Known as the region's premiere film location, this old Wild West town features plenty of shops, stunt shows and traditional southwest barbecue. More than 400 film and commercial production have been made here.
For another old district, visit Old Town Artisans. Located in the El Presidio Historic District, these 150-year old adobe style buildings feature six local and fine art studios and galleries. There is also a Spanish-style courtyard filled with plenty of regional plants and trees where visitors enjoy lunch and a coffee.
A must visit while in Tucson, this national historic landmark is considered the finest example of Mexican Baroque architecture in the United States. Founded in 1692, this Mission is part of a series of missions founded by the Jesuit missionary, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who traveled throughout the southwest and parts of Mexico to spread Catholicism. Before the establishment of the Mission, the Tohono O'odham people lived, and still live nearby today. This active parish is an architectural wonder inside and out. Located across the parking lot is a climbable hill topped with a large cross.
It is common for pilgrims to visit today. The front of the church's exterior contains a large shell etched into the facade, above the doorway. This symbol is the same as seen in many churches in Spain welcoming pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
Part of the parish contains a museum and a shrine that keeps inexpensive lit prayer candles.
This historic neighrbohood in downtown Tucson features original and typical Sonoran architecture. The vibrant adobe style homes and businesses reside between Main Ave. and Stone Ave. just south of Cushing Street.
J. Knox Corbett HouseThis Mission Revival style home was built in 1907 by David Holmes. The Corbett family lived in the house for 56 years, and today is now the Tucson Museum of Art. Back in the day, the house was a social hub where the family hosted many parties, events and meetings.
Located west of downtown is this public statue garden depicting some of the most prominent Christian scenes such as the crucifix and the Last Supper. The creator, Felix Lucero, was stationed in France during World War One. During his time abroad, he made a promise to dedicate the rest of his life creating religious work, which he kept his word.
Located near Downton in Barrio Viejo, is El Tiradito, a quasi-spiritual and historical site. This site is dedicated to the steamy love affair between Juan Oliveras, a young recently married eighteen (18) year old Mexican Sheep Ranchers son in law, and his mother in law who was the wife of a very wealthy sheep rancher. Legend has it that he was a "sinner and a lover," and the shrine is dedicated to a "bad guy." The husband caught Juan and his wife making love in his bed and chased and axed down Juan, killing him in his own blood.
According to tusconmuseum.com, "The 'Curse of The Wishing Shrine' centers predominately on its visitors motives for their visit, and their own lives. It is said that if one visits with a clear open heart that forgives, they will pass, and they may even get their wish fulfilled. For others, it may just be the beginning of history repeating itself depending on what they themselves bring to the shrine. Also, it is said that if you light a candle at the shrine and it remains burning all night long without going out by sunrise, your wish may be granted depending on your motivations."
Barrio Viejo is Tucson's second oldest historic district. Built in the 1870's, city planners bulldozed much of the original adobes for urban renewal in the 1960's. The area features the most adobe style homes compared to any other neighborhood in Tucson.
Built in 1896, this Romanesque Revival Style church resides near Downtown Tucson. Open for services, the facade contains etchings of horned toad lizards, yucca and saguaro. Statues of the Mother Mary and Saint Augustine, the patron saint of Tucson, are found onsite. Once inside, it feels like a walk back through time in Europe, a moment where it's easy to forget that one is in Arizona.
St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church
Located near the foothills, this is another popular site for prayer, solitude and reflection. A once famous Tucson architect, Josias Joesler, designed this structure in 1936 showcasing the best of Spanish design. Besides services, the church hosts a variety of music events and concerts and also features an art gallery, memorial garden and labyrinth.
This historic desert church sits on a hillside overlooking the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood. Built by residents in 1932, this was once the prime chapel of worship. Today, the chapel services events, parties and memorials.
Sosa-Carillo-Fremont House Museum
Built in the 1870's, this house is a prime example of Sonoran and Territorial architecture. This typical row house contains a Black Mission fig tree, which is typical and also an offspring of the Spanish Mission Era. The house is used for public events, exhibits and play performances.
This Lemon Tree article is now featured on GPSmyCity. To download this article for offline reading or travel directions to the attractions highlighted in this article, go to 12 Historical Sites to Visit in Tucson, Arizona.