Located directly north of Tucson along the Cañada del Oro, Oro Valley is a suburban commuter town at the base of Pusch Ridge. It has been referred to as Arizona’s “Upscale Tech Mecca” due to its abundance of high-tech firms and lies adjacent to the cactus-dotted canyons Catalina State Park.
Things to do in Oro Valley
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss the Children's Museum Oro Valley, which is packed with hands-on exhibits that encourage learning through curiosity and play. It’s located adjacent to the Steam Pump Ranch, a mid-19th-century property that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Coincide your visit with a guided tour by the Historical Society or attend the Saturday morning farmers market.
Sprawling east of Oro Valley is Catalina State Park, a rugged natural area at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It’s renowned for its saguaros and desert vegetation, as well as spectacular canyons that provide a setting for hiking, mountain biking and bird watching. If you’re feeling energetic, you can follow one of the trails that connect to the Coronado National Forest and the 2,791-metre-high peak of Mount Lemmon.
History buffs can head north from Oro Valley to the Honey Bee Village, an archaeological preserve in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. From around 700 to 1200 AD, it was inhabited by the Native American Hohokam people and the remains of their pit houses are still visible today. Hiking trails wind their way between the petroglyphs of Honey Bee Canyon Park.
Getting around Oro Valley
Oro Valley is around 20 minutes’ drive from Tucson and 40 minutes from Tucson International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Regular buses connect to Oro Valley while renting a car gives you greater freedom to explore the area.