Visiting Tucson in March is popular but can be pricey given it is one of our biggest tourist months. I have a few tips below on how you can visit Tucson on budget, including cheap things to do in Tucson.
Free things to do in Tucson
Tucson offers several really cool historical and cultural activities for free. Don’t miss up on these budget saving ideas for fun things to do in Tucson.
San Xavier Mission
Established in the late 1600’s San Xavier is considered the “Sistine Chapel of North America.” The church still serves a local parish but is open to the public when there aren’t church services. It’s the oldest intact European structure in Arizona and filled with original statues and mural paintings.
Walk (or drive) up A-Moutain, you can climb to the very top for amazing views of the city day or night.
Head downtown on the 2nd Saturday of every month for an evening of cultural and musical performances. You’ll also find street vendors and a variety of food options. This family-friendly event is fun for all ages.
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum
Train and history enthusiasts shouldn’t miss this free museum complete with interactive exhibits and a steam locomotive on display.
Tucson Cultural Pass
Tucson residents can check out a Tucson Cultural Pass from the library, this works well if you are visiting friends or family in the area.
The Tucson Cultural Pass is for two admissions at participating arts and cultural institutions like the Jewish History Museum, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Tucson Museum of Art.
An Arts Performance Pass is also available for 2 admissions to select performances at UA Presents and the Arizona Opera.
Cheap Things To Do In Tucson
Of course, everything can’t be free but there are plenty of cheap things to do in Tucson too. Check out my suggestions below on how to save money on a variety of Tucson attraction.
Children’s Museum Tucson
The Children’s Museum Tucson and Oro Valley participate in a few discount admission programs.
Hike Sabino Canyon
A 45-minute tram tour takes visitors to 9 stops where you can hop on and off to hike a variety of trails.
Tucson POGO Pass
The Tucson POGO Pass includes admission to specific local attractions including Golf N Stuff and the International Wildlife Museum.
Tucson Attractions Passport
The passport includes buy one, get one free admission coupons for a variety of Tucson attractions.
Groupon & Living Social
Don’t forget about discount sites like Groupon and Living Social. Their inventory of discounted things to do is always changing but we have recently bought deals for horseback riding and the Flandrau Planetarium.
Where to Stay in Tucson on a Budget
If you have family or friends in Tucson and can stay them then that would be the ultimate budget accommodations. You can’t beat free but not everyone has that option.
Depending on the time of year, the rates at area hotels and resorts can be very high priced (when our weather is beautiful) or budget friendly (when our weather is brutal).
Lazy Days KOA
My friend Rebecca just stopped in Tucson on her spring break adventure and found the cabin rentals at the Lazy Days KOA suited her family’s needs perfectly. The cabins accommodate 6-8 people and include a kitchen.
A kitchen makes it much easier to stay on a budget, eating food out all the time gets very expensive while traveling anywhere. If you are an extreme budget traveler, tent sites are also available. Check out her review of the Lazy Days KOA for full details.
Tucson Resort Deals
If you are visiting during the summer, check with local resorts of specials. We’ve stayed at the the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain and Hilton El Conquistador, both have fun pools with slides.
Transportation to Tucson on a Budget
Road tripping is usually the most budget-friendly way to travel. If you don’t have a reliable car that can travel to Tucson or you don’t want to put a lot of miles on your vehicle, then taking a Greyhound Bus could be a good option
Greyhound opened a new terminal that is convenient to UofA, and downtown with access to streetcar and city bus lines. Currently all Sun Tran, Sun Link and Sun Express are free through June 30, 2022. Sunlink is the Tucson streetcar route.
I’ve never ridden a Greyhound bus and was surprised to learn about all the modern features they offer riders including free wifi, power outlets at each seat, reclining leather seats and cup holders.
I toured one of the buses and couldn’t believe the leg room it offered, it seemed way roomier than what I am used to when flying.
More Visit Tucson Ideas
- 50+ things to do in Tucson with kids
- Things to do in Tucson during the fall
- Don’t miss the kid friendly El Conquistador Tucson pool!
- Visit Old Tucson Studios (hopefully reopening soon)!
- Consider a visit to this NW Tucson Aquatic Center
This post was originally sponsored by Greyhound Bus and published March 17, 2017
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