Where to stay in Tucson
Just want a quick guide to where to stay in Tucson?
Here are my top picks for 2023:
👨👨👧👦 Best for families: Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson East
🥂 Best for couples: Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort
🌵 Best for hiking: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
🏢 Best downtown: The Downtown Clifton Hotel
💰 Best budget: Home2 Suites by Hilton
👉 Best near University of Arizona: Graduate Tucson
🐾 Best for pets: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Where to stay in Tucson Arizona – 2023
Tucson, Arizona is a vibrant and unique city with a rich history and a thriving arts and culture scene. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or planning a longer stay, choosing the right place to stay is key to making the most of your trip.
With a variety of neighborhoods and accommodation options to choose from, deciding where to stay in Tucson can be overwhelming. In this post, I’ll outline the best areas to stay in Tucson, as well as factors to consider when choosing your accommodation to help you make an informed decision and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in this desert city.
Overview of Tucson
Tucson is a city in southern Arizona, located about 120 miles southeast of Phoenix. It is surrounded by five mountain ranges, including the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, and is known for its sunny weather, beautiful scenery, and rich cultural heritage.
With a population of around 550,000 people, Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona and offers a diverse range of attractions, from world-class museums and galleries to outdoor adventures such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Best places to stay in Tucson for families
1. Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson East
Located next to every type of store you could imagine, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tuscon East is a terrific choice for families. With spacious rooms, free breakfast (even fresh omelets), an afternoon happy hour, and a courtyard pool and hot tub, it has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
We stayed here on a recent weekend trip to Tucson for a soccer showcase and found it perfect. Every morning on our way to the fields, we’d stop for a tasty Americano at the nearby Dutch Bros, and the evening reception at the hotel was a terrific way to wind down after a busy day with kids and sports!
LOCATION: Tucson East
👉 Check out the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson East HERE!
Best places to stay in Tucson for couples
Planning a couples trip to Tucson? Then consider one of these lovely choices …
2. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
A spa, three onsite restaurants, and every room with a patio or balcony? Sounds like a luxurious couples’ getaway to me! Check out Loews Ventana Canyon Resort if you want a little relaxation and luxury as part of your couple’s trip to Tucson.
You’ll also find tennis courts, a fitness center, and nearby golf courses if you want a little more activity during your stay.
LOCATION: Near Sabino Canyon; Northeast Tucson
🥂 Look for available dates and rates for Loews Ventana Canyon Resort on Booking.com
3. El Amador Downtown Luxury Inn
Looking for fancy AND downtown? The El Amador Downtown Luxury Inn is a stylish and elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of Tucson’s historic downtown area.
The inn’s central location makes it a great base for exploring Tucson’s vibrant downtown, with many restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance. The El Amador’s personalized service, attention to detail, and luxurious touches make it a terrific choice for those looking for a high-end and intimate accommodation option in Tucson.
🥂 Book your stay at El Amador Downtown HERE
Pet-friendly places to stay in Tucson
Are you bringing your pet along on your trip to Tucson? Luckily there are plenty of terrific pet-friendly hotels in Tucson, but here are two of the best!
4. Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
This pet-friendly resort is located on the Northeast side of Tucson with easy access to several parks and hiking trails – perfect for bringing along your furry friends! They allow 2 dogs up to 75 lbs. (with an additional charge).
The resort has an outdoor pool, onsite dining, free wifi, and more. The resort was originally built as a private school for girls, so in addition to a lovely setting with beautiful views, it has a unique history.
LOCATION: Northeast Tucson
👉 Check out the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort HERE
5. Home2 Suites By Hilton Tucson Downtown
If you prefer to stay downtown with your pet, the Home2Suites by Hilton is an excellent choice. With free breakfast, a terrific downtown location, and an outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, it’s a cozy choice in a walkable district.
Although I haven’t stayed at this particular Home2 Suites, I have stayed at the brand before and found them very comfortable, and clean and they tend to be newer.
LOCATION: Downtown Tucson
🐾 Check out the Home2Suites by Hilton Tucson Downtown on Booking.com
Unique places to stay in Tucson
Do you like something a bit out of the ordinary? If so, consider The Tuxon Hotel or the Armory Park Inn for your stay in Tucson.
6. The Tuxon Hotel
Are you a fan of trendy decor, fabulous cocktails, and an upscale modern feel? If so, then you should consider The Tuxon Hotel. This is not your cookie-cutter chain hotel! Weekends offer music by the pool and often food and drink specials, and you can participate in curated events when they are available.
Insider tip: it is right on the highway, so ask for a mountainside room to avoid the noise/view.
LOCATION: Just Southwest of Downtown
👉 Have fun with your stay at the Tuxon Hotel – check rates and dates here!
7. Armory Park Inn
The Armory Park Inn is a charming and historic bed and breakfast Inn located in the heart of Tucson’s downtown area. The inn is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion and features seven well-appointed guest rooms, each decorated with vintage furnishings and artwork.
The intimate and welcoming atmosphere, combined with its historic charm, makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a unique and memorable accommodation option in Tucson.
LOCATION: Near downtown
👉 Learn more about the Armory Park Inn here
Best Areas to Stay in Tucson
Choosing the right location for your hotel in Tucson is essential to making the most of your trip. Different parts of the city have different vibes and characteristics, so choosing a location that suits your preferences can enhance your overall experience. Ultimately, the right location can make a big difference in your enjoyment of Tucson, so it’s worth taking the time to research and select the area that best suits your needs.
Places to stay in Downtown Tucson
Want to be near the center of the action? Then consider a hotel in downtown Tucson as the base for your visit.
8. The Downtown Clifton Hotel
Review after review suggests the Downtown Clifton Hotel as THE place to stay in downtown Tucson. The Clifton Hotel is a historic boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Tucson. Originally built in 1947, the hotel has been lovingly restored to its former glory, with stylish and comfortable rooms that are designed to evoke the glamour of the mid-20th century.
The hotel’s central location makes it a great base for exploring the city’s downtown area, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and attractions within walking distance. So if you want that funky, boutique feel near downtown Tucson, be sure to check out the Clifton Hotel.
👉 Check out the Clifton Hotel here on Booking.com
9. Hampton Inn Downtown Tucson
If a chain hotel is more your speed (and that’s fine, maybe you like the consistency!), but you want to stay downtown, consider the Hampton Inn in downtown Tucson.
With a great location that allows you to walk to plenty of restaurants and attractions, comfortable rooms, and even a pool onsite, this would be an excellent choice for your Tucson stay. Plus, if you have status or points with Hilton, you might be able to get a fantastic deal on this hotel!
👉 Check rates and dates at the Hampton Inn Downtown Tucson
Pros and cons of staying downtown
Staying in downtown Tucson has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the downtown area is the cultural and historic heart of Tucson, with a wealth of museums, galleries, and landmarks to explore. The area is also home to many great restaurants and bars and the vibrant and lively atmosphere of downtown Tucson makes it an exciting place to stay, with plenty of entertainment options and events taking place throughout the year.
However, the area can also be noisy and crowded, especially during weekends and holidays. Accommodation options in downtown Tucson can be pricey, and parking can be challenging and expensive.
Overall, staying in downtown Tucson is a great choice for those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s culture and nightlife, but may not be the best option for those seeking a quieter or more affordable stay.
Places to stay near the University of Arizona
Want to make sure you are near the University of Arizona when you are visiting Tucson? Then check out these two properties…
10. Graduate Tucson
I love the Graduate hotels – each one is a little bit different, pulling from the university and state that they represent. The Graduate Tucson is right next to campus and has great views, a restaurant, a bar, and a small pool area.
If you are visiting the University of Arizona, the Graduate Tucson is absolutely a hotel to consider. Ratings on review sites are quite high, and prices are reasonable for such a convenient location.
LOCATION: Near the University of Arizona
👉 Book your stay at Graduate Tucson HERE
11. AC Hotel Tucson Downtown
Just a mile from campus is the fairly new AC Hotel. With clean, modern designs, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant and bar, the AC has everything you need when planning a visit to the University of Arizona.
In addition to its proximity to the university, it also has beautiful views of downtown – especially from the higher rooms. You will have to pay for parking onsite, but it’s affordable and private.
LOCATION: Near the University of Arizona
👉 Check rates and dates at the AC Hotel Tucson HERE.
Pros and cons of staying near the University of Arizona
Staying near the University of Arizona has several pros and cons to consider. On the one hand, the area is vibrant and lively, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance.
It is also a great location if you’re interested in attending sporting events or visiting the university’s museums and galleries. Additionally, the area has a young and diverse population, which can be great for meeting new people and experiencing the local culture.
On the other hand, the area can be noisy, especially during weekends and holidays when students are off. Traffic can also be congested during peak hours, making it challenging to navigate the area by car.
Finally, accommodation prices in this area can be higher than in other parts of Tucson due to its proximity to the university.
Best places to stay in Tucson for hiking
Hiking is a popular pastime in Tucson. There are so many wonderful hikes around the area and with moderate temperatures most of the year, it’s a great location to get outside!
12. Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
Just one mile from Saguaro National Park, the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch is more than just lodging, it’s an entire experience. You can have fun horseback riding, biking, and fishing and there is even an onsite spa.
With southwestern decor, acres of grounds to explore, and even all-inclusive packages, Tanque Verde Guest Ranch is a great base for a vacation geared toward hiking.
LOCATION: East of Tucson
🌵 Check rates and availability at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
13. The Lodge at Ventana Canyon
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon is a luxurious resort nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson. The resort features two championship golf courses, a full-service spa, tennis courts, and two outdoor swimming pools, making it a great choice for those looking for a relaxing and indulgent stay.
The resort’s location in the natural beauty of the Santa Catalina Mountains also provides guests with a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Although the Lodge is located about 30 minutes from Tucson’s downtown area, its serene and secluded atmosphere makes it a great choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a luxurious retreat.
LOCATION: Northeast of downtown
👉 Check rates and dates for The Lodge at Booking.com
Where not to stay in Tucson
While Tucson is generally a safe city, there are a few areas that are best avoided for safety reasons. The neighborhoods of South Tucson and the area around the Tucson Mall are known for their high crime rates and are not recommended for visitors, especially those traveling alone or at night.
Additionally, the area around Tucson’s airport may not be the most desirable place to stay due to its industrial and commercial nature, lack of nearby amenities, and noise from airplane traffic.
It’s always a good idea to research the neighborhood and location of your hotel before booking to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable during your stay in Tucson.
Factors to consider when choosing a place to stay in Tucson
As you are deciding where to stay in Tucson Arizona, consider the following factors.
What is your budget for finding a place to stay in Tucson?
Tucson offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget motels to luxury resorts, and knowing your budget will help to streamline the search process and find the best possible option within their means.
Additionally, some areas of Tucson may be more expensive than others, so having a budget in mind can help determine which areas and types of accommodations are feasible for you.
Where is the best area to stay in Tucson?
The best area to stay in Tucson depends on your preferences and needs.
Downtown Tucson is a great choice if you are looking to immerse yourself in the city’s culture and nightlife, with many restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance.
The University of Arizona area is ideal for visiting the university or attending events on campus, with its lively and youthful atmosphere.
The Catalina Foothills area, located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, is a great option if you want a more upscale and luxurious stay, with many high-end resorts and spas.
What type of accommodation are you looking for?
Asking yourself what type of accommodations you are looking for is important because it helps to narrow down the options and find a place that meets your specific needs and preferences.
What amenities are you looking for?
Accommodation options in Tucson range from budget motels to luxury resorts, and each type of accommodation has its own set of amenities, services, and prices.
By considering factors such as budget, location, type of lodging (such as hotels, motels, bed, and breakfasts, or vacation rentals), and amenities (such as swimming pools, restaurants, or fitness centers), you can find the perfect accommodation that suits your individual travel style and preferences.
FAQs about where to stay in Tucson
Should I visit Tucson, AZ?
Yes, visiting Tucson, Arizona is definitely worth considering! Tucson is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty.
The city is home to many popular attractions, such as the University of Arizona, the Tucson Botanical Gardens, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The city is also surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Saguaro National Park, Catalina State Park, and Sabino Canyon.
Tucson’s year-round warm climate, unique cuisine, and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking make it a great destination for travelers looking for an authentic southwestern experience.
💥 Related post: Best time to visit Tucson Arizona
Is Tucson safe?
Tucson is generally a safe city, but like any large urban area, there are areas that are best avoided due to higher crime rates.
The downtown area and the University of Arizona campus areas are generally safe and well-patrolled by law enforcement. However, some areas of South Tucson, the Tucson Mall area, and the neighborhoods surrounding Tucson’s airport may be less safe and should be avoided, especially at night or for those traveling alone.
Visitors should take standard safety precautions such as keeping valuables out of sight, locking car doors, and being aware of their surroundings. It’s always a good idea to research the neighborhood and location of your hotel before booking to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable during your stay in Tucson.
Overall, with proper precautions, Tucson is a safe and enjoyable destination for travelers.
How long should I spend in Tucson?
The ideal length of stay in Tucson depends on your travel goals and itinerary. If you’re planning to explore Tucson’s popular attractions and natural landscapes, a stay of 3-4 days would allow you to see many of the city’s highlights. This would give you enough time to visit places like the Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the Pima Air & Space Museum, while also enjoying some of Tucson’s famous cuisine and nightlife.
If you’re interested in outdoor activities such as hiking or golfing, or if you want to experience some of the city’s cultural offerings like museums and performing arts venues, you may want to consider extending your stay to 5-7 days or longer. This would allow you to fully immerse yourself in Tucson’s unique blend of urban and natural environments.
It’s important to consider your itinerary, budget, and personal preferences when deciding how long to stay in Tucson, and to make sure you have enough time to experience all that this vibrant city has to offer.
Conclusion: Best Places to Stay in Tucson
In conclusion, choosing where to stay in Tucson depends on several factors, such as budget, location, and personal preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort experience, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a budget-friendly option, Tucson offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every taste and budget.