The state of Arizona is an ideal destination for anyone who loves to travel and camp with an RV. Known as the “Grand Canyon State,” Arizona is famous for its low amount of rainfall, stunning natural scenery, and plenty of sunshine. Temperatures stay relatively warm throughout most of the year, even in January, making the state a prime escape from the winter weather elsewhere. There are plenty of great RV parks throughout Arizona for RVs to relax and explore the beautiful state and everything it has to offer. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Kaibab Camper Village
2.Desert Shadows RV Resort
3.Blue Sky Ranch RV Park
4.Desert's Edge RV Park
5.Eagle View RV Resort At Fort McDowell
6.J & H RV Park
7.Grand Canyon Camper Village
8.Happy Days RV Park
9.Cave Creek Regional Park
10.Mesa Spirit RV Resort
11.Meteor Crater RV Park
12.Phoenix Metro RV Park
13.Watson Lake Park
14.Paradise RV Resort
15.Grand Canyon Railway RV Park
16.White Mountain Vacation Village
17.Wild West Ranch & RV Resort
18.Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area
19.Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
20.Rancho Sedona RV Park
21.Arizona Oasis RV Resort
22.Leaf Verde RV Resort
23 Best Arizona RV Parks
- Kaibab Camper Village, Photo: Kaibab Camper Village
- Desert Shadows RV Resort, Photo: Desert Shadows RV Resort
- Blue Sky Ranch RV Park, Photo: Blue Sky Ranch RV Park
- Desert's Edge RV Park, Photo: Andrey Armyagov/stock.adobe.com
- Eagle View RV Resort At Fort McDowell, Photo: Eagle View RV Resort At Fort McDowell
- J & H RV Park, Photo: J & H RV Park
- Grand Canyon Camper Village, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Happy Days RV Park, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Cave Creek Regional Park, Photo: jearlwebb/stock.adobe.com
- Mesa Spirit RV Resort, Photo: Mesa Spirit RV Resort
- Meteor Crater RV Park, Photo: Oleksandr/stock.adobe.com
- Phoenix Metro RV Park, Photo: Phoenix Metro RV Park
- Watson Lake Park, Photo: natureguy/stock.adobe.com
- Paradise RV Resort, Photo: yaalan/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Photo: zhukovvvlad/stock.adobe.com
- White Mountain Vacation Village, Photo: White Mountain Vacation Village
- Wild West Ranch & RV Resort, Photo: Wild West Ranch & RV Resort
- Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Photo: Norm/stock.adobe.com
- Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Photo: jure/stock.adobe.com
- Rancho Sedona RV Park, Photo: Rancho Sedona RV Park
- Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Photo: Arizona Oasis RV Resort
- Leaf Verde RV Resort, Photo: Leaf Verde RV Resort
- Green Acres, Photo: Philip Schubert/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: adogslifephoto/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Southern Arizona Transportation Museum
Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is a museum dedicated to the history and preservation of southwestern United States railroads, featuring a fully restored historic locomotive. Tucson's Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, located on Toole Avenue in the city's downtown area, was built in 1907 as part of the Southern Pacific Railroad network.
In 1998, the facility was purchased by the City of Tucson for restoration. A master plan called for the restoration of the main depot to its 1941 architectural style for use as an Amtrak station, along with the creation of a transportation museum at the depot's former records building.
The museum was opened to the public in March 2005 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of railroads in Tucson. Today, it is managed by Old Pueblo Trolley, a nonprofit educational organization named after the city's former streetcar line.
The museum is free and open to the public, who may tour its exhibits along with the rest of the historic depot facility.
The centerpiece of the museum is the fully restored Southern Pacific locomotive #1673, which was produced by New York company Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1900. Originally known as Schenectady 5683, the 2-6-0 M-4b Mogul locomotive logged over a million miles of transport for the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1901 through the late 1940s. The 146,000-pound oil-burning machine is one of 105 in its class produced, and one of a few still in existence today. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Throughout the 1950s, the engine was primarily used for publicity and events, including an appearance on screen in the 1954 film Oklahoma. It was also the star of the Southern Pacific's 75th anniversary celebration in Arizona in 1955, pulling an excursion train for a crowd of 10,000. Following the event, the locomotive was retired and donated to the city, which placed it on display in front of the Arizona Historical Society headquarters. In 1962, it was moved to a public display location at Himmel Park, where it stayed until December of 2000. Throughout its display at the park, exposure to the elements and public vandalism caused significant deterioration of the machine's condition, prompting a number of failed attempts to move it to a more protected site. It has been fully restored several times, once in the mid-1990s and again as part of its move to the Transportation Museum, which is dedicated to ongoing repairs and restorations to keep the engine at its original running condition.
Though the Amtrak station is still in daily operation, museum guests may visit the restored Depot Lobby, which serves as a living history museum area. It has been fully restored to its 1942 architecture, featuring intricate floor tile work representative of the time period. Several permanent bilingual exhibits are housed within the Records Building, including Voices of Southern Arizona Railroaders, which features oral history accounts from railroad employees who worked at the station during the steam and diesel periods. Six panels produced in conjunction with a 2011 Union Pacific Centennial Train visit event are on display at the museum, outlining the history and evolution of railroads in Arizona from 1854 to the present. Visitors may also tour the facility's grounds, which feature the Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday Statue, commemorating the duo's revenge against Frank Stillwell, suspected murderer of Morgan Earp.
Ongoing Programs and Events
The museum maintains an active library collection, featuring databases of periodicals, books, films, and multimedia related to railroad history. In addition to the museum's permanent collections on display at the depot, the 1919 Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend Railroad Boxcar #203 is held at the Old Pueblo Trolley's Motor Bus Division Yard, available for visit by appointment.
In May, the Silver Spike Festival is hosted by the museum in downtown Tucson, commemorating the 1880 arrival of railroads to the city. On the five Tuesdays leading up to the celebration, a lecture series is held at the museum, highlighting railroad history topics. Every January, the Dillinger Days event remembers the capture of infamous Tucson criminals the Dillinger Gang, with a showcase of antique cars and 1930s-style dancers. Other annual events include the Tucson Birthday Celebration in August and the Holiday Express in December, which offers photographs with Santa in front of the #1673 locomotive.
The Locomotive Saturdays program takes place every Saturday, with volunteer docents on site to answer questions about steam locomotives. Guided tours of the museum as well as walking history tours highlighting historic spots in the city's downtown area, are also offered for small groups and organizations. Educational programs for students and youth on train safety are presented in conjunction with the Arizona chapter of Operation Lifesaver, an international train safety awareness program founded in 1972.
414 N Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, Phone: 520-623-2223
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Attraction Spotlight: University of Arizona Museum of Art & Archive of Visual Arts (UAMA)
The University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) is the University of Arizona’s art museum and gallery and is located on campus near Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard in Tucson. The Museum features a permanent collection of over 6,000 works of art with a focus on European and American fine art, including oils and watercolor paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures. The collection spans from Renaissance to the present with old masters blending seamlessly with contemporary and modern art. The UAMA forms part of ‘the Museum Neighborhood,’ which is a group of four museums all within easy distance of each other in the same area, namely the Arizona State Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, the Arizona Historical Society and the UAMA.
The University of Arizona Museum of Art was established in 1930 when 200 prints and lithographs were donated by artists that supported the Works Projects Administration, which formed the basis of the first collection. The Museum of Art then saw additional collections being donated by alumnus Charles Leonard Pfeiffer who proffered numerous American paintings and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation who gave the gallery 50 European paintings, among others, doubling the Museum’s holdings and helping it grow into the renowned art institution it is today.
The UAMA features an impressive permanent collection of more than 6,000 works of art, ranging from the Renaissance era to the Modern and Post-Modern genres. The Samuel H. Kress Collection consists of more than 60 European works dating back to the 14th century until the 16th century, including works by Maestro Bartolomé and Fernando Gallego. One of the Museum’s most inspiring pieces of work is a 26-panel retablo (a church altarpiece with a religious relief) of the Cathedral of the Ciudad Rodrigo and includes depictions of the Creation, Genesis, the Life of Christ and the Last Judgment. Considered to be ‘some of the most beautiful and iconographical ambitious paintings of the 15th century,’ a documentary was made on the famous work, tracing its journey through history from surviving the Napoleonic Wars to being stored in a bunker during World War II.
Other notable works from the Kress Collection include paintings by Domenico Tintoretto, Vittore Carpaccio, Jusepe de Ribera, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Late Medieval and Renaissance paintings include works by Niccolo Del Ser Sozzo Tegliacci, Jacopo del Casentino, Guidiccio Cozzarelli, and Taddeo di Bartolo
The C. Leonard Pfeiffer Collection includes an array of American works from the early 20th century, including Edward Hopper, Philip Evergood, John French Sloan, Reginald Marsh, Stuart Davis, and John Steuart Curry. The Edward J. Gallagher III Memorial Collection showcases over 200 European and American works from the late 19th and 20th centuries with sculptures by renowned artists Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Alexander Archipenko, as well as abstract expressionist paintings by Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko. Other noteworthy artists to view include Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Emil Nolde, and Kurt Schwitters
The Robert Priseman Collection comprises 71 of damaged religious icons that British artist Robert Priseman purchased from eBay and over-painted with a 20th-century celebrity, mimicking the replacement in the contemporary culture of faith with fame and of saints with ‘stars.’
The Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz Collection: Sketches and Models feature over 60 clay and plaster models by Jacques Lipschitz, tools from his studio and several full sculptures and portrait busts dating back to 1911.
The UAMA has a research arm known as the Archive of Visual Arts (AVA) and features over 200 paintings and drawings, including famous pieces of space art known as Mars Metropolis and Mars Outpost.
UAMA is committed to promoting the Museum’s collection as a University resource for both students and visitors that encourages communication, collaboration, and further learning. The Museum offers an array of educational programs, workshops, classes and community-based events that are designed to empower and engage audiences of all ages and inspire them to develop an interest in art and culture. Activities include reading, arts, and crafts, investigating objects and art materials and exploring works of art.
Back to: Things to Do in Tucson, AZ
1031 North Olive Road, Tucson, AZ 85721-0002, Phone: 520-621-7567
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Attraction Spotlight: Center for Creative Photography
The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson is considered among the world’s best fine art academic museums and study centers for photography. Over 200 archival collections include the works of master photographers such as Ansel Adams, Frederick Sommer, Aaron Siskind, Edward Weston, Lola Alvarez Bravo and W Eugene Smith among many others.
Over 5 million objects are in the archives, including negatives, working prints, contact sheets, writing, scrapbooks and other memorabilia. Exhibition catalogues, oral histories and journals round out the research collection. In addition to the archives and research materials, the museum has acquired close to 100,000 fine art photographs by over 2,000 photographers. The Fine Art collection is noted for including the works of the best photographers working in 20th century North America. A Digital Imaging Department at the center is tasked with cataloging each of these works to make more of the prints available for online viewing. The center, in partnership with the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO), has been a pioneer in making museum collections available online for educational purposes. Archives and manuscripts are available for anyone who would like to access the bibliographies, writings, books, films and dissertations on the photographers in the collection. Oral histories include recorded interviews, lectures, and workshops with the photographers, art historians and scholars. The center shows the collection through rotating exhibits both on location and at the Phoenix Art Museum. The collection is also available for viewing and research by appointment.
History: After a meeting between lauded American photographer Ansel Adams and the University of Arizona president John Schaefer, the Center for Creative Photography opened in 1975 with the archival collections of 5 master photographers who were living at the time, including Adams, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer, Wynn Bullock and Harry Callahan. Schaefer had approached Adams with the suggestion to keep his archives at the University, and Adams agreed with the stipulation that his works would be part of a larger collection. In the 40 years since, the center has become a noted leader in research, teaching and the preservation and appreciation of North America’s greatest photographers.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Programs at the center focus primarily on research and the center’s role as a teaching institution. Research assistance is available for anyone who would like to search the archives, oral histories or rare books and reference materials. A dedicated study center on the 2nd floor, named for the late Laura Volkerding, an American editor and photographer, is open by appointment and offers ample space for anyone working with the archived materials. The center offers a number of fellowships, paid internships and grants for those conducting research in the field of photography. Educator’s guides pair images from the current exhibits with a wide range of curricula. For example, the educator’s guide to the Aaron Siskind and Max Yavno Archives offers studies that explore not only the photographs of Mexico, but language studies, Mexican American studies, history, geography and the differences between documentary and abstract photography. “Indivisible: Stories of American Community” is a national documentary project examining 12 diverse communities in the United States. The curriculum guide explores the vision of the photographers alongside interviews with folklorists and oral historians.
Past and Future Exhibits: Events at the center include lectures, print viewings and book signings. Past events have included a screening of the movie “Infiltrators” by Arizona based artist Khaled Jarrar. The film takes a look at daily life in Palestine. The Ansel Adams birthday celebration was a free event that offered viewings of his prints as well as a lecture with curator Rebecca Senf, who discussed her favorite pieces. Past exhibits included “Recent Acquisitions and From the Vault” which showcased some of the Center’s rarely seen archival materials, as well as fine art prints acquired within the past 18 months, highlighting the power of new acquisitions to complement studies of archival collections. “Performance: Contemporary Photography and the Douglas Neilson Collection” showed 100 photographs from the private collection of Douglas Neilson, a choreographer and dance professor at the University of Arizona. The exhibit included work by Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Bruce Nauman, Diane Arbus and John Baldessari among others.
What’s Nearby: Other museums on the campus of the University of Arizona include the Museum of Art, the Arizona State Museum and the Mineral Museum. The Center for Creative Photography hosts traveling exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum.
1030 N. Olive Rd., Tucson, AZ 85721, Phone: 520-621-7968
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