Welcome to our Tucson meeting planning guide – a city guide for meeting planning in Tucson. Just 115 miles south of Phoenix, Tucson offers a unique and authentic Southwestern experience. No other city in the United States has a national park on either side of it. Saguaro National Park protects and preserves the largest stand of the giant Saguaro cactus in the world. This is the Arizona your attendees expect to see! Tucson's collection of hotels, destination spas, luxury resorts, and dude ranches give your groups an array of lodging options completely unique to southern Arizona. Easily accessible by air, Tucson features a charming and newly renovated airport that offers nonstop departures to 20 destinations. Seven airlines fly from Tucson International Airport (TUS) with one-stop connections to hundreds of destinations around the world. Almost 60 flights take off daily from TUS, with more than 6,200 available seats.
Transportation is equally convenient inside the city, thanks to Tucson's award-winning public bus system and affordable, modern streetcar, which connects downtown to the lively University District, just a mile and a half away. This urban scene is bustling with restaurants and bars housed in historic buildings, award-winning microbreweries, distilleries, and cultural hot spots offering live music from a truly local perspective.
Thanks to Tucson's unique food scene, it was designated by UNESCO as the first U.S. city of gastronomy. The distinction reflects the city's rich cultural heritage built on a 4,000-year-old agricultural tradition, combined with the harvesting of native plants, the rich mix of ethnic foods, and the heightened contemporary use of all these elements by local chefs.
As the second-largest city in the state, it's no surprise that Tucson's meeting facilities are spacious and grand. The newly renovated Tucson Convention Center complex features four distinct facilities sure to suit any meeting or event. In the main convention center building, an elegant 20,164-square-foot Grand Ballroom, 11,236-square-foot Grand Lobby, 89,760-square-foot Exhibition Hall, and eight meeting rooms make up the 205,000-square-foot complex. The complex is also home to the 8,962-seat Tucson Arena, 2,289-seat Tucson Music Hall, and intimate 511-seat Leo Rich Theater.
A number of attractive meeting sites call the city home. Host a reception at one of many spaces in the world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a combination zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden. Gather up to 700 people among some of the world's rarest aircraft and spacecraft at the popular Pima Air and Space Museum, or throw a more intimate dinner of 60 guests at the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Xeriscape Garden patio.
For a wildly unique meeting experience, travel to Old Tucson Studios. This entertainment park and complete Old West town of 75 buildings has been featured in more than 400 films, television series, and commercials shot from 1939 to the present. Private events can be held throughout the park and in such spaces as the working saloon, which features daily can-can performances and stunt shows.
Tucson's major industries include tourism, higher education, and advanced technology. The city serves as headquarters for such corporations as Caterpillar Mining and Raytheon Missile Systems. The resident University of Arizona also holds a strong economic presence in Tucson, as 40,000 students call this historic university home. Other higher learning institutions in Tucson include Pima Community College, a Prescott College branch campus, and a Northern Arizona University branch campus.