Historical Sites and Landmarks to See in Tucson

Historical Sites And Landmarks Of The People That Lived In The Southwest

A Blend Of Cultures For Over 12,000 Years

Tucson’s history begins with the ancient Hohokam peoples who first settled this land.

Archeologist estimate that people have inhabited the area for over 12,000 years. That means the area is the oldest continuously inhabited area in the United States.

Now add the Spanish, Mexican and Anglo influences of the last 600 years and you have Tucson of today.

It is surprising to learn that Tucson was part of Mexico longer than it has been part of the United States. The Gladston purchase of 1854 brought the area into the United States.

That is one of the reasons Mexican influences are visible in every corner of Tucson.

The following guest article presents a few of Tucson’s historical sites and landmarks for your visit to Arizona’s second largest city.


In order to start making plans for your Tucson visit, it is best to know where to start!

Well, we’re here to help with a list of the best historical sites and landmarks to see in Tucson.

St. Augustine Cathedral

This church is located near Tucson’s downtown and is a beautiful piece of Romanesque Revival Style architecture.

The façade is thoroughly decorated in the etchings of yucca and saguaro, representing the local greenery and horned toad lizards.

In addition to this, striking statues of Mother Mary as well as Saint Augustine, the patron saint of Tucson city, stand in this church.

The church is built and decorated intricately enough that it brings to mind old European churches rather than something you can commonly find in the US.

It reveals why so many people choose to find a home in Tucson.

Historic Tucson St Augustine Cathedral

The historic building pre-dates Arizona statehood

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac

The Mission is a striking building.

If you adore Baroque architecture, then you will definitely want to pay a visit to Mission San Xavier del Bac.

The Mission was built in 1692, and it was one in a series of similar missions built by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino as he travelled through Mexico in order to spread the Catholic faith.

However, whether you are interested in religion or not, the building is a beautiful example of architecture.

And you can feel a palpable sense of history in its halls. For those who do want to follow the religious footsteps of their predecessors, this Mission is an important part of the pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago.

Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church

Proud of its history and excited about the futureIf something a little different from roman or baroque-inspired churches is more your preference, then Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church is one of the historical sites and landmarks to see in Tucson that you should visit!


It is the work of a famous Tucson architect Josias Joesler who designed the church in 1036. And it has been a common site of prayer and religious services since then. Rounding out the beauty of the church is a labyrinth and memorial garden.

They are worth a visit all on their own. The church also, interestingly, plays host to a variety of different cultural events. It has an art gallery, and you can occasionally see a concert here.

Tucson Historic Sites St Phillips in the hills

A cornerstone of life in Tucson

Valley of the Moon

Valley Of The Moon

An enchanted historic fairyland

Tucson’s Valley of the Moon is a children’s fantasy park that tries to spread the love of the odd and magical among the youngest residents of the city.


The many interesting and quirky buildings and sets of the Valley will capture your kids’ attention, so it is well worth visiting the place at least once. Note that every visitor above six years old needs to buy a ten-dollar ticket.

But it’s still a very cheap entry fee! Especially since it’s a perfect place for your whole family to de-stress after moving from California to Arizona and hiring interstate movers after looking for an expert CA moving team.

There’s nothing better for dealing with the stress of such a situation than a day spent in a park dedicated to the fantastical!

El Tiradito

Tucson tends to produce interesting sights and places to visit, such as a restaurant built in a former lumber yard. And out of all the historic sites and landmarks to see in Tucson, El Tiradito has got to be one of the most unique!


The entire site is a shrine to a love triangle between a man, his mother-in-law, and her husband. And if that’s not odd enough already, the story ends rather badly for the man in question when the husband discovers the affair.

Nonetheless, this landmark is a place where people go and make wishes.

Supposedly, if a wish is made with a clean and honest heart, then the wish will be granted. However, if it comes from dark motivations, the person will be cursed to live through a story similar to Juan Oliveras, the man from the story.

El Tiradito Historic Site Tucson az

A long history in Tucson’s Barrio Viejo

Barrio Historico

Tucson historic sites

There’s something quaint and special about Tucson homes

Barrio Historico is, without a doubt, the oldest neighborhood in Tucson. It features original Sonoran architecture.


And the charming adobe-style homes continue to capture the hearts of visitors to this day on Main Ave. and Stone Avenue.

If you want a true glimpse of the city’s past in the present, this is the place to visit!

Barrio Viejo

Barrio Viejo tucson historical

One of Tucson earliest neighborhoods

Right behind Barrio Historico in age and historical significance is Barrio Viejo, built in the 1870s.


City planners did have many of the original adobe homes torn down during the city’s urban renewal in the 1960s.

But a lot of the old architecture and buildings still survive to this day and warrant a visit to this district as well.

Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane in Tucson got its name after the garden of the same name at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


According to the New Testament, this is where Jesus had his moment of doubt and fear before resolving himself to follow the path that would eventually see him crucified.

The reason why this is so pathetically fitting is because of Felix Lucero, a soldier in the First World War. He lay wounded and dying on a battlefield in France when he tried to make a deal with God.

If he made it through the war, he’d dedicate his sculpting skills to religious themes. He lived and spent his life in a shack in Tucson, where he worked on his religious sculptures.

The sculptures were eventually moved to the garden where people can admire them and the natural beauty of Tucson outdoors.

Histoic Tucson Sites

Home to the sculptures of artist Felix Lucero

Picking from the historical sites and landmarks to see in Tucson

With our list of the best historical sites and landmarks to see in Tucson, you can start planning your trip.

However, know there are plenty of other locations in Tucson worth a visit!

Do not just confine your tour to what we have covered here. And instead, take the time to explore our beautiful city properly.

The Above Article Is A Guest Post


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