Stay in Old Pueblo: 12 Best Airbnbs in Tucson, Arizona

by Jake Case

best tucson airbnbs
Photo: Airbnb

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The city of Tucson has a character you won’t find anywhere else.

Only 60 miles north of Mexico, it’s a true Mecca for fans of great Mexican food and southwestern design. There’s plenty of culture and history to go around, from the must-see Barrio Viejo district to the Mission San Xavier del Bac.

Located where the Sonoran Desert meets the towering Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson offers a world-class selection of four-season hiking and mountain biking trails. As the home to the University of Arizona, it’s a vibrant college town and a major hub for Pac-12 sports (especially college basketball.)

Whether you’re heading to “Old Pueblo” to eat tacos, go hiking, catch a U of A football game, or scope out the outdoor Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson will be a gracious host. And fortunately, it’s still a bit under-the-radar as far as weekend getaway destinations go.

Use this list to discover a wide variety of the most unique and highly rated Airbnbs in Tucson. It won’t be hard to find a spot that fits your style and budget — and FYI, there are plenty of options under $100 a night.

1. Tucson for the Time Traveler

retro 70s airbnb tucson az
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Centrally located retro home perfect for mid-century modern fans.

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $145/night

This revitalized mid-century home awaits, ready to take you back to the ’70s. Curated with an eclectic mix of art and furniture, there’s a plethora of indoor and outdoor lounge areas where you can sit and take in the retro vibes. Come prepared to cook as you’ll love getting a meal together in the sleek kitchen setup with a gas range – and  the mesquite buffet counter is too cool not to use for setting out the fixings.

Located just east of Downtown Tucson, this is a convenient place to stay, and it’s only a ten-minute drive from the University of Arizona.

“The Tucson Time Traveler was the perfect home for our family as we prepared to move our son into his dorm at the U of A,” said Airbnb reviewers Jared and Jennifer.

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2. Desert Hues

desert hues airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A historic southwest home with room to bring a few friends.

  • Sleeps: 10
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $248/night

From now on, when someone says “Old Pueblo” as the nickname for Tucson, visions of Desert Hues’ vintage southwest decor will be the very first thing you think of.

Located in the historic Sam Hughes neighborhood and just a stone’s throw from the University, this property drips with easy-to-love vintage charm. Its brick and stucco bones have aged well, and the current owners make sure to decorate in a way that lets this old home breath.

Usually these clean desert type Airbnbs only sleep four or six people, tops, so this offering with three bedrooms plus sleeping space in both living rooms makes this a home-run for vintage-obsessed groups. Oh, and it even has a roomy private pool.

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3. Tucson Mountain Retreat

tucson mountains airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Soak in the hot tub while enjoying mountaintop views for miles.

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $285/night

Want to feel like you’re floating atop the Saguaro-clad desert hills? This grand villa sits high up in the Tucson Mountains with jaw-dropping views from the patio, the private bedroom balcony, and inside the home. And the views from the built-in outdoor hot tub aren’t too shabby, either.

You’ll find plenty of southwest flair throughout the property, with Saltillo tile floors, rough-hewn open beams, and two wood-burning fireplaces. The amenities are just icing on the cake, though, as you’re booking a stay here for the location. The home is in close proximity to Gates Pass, Saguaro National Park West, the Sonora Desert Museum, and much more.

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4. The Root Beer House

root beer house airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavor of a 130-year-old Barrio Viejo district adobe.

  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $106/night

Built in the 1890s, this historic adobe is known to locals as the Root Beer House because of the fading painted sign on its front wall. Back in the 50s, the building operated as a soda fountain. While it’s since been converted into a home, its territorial-era adobe charm remains very much intact.

Just a few of the touches of the old west you’ll find inside include a kiva-style fireplace, plastered and raw mud walls, exposed beams, and an antique kitchen range. If you’re into collecting vinyl, bring a couple favorites and enjoy the vintage sounds on the old record player.

You may also consider Adobe Libre, another excellent Barrio Viejo property, but with a few more modern upgrades compared to the Root Beer House.

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5. Dog-Friendly Home

dog friendly airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Beautiful property inside and out, with an amazing pool and built-in spa.

  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $320/night

This dog-friendly home in eastern Tucson’s Tanque Verde has a lot going for it. Inside, you’ll find Saltillo flooring, subdued Southwest accents, and a kiva-style fireplace. Outside, you’ll find another kiva fireplace near the conversation area, as well as a refreshing Pebble-Tec pool with an adjacent built-in hot tub.

You can’t ask for much more if you’re looking for a place with plenty of room to play for both humans and canines. Plus, the location is super convenient if you’re looking to hit the trails in Saguaro National Park East or take a scenic drive up the Catalina Highway to the top of Mount Lemmon. This home is new to Airbnb, so it may be worth booking sooner rather than later, before the price goes up.

“A beautiful house with very nice amenities. It’s quiet and there is so much space. I’d stay here again for sure,” says Airbnb guest Andre. 

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6. Retreat in the Heart of Tucson

mid century modern airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: An affordable apartment with easy-to-use voice controls.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $57/night

If you’re on a tight budget but still want to stay somewhere chic and comfortable, look no further than this mid-century apartment. You’ll love the vaulted wooden ceilings, functional design choices, and warm color palette that make this apartment feel larger than its actual size.

 “Perfect space for 2, close to good restaurants,” said Airbnb guest Sarah. 

It’s definitely an optimal Airbnb in Tucson for couples, but the living room couch converts to a bed if you have kids or another couple coming along. As for restaurants, there are plenty within walking distance. Some popular choices include Culinary Dropout, Dante’s Fire, and Kingfisher.

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7. Copper House

copper house airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Convenient modern home great for solo travelers or couples.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $74/night

If you love sleek modern architecture and smart uses of space, this 600-square-foot studio is right up your alley. it’s one of the most unique Airbnbs in Tucson but sports an affordable nightly rate, so it’s no wonder the Copper House is among the most popular stays in the area.

Just go browse through the pics and you’ll be sold in about two seconds. Of course, this one stays pretty booked much of the time, so if you find availability that matches your dates, snatch it up. The house was even featured in Sunset Magazine, probably because it oozes Arizona vibes. It’s also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring along your favorite four-legged hiking companion.

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8. Charming, Cozy Casita

cozy casita airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Affordable southwest-style casita with private yard near the University.

  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $91/night

If you’re looking to stay in a vintage adobe without breaking the bank, check out this charming casita just north of U of A. This guest house sits on the property behind the host family’s personal home, but has its own yard and entrance for maximum privacy (the pool house on the property is also offered for rent.)

True to form, this adobe is decked out with terracotta tile floors, mesquite furniture, cacti dotting the yard, and a white stucco entrance arch. With two bedrooms inside plus a fire pit seating area outside, this casita gives a family of four plenty of space to stretch out. And there’s a shared pool for when you want to take a quick dip.

“Absolutely wonderful stay at the Casita! Very clean, comfy and the provided coffee is excellent. Enjoyed the pool every day during our stay,” said Airbnb guest Kezia.

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9. Mid-Century Pool House

pool house airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A romantic and affordable poolside couple’s retreat.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $80/night

Located on the same property as the charming casita, this pool house offers a romantic stay amid hip mid-century decor. In the morning, just pull open the privacy curtains and let the light into this bright and airy studio.

You’ll have complete privacy as you relax on modern furniture under vaulted ceilings, but you’re just a few steps from the lovely outdoor space, which include a refreshing pool in the common area. This place isn’t just a warm-weather stay, as the wood-burning fireplace keeps it toasty on the cool desert nights, too.

“My husband and I came to Tucson to elope in Saguaro National Park. We have stayed in many Airbnb’s all over the states. This is our new favorite,” said Airbnb guest Cassie. 

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10. Clean Fresh Tucson Adobe

adobe airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Ridiculously affordable, ridiculously clean, ridiculously close to downtown.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $36/night

There’s a number of affordable options for solo travelers and couples on this list, but this humble adobe will really save you some dough and without sacrificing cleanliness, experience, or privacy. In fact, it gets elite-level customer reviews with a sky-high 4.95 out of five rating (from 88 reviews, at the time of writing).

Located in the historic Dunbar Spring neighborhood just a few blocks north of the legendary El Charro Cafe, this property is about as close to downtown as you can get. Use that extra spending money to stuff your face with tacos or breeze through the nearby Tucson Museum of Art.

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11. Luxury Mountain Cabin

mount lemmon airbnb tucson
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Cool off at a mountain retreat high atop Mount Lemmon.

  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $226/night

The Santa Catalina Mountains rise some 10,000 feet above the desert floor and are a big part of what makes Tucson special. And on the upper slopes of Mount Lemmon, the Catalinas’ highest peak, sits this luxurious cabin in the tiny mountain town of Summerhaven.

Only an hour’s drive from Tucson via the Catalina Highway, Summerhaven’s cooler climate is your best bet for beating the summer heat or hitting the slopes at Lemmon Ski Valley in the winter. When you’re not outside playing in the forest, this cabin is perfect for keeping the fun rolling with plenty of provided perks: a bumper pool table, poker table, X-Box, and board games, too.

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12. Saguaro Suite at JTH Tucson

joshua tree house tucson
Photo: Margaret Austin / Airbnb

Why you should stay: Stay at the ultimate desert vintage property on 38 pristine acres.

  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $523/night

The original Joshua Tree House (in Joshua Tree, California) is the holy grail of vintage desert decor and design for Airbnb aficionados. Built on the back of their success in California, the owners purchased this 40-acre property in the Sonoran Desert to create JTH Tucson.

Operating as a five-room bed and breakfast, the centerpiece of the property is the split-level Saguaro Suite. The hosts immaculately decorated this adobe-style space with vintage furniture pieces and southwestern touches. The living room has a stunning exposed wooden beam ceiling, paying homage to the area’s Mexican design roots.

JTH Tucson features a number of amenities in the common areas, including a chef’s kitchen, rooftop lounge, yoga room, and living room with a projector for movie nights — and yes, a light breakfast is provided by the hosts. You might also consider the other rooms JTH Tucson offers: Cholla Room, Agave Suite, Ocotillo Suite, or Yucca Room.

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