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Eco- Adventures

Home to forests of cactuses, hidden waterfalls and stark mountain peaks, the Sonoran Desert is a truly unique outdoor paradise. With nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, there are countless opportunities to connect with the land. Whether you’re hiking through a national park, mountain biking into a canyon or stargazing at the vast night skies, the desert’s rugged beauty is sure to inspire awe.

Day

1

MORNING
  • Fuel Up.

    Get a healthy start to your day at Core Kitchen, where you can choose from fruit smoothies and oatmeal or heartier omelets and Benedicts. 

  • Take a Hike.

    Step out your backdoor and onto a hiking trail. Nestled in the Tortolita Mountains, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is home to more than 50 miles of trails that will challenge your stamina as they delight your senses. Tackle the upper reaches of Alamo Ridge or descend into Wild Burro Canyon to explore the historic ruins of T-Bench-Bar Ranch.

MIDDAY
  • Patio Season.

    Unwind after your hike with a dip in a jetted hot tub and enjoy poolside fare at Turquesa Latin Grill, where world-class cuisine is paired with Southern Arizona’s sunny weather. 

AFTERNOON
  • Garden Party.

    Meander the trails at the Tohono Chul, named one of the world’s 10 best botanical gardens by Travel + Leisure. Set on 49 acres of lush desert land, visitors can stroll along winding paths past soaring saguaros and through themed botanical gardens. Exhibits offer a better understanding of the region’s wonders and inspire wise stewardship of the natural world.

EVENING
  • Fine Dining, Tucson Style.

    Recently named a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy, local chefs are committed to serving innovative dishes, sourced with local ingredients. Head downtown for dinner at James Beard award-winner Janos Wilder’s restaurant, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, where traditional Southwestern ingredients are reimagined in creative new ways.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Explore a Different Kind of Forest.

    Get an early start to your day with a sunrise hike through Saguaro National Park, home to saguaro cactuses, which grow only in the Sonoran Desert. The 4.1-mile Deer Valley Loop offers stunning views of cactus forest and, depending on the season, you may hear water running in the nearby wash. 

  • A Sweet Treat.

    Indulge in a decadent post-hike brunch at one of Tucson’s most beloved restaurants, Prep & Pastry. The fan-favorite S’Mores French Toast (graham cracker brioche, Nutella, house-made marshmallow fluff) is a well-earned treat after your morning trek. 

MIDDAY
  • Rest and Relaxation.

    Retreat back to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain, where eco-holistic therapies based on the time-honored traditions of the desert melt away the stress of the day. Opt for the Indigenous Desert Experience, which rejuvenates dehydrated skin using native plant extracts.

AFTERNOON
  • A Whole New World.

    Tour Biosphere 2, one of the world’s most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. Explore a tropical savanna, an ocean cliff, a mangrove and a rainforest — all without leaving the desert.

EVENING
  • Saddle Up to the (Burger) Bar.

    Enjoy gourmet burgers and shakes in a relaxed atmosphere at Cayton’s Burger Bistro. Bonus: breathtaking mountain views and stunning Arizona sunsets come standard.

Day

3

MORNING
  • Pedal Pusher.

    Pro cyclists and their teams have been coming to Tucson to train for decades, and with a plethora of flat roads and dedicated bike paths it’s easy to see why. Ask the concierge to arrange rental bikes and head out on The Loop, a car-free bike path that circles the metro area.

  • You Can Always Go Downtown.

    Head to the city center for breakfast at the Cup Café, tucked inside the legendary Hotel Congress. The wait can be long, but the bloody mary bar makes it more than tolerable.

MIDDAY
  • Market Share.

    Hop on the Tucson Streetcar and head west to Mercado San Agustin, an open-air courtyard encircled by shops and restaurants. Peruse the stylish wares at the bright and airy boutique Mast and enjoy a coffee from local favorite Presta Coffee Roasters.

AFTERNOON
  • Go Deep.

    Experience a stunning limestone cave at Kartchner Caverns State Park. Discovered in 1974, this live cave is host to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations. The guided 1.5-hour tour will unveil this fascinating underground landscape.

EVENING
  • A Shortcut to Mexico.

    Tucson is home to some of the most authentic Mexican food this side of the border. Foodies flock to Boca Tacos y Tequila, where the rib-eye tacos are the star of the show.

  • Astronomy 101.

    Thanks to its clear skies and dark-sky ordinance, Tucson is known for its stunning views of the night sky. Gather around a fire pit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, where your own personal astronomer can help you spot your favorite constellations.