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Southern AZ

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by NandJfrmNJ, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    We're thinking of taking a side trip from LV (as we almost always do), this time to southern AZ to see Saguaro NP, Karchner Caverns, Chiricahua NM, Tombstone and whatever else strikes our fancy. We have 4-5 days to do this. I'm having trouble planning an itinerary without doing too much driving in one day. We'll probably stay at Harrah's Ak-Chin on our way back but don't know about the rest of the trip. Is the Biosphere worth a visit? Sonoran Desert Museum? HELP, please!
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Biosphere is a second-tier attraction, so I'd say worth a stop if you tick all the other boxes, which include all those on your list and ... when going out to Chiricahua, pop in the Amerind Foundation Museum, most definitely. You can loop around from Tombstone through Sonoita and Patagonia, hitting the mission ruin down south at Tumacacori, fun-cool presidio-turned art town Tubac and San Xavier del Bac Mission sw of Tucson. (If you like golf film history parts of Tin Cup were filmed at Tubac Golf Resort.) Also when down Sonoita way, if you are a wine drinker, check out some of the wineries down there, a few of which are making some righteous wine (Dos Cabezas and Callaghan notably). For something quirky consider the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley/Sahuarita. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a MUST.

    Some Tucson eats: Cafe Poca Cosa, 47 Scott, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, have a Sonoran dog at El Guero Canelo
     
  3. idtwins

    idtwins Tourist

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    I lived in the Tucson area for about 25 years and spent some time at almost all the places you mentioned. Sonoran Desert Museum is a definite must. Don't miss the cave exhibit! The museum is just on the outskirts of Saguaro NP West so you could picnic there and hit the museum in the same day. Lots of hiking trails and abandoned mines in that area too.

    Old Tucson movie studios is just down the road from the Desert Museum but (for me) it hasn't been the same since the big fire back in the 1990s. While you're in the area though, keep an eye out for a large peak on the Tucson mountain range called Cat Mountain. If you've seen any Western movies in your day, you'll recognize that peak!

    Casino del Sol is not too far away from that area either and may be worth a stop for you. If memory serves me correctly, parts of Del Sol were designed by the same folks that did Paris LV so it has that "I'm inside but it looks like outside" feel to it.

    if you're into aviation, Pima Air Museum is worth a stop and you could easily get from there to Saguaro NP East.

    I never did hit the Biosphere and honestly haven't regretted it yet!
     
    Wife's Birthday Extravaganza - Celine Dion
  4. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    WoW! I'm so glad I asked here. Great info from both of you. Are two full days enough to hit the highlights or should we plan more?
    What about Bisbee? Worth a stop? J.A. Jance is one of my favorite authors.
     
  5. idtwins

    idtwins Tourist

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    Two days would likely be enough to hit just the highlights. if you plan on really checking out the exhibits at Desert Museum or Pima Air Museum then you may need more. You could easily spend a whole day perusing the details of either place.

    I haven't been to Bisbee since I was a kid and that was many years ago. I do have a fond memory of the pit mine there but that's about it. If you're into mining, definitely a place to check out (Tombstone too).
     
    Wife's Birthday Extravaganza - Celine Dion
  6. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Spent 5 nights in Tuscon last spring. Casino Del Sol was a fairly new hotel,very nice, clean, people were fantastic. Not far was an old Mission ,think they said it was the oldest in the US,really old anyway.
    Tombstone was a nice day trip,boot hill was cool, the theater had some neat stuff from the old days and Big Nose Kates Saloon was a happening place to have lunch.
    The one street in Tuscon,forget the name , was interesting to walk around and shop.Ask anybody.
    My nephew lives in Mesa ,said AK CHIN is in a crap area ,I cant say, didnt go there. He'd never make it at the Phoenix Tourist Bureau ,he called it the" Newark of the Southwest ",he cant wait to retire and move back east.
    We'd go back to Casino Del Sol if given the opportunity.
     
  7. idtwins

    idtwins Tourist

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    sounds like 4th ave
     
    Wife's Birthday Extravaganza - Celine Dion
  8. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    Jerseyguy, we've been to Ak-Chin and it wasn't so bad unless things have changed. It's just a stopover anyway to break up the long trip. Do you remember where you stayed? Looking for motels that would be centrally located to where we want to be. We're thinking of one night in Tucson and one or two in Benson.
     
  9. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    We stayed at Casino Del Sol,not too pricey ,really nice almost new .Maybe 15-20 minutes off I-10 . Thats the only place we ever stayed in that area.
    We intended to stay in Phoenix,but nephew recommended Tuscon,so he drove down one day and showed us around.
    Casino Del Sol was about 60-70 per night if I remember. We flew out from EWR rented a vehicle ,drove down and back from Tuscon.
    Have a great trip!!
     
  10. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    I checked Casino del Sol. They want $209/night. I don't think so. We' re looking forward to exploring someplace new.
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I've put about a week in the past two Decembers at Casino del Sol. NICE hotel. But y'all know cranky old me, I don't need a casino every time I'm out on vacation, so if someone is heading down that way there are so many options in and around Tucson for a fun and cool stay.

    As for the timing of this, depending on how big the loop is, I'd say at least three days.
     
  12. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    I booked one night in Casa Grande and two nights in Benson. I tried for Tucson but there is apparently a big gem show in town for three weeks so we had to settle for what we could get. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.
     
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