My responses to Tom's comments:
"Tucson is a bit "hard" to get around because it is fairly large and the freeways don't go the direction you want to go."
Maybe true, depending on where you want to go. We live way out west, obviously if we can see the observatory at Kitt Peak from our house. We are near the intersection of Ajo and Sasabe Highways known as Three Points or Robles Junction. We allow about 1.25 to 1.5 hours to get to the center of town.
"Note that pop-up roadblocks appear on highways near Tucson (toward Kitt Peak or Tombstone) and federal officials interview you about your immigration status, a nuisance."
True and false. We have experienced no Border Patrol stations going into town or coming back home on Ajo in the 9 years we've lived here. But we usually don't go farther west than Robles Junction. We have experienced one on the way to and from Tombstone and there is a permanent one on I19 near Tubac. It takes about 2 minutes to answer yes to the question, "American citizens?" And we're on our way. Not a nuisance in my opinion. By the way, there is a permanent one going across the White Sands area in New Mexico. The "federal officials" are Border Patrol agents, both 2 and 4-legged. We always thank them for their service.
"The Kitt Peak trips are really highly priced for what you get, and the telescopes used are pretty small."
I don't know about this since every time I've tried to go, the events have been cancelled due to weather. I'm not sure why they'd be cancelled if the images were from South America.
"The light from Tucson really degrades the quality of the experience."
True. We can see a big glow from Phoenix and its suburbs with the naked eye from our house. We don't see that so much from Tucson because it's a darker city and the mountains block the light, but I'm sure you can see both from 7000 feet up at Kitt Peak. Tucson limits light so much that some people are concerned about safety.
In our desert neighborhood some people unaware of the ordinances and our location in the second most restricted light area near Kitt Peak, have had visits from the county and have been required to change their exterior lighting to meet them.
I think Sedona is beautiful, but these days it seems to be nothing but condos and golf courses, along with the crystal woo-woo. As Dick said, it's not a real city to me.
Southern UT is absolutely amazing, and possibly my favorite place on earth, but better in warmer weather.
And something I forgot before, if you do go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, eat at the Ocotillo Cafe.