Early Morning Hike
Start your day with a beautiful sunrise hike into the desert. No matter which hotel you choose, there are hikes for every fitness level nearby. Ask your hotel concierge for a map and recommended trails nearby. Watch the colors of the desert change as the sun rises. Save some time by enjoying breakfast at your hotel (both the Hilton Conquistador and Ritz Carlton are great) before you start the day.
Breakfast at Hotel
Tour the tents of beautiful stones, crystals, fossils, and jewelry at the annual Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase – the largest in the world. A great place to find gifts, home decor, and even get into a little jewelry making. Wear comfortable shoes, pick a section to start, and browse tents upon tents of sparkly things.
Lunch at Wildflower
Drive out to Biosphere2, a 3-acre project in the desert originally designed as a space colonization experiment where scientists lived, sealed away from civilization, for 2-year periods. The structure is now owned and operated by the University of Arizona for research purposes and tours. Take the guided tour which begins with a short video and allows access to the structure and all five of its biome areas.
Make reservations at Core Kitchen at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain. Get there early to have a drink and watch the sunset over the mountains, illuminating the cacti and plants beautiful shades of purple, gray, and orange. After dinner and dessert (I highly recommend the hot donuts with coffee ice cream and a side of French press coffee) enjoy beautiful live music in the lobby/courtyard area and indulge in a little dancing.