Road Scholar : Home
Signature City Tucson

Program Number: 20397RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/5/2014 - 11/10/2014; 1/26/2015 - 1/31/2015; 2/9/2015 - 2/14/2015; 2/23/2015 - 2/28/2015; 3/2/2015 - 3/7/2015; 3/17/2015 - 3/22/2015; 4/13/2015 - 4/18/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Price starting at: $1,099.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

In a high-desert valley surrounded by four mountain ranges, Tucson has emerged from a landscape inhabited by Native Americans 12,000 years ago to become a cosmopolitan city of a half-million — alternately shaped by Spanish invasion, Mexican jurisdiction, Old West settlers and the founding of a major university in 1885. Discover this fascinating evolution during a remarkable city adventure that delves into the area’s archaeology, desert landscapes, arts and music, museums, sumptuous local cuisine and more.




Highlights

• On a field trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, explore a world-class zoo, natural history museum and botanic garden.
• Visit and learn how Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia and his wife have evolved from their 1940s purchase of 10 isolated acres of foothills into a renowned gallery.
• With each program, participate in a Tucson special event, with each one learning more about the city, its heritage and its future.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile over uneven terrain, standing up to one hour.




Date Specific Information

11-5-2014

Enjoy a concert performance presented by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music featuring the Morgenstern Piano Trio and observe a master class with University of Arizona students coached by pianist Behzoud Abduraimov.



1-26-2015, 3-2-2015

This program will have two special field trips: one is to the Steward Mirror Laboratory where telescope mirrors for giant telescopes are created. The second is to Old Tucson Studios where we'll learn about some famous movies filmed in Tucson area and about the history of the studios.



2-9-2015

Tucson is bustling with the annual international Gem and Mineral Show. We'll visit some of the downtown sites showing all kinds of interesting beads, gemstones, supplies, crystals, jewelry findings, and more PLUS we'll attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the big event at the Convention Center.



2-23-2015

During this program, Tucson is hosting its annual Professional Rodeo Event. Participants will attend the Rodeo Parade and have special Grandstand seating, then attend the Rodeo events of the afternoon.



3-17-2015

We will be visiting the Tucson Museum of Art, Old Tucson Studios and attend a special concert presented by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Brass.



4-13-2015

A special visit will be made to the Tucson Museum of Art located in the El Presidio Historic District of downtown Tucson; a visit to Old Tucson Studios will also be included.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Tucson

Cactus forests, craggy mountains and rolling hills surround this temperate city, which lies in the borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico. The region reflects a blending of the two cultures, along with a history of Native American settlement. The city is dotted with museums, galleries and parks that celebrate this natural and historical diversity.



Accommodations
Suite in a comfortable, centrally located hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
James Turner

James Turner has a master’s degree in U.S. history and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona. He has been a teacher of Arizona history since 1976. In 2001, he began his career as historian for the Arizona Historical Society, where his chief duty was to support non-profit history museums throughout the state. James enjoys sharing his knowledge on the history of Arizona, the Southwest and Mexico during classes for the museum docents and general public.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Suites Tucson
  Tucson, AZ 5 nights
 Radisson Suites Tucson
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Suites Tucson features 299 two-room suites with separate living and sleeping areas, and an extra-large bathroom with two vanities. Private balconies present a glimpse of the famed mountain scenery of the Southwest. Refrigerator and microwave in rooms. Located just 20 minutes from the airport and eight miles from the University of Arizona, the hotel is situated in an upscale neighborhood on the city's east side. Guests have access to over 50 restaurants along the famed Restaurant Row, a wealth of museums to visit, and a nearby world-class golf course. Hotel will tranport participants via van to any attractions within a three-mile radius.
  Contact info: 6555 East Speedway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85710 USA
phone: 520-721-7100
web: www.radissontucson.com
  Room amenities: Bathrooms include two vanities, a separate tub and shower, and a dressing area. Separate living and sleeping quarters each feature their own TV and phone. Plush feather and down pillows. Most suites have private balconies. Complimentary Wireless high-speed Internet, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makes, hair dryers, sleeper sofas, oversized desks with executive chairs, two phones with cordless speaker option and voice mail, flat screen televisions in both rooms, controlled HVAC. Room service available.
  Facility amenities: Hotel features oversized temperature-controlled pool with hydro-spa, onsite fitness room featuring Life Fitness equipment, courtyard-style garden settings, full-service business center, coin-operated laundry facilities, complimentary high-speed Internet available throughout the hotel, recreation room, complimentary shuttle service within a three-mile radius, free onsite parking, poolside meal and cocktail service, valet laundry service, free passes to nearby Gold's Gym, hotel shuttle service to and from Tucson International Airport ($15 per person each way), beautifully landscaped courtyard, stunning mountain views. The hotel is in the process of "going green" and has made many changes to become more energy-efficient. A recycling program is in place, fruit-bearing trees are located throughout the property and in the orange groves and guests are encouraged to pick and consume as much fruit as they like. There are many more improvements to mention, but you'll receive a listing of how the Radisson is "going green."
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Road Scholar rate Hotel will extend the Road Scholar group rate to participants wishing to come in early or stay late. This rate extends to three nights before the program begins and to three nights after the program ends. Rates are seasonal.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Road Scholar rate Hotel will extend the Road Scholar group rate to participants wishing to come in early or stay late. This rate extends to three nights before the program begins and to three nights after the program ends. Rates are seasonal.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at hotel anytime between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM; register with program's group leader between 4:00 and 5:30 PM in hotel lobby area You will be staying at Radisson Suites Tucson that night.
  End of Program:
Check out time - Noon at lobby desk. You will be staying at Radisson Suites Tucson the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free hotel parking
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Tucson, AZ
  Nearest city or town:  Tucson
  Nearest highway: I-10
  Nearest airport:  Tucson International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Tucson, AZ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Tucson, Arizona

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Radisson Suites Tucson Shuttle
phone: 520-721-7100
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15 per person one way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Let front desk at hotel know your departure date and flight time; they'll arrange for the shuttle to take you to the airport allowing plenty of time to get there. You can call the hotel at 520-721-7100 to arrange for this as well. Remind the front desk the night before your departure that you will need the shuttle! Please note that hotel shuttle service is based on availability. Arizona Stagecoach Shuttle to airport (520-889-1000). Approximate cost one way is $35.00 per person.

 

Tucson

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Radisson Suites Tucson Shuttle
phone: 520-721-7100
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15 per person each way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes from airport 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Call 520-721-7100 several days in advance of your program's start date and let the hotel know when you'll need transportation based on your flight's arrival time and about 1/2 hour to get your luggage. Please note that airport transportation is dependent upon hotel shuttle availability. Arizona Stagecoach Shuttle to airport (520-889-1000). Approximate cost one way is $44.00 per person.

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate 10 Eastbound Exit at Speedway Boulevard; turn left and go east on Speedway for nine miles. The hotel is located on the north side of the road at 6555 East Speedway Blvd.
  From Interstate 10 Westbound Take Kolb exit. Right on Kolb and go north to Speedway Boulevard. Turn left onto Speedway; the hotel is on the right at 6555 East Speedway Boulevard, 1/2 block before Wilmot.
  From Tucson International Airport Exit Airport on Tucson Boulevard. Right on Valencia. Left on Kolb. Left on Speedway. Hotel on right 1/2 block before Wilmot at 6555 E. Speedway Boulevard
Elevation Note: The city of Tucson is 2,389 feet above sea level

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hotel Check-In, Registration, Orientation and Introductions
(Monday, February 9)

Note: You may request assistance with getting luggage to your room at the front desk if needed; the hotel is large, and you may need assistance.



   
 Afternoon: Check into hotel between 3:00 - 5:30 PM.

Register with program's group leader in designated area between 4:00 - 5:30 PM.

 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining area from 6:00 - 7:00 PM.
 Evening: From 7:00 - 8:30 PM in hotel meeting room, our group leaders will present a brief orientation to the program and we'll meet all of the program participants.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Suites Tucson
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Early History of Tucson Area/Mission San Xavier del Bac/Evening Entertainment
(Tuesday, February 10)

Note: Walking up to one mile over even paved and packed dirt terrain, standing in museum and at Mission up to 1 hour at a time



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining area
 Morning: From 8:30-12:00 PM (with breaks), you'll learn about the fascinating development of what is now modern-day Tucson from the archeology of the area to the history of the Old Pueblo.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel from 12:00 - 1:00 PM.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll board bus for an exploration (about an hour) around Tucson. After that, bus will travel to Mission San Xavier del Bac.

The celebrated Jesuit missionary and explorer, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, first visited 'Bac' in 1692. Eight years later in 1700, Father Kino laid the foundations of the first church, some two miles north of the present Mission site. He named it San Xavier in honor of his chosen patron, St. Francis Xavier, the illustrious Jesuit "Apostle of the Indies.'

In 1768, Fray Francisco Hermengildo Garces, a man of outstanding personality and prodigious accomplishments among all missionaries in Arizona, established his headquarters at San Xavier. From here, this Franciscan friar set forth on his many missionary explorations.

Bus returns to the hotel by 5:30 PM

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
 Evening: This evening, we'll be treated to a performance by a well-known country/Western guitarist/vocalist from 7:30 - 8:30 PM in one of the hotel meeting rooms.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Suites Tucson
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wild West and Tucson'Flora and Fauna of Sonora Desert/Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum/Arizona State Museum/Movie History of Tucson
(Wednesday, February 11)

Note: Walking up to a mile over level paved and unpaved terrain; standing up to one hour at a time in museums



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining area from 7:00-8:00 AM
 Morning: From 8:00-9:30 AM, we'll have a class about Tucson area and the Wild West from 1500s to the present.

After a short break, we'll have a preparatory lecture for our afternoon field trip from 10:00 - 11:00 AM. We will learn about the very special flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert and explore how these things adapted to the weather in this area.

The bus will depart at 11:15 AM to travel to our lunch and field trip destination.

 Lunch: Lunch at ironwood Terraces Restaurant at the Sonora Desert Museum from 12:30 - 1:30 PM.
 Afternoon: As soon as we finish lunch, we'll begin our exploration of the Sonora Desert Museum with the lecturer from our morning class accompanying us.

This Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one location. Exhibits depict the natural landscape of the Sonora Desert region so realistically that we will find ourselves looking into the eyes of mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters and more! We'll see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. Although one doesn't have to walk all of them, there are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert. Board bus for return trip to the hotel at 4:30 PM, arriving there around 5:30 PM.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
 Evening: This evening, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, we'll have a discussion about famous movies filmed in Tucson. A list of these movies will be provided for future reference.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Suites Tucson
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Class: A Guide to Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows/Visit Downtown Shows/Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at Convention Center/Dinner on Your Own
(Thursday, February 12)

Note: Walking up to one mile (more if you wish) over the course of the day over paved and unpaved terrain. Standing for up to an hour at a time at Gem shows with few opportunities to sit



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 8:00 - 9:00 AM
 Morning: From 9:00 - 10:00 AM, we'll have a discussion about what's available during the Gem and Mineral show this week in the Tucson area and give out some printed guides to the areas where most of the 'action' is going on. Some of us are more interested in one kind of gem than another; some are interested in beads for jewely making, some just want to see as much as possible. We'll go to one area where, within a couple of city blocks, ten or more shows are going on; you'll have time to look around as much as you like between 10:00 and 12:00 PM. Our group leaders will let us know where we'll be picked up to go to lunch destination.
 Lunch: Lunch at selected restaurant from 12:30 - 1:30 PM.
 Afternoon: Bus departs at 1:30 PM for the Tucson Convention Center and the annual Gem and Mineral Show. Arriving about 2:30 PM, you'll explore the magnificent jewelry, gems, and more that you'll see there. This show has set the standard for these kinds of shows around the world, and is now the largest show in the United States. You'll find a whole new world of amazing gems and minerals to explore. Bus departs for the hotel at 5:30 PM.
 Dinner: At 6:30 PM, bus will depart from hotel to take us to Wilmont Avenue, where there are a number of restaurants from which to choose (we'll give you a list) - dinner will be on our own tonight. If you wish and are tired from the day's activities, the hotel does serve dinner, so several of us may choose to eat there instead. Bus will return to the hotel no later than 8:30 PM.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Suites Tucson
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Ted DeGrazia Gallery/Sabino Canyon Tram
(Friday, February 13)

Note: Walking up to a mile over the course of the day and standing for up to one hour during gallery visit



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:00 - 8:00 AM
 Morning: At 9:15 AM, board bus for a visit to the gallery of the late artist, Ted DeGrazia. The studio is located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. We'll be at the studio from 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM.

Board bus for trip to lunch destination at 11:30 AM.

 Lunch: Lunch today will be at El Charro Café near Sabino Canyon from 11:45 AM to 1:15 PM.

Established in 1922, El Charro Café of Tucson is the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family, featuring traditional Sonoran-style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican food. They have several locations thoughout Tucson.

 Afternoon: After lunch, board bus no later than 1:30 PM for our Sabino Canyon Tram excursion, followed by some free time on our own.

This extremely popular recreation area is located along Sabino Creek at the edge of Tucson, Arizona. For many who come to visit the Southwest, this area provides their first close encounter with the Sonoran Desert and the fascinating variety of plants and animals that make it their home. There is a self-guided Desert Nature Trail at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center which provides an excellent way to get to know the plants that have adapted to living in this demanding environment. A 45-minute tram exploration will be taken upon arrival with some time for us to look around on our own.

Bus arrives back at the hotel about 5:00 PM.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00-7:00 PM.
 Evening: After dinner, we'll have our program closing in one of the hotel's meeting spaces, and have some time to share our favorite experiences during the program.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Suites Tucson
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast at the Hotel/Hotel Check-out by 12:00 Noon/Departure
(Saturday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. Happy Valentine's Day!
 Morning: Hotel check-out time is no later than 12:00 PM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Gemstones of North America


Author: John Sinkankas


A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert


Author: Steven J. Phillips and Patricia Wentworth Comus


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Book of Answers


Author: David Wentworth Lazaroff


Early Tucson (Images of America)


Author: Anne I. Woosley and Arizona Historical Society


Gemstones of the World


Author: Walter Schumann


Geodes: Nature's Treasures


Author: Brad L. Cross and June Culp Zeitner


Geology of Gem Deposits


Author: Edited by Lee A. Groat


So You Wanna See Cowboy Stuff?


Author: Magers, Boyd


Description: Here's the only complete tour guide ever assembled leading you directly to all the western movie and TV memorabilia as well as filming locations in the entire USA!



True Tales and Amazing Legends of the Old West: From True West Magazine


Author: Editors of True West


Tucson: The Life and Times of an American City


Author: C. L. Sonnichsen




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