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  • Tourism director sees lots to discover in Southern Arizona

    By Diane Frisch
    Director, Attractions and Tourism

    Fresh off the heels of the Gem Show, and with several exciting events upcoming, Pima County is in the midst of a bustling tourism season. As the director of the County’s Attractions and Tourism Office, I’m lucky to work with other County departments as well as Visit Tucson on tourism-related efforts. We also partner with many other outside organizations to market special events, target destination travel groups and support community organizations focused on tourism and increased residential use of our parks and open spaces.  

    So, whether you are a longtime local or a recent transplant, there is always something new to discover in southern Arizona. The best place to start your journey is the Pima County Historic Courthouse. 
    Visitor Center
    The courthouse, which underwent an extensive renovation, is home to the Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor’s Center (SAHVC). There, you will find a friendly and knowledgeable staff to answer all your questions about what to do and see in our beautiful region. The center features interactive displays that immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the Sonoran Desert. It also features a gift shop and The Loop Store, where you can purchase unique cycling jerseys and clothing to celebrate the 131-mile multiuse pathway that connects our community!

    After planning your adventures at SAHVC, it’s time to explore. Pima County leases land to several amazing attractions. Experience the wonder of nature at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden. Let your imagine take flight at the Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world. Become an explorer at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a marvel listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And that’s just to name a few!

    We are also gearing up for a series of exciting new events to promote our region’s unique culture, including some to highlight Tucson as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States. Our department is currently working with the Tucson City of Gastronomy and Visit Tucson on the upcoming Pueblos del Maiz Fiesta, a bilingual food festival that celebrates our rich culinary history. The festival will take place May 4-8, and will coincide with other celebrations taking place in San Antonio, Texas; Puebla, Mexico; and Mérida, Mexico. Stay tuned for more details!

    We witnessed firsthand the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on local tourism, and we are working hard to create events and programs that will help this vital industry recover and thrive. I invite you to come explore all that this beautiful region has to offer.


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