How To Spend A Weekend In Tucson

Nov 9, 2018

how to spend a weekend in tucson

On our hike at Sabina Canyon


A few weeks ago Trevor and I headed out on our first solo trip since having Zain. We’ve both had small trips here and there since he was born but we realized we hadn’t gotten away (just the two of us) in almost a year and a half. It’s so crazy how it flew by but we knew it was time. 

Trevor was set to take his oral board exam in Tucson so we figured it was the perfect excuse for me to fly out after and spend a few days together. Luckily, my mom offered to stay with Zain so we didn’t have many reservations. She sees him so often and has helped take care of him since he was born so she knows him almost as well as we do. 

I got a lot of messages asking what we were doing, where we ate and if we recommended it as a vacation destination. The immediate answer is yes! The weather was near perfect, it’s serene and relaxing and if you like food and the outdoors it’s for you. 

We tried to not make too many plans, enjoy the resort, get outside and Tucson was the perfect place to do that. We stayed at the JW Marriott Starr Pass and in my opinion we couldn’t have asked for a better spot. It was situated up in mountains so you had amazing views and serenity but it was only about a twenty minute drive into town. 

They have several pools and a lazy river that Trevor and I spent way too much time in. All the dining options were great and their patio with fire pits was amazing. We usually had a drink out there every night before dinner!

As far as activities and food, I listed our favorites below as well as all your additional recommendations we sadly didn’t have time to get to! You all sent in some great stuff over on Instagram so thank you and please let me know if you head out any time soon!


Places To Eat: 

Welcome Diner – This was our first meal in Tucson and we loved it. The diner is still structured as the original building was in Googie architecture and their biscuits are to die for!

El Charro – This is the oldest Mexican restaurant still run by the same family in Tucson and very traditional. We couldn’t finish 1/4 of the food we were served 😉

Cup Cafe in Hotel Congress – We had dinner here our last night and loved it! We sat outside on the patio under string lights with live music. The food was excellent and the hotel was super cute. 

Beyond Bread – A reader recommended this and claimed it was the best sandwich place in the whole world so that’s saying something. 

Vivace – Italian food with amazing views!

Frog n Firkin – Reader rec! On U of A’s campus and has great pizza and beer!

Trattoria Pina – We were told to get the Popes Pillow because it was the most amazing dessert but sadly we never made it. Try it for us!

Café Poca Cosa – This is where we had dinner our first night and it was phenomenal! The menu changes every day and the atmosphere was perfect. They are also known for their margarita’s and the spicy one was real good. 

Bisbee Breakfast Club – Another reader recommendation for a casual breakfast! 

Contigo Latin Kitchen – We were told to eat outside with the amazing view but never made it there either :/

The Parish Tucson – another reader recommendation!

Penca – a lunch recommendation that we never made it to but the food looks so good! 


Things To Do: 

Desert Museum – This was such a treat. The term museum may throw you off but it’s an outdoor museum where you can see all of Arizona’s wildlife, hike, eat and even pet a snake :/

La Encantada – Recommended for shopping but we never made it! 

MSA Annex – We loved this area! It was kind of like an outdoor market with places to eat, shops and coffee spots. We grabbed lunch here one day and then walked around all afternoon. 

Sabina Canyon – Our favorite day of the trip! This was recommended by so many of you and we loved it. They will give you a map when you arrive so you can pick your trail but we ended up on the 8 mile hike that crossed water several times. There are plenty of paved areas that you could do if you have a stroller and the scenes were breathtaking! 


what to do in tucson

Drinking coffee leisurely was a real treat

best lunch tucson

Grabbing lunch outside at the MSA

outdoor museum tucson

Pretty views at The Desert Museum

outdoor museum tucson

At the Desert Museum

the diner tucson

The biscuit sandwich at The Welcome Diner

best hikes in tucson

Mid hike at Sabina Canyon

jw mariott starr pass

Cheers to our last night at the JW Mariott Starr Pass




This trip was sponsored by Visit Tucson. As always, all opinions are my own and thank you for supporting brands that make Lows to Luxe possible! 


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