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Although Tucson's fantastic weather, national parks and forests and desert provide the perfect environment for lots of outdoor recreational activities, this city of half a million people also has its share of history and culture. With a history that goes back much further than many of its southwestern neighbours, Tucson boasts turn-of-the-century architecture, historic neighbourhoods, museums and the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a still-functioning 18th-century mission considered one of the most beautiful in the USA. Mexican and Native American influences are pervasive, and the city has a distinctly Western flavour. There's also a college-town atmosphere, thanks to the University of Arizona, which has its own share of museums and a science centre. Whether golfing at a world-class golf resort, horse riding, hiking in the wilderness, discovering desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, or exploring pre-Columbian and other art at the Tucson Art Museum, you'll have a mind-boggling array of things to do.