting bit because he knew rattlers were to be feared, not sniffed and investigated. Wear boots and long pants and carry a staff when hiking. Avoid dehydration; happens faster than you think. Finally if you drive borderlands back roads watch out for bad guys. Smugglers and cartel guys.
That’s our most important import across our borders, except maybe Californians and New Yorkers. I wonder why they want to leave home states where there’s creeks and rivers that actually flow real liquid water and there’s green forests and vegetation everywhere? (I hear it’s that it’s their governors that want to tax the beejeebers out of them. Oh well, AZ is starting to take lessons from them . .