The second-largest city in Arizona, Tucson has the best of both worlds. As well as being a bustling metropolis, it has incredible natural beauty on its doorstep. With towering saguaro cacti peppering the desert landscapes, numerous trails can connect you to this gorgeous rocky wonderland before you come back for sublime Mexican food.

If you’re out hiking for most of the day, you’ll want somewhere comfortable and cosy to come back to. So, instead of looking at hotels or hostels, check out vacation rentals in Tucson. There are lots to choose from, and some of them are seriously cool!

With that in mind, let us guide you through some of the best Airbnbs in Tucson. Some of them are jaw-dropping! As well as that, we’ll take a look at five of the most fun Airbnb Experiences you can have during your stay. Let’s start planning your trip to this desert paradise.

Friends embrace eachother in a hug as a colorful sunset fills the sky of Tucson Arizona. United States of America.
Photo: @audyscala

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

Quick Answer: These are the Top 5 Airbnbs in Tucson

Straw bale Tuscon guesthouse Tucson

Straw bale Tuscon guesthouse

  • > $$
  • > 5 Guests
  • > Peaceful and quiet
  • > Awesome desert views
Cozy house with breakfast Tucson

Cozy house with breakfast

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Breakfast included
  • > Board games and books
Spacious Foothills home with Spa Tucson

Spacious Foothills home with Spa

  • > $$$$$$$$$$
  • > 13 Guests
  • > Heated pool and spa
  • > Spacious chef’s kitchen
Great location private entrance Tucson

Great location private entrance

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Private entrance and bathroom
  • > Swimming pool
Catalina Foothills West Rojo Suite Tucson

Catalina Foothills West Rojo Suite

  • > $
  • > 4 Guests
  • > Dedicated workspace
  • > Rooftop patio

What to Expect from Airbnbs in Tucson

Of all the travel destinations in the United States, Tucson might just have one of the most varied Airbnb scenes. Of course, you have your private rooms, entire flats, and vacation rental staples in town.

However, there are some really left-field options, including earth houses and tiny houses – you can even stay aboard an old train caboose if that takes your fancy!

Lots of Airbnbs in Tucson do have a local feel. From start to finish, you’ll be dealing with hosts who call the town home and can help you find your way around. In some of the larger villa and ranch properties, however, you will be more likely to deal with a business.

A girl poses for photo outside the famous theatre in Tucson, The Rialto. United States of America.
Photo: @audyscala

The obsession with tiny houses shows no signs of letting up any time soon, and why would it?! These architectural gems offer everything you could fit into a regular house, but downsized. Thanks to their clever use of space, a tiny house rarely feels that small.

Now, this is a really cool and unique type of Airbnb. Earth houses are literally made of the mud, sand, and soil that surrounds them. In Tucson, you’ll usually find them made of adobe, mud bricks that have been dried in the hot Arizona sun.

If you have some flexibility in your budget, why not look at a villa or a ranch? Though there are some within the city limits, these large houses are often found outside, where residents can take in the magnificent desert views and use cool amenities like pools, hot tubs, and maHOOsive gardens!

The Top 15 Airbnbs in Tucson

You’ve seen why Airbnb’s are a good idea and what’s on offer in the city. Now, let’s take a look at the top 15 Airbnbs in Tucson – a list curated with you in mind!

Straw bale Tuscon guesthouse | Overall Best Value Airbnb in Tucson

Straw bale Tuscon guesthouse Tucson

Looking to go hiking in Tucson? This is a great base. The Sweetwater Preserve and Wasson Peak trailheads are literally on your doorstep! The home in Western Tucson has a fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor dining area with sweeping views across the desert. At the same time, it’s less than 15 minutes from Downtown Tucson. Still far enough away to get a perfectly undisturbed night’s sleep!

This peaceful and quiet home has room for five guests out in West Tucson. Soak up the views of the desert from your outdoor dining space as you enjoy morning coffee or a meal. There are two trailheads right on your doorstep!

Cozy house with breakfast | Best Budget Airbnb in Tucson

Cozy house with breakfast Tucson

A homestay is a great way to keep your costs down when travelling in Tucson. Not only do you keep your costs low, but you can have a local experience, too. Your friendly hosts provide breakfast, so that’s another few dollars saved every morning. If you’re feeling bored in the evening, there are books and board games for your entertainment.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

Spacious Foothills home with Spa | Over the Top Luxury Airbnb in Tucson

Spacious Foothills home with Spa Tucson

This home for 13 guests in the Catalina Foothills is almost a destination in itself. You’ve got a cavernous living room with a huge TV where you can cosy up for a movie night. Don’t fancy that? Well, how about a few beers around the fire pit, or paddling with noodles in the pool?! There are games, karaoke machines, and books and brochures about Tucson, too. The only danger with staying here is that you’ll not leave until it’s time to check out!

Great location private entrance | Perfect Airbnb for Solo Travellers

Great location private entrance Tucson

Another awesome homestay, and this one is perfect for solo travellers. Again, it won’t eat too far into your budget. However, you get a hell of a lot for your money! The private studio is completely independent of the house, but you do get to use the swimming pool if you’d like to. The suite is just a hop, skip, and a jump from all of downtown’s attractions, so it’s perfect for getting out and meeting other travellers.

Catalina Foothills West Rojo Suite | Perfect Airbnb for Digital Nomads

Catalina Foothills West Rojo Suite Tucson

A dedicated workspace and rapid Wi-Fi are the very least a digital nomad should be asking for. However, you’ll get a whole lot more with this private room. Imagine working as the sun beats down on your – no need to imagine when you’re on the roof terrace! Your comfy bedroom has loads of space, and an indoor fireplace and sunken chair where you can relax after a day of either working or exploring. Perfect.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Epic Airbnbs in Tucson

Here are a few more of my favorite Airbnbs in Tucson!

Clean fresh Tucson Adobe | Best Short Term Rental for Couples

Clean fresh Tucson Adobe Tucson

Though not listed as an earth house, this one is made out of adobe. Large and light, the white walls and big windows give the impression of lots of space. In the heart of the Downtown neighbourhood of Dunbar Spring, there are loads of restaurants and bars within a stone’s throw that you can enjoy with your other half. When you’ve had enough, come back to watch a movie or cosy up together in the queen bed.

Stunning Southwest Style Vacation Home | Best Airbnb in Tucson for Families

Stunning Southwest Style Vacation Home Tucson

Perfect for families of all ages, this home has just about everything. The fully equipped kitchen is outside, so you can feel the warm air as you’re cooking a family favourite. You’ve also got BBQ facilities and a swimming pool, so it’s perfect for the hot weather. If all that’s not enough, there are spectacular views out over the desert, too. Oh, and an indoor fireplace for the temperature drop in the evenings

Mighty Tiny in Tucson | Best Tiny House in Tucson

Mighty Tiny in Tucson

Somehow, your hosts have managed to squeeze a California king bed into this tiny house – and that’s just the start of it! With room for another two guests, it’s cool and cute, and you’ve got a fully equipped kitchen. In the grounds, there’s a swimming pool and fire pit that you have access to, while hiking and cycling trails are on your doorstep.

Adobe House in Central Tucson | Best Earth House in Tucson

Adobe House in Central Tucson

The coolest earth house in Tucson, this adobe home has a whole host of unusual decorations. From Egyptian mummies to mounted stag heads, it really is a mishmash! This 1930s/40s annexe is on the site of your host’s home, so they’re on-site if you need anything. You’re also welcome to use their backyard and swimming pool – as well as parking on their driveway, which is perfect if you’re in the midst of an Arizona road trip!

Hokum House | Best Villa/Ranch

Hokum House Tucson

Quite simply one of the most stunning Airbnbs in Tucson, you can enjoy sunset mountain views from your very own infinity pool. What more could you ask for from a vacation rental?! We’re not sure, but this place delivers with an outdoor BBQ grill and kitchen, koi pond, pool tables, and several outdoor seating areas. Birdwatchers, be sure to bring your binoculars and cameras as you’ll see lots of local birds, as well as wildlife like Gila monsters (don’t worry, it’s not an actual monster) and coyotes.

Caboose in Tin Town | Most Unique Airbnb in Tucson

Caboose in Tin Town Tucson

When the Broke Backpacker writes about trains, it’s usually as a means of getting from one destination to another, not actually somewhere to stay! However, in a city with lots of unique Airbnbs, this one trumps them all. Yes, it really is an old train caboose. Okay, it might not be the most extravagant or comfy Airbnb in Tucson, but it’s a lot of fun, and you’re sure to enjoy this cute and kitschy accommodation.

Desert vibrations private retreat | Best Airbnb With a Pool in Tucson

Desert vibrations private retreat Tucson

It’s hard to pick the best Airbnb in Tucson with a pool, as there are so many. However, when one is surrounded by giant saguaro cacti and offers superb mountain views, it definitely makes that choice a little easier. This desert retreat has space for eight guests, so it’s good for a family or group of friends.

Serene Mountain Retreat | Best Airbnb With a View in Tucson

Serene Mountain Retreat Tucson

Another house with a spectacular pool and mountain views, this also boasts a fire pit. You could sit out on those chairs and enjoy that view for days – at least, we could. When you’re not appreciating the views, make use of a hot tub on cool desert nights, or cook something up on the grill. There are three queen bedrooms, so this is another home that’s good for groups.

Tucson Mountain Retreat | Most Beautiful Airbnb in Tucson

Tucson Mountain Retreat Tucson

This one isn’t just a beautiful house – look at those surroundings! Carved into a mountainside with giant saguaro cacti on all sides, this chalet is the epitome of Tucson luxury. There’s a step out patio from the master bathroom, an upper deck with a table, and the lower deck has a large built-in spa for 6 – 8 guests. This is not only one of the most beautiful Airbnbs in Tucson, but the entire United States.

Desert Hues | Best Airbnb in Tucson for a Group of Friends

Desert Hues Tucson

Last but not least is this spacious home for up to ten guests. There are three bedrooms with queen beds, but extra singles and an airbed too, so no unnecessary topping and tailing. Chill out in the hot tub together, take a dip in the pool, or relax on a sun lounger. On a cold desert night, head into the living room for a movie or a board game. Just don’t have a party as you’ll get a fine!

What To Pack For Tucson

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for an Airbnb stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Don’t Forget Your Tucson Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Tucson Airbnbs

Well, there you have it. Those are the 15 best Airbnbs in Tucson, with five awesome Airbnb Experiences thrown in. Whether you want to stay in a traditional adobe earth house, a luxurious villa, or even an old train caboose, there’s an Airbnb in Tucson for you.

And if you’re still struggling to make up your mind on where to stay in Tucson, don’t worry. Just go for our overall best value option, Straw bale Tucson guest house. It offers gorgeous desert views and trailhead access while being a stone’s throw from Downtown.

We hope that wherever you choose to stay, you have an awesome vacation in Tucson. Sunscreen isn’t the only thing you’ll need to ensure you’re safe here – check out World Nomads travel insurance policies too.

Looking for more info on visiting Tucson and USA?