Situated in Pima County, of which it is the county seat, Tuscon is one of the biggest cities in all of Arizona. It's actually the second most populous city in the state after Phoenix and is the 33rd biggest city in the whole United States. Known as 'The Old Pueblo', Tucson is situated over 100 miles away from Phoenix and just 60 miles north of the international border separating the United States from Mexico. The city covers over 236 square miles and is home to more than half a million people, with more than a million in the entire metropolitan area. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Tucson RV Parks
2.Prince of Tucson RV Park
3.Sentinel Peak RV Park
4.Tra-Tel Tucson RV Park
3 Best Tucson RV Parks
- Tucson RV Parks, Photo: karrastock/stock.adobe.com
- Prince of Tucson RV Park, Photo: lexpixelart/stock.adobe.com
- Sentinel Peak RV Park, Photo: korchemkin/stock.adobe.com
- Tra-Tel Tucson RV Park, Photo: brudertack69/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Shane Cotee/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Reid Park Zoo
Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Reid Park Zoo is a 24 acre zoo that is home to over 500 animals. Throughout the Reid Park Zoo’s 24 acres, visitors can see and interact with over 500 animals. The Reid Park Zoo is divided in four main attractions: South America, Asia, Africa, and Expedition Tanzania.
The Reid Park Zoo was founded in 1965 by the Parks & Recreation director Gene Reid without an official name. Reid opened the Zoo with only a few animals, which include a guinea fowl. One year after the Zoo opened, Reid acquired enough animals to occupy around 1.5 acres of land. He officially named the Zoo the Randolph Park Children’s Zoo. In 1968, Reid was given a $49,000 budget and gave the city power in the Zoo’s operations. With the new facilities and animals, the Zoo changed its name to simply the Randolph Park Zoo.
In 1972, under the direction of J. L. Swigert and Michael Flint, the Randolph Park Zoo was accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Throughout the 1970s, the Zoo continued to expand its facilities and acquire more animals. With the establishment of the Asian Grasslands attraction and a new expansion worth 15 acres the Zoo’s name officially became the Reid Park Zoo in 1978.
The animals on display within these attractions include:
· Grizzly bears
· Black and white ruffed lemurs
· Fennec fox
· Aldabra tortoise
· Bearded dragon
Some of the smaller attractions located within the four main areas include:
· Lee H. Brown Family Conservation Learning Center
· Kenya Get Wet
· Giraffe Encounter
The Reid Park Zoo offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. The educational programs at the Reid Park Zoo differ among who they are offered for. The three main categories of educational opportunities at the Reid Park Zoo are groups, individuals and families, and teachers.
Groups have the opportunity to schedule various outreach programs or specialized tours. The Reid Park Zoo offers different group options for different groups that may be visiting the Zoo. For example, if a school is visiting the Reid Park Zoo, the have the opportunity of scheduling a self-guided tour or a tour with the accompaniment of a tour guide and educational activity.
As for individuals and families, the Reid Park Zoo offers a variety of classes and fun educational activities. The classes and activities offered for individuals and families are continuously changing. So, check out the Reid Park Zoo’s official website for more information about the educational opportunities available for individuals and families.
Lastly, the Reid Park Zoo offers a variety of programs for teachers. Teachers have the opportunity of bringing their class to the Reid Park Zoo, or participating in one of the Zoo’s outreach programs, so the Zoo comes to their classroom. If a teacher decides to visit the Reid Park Zoo with their class, they can use a free Bio Bag. A Bio Bag is a free program that contains a variety of objects and activities for students to explore and participate in as they tour the zoo. Bio Bags are used by teachers who book self-guided field trips. Other educational opportunities for teachers at the Reid Park Zoo include workshops and activities that tie together school curriculum and information from the zoo.
The Reid Park Zoo hosts a combination of public and private events throughout the year. Every month, the Reid Park Zoo hosts new and exciting public events that are great for everyone. One of the benefits of these public events is that most of them are free with admission into the Zoo. The special public events at the Reid Park Zoo include festive celebrations, animal awareness programs, explorer programs, and special classes or workshops.
The Reid Park Zoo is used to hosting private events. They even have a designated event garden to host many of their private events. Typical private events at the Reid Park Zoo include birthday parties, cocktail mixers, weddings corporate events, and any other celebration or gathering. The Reid Park Zoo has a team of specially trained employees who can help plan your perfect event. The Zoo also offers a catering partner, Taste, which makes it easy to set up catering for your special event.
If you’re interested in learning more about the public events at the Reid Park Zoo, or how you can host your own private event, check out the Zoo’s website, or visit the Zoo’s visiting center during their hours of operation.
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1100 S Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85716, Phone: 520-881-4753
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Attraction Spotlight: Arizona State Museum
The Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona in Tucson is the southwest’s oldest and largest anthropology museum. The collection entails over three million objects including over 300,000 catalogued artifacts, ethnographic artifacts, over one half million photographs and negatives, as well as almost 100,000 rare books.
The archeological collection is organized into four areas of study. These four areas include catalogued artifacts, a bulk material research collection, specimens from site surveys, and a library of southwestern pottery fragments, or sherds. The catalogued objects are most often used for exhibits and as reference materials for research and teaching. The sherd library is used for research and reference, and contains samples of pottery and cultures from thousands of sites across Arizona. The Bioarcheology collection includes human skeletal remains from archeological sites throughout Arizona. The Bioarcheology Laboratory provides research and teaching resources to the University of Arizona. Ethnology is the study of people’s characteristics and the relationship between groups of people. The ethnology collection contains artifacts from over 400 different cultures throughout the southwestern United States and dates from the 1880’s through the 1980’s. Highlights include a Navajo collection with one of the world’s largest woven Navajo rugs. Pottery, baskets and textiles from Mexico, over 400 Mexican folk costumes and masks, and the largest collection of materials from the indigenous Seri people of Mexico are also included. The photography collection includes documentations of historic and prehistoric artifacts and archeological fieldwork. Historic photographs of the Piman Native Americans and the Western Apache, photographs of mission architecture from Mexico, and aesthetic photographs of Arizona landscapes are included in the collection. Noted photographers include the missionary and teacher Daniel Boone Linderman who worked in the early 1900’s on the Pima and Maricopa reservations, as well as the anthropologist Grenville Goodwin who studied culture among the Western Apache.
History: The Arizona State Museum was founded in 1893 with a primary focus on the indigenous cultures of the southwestern United States, northern Mexico, and in particular, Arizona. As the official museum of the state of Arizona, it operates under several government mandates, including protecting and upholding the Arizona Antiquities Act. Under this act, the museum is the permitting authority for all archeological activity over close to 10 million acres of state land, as well as the official keeper of inventory from over 100,000 historic and archeological sites. The museum works with the government to prosecute crimes that occur against archeological and historic sites, and administers the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act by working with Native American tribes to protect human burials on both state and private land. Alongside the University of Arizona, the museum offers robust research resources. Areas of focus include water rights between Spain and Mexico in the southwest, the cultures of the Hopi and Hohokam people of Arizona, how prehistoric people adapted to the land and use of animals in a desert landscape, and the ancient migration of people. A preservation division at the museum takes care to ensure that each object is preserved and cared for, and works to develop best practices in the testing of objects, as well as their storage and documentation.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Events at the museum include hands-on workshops, lectures and close-up tours of the collections. An Ancestral Pueblo Glazed Pottery program spanned multiple days and offered morning lectures about the history of the 14th and 15th century pottery with hands-on activities in the afternoons. A basket identification workshop taught participants about different types of baskets, and concluded with a hands-on basket making session led by a Native American weaver. Past lectures have included “Indigenous Perspectives on Cultural Property,” a guide about best practices for following State Preservation Acts, and “The Many Journeys of Father Kino,” a look at the Jesuit missionary’s legacy in Arizona and Sonora.
Past and Future Exhibits: The current exhibit, “Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry and Fiber Art” is on display through 2022. The exhibit showcases Arizona’s tradition of basket weaving and the finest examples of this work, from ancient times through the present day. The exhibit highlights the best of the museum’s collection of over 35,000 baskets and weavings, including cradleboards, mats and sandals. Contemporary Native American voices interpret the display.
What’s Nearby: Additional museums on the University of Arizona campus include the Museum of Art, the Science Center and Planetarium, the Mineral Museum and Biosphere 2 which is home to 6 biospheres under a giant glass dome.
1013 East University Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85721, Phone: 520-621-6302
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Attraction Spotlight: Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
The Presidio San Agustin Museum in Tucson takes visitors back in time with a recreation of the Tucson Presidio built in 1775 by the Spanish. The museum also features a Sonoran row house as well as a prehistoric pit house. The Siqueiros-Jácome home is an example of a Sonoran row house, built close to the street with an interior courtyard. The adobe structure was built between the 1860’s and 1870’s and was occupied by Soledad Jácome until 1911, who supported her family by working as a seamstress.
The home offers two excellent examples of packing crate and flat saguaro rib style roofing. Doors in the home were positioned to allow for the movement of air and cooling of the house. The Hohokam Indian pit house is located at the northeast corner of the presidio wall. Pit houses were named as such because the floor was located below the natural ground level. The presidio wall was most likely unknowingly built over the house’s location. It is assumed that a defensive lookout was located on this corner of the wall. In 1954, an excavation found the dwelling, which dates back to approximately 800 AD; evidence that Tucson is one of the oldest continually occupied locations in the United States. Over 2,000 years ago, the small pit house would have provided shelter for a family of four within the sapling-lined pit surrounding a central hearth. Other artifacts in the presidio include an 18th century cannon, a food and supply storeroom and a presidio-era barracks. Stations throughout the walled complex display soldier’s equipment, Native American and European Old and New World foods, cotton and wool, and other artifacts. Docents at each of the stations are available to provide information and answer questions. A Living History program staffs the site with costumed volunteers who re-enact the daily lives of soldiers, candle-makers, weavers, blacksmiths and merchants who would have lived within the walls of the presidio in Colonial times. The museum headquarters are located at the northwest corner of the fortified area.
History: The Spanish military founded the Presidio San Augustin in 1775 when a fort was built at the site along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. The 11-acre complex was fortified by a thick adobe wall after falling victim to several Apache attacks, and was among the largest of the Spanish frontier. The structure was the foundation of what would eventually become the city of Tucson. The massive adobe walls required continual maintenance, yet the fort survived multiple battles. In the mid 1800’s when Americans arrived, the walls of the fort were dismantled, and southern Arizona was transferred to the United States. The Tucson area was most rapidly settled after 1870 when minerals in the area were discovered and economic drivers moved from agriculture to mining. In 2007, the northeast corner of the fort was reconstructed following an archeological investigation of the site. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Docent-led 45-minute tours teach visitors about the lives of early Tucsonans. Special tours include the Presidio District Historic Walking Tour. This tour takes guests through the Tucson Museum of Art historic block and includes the Presidio and Old Town. The Turquoise Trail Walking Tour is a 2.5 mile guided historic and architectural tour, and includes an optional lunch. Blacksmithing demonstrations take place at the Presidio on the last Saturday of each month. Visitors may participate in firing the bellows as they watch blacksmiths work with metals. Group tours may be geared towards specific interests. Soldier Demonstrations include the firing of a musket. Textile themed tours include demonstrations of spinning cotton and wool, and weaving on a loom. A History of Medicine tour includes a presentation on medicinal plants, surgical procedures and pain mitigation from Colonial times. The Daily Life tour is recommended for teens. This tour offers into the jobs that teenagers and young adults would have held, what expectations were placed on them, and how they filled their daily lives with chores and games. The Children’s Hour provides an age-appropriate tour for 4-8 year olds. Children learn about the activities within the Presidio such as cattle-roping, gardening, and period games.
Past and Future Exhibits: A Tucson Birthday Celebration will take place at the Presidio on August 2017 in celebration of the city’s 242nd birthday. Activities will include a flag presentation, cannon firing and folklorico dancing.
196 N. Court Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701, Phone: 520-837-8119
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