How to travel from Columbus to Tucson on the cheap

Photo: iStock
By Hoodline - Published on September 04, 2019.

If you're not ready to say goodbye to summer, consider checking out Tucson. Fall and winter are arguably some of the most enjoyable times to visit Arizona — specifically, the Sonoran Desert.

Either plan to wander Tucson's multiple surrounding mountain ranges and parks, or explore the city's adobe row houses, restored mansions and many vintage shops, nightclubs and restaurants spread throughout the area.

Fortunately, there are heaps of relatively inexpensive flights between Columbus and Tucson on a regular basis. To help inspire your trip, we pulled a short list of flights and hotels from travel site Skyscanner, handpicked with the trendy adventurer in mind. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions.

Cheapest Tucson flights

The cheapest flights between Columbus and Tucson are if you leave on Oct. 15 and return from Arizona on Oct. 19. American Airlines currently has roundtrip tickets for $380.

There are also deals to be had in September. If you fly out of Columbus on Sept. 30 and return from Tucson on Oct. 3, American Airlines can get you there and back for $447, roundtrip.

Top Tucson hotels

To plan your stay, here are some of Tucson's top-rated hotels that we selected from Skyscanner's listings, based on price and customer satisfaction.

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa (3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, consider JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. The hotel has a 4.8-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $199/night.

In addition to six different dining options and 24-hour room service, amenities at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa include access to the Starr Pass Golf Club, Hashani Spa and an outdoor pool, complete with waterslide and lazy river.

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa (3800 E. Sunrise Drive)

There's also the 4.3-star rated The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, which has rooms currently set at $159/night.

Located in the mountains, this spa resort offers convenient proximity to area attractions such as the Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club, University of Arizona and Tohono Chul Park.

Omni Tucson National Resort (2727 W. Club Drive)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is Omni Tucson National Resort, which has rooms going for $138/night.

This Tucson spa hotel is situated in the desert, near Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Tohono Chul Park.

Featured Tucson food and drink

If you're looking for a noteworthy spot to grab a bite, Tucson has plenty of excellent eateries to choose from. Here are a few from Skyscanner's listings to help you get started.

Cafe Poca Cosa (110 E. Pennington St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a local favorite, head to Cafe Poca Cosa, which has an average of 4.8 stars out of 49 reviews on Skyscanner.

"Cafe Poca Cosa is one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson," wrote visitor Jeanine. "A must in my book. I know of no other restaurant that makes Mexican food so healthy and delicious. Sabrosa!"

The Cup Cafe (311 E. Congress St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is The Cup Cafe, with 4.6 stars from 46 reviews.

The Cup Cafe, a full-service, historic modern bistro, is an established downtown Tucson tradition with a reputation for creative and eclectic fare, appealing to locals and visitors alike. Enjoy the variety of The Cup’s three menus and ever-changing daily features.

"There are so many great things about The Cup — exquisite desserts, a great menu, convenient hours, creative cocktails (my favorite is the Ghost Orchid) and its location in the historic Hotel Congress," wrote reviewer Amy. "Do not miss!"

El Charro Cafe (311 N. Court Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a solid place to grab a drink and a bite to eat, plan to visit El Charro Cafe.

Established in 1922, El Charro Cafe is the nation's oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family, featuring traditional Sonoran and innovative Tucson-style Mexican food.

"This is the oldest restaurant in Tucson," wrote Jeff. "Sadly we only had time to stop for chips, guacamole and margaritas. It was all wonderful. ... The happy hour was fantastic with lots of yummy things to try."

Top Tucson attractions

Not sure how to spend your time in Tucson, apart from eating and drinking? Here are a few activity recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area (5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.

In an area of Arizona that is replete with beautiful natural features and tourist attractions, Sabino Canyon is perhaps the most beautiful, and certainly the most popular site for miles around. Guests to this stunning chasm in the Santa Catalina Mountains can enjoy a pleasant sightseeing trip or a strenuous hike, or take one of the narrated tram tours that guides visitors among the cacti, palo verde trees, rocky outcroppings, steep valley walls and gurgling brooks.

"[Sabino Canyon Recreation Area] is one of the most popular areas for hiking, walking and observing the surrounding desert," wrote visitor June. "In the spring, expect to see waterfalls and pools. One of Tucson's truly beautiful areas."

Tucson Botanical Gardens (2150 N. Alvernon Way)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The Tucson Botanical Gardens are another popular destination.

In addition to the fabulous indigenous cactus and desert wildflowers on display, this 5.5-acre horticultural sanctuary in the middle of urban Tucson contains a garden devoted to native crops of the Tohono O'odham Indians, a butterfly garden, zen garden and art contributed by local artists, plus a restaurant with lovely shaded patio and a view of the flora.

"[The] butterfly house offers amazing varieties of butterflies and tiny rainforest frogs, October through May," wrote visitor Wanda. "Cafe has outstanding offerings and the gift shop is a must-see."

Seven Falls (5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, consider checking out Seven Falls .

"Take the lower Sabino Canyon tram to the Seven Falls trailhead and let the fun begin," wrote visitor Bill. "Take plenty of water and ample snacks, so when you arrive at the Seven Falls you can relax, recharge and refuel."

This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.

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