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It has been said that good things come in small packages. This is certainly true of weekend getaways. It’s also true of Tucson, Arizona. Tucson may be a small city, but it packs quite a punch. Discover what made our recent weekend in Tucson practically perfect. Then start planning your own trip to Tucson!
This was our first trip to Tucson. And I have to say, I fell in love with it almost immediately. It is such a fun little city! Our weekend trip felt much longer than 48 hours. Tucson really gave us a true escape from the hustle and bustle of life. It was amazing!
Our Itinerary at a Glance
- Arrived in Tucson and checked into the hotel
- Grabbed a late dinner at Olive Garden
- Headed back to the hotel to turn in for the night
- Enjoyed breakfast at Prep and Pastry
- Explored the Pima Air and Space Museum
- Savored the atmosphere during lunch at Kon Tiki
- Rewarded ourselves with a sweet treat from eegee’s
- Swam, relaxed, and soaked up the sun at the hotel
- Drove around and explored the University of Arizona and downtown Tucson
- Delighted in dinner and ice cream at the Hub
- Drug ourselves back to the hotel for the night
- Checked out of the hotel
- Grabbed a quick breakfast at Bruegger’s Bagels
- Got in touch with our wild side at Reid Park Zoo
- Feasted on lunch at Lindy’s on 4th
- Said goodbye to Tucson and headed back home
Where We Stayed
During our weekend in Tucson, we stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton-Reid Park. This hotel was perfect for our purposes during this trip.
The hotel was clean, spacious, and quiet. The hotel grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. Throughout the property, there are quite a few palm trees as well as orange trees, which were full of oranges during our trip.
The swimming pool and spa area of the hotel is also spacious and well-kept. There’s plenty of space around the pool for guests to spread out.
The only negative I have about the grounds and amenities is that there was a lack of pool towels.
The thing I loved the most about this hotel is the location. It is fairly close to everything, while being far enough away to be quiet and calm. Plus, it’s right across the street from Reid Park. So, it’s a perfect location for families.
What we did during our weekend in Tucson
Because this trip was so short, we only had time for a couple activities. But we picked two great ones.
Pima Air and Space Museum
My son loves World War II aircraft, so on Saturday, we checked out Pima Air and Space Museum.
What an experience! I’m not interested in planes or World War II, but I was blown away by this place!
It is the largest non-government owned air and space museum in the United States. It’s 6 hangars and 80 acres house over 400 aircraft, plus uniforms, missiles, photographs, and lots of other equipment and memorabilia.
A large portion of their collection is from WWII, but they also have a variety of private, commercial, and historical airplanes too. Additionally, they have planes and exhibits from other countries.
While everyone will be impressed by a walk through this museum, it is a must-do for anyone who loves aviation and/or military history.
Reid Park Zoo
On Sunday, we visited Reid Park Zoo. My family loves zoos and aquariums. We visit them every chance we get. Over the years, we’ve visited many of them throughout the USA.
While Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo is small, it is a great one. It is easy to navigate. Each exhibit has multiple viewing locations, making it easy for kids and adults to see the animals. And the exhibits are designed to get you up close to the animals.
You can see everything in this zoo within 2 or 3 hours, even if you have young kids in tow.
We really liked this zoo because they have some animals you don’t typically see in zoos, such as the Baird’s tapir and the capybara.
Where we ate
Tucson may not be famous for its food, but it can definitely hold its own in this department. We had excellent meals during our weekend in Tucson.
Prep and Pastry
When I was researching our trip, I kept seeing rave reviews for Prep and Pastry. So, we had to check it out. I’m not a huge breakfast person, but I loved this place!
Everything was delicious. We all enjoyed the churro dossant (a donut/croissant hybrid). My husband and I really liked the berry French toast and breakfast potatoes.
Kon Tiki Restaurant and Lounge
After living in the South Pacific for 3 years, we can’t pass up a Polynesian restaurant. So, when we saw Kon Tiki, we had to try it.
While the menu leans heavily on Hawaiian dishes, the decor is a blend of Samoan, Maori, and other Polynesian cultures. So, we all felt right at home in here!
The food, in our opinion, is a gourmet version of traditional Polynesian cuisine. It was very yummy! If you are looking for a unique dining experience in Tucson, definitely check this one out!
Eegee’s (pronounced EG’s) is a Tucson institution. The fast food chain can be found all over the city.
On Saturday afternoon, we hit the drive thru to try the most popular item on the menu-an eegee. This slushy like drink is sweet, refreshing, and tasty. It hits the spot on a hot afternoon.
It comes in a variety of flavors. We tried the strawberry, and were very pleased with our choice.
After exploring a bit on Saturday evening, we found ourselves on Congress Avenue, where things were hopping. So, we headed to the Hub for dinner.
This trendy restaurant has a cool and lively vibe, which makes it popular with the college crowd. It’s perfect for families, too, however, thanks in part to the ice cream. They have about 15-20 flavors to choose from. You will find the ice cream case at the front of the restaurant.
The food here was excellent. I had the chicken and scallion mac and cheese, which was ridiculously good. My husband liked it better than the roast beef sandwich he ordered.
My son and I also enjoyed the ice cream for dessert. He got vanilla. I had the snickerdoodle ice cream, which had a strong cinnamon taste.
We hit up Bruegger’s Bagels on Sunday morning for a quick breakfast. This was, by far, the most disappointing meal of the trip.
The bagels were just OK. We are huge fans of Einstein Bros. Bagels. These just weren’t as good as those at Einstein Bros. Plus, I thought the interior of the restaurant looked like a cheap knock off version of Einstein Bros.
Lindy’s on 4th
We decided to end our weekend in Tucson with lunch on Sunday at Lindy’s on 4th. This little burger joint has been featured on the Food Network’s Meat and Potatoes and Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. And this is for good reason-it’s delicious!
The menu is chock full of creative burgers with interesting combinations of flavors. And the burgers are huge! So, you will definitely not leave hungry.
I chose to get my burger with mac and cheese instead of fries, which was a solid choice for a side dish.
Tucson is a great little city. It offers tons of things to do, lots of amazing restaurants, and many breweries. Plus, it is really easy to navigate. You will love your time here. I highly recommend planning a weekend in Tucson with your kids!
For more ideas on things to do in the Southwestern United States, see things to do in Silver City, where to eat in Silver City, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, hiking the Catwalk, and White Sands National Park.
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