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Coachella Valley “Road trippin” Arizona – Step Back to the Cold War Era at the Titan Missile Museum

Coachella Valley “Road trippin” Arizona – Step Back to the Cold War Era at the Titan Missile Museum

Step Back to the Cold War Era at the Titan Missile Museum in ArizonaBy Françoise Rhodes, Host of Traveling With Françoise Radio and Television

I’ve been to Tucson, Arizona a number of times and found it to be a wonderful place to visit and live.  However, one of my recent Arizona trips had me driving through Tucson to the charming artist’s enclave of Tubac, a charismatic small town with more personality than they know what to do with and locals who know how to enjoy life.

While driving from Tucson to Tubac, at approximately 25 miles south of Tucson and 20 miles north of Tubac I noticed the sign “Titan Missile Museum.”  Seeing some sort of compound off in the distance my interest was triggered, but not enough to stop. Upon arriving in Tubac, and the museum sign still fresh in my mind, I asked the locals about it and discovered the Titan Missile Museum to be a one of a kind experience that I instantly decided I wasn’t going to miss on my way home to California.  And I’m so glad I didn’t!

The Titan’s website states “Uncover the Secrets of America’s Largest Nuclear Weapon”, and that you will.  Immediately upon driving through security gates, I could still feel the power and energy the air missile site once held in the days of an active military base.

Along with many other visitors, I had no idea what was in store for us on the tour.  Starting out with a video explaining what the Titan Missile site is all about, we quickly discovered that many of the guides are people who served at the base when it was an active military installation.  The stories alone were fascinating, funny and very serious at times.

What followed was a journey through time to stand on the front line of the Cold War. The preserved Titan II missile site, officially known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. Offering visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war at one of America’s most top secret places and now a National Historic Landmark, regardless of one’s political mindset; you’ll immediately feel a surge of country pride.

The tour took us deep underground for a look at the command center, where the service personnel lived and finally a front and center view of the original inactive missile.  There is so much to see and absorb, it can really boggle the mind.  Visitors truly get a sense of how a world catastrophe was avoided thanks to the commanding presence of the Titan Missiles, along with how the personnel on the base lived in an almost unrealistic situation.

There is quite a bit of walking, and don’t be in a rush.  Once back outside of underground bunkers and silo you’ll want to walk about the compound and look at all of the artifacts that are part of the base.

I personally think this isn’t a tour for small children because they won’t comprehend what they are seeing and can be a distraction for visitors listening to the guides.  On the flip side teenagers will probably be fascinated once the tour gets going.

I don’t want to give the entire experience away, but the Titan Missile Museum is a real treat that I hope you’ll take the time to visit. I’ve been there once and am eager to go again!

For more info about the Titan Missile Museum visit Titanmissilemuseum.org

The museum is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
There are winter and summer hours so check the website.

Admission Fees:
Adults $ 10.50
Seniors, Pima County Residents $ 9.50
Military & Groups $ 9.50
Juniors (Ages 5-12) $ 7.00
Children 4 and Under Free
Titan Missile Museum, 1580 W. Duval Mine Rd., Green Valley, AZ 85614

For all things Traveling With Françoise visit TravelingWithFrancoise.com

 

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