The next time you have a free afternoon, why not check out a museum? If that sounds like homework, think again—the best museums are as fun and fascinating as they are educational and enlightening. Whether you’re new to Tucson or a long-time resident, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to visit any of these wonderful local museums.

Map of Tucson showing the best museums.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

You may think you know the Southwest, but the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will introduce you to the desert in a totally new way. Approximately 85% of this one-of-a-kind museum is outdoors, and it takes about two hours to explore. You’ll see animals ranging from bobcats and mountain lions to wolves and black bears, along with gardens showcasing the extraordinarily diverse plant life of the Sonoran Desert. There’s even an aquarium highlighting the animals that live in desert rivers.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

Whatever room you find yourself in at this museum, you’ll instantly be taken to a magical and mysterious world very different than our own. The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures features an ever-changing display of more than 400 dollhouses and miniature setups, some of which are hundreds of years old. This nonprofit museum is a delightful experience for all ages.

Center for Creative Photography

Located on the campus of the University of Arizona, the Center for Creative Photography contains the world’s largest and most wide-ranging collection of work by major American photographers. Co-founded by legendary photographer Ansel Adams, the Center features rotating exhibitions of the works included in its collection. No matter when you visit the Center, you’re sure to see something fantastic.

University of Arizona Museum of Art

More than 6,000 artworks are housed at the UA’s own Museum of Art, located a few minutes’ walking distance from the Center for Creative Photography. The exhibits draw on the museum’s various collections, which include works by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Lichtenstein, Rothko, and Hopper. Some of the museum’s oldest and most valuable works date back as far as the 14th century.

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About the Author

Justyn - Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects
Justyn Dillingham

Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects

Justyn - Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects
Adrienne Lobl

Digital Marketing Specialist, Graphic Design Onboarding Services