5 Can’t-Miss Historic Sites in Tucson

September 24, 2020

With the Weather Finally Cooling Off, Now Is the Perfect Time to Get Outside and Start Exploring Some Local Historic Sites. 

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an activity to pass the time, Tucson is filled with an abundance of historic sites. These vast varieties of sites allow you to step back into the olden days of Arizona. From Missions to museums, here are five of the best historic sites you don’t want to miss. 

1. San Xavier del Bac Mission

Located 10 miles south of Downtown Tucson, San Xavier del Bac Mission is the perfect day trip. Originally founded in 1692, this mission is filled with hundreds of years worth of fascinating history. This church, completed in 1797, is the oldest intact European structure found in Arizona. Here, you will be sure to marvel at original statues and breathtaking murals.

2. El Conquistador Water Tower

Deemed as a historical landmark in 1980, the El Conquistador Water Tower went up in 1928—almost a century ago. This water tower once held 50,000 gallons of water that gave life to the city. It is encased in a 1932 Spanish Colonial Revival-style shell. It was used for water storage until 1944 and eventually restored by the City of Tucson in 1994. 

Credit: Desert Museum

3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Founded in 1952, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a little something for everyone. As a zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, publisher, and art museum, there are a plethora of activities to explore here.

4. San Pedro Chapel

Although not nearly as old as San Xavier del Bac, San Pedro Chapel is another site filled with an interesting history. The chapel was built in 1932 over the ruins of the previous chapel that was destroyed by a tornado. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood, San Pedro Chapel is still used today for various events like neighborhood gatherings, weddings, and art exhibits. 
Credit: Visit Tucson 

5. Tucson Museum of Art

If you’re someone who enjoys strolling through art museums, then you’re sure to love the Tucson Museum of Art. This art museum and educational institution are located in the Presidio District of Downtown Tucson. Here, you can enjoy a wide abundance of art exhibits with Latin, western, and contemporary themes.
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