Tucson

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Tucson is the second-largest city in the state of Arizona and the county seat of Pima County, located in the Sonoran Desert. It is situated at a higher elevation than nearby Phoenix and is correspondingly cooler. Although with half a million residents it is smaller than the capital city, its cultural life is just as vibrant.

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Points of Interest in Tucson

Historic sights

  •    Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1950 W San Xavier Rd (10 miles south of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation),  +1 520-294-2624. The "White Dove of the Desert" is a Tucson mission. Pure white and pristine against a hot desert backdrop, and still heady inside its elaborately colored and muraled interior from centuries of supplication, the Mission San Xavier del Bac was finished in 1797 when Arizona was still New Spain. It has recently been cleaned and restored by professional art conservators who worked with and trained members of the community.
  •    Barrio Viejo (Barrio Historico), Bounded by I-10, W Cushing St , S 6th Ave, and W 18th St (by the Tucson Convention Center). One of Tucson's oldest neighborhoods, with colorful adobe buildings housing shops, galleries, and residences. The El Tiradito shrine (see listing below) is here. Best explored on foot.
  •    El Tiradito (The Castaway), S Granada Ave at W Cushing St (Barrio Viejo). El Tiradito is the only shrine to a sinner in North America. In the 1880s, a young man had an affair with his mother-in-law. When caught in the act, his father-in-law shot him and he stumbled from bed and ran out of the house. He dropped dead on this spot, and because he had not confessed his sins, he could not be buried in the church yard. His family and friends interred him where he fell, but remembered him with candles and flowers. People still burn candles and leave offerings today. The shrine is in what remains of Tucson's barrio (much of which was destroyed when the Tucson Convention Center was built). Best visited at dusk or after dark.
  •    Ft Lowell Museum, 2900 N Craycroft Rd,  +1 520-885-3832. F-Sa 10am-4pm. Fort Lowell was a US Army post, active in the late 19th century during the Apache Wars. Most of the adobe structures are now in ruins, but the commanding officers' quarters have been reconstructed and now house a small museum. Exhibits focus on military life on the frontier. $3 (adults).
  •    San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E Fort Lowell Rd,  +1 520-302-9265, e-mail: info@sanpedrochapel.com. A historic Sonoran-style adobe chapel, built in 1915 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately the church is usually only open for special events, but it can be freely appreciated from the outside.
  •    Sosa-Carrillo-Frémont House Museum, 151 S Granada Ave,  +1 520-628-5774, e-mail: AHSTucson@azhs.gov. by appt only. A historic adobe house built in the 1870s.

Museums and galleries

  •    Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E Valencia Rd,  +1 520-574-0462. Features over 250 historic aircraft. A separate tour, also booked at the museum, can be booked to see the Aerospace Maintenance and Regentation Center (AMARC, aka the "Boneyard") tour to see 4200+ stored aircraft.
  •    Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N Main Ave,  +1 520-624-2333. W 10am-5pm, Th 10am-8pm, F-Su 10am-5pm. A museum complex housed in a collection of historic adobe houses, this museum hosts exhibits of regional contemporary art, as well as the Arizona Biennial. Its permanent collection of Latin American and pre-Columbian art is particularly noteworthy. $10.
  •    University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 Olive Rd (on the U of A campus, by E Speedway),  +1 520-621-7567. T-Fr 9am-5pm, Sa-Su 12pm-4pm. Houses an extensive of American and European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, with excellent rotating exhibits. A highlight of the collection is the 15th-century Spanish altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo. $5 (adults).
  •    Museum of Contemporary Art, 265 S Church Ave (just across the street from the Tucson Convention Center),  +1 520-624-5019. W-Su 12pm-5pm. Hosts exhibits of regional contemporary art. $8 (adults).
  •    Center for Creative Photography, 1030 Olive Rd (on the U of A campus, by E Speedway),  +1 520-621-7968. M-Fr 9am-5pm, Sa-Su 1pm-4pm. The center was founded by Ansel Adams, and routinely features works of famous (and not-so-famous) photographers. When they have their Ansel Adams collection up it is a must see. Free.
  •    Philabaum Glass Gallery & Studio, 711 S 6th Ave (just south of Downtown),  +1 520-884-7404. Tom Philabaum built his first glass studio in 1975, and opened the adjacent gallery in 1982. Together they represent one of the most enduring art endeavors of present-day Tucson. Visitors are able to watch the glass blowing process in the studio, and shop the impressive collection of contemporary glass art from artists around the country.
  •    De Grazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District, 6300 N Swan Rd,  +1 520-299-9191. 10am-4pm daily. A collection of buildings designed and built by well-known painter Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia (1909-1982). There is also a gallery showcasing some of his work. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Free.
  •    Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave (next to the Amtrak station),  +1 520-623-2223, e-mail: ContactUs@TucsonHistoricDepot.org. T-Th 11am-3pm, F-Sa 10am-4pm, Su 11am-3pm, engine with cab visits Sa 10am-1pm. A small museum devoted to the history of the railroads in southern Arizona, housed in the historic Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. The star attraction is the Southern Pacific Railroad 1673 steam locomotive. Docents and volunteers available to answer questions about the locomotive on Saturdays. For other times, tours can be arranged upon request. Free.
  •    Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S 6th Ave,  +1 520-792-9985. M-F 9am-5pm, Sa-Su 10am-5pm. $6 (children 1-18), $8 (adults), $6 (seniors); $2 2nd Sa of the month.
  •    Arizona History Museum, 949 E 2nd St (University of Arizona Campus),  +1 520-628-5774. M-Sa 10am-4pm. $5 (adults), $4 (seniors and youths 12-18).
  •    Arizona Historical Society (Downtown History Museum), 140 N Stone Ave (in the Wells Fargo Bank bldg),  +1 520-770-1473, e-mail: AHSTucson@azhs.gov. T-F 10am-4pm. Exhibits detail businesses and homes in early Tucson, including drugstores, police and fire departments, and a barbershop. $3 (adults), $2 (seniors and youths 12-18).
  •    Old Pascua Museum and Yaqui Cultural Center, 856 W Calle Santa Ana (south of Grant Rd and Fairview Ave),  +1 520-884-8527, 520-990-5949. T-Sa 9am-1pm. Museum that features more than 4000 artifacts on display from the old Pasqua tribe that is displayed in a home built in 1926 and is listed in the National Register of Historic places. Free (donations welcome).

Parks and wildlife

  •    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N Kinney Rd,  +1 520-883-2702. Oct-Feb 8:30am-5pm, Mar-Sep 7:30am-5pm. More like Biosphere II than a walled institution, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is part zoo, part natural history museum and part botanical garden all in one Tucson attraction. From tarantulas to black bears, coyotes to scorpions, the museum-zoo is an entrancing and full-contact tribute to the Sonoran desert's wildlife (the wire fences are nearly invisible and the hummingbirds in the buzzing, walk-in aviary seem to think you are the attraction). Give yourself time to soak in the Southwest splendor and if time is all you have, the Museum is also on the fringes of Saguaro National Park, home to the world's largest forests of Saguaro cacti. $14.50/adult, $5/child (Sep-May); $12/adult, $4/child Jun-Aug.
  •    Colossal Cave Mountain Park, 16721 E Old Spanish Trail, Vail,  +1 520-647-7275. 16 Mar - 15 Sep 8am-5pm daily, 16 Sep - 15 Mar 9am-5pm daily. A "dry" cave with 3.5 miles of mapped passageways. The cave was used by pre-Columbian Native Americans, and rediscovered in 1879. Also on park grounds are a cowboy ranch museum, a butterfly garden, horseback trails, and picnic and camping facilities. $5/auto, $1/bicycle (park); $13/adult, $6.50/child (cave tours, no reservations required).
  •    Sabino Canyon, 5900 N Sabino Canyon Rd,  +1 520-749-8700, e-mail: friends@sabinocanyon.org. Spectacular desert canyon cut into the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, now on Tucson's northern urban fringe. A tram (for a fee) will take visitors 9 stops into Sabino Canyon; a separate tram will take you into Bear Canyon and to the trailhead of the popular Seven Falls Trail. To park, you will need a Coronado Recreation Pass ($5/day, $20/year) which is also good for use on Mt. Lemmon.
  •    Saguaro National Park, 3693 S Old Spanish Trail,  +1 520-733-5153. The most dense forest of the iconic cactus of the American West. The park has two unconnected units to the east and west of Tucson.
  •    Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N Paseo del Norte,  +1 520-742-6455. "Tohono chul" means "desert corner" in the Tohono O'Odham's (desert people's) language, and this haven in the midst of Tucson's burgeoning north side offers a tea room, gift shop, bookstore, and art gallery in the middle of trails and gardens. There are extensive botanical exhibits explaining the native plants, and a wonderful plant-sale area in which to buy them for your own garden. Many kinds of desert birds are frequent visitors.
  •    Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way,  +1 520-326-9686. This beautiful oasis in the heart of Tucson was originally the home of Bernice and Rutger Porter. Dating to the 1920s, the earliest buildings on the property were constructed of adobe bricks made right on site. True to the vision of Mrs. Porter, Tucson Botanical Gardens is a place of beauty, inspiration and education about the natural world.
  •    Reid Park Zoo, 1030 S Randolph Way,  +1 520-791-4022. Jun-Aug daily 8am-3pm, Sep-May 9am-4pm. Cares for more than 500 animals. The zoo has a state-of-the-art facility for treating cancers with radiation and heat therapy, and treats animal patients from zoos all over the country. $9 (adults), $7 (seniors), $5 (children 2-14).

Other sights

  •    Old Tucson Studios, 201 S Kinney Rd,  +1 520-883-0100. Ever notice that Hollywood's Old West, the backdrop for the gun-slinging and cryptic comments of Hollywood's Western icons – Wayne, Eastwood, Douglas and Newman – has much in common with the Wild West of today's Tombstone and Geronimo? They've all been filmed at the Old Tucson Studios, originally built in 1939 for the making of the William Holden vehicle "Arizona." Still an active film, TV and commercial set, it's also a nostalgia-themed park, with main drag shootouts, corseted can-can dancers, educational shows, pre-Prohibition saloons, restaurants, and gift shops.
  •    Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tohono O'Odham Reservation (90 minutes southwest of Tucson),  +1 520-318-8726, e-mail: outreach@noao.edu. 9am-3:45pm daily. A "don't miss" for the astronomy buff, there are several astronomical telescopes plus a large solar telescope. Several guided tours are available, as well as a nightly observation program (reservations required). $9.75 for all three tours (adults).

Pima County Courthouse

University of Arizona

Centennial Hall

Arizona State Museum

Borderlands Theater

Tucson Museum of Art

Tucson Convention Center

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Biosphere 2

Old Tucson Studios

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona National Golf Club

Saguaro National Park

Arizona Stadium

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Sabino Canyon

El Tiradito Wishing Shrine

Pima Air and Space Museum

Berger Performing Arts Center

Tucson Indoor Sports Center

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Popular events in Tucson in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Tucson

Background

Tucson has always been a crossroads. Until recently, water was relatively plentiful in Tucson, in spite of its location in the middle of a desert. This made it an important travel route, an agricultural center, and a communications nexus.

Tucson's history is ancient, with evidence of human occupation stretching back 10,000 years. Between A.D. 200 and 1450, the Hohokam culture dominated the area -- the Pima and Tohono O'Odham peoples that still occupy the area are descendants of the Hohokam. In 1699, Father Eusebio Kino, S.J., established the Mission San Xavier del Bac, southwest of present-day Tucson. Over the next 100 years, other missions were established in the area, but European presence was minimal.

It wasn't until 1775 that the Presidio of Tucson was created by Don Hugo O'Connor. At that time, it was the northernmost Spanish outpost in the New World. In 1821, Tucson became part of the new country of Mexico, and in 1853 it became part of the United States as a result of the Gadsden Purchase. In 1863, Arizona became a US territory, and by 1880, its population was around 8,000. In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to enter the union.

Today, Tucson is still a crossroads, with European, Native American, Mexican, and Asian cultures bumping into one another, in sometimes conflicting and sometimes compatible – but always interesting – ways.

Visitor Information

  •    Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau, 100 S Church Ave (downtown), toll-free: +1 800-638-8350. M-F 9am-5pm, S-Su 9am-4pm. Offers a free Official Destination Guide, Golf Guide or Dining Guide.

Activities

Festivals and events

  • Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, Tucson,  +1 520-322-5773, fax: +1 520-322-6031, e-mail: tgms@tgms.org. late January - mid February. For two weeks every winter, the world meets in Tucson as it becomes a bustling, international marketplace of buyers and sellers at the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. The "Gem Show" is much more than a single event at one location. Rather, there are thousands of participants and attendees at nearly 50 sites around town. Dozens of shows take place at the same time – in giant white tents, at hotels and resorts and at exhibit halls. There's something for everyone at the many open-to-the-public shows – from gold and diamonds to granite bookends and glass beads – and from fine specimens of dinosaur fossils to opals dug from the Australian Outback.
  •    Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S 6th Ave,  +1 520-741-2233, toll-free: +1 800-964-5662, e-mail: info@tucsonrodeo.com. February. An annual week-long rodeo held in mid-February, the highlight of which is the Rodeo Parade. This event marks the start of rodeo season in the US. $22-$60.
  •    All Souls Procession, Downtown (route begins on N 6th Ave and E 6th St, and ends on W Congress Ave after I-10). November. One of the largest festivals in Tucson and based on the Mexican holiday 'Dia de los Muertos' (Day of the Dead), the highlight is a 3-mile parade beginning at dusk. Very colorful, with participants dressing in traditional or creative costumes. Takes place annually on the first Sunday in November.
  •    Winterhaven Festival of Lights. December. An annual event in the Winterhaven subdivision north of Fort Lowell Road displaying a huge Christmas light festival involving several dozen homes in the subdivision. The festival starts in the middle of December, ending a few days before New Year's Day. The event is very popular, and traffic to the event is always very congested.
  •    La Frontera Tucson International Mariachi Conference, 504 W 29th St,  +1 520-838-3908, fax: +1 520-792-0654, e-mail: timc@lafrontera.org. late April. An annual four-day event celebrating mariachi music and folklorico dance. International stars and local students alike give performances.
  •    Carnival of Illusion (An Evening of Intimate Magical Wonders), 445 S Alvernon Way (Doubletree Hotel between Broadway and 22nd),  +1 520-615-5299. Fr and Sat at 6pm and 8:30pm. National recipients for "Excellence in Magic" Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed present a Victorian-inspired magical show.The Tucson Citizen calls the show "the best show in Tucson." Book early – seating is regularly sold out since it is quite intimate with only 35 guests per show.

Sports and outdoor activities

  •    Roller Derby Scene (Junior, Men and Women Roller Derby), 1145 E Valencia Rd. The roller derby scene in Tucson is a vibrant one. Tucson Roller Derby, formerly national contenders in the sport, are now a low-scoring team that does not play high level teams but does put on bouts almost every week. Tucson Derby Brats, the first junior roller derby league in the nation, is one of the top junior derby teams in the nation. The Tucson Gunslingers are a men's team that usually plays with the Phoenix men's team. Any one of these teams are a great introduction to the world of roller derby.
  •    Santa Catalina Mountains +1 520-749-8700 (Santa Catalina Ranger District). Managed by the Coronado National Forest, the Santa Catalinas northeast of Tucson offer a number of hiking trails for all skill levels, as well as opportunities for horse riding, mountain biking, camping, and even downhill skiing. The range is crowned by the 9,157-foot Mt Lemmon, which provides a cool retreat during hot summers. The area also includes Sabino Canyon (listed above), as well as the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area. For access to Mt Lemmon, visitors are required to purchase a Coronado Recreation Pass ($5/day, $20/year), which also is good for use in Sabino Canyon as well as Madera Canyon (listed in South Central Arizona).
  •    Tucson Mountain Park, 8451 W McCain Loop,  +1 520-877-6000. This minor mountain range to the southwest of the city has an excellent trail network for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. The park has many healthy stands of saguaros. The higher-elevation trails provide beautiful views, and are a popular place to photograph sunsets. Free.

Food

As you can guess, Tucson is a veritable hub of Southwestern and Mexican cuisine. But Tucson is an adventurous town (easily the most liberal metropolitan area in Arizona) and as a result of its diversity, has a vibrant culinary culture.

Budget

  •    Beyond Bread, 3026 N Campbell Ave,  +1 520-322-9965. Amazing sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, made from ingredients that are as fresh as possible. (In addition to baking bread daily, the restaurant also roasts its turkey and beef on site.) They also have an espresso bar and pastries. A nice place for lunch, but watch out – it's very popular, and you may have to wait in line. Average sandwich (hot & cold) costs around $6-6.50, chips included.
  •    Birrieria Guadalajara, 304 E 22nd St (SE corner of 22nd St and 4th Ave),  +1 520-624-8020. A hole-in-the-wall Mexican diner frequented by the Hispanic workers and Gringos in the know. All the standard Mexican fare, but an unusual emphasis on caldos or soup. Birria is shredded beef in its own broth – this place makes the best!
  •    Bison Witches, 326 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-740-1541. Bison Witches...say it fast and it sounds like 'buy sandwiches'. Bison Witches features tons of different sammies that are *huge* and will fill you up. Bread bowl soups are another popular choice at this deli/bar and is a college student's dream of a chill place to hang out and get in on some great drink specials. Thursdays is a great night for hanging out here. $7.50 for a HUGE sammie.
  •    Buddy's Grill, 7385 S Houghton Rd,  +1 520-881-2226. Buddy's Grill dishes up American meals dominated by seafood and steaks. Expect the average entrée to cost roughly $8 to $12.
  •    Char Thai, 5039 E 5th St,  +1 520-795-1715. It's not always easy to find good Asian restaurants in the desert, but this hole in the wall has to be near the top of anyone's list of favorites. Owned and operated by former residents of Bangkok, the restaurant has a huge selection of tasty curries and noodle dishes. The lunch specials are a great value.
  •    East Coast Super Subs, 187 N Park Ave,  +1 520-882-4005. 11am-8pm daily. For the best subs on the west coast, go to East Coast. An absolute must-eat for the cheesesteak connoisseur. Just as famous as the dozens of legendary subs is the memorabilia collection rivaled by none. Winner Best Wings in Tucson 2009.
  •    Eegee's, 2510 E Speedway Blvd,  +1 520-881-3280. A Tucson favorite, you shouldn't leave Tucson without trying Eegee's. A sub shop popular for their frozen slushie-snowcone combo (locally referred to simply as "Eegees") has piña colada, strawberry and lemonade flavors year-round and a unique flavor of the month. Eegee's are also known for their fries, which you can order with ranch dressing ("Ranch Fries"), marinara sauce ("Pizza Fries") and fries with chili ("Chili Cheese Fries"). They also offer pretzels, cookies, chips and sub sandwiches.
  •    El Güero Canelo, 5201 S 12th Ave (the original, south of Irvington), 2480 N Oracle Rd, 5802 E 22nd St. One of Tucson's most famous restaurants, primarily known for their Sonoran hot dogs. Offers a large selection of Mexican dishes. They have some of the best carne asada in the Southwest!
  •    El Molinito, 5380 W 22nd St,  +1 520-747-9162. A local favorite! Great Mexican food at a great price. Has been in Tucson for at least 20 years and has great service. Known for their amazing frozen margaritas. Try their beans and carne asada tacos on a soft flour tortilla.
  •    Epic Cafe, 745 N 4th Ave (SW corner of 4th Ave and University),  +1 520-624-6844. An eclectic coffee house with outdoor tables, free WiFi, good organic food, intricately tattooed wait staff, and an independent vibe. Bulletin boards to see what is going on in town. Coffee $1-$3; soups, pastries, and sandwiches $3-$8.
  •    Guillermo's Double L Restaurant, 1830 S 4th Ave (South Tucson),  +1 520-792-1585. Solid Mexican food, with good atmosphere and prices.
  •    La Indita Restaurant Mexicano, 622 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-792-0523. Wonderful food and ambiance, a real gem. Also offers Native American dishes and many vegetarian options.
  •    Mi Nidito, 1813 S 4th Ave,  +1 520-622-5081. Authentic Mexican food with excellent margaritas. Dinner for two with margaritas is about $30.
  •    Pat's Drive In, 1202 W Niagara St (between St Mary's Rd and Speedway),  +1 520-624-0891. An old time "drive in" (carhop service however does not exist--you must walk up to the order window). Lunchtime is packed with Tucsonans ordering the most famous Chili and Cheese Dogs in the state. French fries made from fresh potatoes on site. Lots of hot sauce. Arriba!
  •    Rigo's Restaurant, 2527 S 4th Ave (South Tucson),  +1 520-882-9323. Mexican food with breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets, as well as menus. Known for their carne asada and margaritas. Mariachi bands on Friday nights.
  •    Viva Burrito Co, 1372 W St Marys Rd,  +1 520-623-5211. 24 hrs. A local fast food chain known for its large, tasty breakfast burritos at a cheap price ($2.10).
  •    Yoshimatsu Healthy Japanese Eatery, 2745 N Campbell Ave,  +1 520-320-1574. Local, homemade Japanese food. Recently opened a sushi bar within the same building. Great romantic location and a separate vegetarian menu.

Mid-range

  •    The B-Line, 621 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-882-7575. A small but very popular cafe nearby the University of Arizona. You can't go wrong with nearly anything served here. Excellent pies and cakes that average $6 a slice - which are an absolute must if you come by. Several import and domestic microbrewery beers and wines are offered, and they also sell Mexican Coca-Cola too. Entrees average about $10 a plate for a main dish for either lunch or breakfast.
  •    Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E Pennington St,  +1 520-622-6400. Fantastic Southwestern cuisine in a fun atmosphere. Downtown, Cafe Poca Cosa serves Mexican cuisine as you've never tasted it before. Order the Plato Poca Cosa ($20), and chef-owner Suzana Davila will choose three entrees for you to sample. Trust her judgment. (Dinner for two, about $46).
  •    Cup Cafe, 311 E Congress St,  +1 520-798-1618. Unusual, eclectic mix of Indian, Thai, Japanese, American and Mediterranean food, easily the most interesting restaurant in Tucson. You'll find plenty of vegetarian and some vegan options. On a nice day you can sit outside.
  •    El Charro Café, 311 N Court Ave,  +1 520-622-1922. Opened in 1922, El Charro is the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned Mexican restaurant in the United States. The food is classic Southwestern, with more Sonoran influences than many Tucson restaurants.
  •    El Mezon del Cobre, 2960 N 1st Ave,  +1 520-791-0977. A lesser known but not unknown, great Mexican restaurant. Great place to go to dispel fears that Mexican food equals heat. The seafood, particularly the fish, is great for those with delicate palates. Dinner time includes roaming Mariachi singers.
  •    El Minuto Cafe, 354 S Main Ave,  +1 520-882-4145. Authentic Sonoran cuisine in an adobe house in the barrio, open since 1936. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but do order the mole if they have it on the day you are there. The carne seca is superb and the chiles rellenos are magnificent. Make sure to sample the fresh, made-on-the-premises tortillas. Combine this with a visit to El Tiradito, which is nearby.
  •    Guadalajara Grill, 1220 E Prince Rd,  +1 520-323-1022. A popular, fun and entertaining Mexican restaurant featuring live Mariachis 7 nights per week, fresh salsa made table-side, and homemade tortillas. A great place to go with friends to enjoy the lively and homey atmosphere. The restaurant is running a culinary tour of Mexico, and features dishes from different states of Mexico each month that are fun to try. Dinner time includes roaming Mariachi singers.
  •    Guadalajara Fiesta Grill, 750 E Kolb Rd,  +1 520-296-1122.
  •    North Restaurant, 2995 E Skyline Dr (La Encantada Mall),  +1 520-299-1600. Italian in heritage, but extremely experimental. Dishes range from pizzas to pasta to steak, and are normally in the range of $19-$25 (others depend on market prices).
  •    Rosa's Mexican Food, 1750 E Ft Lowell Rd #164 (by N Campbell Ave),  +1 520-325-0362. Excellent Sonoran-style Mexican food in this family-owned and operated storefront restaurant. Rosa's salsa is consistently voted one of the top three in Tucson by the readers of the Tucson Weekly. The food is heavy on the meat and cheese, with buttery tortillas and delicious refried beans. Entrées $7-$10.
  • Sushi Ten, 4500 E Speedway Blvd. Japanese, sushi.
  •    Takamatsu, 5532 E Speedway Blvd #1,  +1 520-512-0800. Takamatsu concentrates on Japanese and Korean dishes where it's common to order sushi. Entrées $12-$20. Also, you'll notice that there is habachi-style cooking.
  •    Vero Amore, 3305 N Swan Rd #105,  +1 520-325-4122. This is a certified pizzeria that hand-makes their mozzarella, and has the finest ingredients from Italy. Their pizza crust is crispy and chewy and oh-so-delicious! Try their Prosciutto Caprese Salad ($9.50) and Margarita Pizza ($9.25). Another favorite is the Capricciosa Pizza ($11).
  •    Vivace Restaurant, 4310 N Campbell Ave,  +1 520-795-7221. Vivace is an upscale restaurant that focuses on and serves Italian dishes. Entrées $12 to $20, casual dress. The atmosphere is enhanced by flowers at the tables. The establishment is spacious. Table talk requires you to speak up a bit here. Also, you'll notice that there is an open kitchen.
  •    Yamato Japanese Restaurant, 857 E Grant Rd,  +1 520-624-3377. Highly regarded sushi and Japanese.

Splurge

  •    Arizona Inn, 2200 E Elm St,  +1 520-325-1541. Serving an American fare, this is a fine dining facility. Expect the average entrée to cost in the range of $20 to $30. Architecturally, the restaurant is in an historic structure. The restaurant has a southwestern U.S. style decor. The interior is enhanced by prints and flowers at the tables, and the lighting is set quite dim. This is a white tablecloth restaurant, and the fireplace adds to the atmosphere and mood here. The establishment has several dining rooms. It has a romantic atmosphere.
  •    The Dish Bistro, 3131 E 1st St (SE corner of Speedway and Country Club),  +1 520-326-1714. 5pm-10pm. A "speakeasy" bistro hidden inside a wine shop. Intimate, midtown bistro offers an eclectic selection of 'Little Dishes', 'Green Dishes' and 'Big Dishes' from a seasonal menu. 'Dish of the Day' features fresh seafood. Exquisite, daily soup with Chef's 'amuse'. Near-endless wine selection, as any bottle in The RumRunner – the adjoining wine shop – can be enjoyed in The Dish for $12 over retail. "Best of Tucson 2008" (Tucson Weekly). Make sure to book ahead. $20-$30 entrees.
  •    Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6360 N Campbell Ave,  +1 520-529-5017. Fleming's is known for its prime steak and elegant, cherry wood atmosphere. Its wine list features over 100 wines available by the glass. This steakhouse also offers bar menu specials until 7pm.
  •    The Grill at Hacienda del Sol, 5601 N Hacienda del Sol Rd,  +1 520-529-3500. Mobil four-star American-style grill featuring (Fall 2004) swordfish, Angus beef, buffalo sirloin, lamb, Scottish salmon, and other entrées. Reservations recommended.
  •    Mr. An's Teppan Steak, Sushi, & Seafood, 6091 N Oracle Rd,  +1 520-797-0888.

Drinks

Tucson has an active wine community, with many retailers, restaurants and wine bars regularly offering scheduled wine tasting events. Cochise County, southeast of Tucson has many wineries, some of which welcome visitors.

The majority of Tucson's nightlife for young and old is located in three small areas of the town near the University of Arizona, all within walking distance to each other. The three are: 4th ave, University, and Downtown. Tucson nightlife tends to start later than nightlife in other areas of Arizona, such as Phoenix or Scottsdale. Expect bars and clubs to be sparsely populated until approx 10 - 10:30 pm on an average weekend night.

4th Ave stretches from University ave in the north to downtown Tucson in the south (only about 1/2 mile long). This stretch of 4th ave is the main nightlife strip of Tucson and filled with bars and restaurants of all varieties on each side of the street.

The downtown Tucson area, just south of 4th ave tends caters to a nicer and wealthier crowd and is home to many of Tucson's higher class restaurants and cocktail bars, as well as the famous Club Congress.

The University ave area of Tucson starts on University/Euclid on the west and and runs several blocks until it ends into the school. It is approximately a 10 minute walk along University Ave from the 4th ave area. Like 4th Ave, University contains a strip of bars, stores, and restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes and ages (not just college kids).

  •    Barrio Brewing Company, 800 E 16th St,  +1 520-791-2739. Popular microbrewery near the train tracks that meander through downtown Tucson. Built into a former industrial warehouse, the interior features high ceilings and concrete floors while the long patio outside faces the train tracks and provides a view of the Downtown skyline. $3 pints during happy hour and a good happy hour food menu.
  •    Bison Witches, 326 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-740-1541. Located at the heart of Tucson's 4th Avenue historic district, Bison Witches is a funky little bar and restaurant that serves amazing sandwiches, has a large selection of beer and has great margaritas. Bison Witches is always full but the wait for a table is never more then 15 minutes. At night, it can get crowded now that the back patio has been remodeled into an outdoor bar.
  •    Club Congress, 311 E Congress St,  +1 520-622-8848. If you feel like dancing, this is the place to go. Located in the historic Congress Hotel, you'll find three bars and one dance floor, featuring techno dance beats and live bands. Call ahead to see who's playing. cover charge.
  •    The HangArt, 512 N Echols Ave (between 5th and 6th St),  +1 520-477-7410. varies. Tucson's edgiest live music venue, the HangArt hosts a wide range of performers and musicians almost every night of the week. Anything from punk, folk, indie rock, alternative, hip hop, or electronica and combinations thereof may be available. The HangArt is also a gallery with frequent shows by local visual artists. The main venue is unique, a giant hanger-like storage facility holds the performers and a standing room combined with an outdoor open air seating area further away from the stage. The interior has a large white screen for video art projections which accompany the live music. Truly the most unique and amazing music venue in Tucson. varies, but cheap.
  •    Kon Tiki, 4625 E Broadway Blvd,  +1 520-323-7193. A Polynesian-themed bar with fruity, Cruzan-laden concoctions that's been in Tucson since 1963. Don't mind the snake behind the bar, the servers are nice and there is no cover. A reasonable place to drink, as $10 can get you feeling quite good. The Scorpion here is a must--but it is illegal to drink one by yourself, so be sure to arrange for a designated driver. Weekends can be very busy. $4.50-7.50.
  •    Maloney's Tavern, 213 N 4th Ave (south end),  +1 520-388-9355. Popular large bar with large flat screen TVs playing sports are everywhere. Good atmosphere, relaxed early, and a party atmosphere later at night. 2-for-1-drinks on Thursday nights, but beware, it can get packed on Thursday and Saturday nights with locals and college kids. No cover charge ever. Formerly was twice the size and had a dance floor, but was split into two bars, Maloney's and a country bar The Wreck, and no longer has a dance floor.
  •    Nimbus, 3850 E 44th St, Ste 138,  +1 520-745-9175. Popular microbrewery that serves quality food, with a monkey as its mascot. This is the actual brewery which also serves their beer and food. Located in an industrial complex in Tucson.
  •    O'Malley's Bar and Grill, 247 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-623-8600. 11am-2am. The largest and most lively bar on 4th Ave. Pool tables, indoor and outdoor areas, and opens a large dance floor in the back later at night. Live music or DJs on the weekends. Expect a line and a large crowd here after 10pm on Fri and Sat. Drink specials throughout the week during the day. Attracts both the college and local crowd. $5 Cover on Fri/Sat nights after 10pm, military free with ID.
  •    Plush Inc, 340 E 6th St,  +1 520-798-1298. Live music - talented local, regional, and national touring acts 5-7 nights a week.
  •    The Surley Wench Pub, 424 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-882-0009. While a popular hangout for the local punk and lgbt crowd everyone is welcome. When bands are playing a $5 dollar cover is often charged. The Wench has two pool tables, an air hockey table and a lot of fun decor to peruse. They also often play B movies on a big screen over the entrance. Serves food until 2am.
  •    The Wreck, 213 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-388-9355. Until 2am. Tucson's most popular country-western bar, and the only country bar on 4th ave. Large dance floor, cheap drinks, and plays a mixture of country and dance songs. Lively crowed and the bartenders dance on the bar coyote ugly style. If you're looking to dance to country music in Tucson, this is your place. Gets very crowded Thurs-Sat, but never difficult to get a drink or dance. No cover. Shares a building with Maloney's.

Shopping

  •    Bahti Indian Arts, 4330 N Campbell Ave #73,  +1 520-577-0290. M-Sa 10am-6pm, Su 8:30am-4pm. Sells regional Native American arts and crafts.
  •    Bookman's Entertainment Exchange, 6230 E Speedway Blvd (other branches at 3733 W Ina Rd; 1930 E Grant Rd),  +1 520-748-9555 (Speedway location). 9am-10pm daily. Practically a Tucson institution, the original branch opened on Speedway over 30 years ago. Besides used books, they also have used CDs, DVDs, video games, etc.
  •    Grey Dog Trading Company, 4320 N Campbell Ave,  +1 520-881-6888. Specializes in Native American arts and crafts.
  •    Medicine Man Gallery, 6872 E Sunrise Dr #150 (Colonia Verde Shopping Center),  +1 520-722-7798. Specializes in western painter Maynard Dixon, but also represents a number of other western and Native American artists.
  •    Old Town Artisans, 201 N Court Ave,  +1 520-623-6024. Sep-May M-Sa 9:30am-5:30pm, Su 11am-5pm; Jun-Aug M-Sa 10am-4pm, Su 11am-4pm. Sells Mexican and Arizona crafts, including jewelry and home decor.
  •    The RumRunner (The Rum Runner), 3131 E First St (just off SE corner of Speedway & Country Club),  +1 520 326-0121. 11am - 10pm. Wine and spirits shop, with large international selection. Full-service cheese and deli counter, with wine tastings and in-house bistro.
  •    San Xavier Plaza (in front of Mission San Xavier del Bac). A few stalls here sell friendship bowls (beautifully painted ceramic bowls) made by the Tohono O’odham.
  •    Silver Sea, 330 N 4th Ave,  +1 520-624-9954. Offers sterling silver jewelry at competitive prices. Interesting little figurines (fantasy, Gothic, Egyptian, skulls) and a variety of giftie-type things. Silver Sea has been in business since 1993 and moved downtown in 2003. Recently transported to 4th Ave, Silver Sea is owner-operated--"Lizzie"--will help you find the perfect goodie to bring back with you. "Stardust" and "Cake" label jewelry available in limited supply. Lots of one of a kind items!
  •    The Summit Hut, 5045 E Speedway & Rosemont, 605 E Wetmore & 1st Ave,  +1 520-325-1554, 520-888-1000. Offers great gear and resources for getting outdoors around Tucson. A very local shop with more than 30 years of experience. Go in and ask questions, these guys will take the time to help you out.
  •    Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 4100 S Palo Verde Rd,  +1 520-294-4252. Fr 3pm-11pm, Sa 7am-11pm, Su 7am-3pm. A great place to find all sorts of oddities.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Tucson on Wikivoyage.

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