Where to Stay in Tucson – 5 Areas & Hotels for Any Budget!

0 Where to Stay in Tucson

Tucson, located in southeast Arizona (west USA), is the second-most populated city in the state. This unique town gives tourists access to the unique Sonoran Desert, historic sites, cultural attractions, vibrant city life, and much more… I assure you there’s plenty to do when you visit Tucson!

And what about the accommodations? Tucson offers plenty of options for you to choose from. From cheap hostels to luxury resorts and boutique hotels… But what will really make the difference in your holiday is the neighborhood you will choose!

To help you with that, I made this post with the best areas where to stay in Tucson, including something for any interest.

The best area to stay in Tucson is Downtown Tucson, however, if you are looking for something a little different, Main Gate is the coolest area in the city, North Tucson is perfect for outdoors lovers, South Tucson is great if you want to stay near the Airport and Oro Valley is where to stay for families!

I also included a bonus for people who want to stay near the best hiking in Tucson, so you really have any kind of option here! Just remember to choose your favorite hotel way in advance. Tucson is the main tourist hub in southern Arizona, so places sell out super fast!

Ready? Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

If you don’t have the time to read the whole post, check out this quick list of the best hotels where to stay in Tucson:

luxury hotel
0
mid-range hotel
0 3 AC Hotel Tucson Downtown

AC Hotel Tucson

Best value for money

budget hotel
0 4 The Downtown Clifton Hotel

The Downtown Clifton Hotel

Best affordable accommodation in the center

airbnb
0

Luxury Loft in Downtown

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

Here you’ll find a map showing you the location of the best areas where to stay in Tucson:

Map of best places to stay in Tucson
Downtown Tucson
for first-timers
Main Gate & University
the coolest area
North Tucson
for outdoors
South Tucson
near Tucson Airport
Oro Valley
for families

1. Downtown Tucson – where to stay for the first time

1 where to stay in Tucson for the first time

Downtown Tucson (the city center) is the heart of the city and is the perfect place to stay if it is your first time here and you want to experience all the attractions this city has to offer!

This huge area encompasses other districts like Fourth Avenue, Presidio, and Convention, giving you access to delicious Mexican restaurants, shopping venues, interesting museums, and vibrant nightlife.

If you are a culture enthusiast, you need to visit the Tucson Museum of Art, featuring American, Asian, modern, and contemporary art, or the Tucson Convention Center, home to 3 performing arts venues: the Tucson Music Hall, Leo Rich Theater, and Tucson Arena.

While if you prefer shopping, in Downtown Tucson you will find the Old Town Artisans, a former Spanish fort that is now home to many local art galleries and shops. Or the more alternative West University, offering hipster-friendly record and book shops, designer boutiques, and thrift stores.

And if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center, bring the family to hike at the Tucson Mountain Park or to meet the lovely animals of the Reid Park Zoo… There’s really something for anyone here!

If you are into this urban-city vibe, you might want to visit another great city in Arizona, Scottsdale, just 2 hours from Tucson. There are also some great places to stay in Scottsdale, so why not split your trip between the two cities?

But for now, let’s check out the best hotels in Downtown Tucson, and make sure you book them some months in advance if you don’t wanna lose the spot!

Luxury hotel
1 1 The Blenman Inn with swimming pool

If you’re looking for a luxury place where to stay in Tucson, search no more! This historic Bed & Breakfast, located within walking distance of the Tucson Museum of Art, offers elegant guest rooms with free Wi-Fi and amazing facilities. Here, you will have access to a seasonal lagoon-shaped swimming pool and a hot tub where you can relax, an outdoor terrace lounging, and a gourmet breakfast every morning, the best way to start your day!

Other accommodation options in Downtown Tucson

Mid-Range
1 2 AC Hotel Tucson Downtown

This is a great boutique hotel to stay in Tucson Downtown, offering a business and fitness center, an outdoor pool, and free wifi

Budget
1 3 The Downtown Clifton Hotel

One of the best cheap hotels to stay in Tucson, located near Tucson Convention Center and the Reid Park Zoo

Airbnb
1 4 Luxury Loft in Downtown

If you want to feel at home during your stay in Tucson, this luxury loft is for you, with views of the Tucson mountains!

Since downtown is the main area of the city and hosts many good hotels for tourists, I decided to add some extra options for you! Check them out here below, where they are listed in descending price order from the most expensive one to the least:

1 5 best Things to do in Downtown Tucson
  • Luxury: El Amador Downtown Luxury Inn – This luxury hotel in downtown Tucson offers accommodation with free WiFi, a private patio, air conditioning, and a fully equipped kitchen, plus access to many facilities! Some examples? The bbq is great for cooking your own dinner, a garden where you can relax, and free private parking. Another plus? The hotel surroundings are perfect for hiking!
  • Mid-range: Doubletree By Hilton Tucson Downtown – Check out this amazing midrange hotel featuring everything you need for a comfy holiday such as a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a bar on site. The rooms are also great, fully equipped with a desk, a private bathroom, and air conditioning, plus some of them even have a private balcony. 
  • Budget: Varsity Clubs of America-Tucson – This hotel is actually located in Midtown Tucson, a 20-minute walk from downtown, so it is still a valuable option if you want to stay in the heart of the city. The property offers an outdoor pool, hot tub, and suites with a fully equipped kitchenette, a spacious seating area, and a work desk!

Things to do in Downtown Tucson

2. Main Gate & University area – the coolest area in Tucson

2 the coolest area to stay in Tucson

Main Gate is the area around the University of Arizona Campus, located 10 minutes driving east of Downtown Tucson and characterized by a lively, youthful student vibe.

Here you’ll find cheap eateries, live music venues, and a vibrant nightlife, but also art centers and museums, like the Arizona State Museum, showcasing Southwestern artifacts, or the University of Arizona Museum of Art, displaying art from the Renaissance.

And if you love sports, there’s definitely no better area to stay than near the University of Arizona Campus. Here you can check out the Hall of Champions to see all the best athletic accomplishments of Arizona, The University Football Stadium, or the McKale Center.

Thanks to the big concentration of students in the area, Main Gate offers very affordable accommodation, perfect if you are traveling on a budget. Check out the best ones below:

Luxury hotel
2 1 Adobe Rose Inn with the pool

This is one of the best luxury hotels to stay in Tucson if you want to stay close to the University of Arizona (located 10 minutes from the property)! Here you’ll find an outdoor pool where you can relax, beautiful rooms featuring a fireplace to get warm during the winter months, a work desk, and coffee makers. One of the best things the hotel offers is a 3-course breakfast served every morning to help you start the day with the right energy!

Other options in Main Gate & University of Arizona

Mid-Range
2 2 Graduate Tucson with the view 

Graduate Tucson is a great hotel to stay in Tucson, offering a fitness center, free wifi, and an outdoor pool

Budget
2 3 Tucson Marriott University

Looking for a place to stay in Tucson on a budget? Then check out this pet-friendly hotel offering an on-site bar

Airbnb
2 4 Central and Stylish House

This quiet house is perfect for staying in Tucson with all comforts, offering a fully equipped kitchen and pool

Things to do in Main Gate & University of Arizona

3. North Tucson & Catalina Foothills – for the outdoors

3 North Tucson & Catalina Foothills

If during your vacation you prefer to stay in a tranquil area that gives you access to many natural attractions and outdoor activities, the North Tucson neighborhood is what you’re looking for!

Located at the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains, 10 minutes drive from Tucson city center, in North Tucson you will gaze at the beautiful Sonoran Desert landscapes, huge mountains, colorful flora, and wild canyons (like Sabino, Bear, and Pima canyons).

But North Tucson & Catalina is not all about nature, the area also offers art galleries, amazing restaurants, golf courses, and shopping options like La Encantada – the city’s largest shopping center featuring trendy stores and exclusive designer boutiques!

As you may have understood by now, North Tucson is the most upscale area in the city, so here you’ll find luxury and boutique hotels, exclusive resorts, and more, which makes it perfect also for a romantic getaway with your sweet half!

Luxury hotel
3 1 Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

This luxury resort is where to stay in Tucson if you want to enjoy all comforts! In fact, the property offers many facilities like an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a laundry service, and a fitness center if you want to stay fit during your holiday. The rooms are also great, all featuring a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a private bathroom, and some of them even a kitchen where you can cook your own meals in full privacy!

Other options in North Tucson & Catalina Foothills

Mid-Range
3 2 Embassy Suites Tucson

This is the best hotel to stay in Tucson for great views of the Arizona Skyline. It’s located at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains

Budget
3 3 Bed & Breakfast Tucson

This Bed & Breakfast is perfect to stay in Tucson on a budget, offering mountain views, free WiFi, and free private parking.

Airbnb
3 4 Charming Foothills Casita

This charming house is the perfect place to stay in Tucson to have easy access to hiking trails, restaurants, and La Encantada.

Things to do in North Tucson & Catalina Foothills

  • Visit the artistic De Grazia Gallery in the Sun, in the Sonoran desert
  • Gaze at the beautiful wild canyons of Sanino, Bear, and Pima canyons
  • Go shopping at La Encantada, the city’s largest shopping center
  • Spend some time nestled in nature at the Santa Catalina Mountains
  • Sample wild edibles and learn about desert animals on a guided tour!

4. South Tucson – close to Tucson International Airport

4 the closest area to Tucson International Airport

If you’re the type of traveler who’s always worried about missing your flight, or if you’re going to Tucson just for a short stay, South Tucson is the right place for you as it’s located only 8 miles from Downtown Tucson.

Even if you don’t have a car, no worries, South Tucson is well connected to downtown through public transportation with several bus stops along S Park Ave. Otherwise, you can always take a taxi.

This area is great because you can reach both the Tucson International airport and the city center in just a short drive, and it offers very cheap accommodations (here you’ll find many affordable airport motels) at the same time, perfect if you are traveling on a budget!

But this doesn’t mean the neighborhood has nothing to offer, here you can attend a sports event or a concert at the Kino Sports Complex, visit the Pima Air & Space Museum if you want to learn something interesting, and finish your day having fun in the many casinos.

And if you love the outdoors, go to the Santa Rita Mountains, in Tucson’s far south, and hike up to Mt. Wrightson, the highest point in Tucson, and a famous spot for bird watching!

Luxury hotel
4 1 Desert Diamond Casino

If you want to have a luxury stay in Tucson, only 5 minutes drive from Tucson International Airport, this hotel is for you (they also offer a free transfer service if you don’t have a car!). The property features a casino if you like to gamble, an outdoor pool where you can chill, and 4 restaurants on-site, so you can choose every night where to have dinner! Rooms are also great, all with air-conditioning, a seating area with a work desk, and coffee-making facilities.

Casino del Sol Resort Tucson – I found another great option in South Tucson if you are looking for a luxury place to stay and I couldn’t help adding it too! Do you want to get spoiled during your holiday in Tucson? Then check out the Casino del Sol Resort, located 10 minutes driving from the Tucson International Airport. This modern Arizona resort offers literally everything you might want and need including a delicious restaurant on site, a casino, a sparkling outdoor pool, and stylish guest rooms. Last but not least, here you’ll find a spa and wellness center where you can enjoy body wraps, massages, and facial treatments!

Other accommodation options in South Tucson

Mid-Range
4 2 Home2 Suites By Hilton

This pet-friendly hotel is perfect if you want to be just a few minutes from Tucson Airport, also offering a delicious breakfast daily!

Budget
4 3 Hampton Inn Tucson Airport

If you want to stay in Tucson close to the airport, this affordable hotel is for you, offering a free 24-hour airport transfer service

Airbnb
4 4 The Blue Casa best vacation rentals

This cute artsy home is where to stay in Tucson if you want to feel the historic vibe of the city, featuring brick walls, exposed beams and more!

Things to do in South Tucson

  • Attend a sports event or a concert at the Kino Sports Complex
  • Learn something interesting at the Pima Air & Space Museum 
  • Go gambling at Casino del Sol!
  • Spend a day in nature hiking at the Santa Rita Mountains
  • Try bird watching at Mt. Wrightson, the highest point in Tucson!

5. Oro Valley – best part of Tucson to stay for families

5 where to stay in Tucson for families

Oro Valley is actually a suburb of Tucson, located a 30-minute drive north of Downtown Tucson, surrounded by majestic mountains, hills, and canyons, offering many nature trails where you can hike and have breathtaking views at the same time.

So if you want to take a break from the bustling city life, if you’re passionate about the outdoors or if you’re going on a vacation with the family, this is the right area for you!

In fact, here, you’ll find many kid-friendly attractions, like the Children’s Museum, natural parks and trails such as the Catalina State Park (located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains), and golf courses if you’re passionate about this sport.

Basically, there’s something for any family member here no matter their taste! If it sounds like the place for you, check out the following family-friendly hotels in Oro Valley…

Luxury hotel
5 1 El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort

Are you ready to see the best hotel to stay in Tucson if you’re looking for exclusive service? Then check out this luxurious resort, with stunning views of the Catalina Mountains and beautiful Arizona desert. Here you can spend your days playing on one of the 3 world-class golf courses or on the amazing tennis courts. And if you want to relax during your holiday, there is a relaxing spa offering the best treatments and enjoyable outdoor pools, with a 143-foot water slide, a fish-shaped pool for children, and hot and cold jetted tubs.

Other accommodation options in Oro Valley

Mid-Range
5 2 Fairfield Inn & Suites Tucson

Check out this amazing hotel to stay in Tucson, offering great value for the price, daily buffet breakfast, and big studios with free Wi-Fi

Budget
5 3 Holiday Inn Express & Suites Family friendly hotels

Do you want to stay in Tucson on a budget? Then check out this hotel with an outdoor pool, a gym, and a hot tub to relax

Airbnb
5 4 Chic Modern Escape

Enjoy the beauty of the Arizona desert from this beautiful guest home, a cozy and quiet place to stay in Tucson!

Things to do in Oro Valley

  • Take your kids to the Children’s Museum
  • Follow the beautiful hiking and biking trails of the Catalina State Park
  • Go for a road trip to Mount Lemmon
  • Try delicious local food at Oro Valley Farmer’s Market
  • Visit the Vista Sun Wheel Museum
  • Have an amazing dinner at the Harvest Restaurant
  • Explore the Honey Bee Canyon Park
  • Challenge yourself on the Will Burro Trail
👑 Luxury price:$250
💵 Mid Range:$180
🛏️ Budget:$110
🏠 Airbnb:$170
💰 Accommodation prices:Medium
📍 Best area:Downtown Tucson
👪 Best area for families:Oro Valley
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Blenman Inn
💵 Best mid-range hotel:AC Hotel Tucson Downtown
👛 Best budget hotel:The Downtown Clifton Hotel

BONUS: Where to stay in Tucson for hiking

6 Where to stay in Tucson for hiking

If you are passionate about nature and outdoor sports and you’re going on a vacation to Tucson, you cannot miss the opportunity to take advantage of its incredible hiking trails.

I mean, you’ll be a short drive away from the beautiful Tucson Mountains and parks like the Saguaro National Park and the Catalina State Park! But you can be even closer to these incredible natural attractions and have even easier access to them.

I searched for the best hotels to stay in Tucson with a convenient location near the best natural attractions… Check them out (they are ordered in descending order from the most expensive one):

Luxury (US$250 and up):

  • Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
    This amazing hotel is located a short drive from the Sabino Canyon and offers a Golf & Racquet Club right on site, and beautiful landscapes where you can hike just nearby! The resort also has a delicious on-site restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a spa to enjoy full relaxation. And I am sure you will also love the guest rooms, featuring a marble bathroom, a flat-screen TV and a private patio or balcony.
  • JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort
    Nestled in a saguaro cactus forest, this amazing resort offers a great location at only 10 minutes from Tucson Mountain Park, and many hiking and biking trails. But here, you will also have access to several luxury facilities such as 3 golf courses, 4 dining options, 3 outdoor swimming pools, and an extensive SPA with multiple hot tubs… What else could you ask for? This is definitely one of the best places to stay in Tucson!
6 1 Where to stay in Tucson for hiking

Mid Range (US$130 – US$230):

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Tucson Marana
    If you want to enjoy great value for the price and at the same time be just a 20-minute drive from Catalina State Park, this hotel is for you! Apart from a great location, this 3-star accommodation offers an outdoor swimming pool where you can relax, free WiFi throughout the property, and super friendly staff! Another plus? The delicious buffet breakfast available each morning… There’s no better way to start your day!

Budget (up to US$110):

  • White Stallion Ranch
    Check out this budget hotel to stay in Tucson, which will give you easy access to two amazing natural parks: the Ora Mae Harn District Park and the Tangerine Sky Community Park (perfect for a picnic with the family or a walk with your dog). Here you will also have access to a hot tub and sauna, a year-round outdoor pool, and a children’s playground, while the rooms will give you breathtaking views of the mountains!

FAQs about hotels in Tucson

7 Where to stay for cheap in Tucson Arizona

📍 Which is the best area where to stay in Tucson?

The best area to stay in Tucson is Downtown Tucson (including other central districts like Fourth Avenue and Presidio), at the luxury The Blenman Inn or The Downtown Clifton Hotel if you want to stay on a budget.

👪 Which is the best area where to stay in Tucson for families?

The best area to stay in Tucson for families is Oro Valley, offering both outdoor activities and kid-friendly attractions. Stay at El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort for luxury, or at the more affordable Fairfield Inn & Suites Tucson, offering great value!

🚗 How do you get around Tucson? 

In some areas of Tucson, like downtown and the University area, you can easily walk to all the dining, shopping, and entertainment options, but to get to the rest of the city, you need to have a car or use the public transport system!

👀 What are the best things to do in Tucson?

The best things to do when visiting Tucson include seeing the giant cactus at the Saguaro National Park, having a picnic at the Agua Caliente Park, or visiting the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.

✅ Is Tucson worth visiting?

Yes, Tucson offers something for any taste such as cultural attractions like the Tucson city hall and the Old Prima County Courthouse, shopping venues like the shops and galleries of the Old Town Artisans, and bustling nightlife on Fourth Avenue, plus many natural landscapes!

Conclusion

8 Best neighborhoods in Tucson

Here we are at the end of this extensive guide about where to stay in Tucson, a great city in Arizona, West USA.

Whether you’re visiting the city for the first time, you’re going on a family holiday, or you are looking for nightlife, outdoors, or a place for a layover, Tucson has the right neighborhood for you and we’ve gone through many options for any budget and taste

Since I know I gave you a tonne of hotel options, I know it will be difficult for some of you to choose, so I want to give you a little bit of extra help by offering my 2 absolute favorites, located in the city center:

  • The Blenman Inn – a historic Bed & Breakfast located within walking distance from the Tucson Museum of Art, offering elegant guest rooms
  • AC Hotel Tucson Downtown – a great boutique hotel to stay in Tucson downtown, offering a business and fitness center, an outdoor pool and free wifi

If you like my suggestions, make sure you book something immediately to reserve yourself a spot (and maybe also find some great offers)!

I hope you enjoyed reading my post and that it will help you find the right place for your dreamy holiday. And if you have any other questions for me, please share them in the comments below, I will answer you as soon as possible!

Have a great holiday!

Elena


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