Sadie housesitting in Tucson with 2 chihuahuas on her lap

3 days in tucson, AZ

Pet sitting in Tucson, Arizona, turned out to be an incredible adventure for my family and me. While we took care of some adorable pets, we also had the opportunity to explore the city and experience its unique charm.

From the fascinating Miniatures Museum to the awe-inspiring 30-foot cactus, and the vibrant murals that adorn many buildings, Tucson's artistic spirit was evident everywhere we went.

We also tried some local eateries like, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Rita’s Italian Ice, and Cappy’s Breakfast Cafe, making our stay even more memorable.

Petsitting Saff holding one of the dogs and Sadie with the other one.
Kevin with one of the dogs we were petsitting in Tucson

We already told you about our coffee experience so lets move on the the rest of the trip. We had the opportunity to take care of a pair of adorable chihuahuas. They were very cuddly but low maintenance which allowed us to work and get some things done.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures front door.

When petsitting we do not leave the pets alone for any exteneded amount of time but we do leave a little to buy groceries or visit a nearby attraction. The place we decided to go on this trip was the The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. We loved it!

the rotunda at the minatures museums
There are 3 ways to go from here and all of them are amazing

We got to explore the enchanting universe of miniatures at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson, AZ. Stepping into this museum feels like traveling through different eras and lands, all narrated by over 500 miniature houses and roomboxes.

With an impressive 10,000 square feet of modern exhibit space, we saw everything from antique dollhouses from 1742 to modern fine-scale miniatures and charming collectibles.

carved pencil as a rose.

The museum’s rotating temporary exhibits ensure there’s always something fresh to see. Whether it's fairy castles, a life-size magical tree, or a make-believe 18th-century sea captain's mansion, Not to mention the amazing pencil lead art.

Carved-pencil lead of a standing  lion

We started our adventure with the minature pencil lead exhibit. The amount of detail and the precision it takes to accomplish this feat is mind boggling. The artist has a very steady hand and a lot of patience. He also has an excellent outlook on his work.

“My art is a challenge to myself and my capabilities, exploring the limits of human physical capabilities. Can I achieve precision in the depiction, convey its grace, and strive for perfection?”

– Salavat Fidai 

Absolutely amazing. You can see him in action on YouTube , TikTok, and Instagram.

minature doll house.
The detail is absolutely amazing

Moving on there is so much to see. We got to see a doll house, inside of a doll house, inside of a doll house, Russian nested dolls anyone? I could go on and on about this museum there was so much to see and experience. The pictures do not do it justice if you are ever in Tucson this is a stop you wont want to miss.

Things to do in Tucson

Driving tour Saguaro National Park
Walking Food Tour for 2 adults
Saguaro National Park East E-Bike Tour
Saguaro National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour
Mount Lemmon Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour

minature books store with lots of books with authentic titles and authors.
close up of the minature bookstore

They have video and audio walkthroughs as well which makes for a truly engaging experience. bring your own headphones. After Covid they don't loan out headphones anymore, which is understandable.

Minature of Farrows dept store
You can scan the code with your phone and listen to the audio

I watched a few of the videos while we were there. They are short and engaging which is a plus, these videos are definitely geared more towards adults in my opinion. Most kids will not not stand still long enough to watch or listen one.

minature kitchen scene
So much detail

They have a scavenger hunt you and the kids can have fun with trying to find different items as you take in the minature wonders.

check out the mini Lincoln Logs

Sadie and I loved this quick trip, we spent about 2 hours browsing around and looking at the many mini exhibits. This is not enough time to see everything and take in all the details, but it is enough time to really enjoy the museum.

a minature pottery shop

Ticket prices at the Mini Time Machine Museum in Tucson range from 8.00 to $14.00. If you live in the area or in Arizona think about becoming a member of the museum then you entry to the exhibits will be free.

house of smiles at the minature museum

Check the prices and the hours as they are subject to change. Once you have your ticket, you can stay as long or as short as you like. Whether you're planning a day trip or just a quick stop, this hidden Tucson gem offers flexibility to fit your travel schedule.

A 30ft neon Cactus

30ft. Neon Cactus at the beginning of miracle mile in Tucson Arizona

Erected in 2010 as a tribute to the classic neon signs of the past, this landmark features “Tucson” on the southbound side and “Miracle Mile” on the northbound side. The road it stands on was the first divided highway in Arizona and was named “The Miracle Mile of Safety” when it opened in 1937.

To get there, In the median of N. Oracle Rd at its intersection with W. Adams St., take, I-10 exits 256 or 257 onto Speedway Blvd. Head east for a quarter-mile, then turn left (north) onto N. Main Ave. Drive four blocks, and you'll see the cactus on the left.

We went right before dusk as the road can get a little busy during the daytime hours. We recommend visiting to take pictures either early morning or after 5pm so you are not holding up traffic while trying to get your perfect picture.

Paul Bunyon in Tucson Arizona

A block or so from the cactus you will find Paul Bunyon. Tucson is full of surprises. We are sure to come back and visit for a longer time and find more interesting sites. If you have been share your unusual finds of Tucson, Arizona in the comments.

A Paul Bunyon statue in Tucson Arizona

The a notable Paul Bunyan statue located at Glenn and Stone. Intersting fact his double sided axe was reported stolen in 2009. Who would steal it? And better yet how? That thing is huge.

You can read the whole story about how Tucson came to have a Paul Bunyon statue and who stole his axe at

Tucson Murals and Wall Art

Tucson Mural art

While we were exploring Tucson a little we found this mural and Edsel Car on a side street and just had to stop and grab a photo. Sadie and I love taking pictures of various items. We have different styles and we take pitures from different angles but we both enjoy photography.

part of a mural in Tucson. A painting of a Katrina
an Edsel infront of a mural in Tucson Arizona

I love old cars and so does Sadie so this was an awesome find for both of us. The mural in the background I think is part of a project that was put on by the city but I am not sure.

There is a self guided Mural Tour you can take using google maps that will let you see all of the murals and the amazing art that was created.

Tucson mural with Tucson and a katrina
Tucson mural wall

We did not have time to take the tour because we wanted to get back the the fur babies, but we did take a moment to grab these photos to share with you.

Kevin and Sadie capture a moment in a hotel mirror with vibrant leaf decor at a hotel in Tucson Arizona
Aren't we cute?

Read all about our coffee experience in Tucson.

3 places We Ate in Tucson

Vibrant wall art at New Hub Patio, highlighting Tucson's unique character.
We will check this place out next time we are here.

During our recent stay in Tucson, AZ, we had the pleasure of exploring a variety of dining spots that added unique flavors to our trip.

Among the culinary adventures, two places stood out for their delightful offerings: Rita's Italian Ice, where we indulged in refreshing treats, and Cappy's Breakfast Cafe, which served up delicious and hearty morning meals.

Unfortunately, not all our dining experiences were hits. Our visit to Famous Dave's BBQ left us less than impressed.

Famous Dave's BBQ

A hearty plate of smoked sausage, brisket, mac and cheese, corn muffin, and potato wedges.

We love BBQ. So we do have a standard when it comes to eating BBQ at a restaurant. We expect it to be good because you should not ever mess up BBQ. Famous Dave's in our opiniion has messed up BBQ. well lets just say it isn't the kind of BBQ we like.

A BBQ platter with brisket, sausage, mac 'n' cheese, cornbread, and potato wedges.

Ther sauce just wasn't what we expect when we eat BBQ. Their smoked brisket did not have that smoky flao we all love, It was very depressing to us as we really wanted some good southern BBQ. Not that sweet bbq suace but tangy delicious goodness.

Smoked brisket on thick toast, served with a side of mac and cheese and crispy potato wedges.

We found Famous Dave's to be lacking but that being said the establishment was clean and if you like thier kind of flavos for your sauce you may like them. For us we will look for a different BBQ joint next time we are in Tucson.

Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's storefront with red and white striped awnings and with an outdoor seating area
Enjoying the best frozen treats in town at Rita's. #Delicious

Nestled in the heart of Tucson, AZ, Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard is a delightful spot that promises a refreshing escape from the desert heat.

Close-up of a delicious Rita's Italian ice on a wooden table.
Nothing hits the spot like a delicious Rita's Italian Ice. 🍧 #SummerTreats
Vanilla custard with cookie dough in a Rita's cup on a wooden table.

Known for its creamy frozen custard and a wide array of vibrant Italian ice flavors, Rita's offers a unique treat experience. The tropical sorbet-style ice paired with custard soft serve is particularly popular, offering a perfect balance of creaminess and refreshment.

Inside a modern ice cream shop with colorful menu boards.

I liked the mixture of the icee and ice cream, but Sadie did not like the mix of textures. They d serve just one or the other you do not haveto get the mix.

Savoring sweet moments, enjoying a Rita’s ice cream, Kevin smiles in the background.

We both enjoyed Rita's so much we went back three times. It is not super expensive like most of the other places we visited while were traveling in the U.S.

Sadie taking a picture at Ritas

The clean, cozy setting and friendly staff add to the inviting atmosphere, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists looking to cool down with something sweet and satisfying

Cappy's Breakfast Cafe

Lunch menu at Cappy's Breakfast Cafe
Breakfast Menu at Cappy's Breakfast Cafe

The last place we would like to talk about is Cappy's Breakfast Cafe. You don't want miss this morning treat while you are visiting Tucson. I am a breakfast person and Sadie is not.

Fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and golden pancakes on a white plate.

But she does tolerate my need for pancakes and bacon in the morning.

This cozy and unpretentious cafe is renowned for its hearty breakfast and lunch options, with their famous pancakes being a standout. The ambiance is warm and inviting, making it a perfect place to start the day.

Thick slices of French toast dusted with powdered sugar and served with butter.

Sadie and I particularly enjoyed the quick service and the friendly staff who made us feel right at home. They were bilingual and we got to practice our spanish without criticism. It was an awesome visit.

The bill at Cappy's Breakfast Cafe
Not too bad for the deliciious food and great customer service.

Whether you're in the mood for classic breakfast dishes or something with a local twist like chilaquiles, Cappy's has something for everyone. The portions and the quality of the food make it well worth the visit

Vintage car parked on a quiet street with vibrant Tucson mural in the background.

Our pet-sitting adventure in Tucson was a delightful blend of adorable pets, captivating art, and memorable experiences.

Each day offered something new, from exploring the intricate world of miniatures to capturing the city's vibrant murals. Tucson's unique charm and artistic spirit made this trip unforgettable.

If you ever find yourself in Tucson, I highly recommend immersing yourself in these local gems. Whether you're a pet sitter, a traveler, or just passing through, Tucson has something special to offer. Until our next adventure, happy travels!

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