With so many attractions and sights to see in Arizona, it can seem overwhelming to pick just a few to visit during a trip. However, Tucson provides an excellent jumping-off point to travel and explore popular desert destinations. If you’re looking for a quick day trip from Arizona, check out our top picks.
Once the meanest town in the Old West, Tombstone was founded in 1879. Originally a mining boom town, the territory’s scrappy reputation came from the ongoing violence between the cowboys and Earp brothers. It remains an iconic historical site of Wild West legends, gunfights, and Hollywood intrigue. Directions (1.5 hours)
A vibrant small town filled with history and charm, Bisbee thrived as a mining town in the late 1800s. Today, the urban downtown built in the 20th century still stands, hosting a plethora of art, music, architecture, and an unmatched creative spirit. Directions (2 hours)
In 1691, the Jesuit Mission San Cayetano de Tumacácori was constructed along the Santa Cruz River bank. Since then, the church has survived multiple social, political, and physical storms between the European settlers and Native Americans who lived on and near the land upon which it was built. Step into the rich culture of the mission, and learn about the conflicts the building survived throughout its lifetime. Directions (1 hour)
Founded in 1866, Florence is one of the oldest European settlements in Arizona. Visitors can take a walking tour through the historic district of the city, see the Casa Grande Ruins, or visit the St. Anthony Monastery. Today, it is home to about 10,000 residents and hosts Country Thunder, the largest country music festival in the Southwest, which takes place every year in April. Directions (1.5 hours)
A border town shared with Mexico, the Arizona half of Nogales offers visitors a chance to explore Southwestern culture. Walk the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail started in 1774, or visit the courthouse built in 1904. Additionally, tourists can learn about the history of Pancho Villa’s infamous Nogales occupation during the Mexican Revolution. A mix of Arizonan and Mexican culture, Nogales, Arizona, is a window into history and as close as you can get to Mexico without a passport. Directions (1.5 hours)