Extra! Extra! Read All About… Tucson!
Southern Arizona. A place with a whole lot of sunshine and mountains which offers a plethora of outdoor activities for people who just like to enjoy life. This post is all about the largest city in Southern Arizona: Tucson. Tucson is the second most populated city in Arizona with a population of just over a half a million, and the entire metropolitan area is just over a million, according to the 2020 census. Tucson, commonly known as “The Old Pueblo,” is home to the University of Arizona, Tucson’s largest employer. This post is all about areas in Tucson specifically, not including suburbs, and is a good resource whether you already live in Tucson and wish for a change or relocating to Tucson for a job or for a new adventure!
Downtown Tucson has had a positive change due to the Rio Nuevo Project over recent years and has attracted many small businesses and beautiful art pieces throughout. Although it has experienced growth in recent years, Tucson’s downtown is still more manageable pace of life than some larger cities. Night life has improved because of the light rail, which was installed a few years ago making it easy to go back and forth from the Downtown area to the University of Arizona area. Top notch cuisine and fresh produce make this area perfect for the foodies out there. There are many theaters in this area to view live performances for the culturally refined folks. New high-rise hotels in the downtown area, including the AC Hotel by Marriott, make this a desirable side of town to stay in while visiting Tucson, as well as the historical Hotel Congress. The homes in this area range from charming early 1900 bungalows to Spanish-style homes on larger-sized lots.
The Santa Catalinas is a mountain chain that spans the entire North side of Tucson and directly below it is the Catalina Foothills neighborhood. Gorgeous views of the mountains and downtown make this area extremely desirable, as well as the fact that it has the highest rated school district in Tucson. Many of the neighborhoods have custom homes on hills without sidewalks and many homes use natural cacti for landscaping. The homes range from modest townhomes to multi-million dollar mansions. Up scale shopping centers like La Encantata and St. Phillips Plaza offers outdoor shopping and restaurants. The Catalina Foothills also has several golf resorts, including La Paloma and Ventana Canyon, which attracts vacationers from around the world. World renown hiking trails are in “The Foothills,” including the hike to 7 Falls which is in Sabino Canyon.
In the heart of Central Tucson lies Tucson’s largest park; 131-acre Reid Park is home to Reid Park Zoo, a baseball stadium, duck pond, public pools, playgrounds and Randolph Golf Course. Other top attractions in Central Tucson include the Tucson Botanical Gardens, which is a butterfly/nature garden, the Park Mall, and upscale shopping and restaurants at Plaza Palomino, just to name a few. The area has many historical neighborhoods built between 1920 and 1960, featuring varied architectural styles. One of the most iconic hotels in Tucson is the Arizona Inn, and is located by one of Tucson’s most famous centrally located historical neighborhoods, the Sam Hughs neighborhood, which also borders the University of Arizona.
East Tucson & Tanque Verde Valley
Tucked in the Northeast corner of Tucson at the base of the Catalina and Rincon Mountains is the Tanque Verde Valley. Tanque Verde means “green valley,” and it is called this because the mountains get a lot of rain running off into the valley, making the vegetation more lush. Most of the homes are ranch-style homes on large lots that are zoned SR-1 and many of the residents own horses and other live stock. The road to Mount Lemmon (which is on the Catalina Mountain chain) makes it appealing for Tanque Verde Valley residents because it is a hop, skip, and a jump to be in a forest with an elevation of 8,000 feet. The school district in the Tanque Verde Valley is one of the best and smallest in the city, which is an attractive quality for many young families. There are also two golf courses, and several “dude” ranches, including the famous Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. Saguaro National Monument East and Agua Caliente Park make Tucson’s East side an incredible and quiet place to dwell.
Tucson has one interstate running through it and it separates both the West and South sides of Tucson. Anything West of the I-10 is considered to be the “West side.” The West side is also positioned along side the Tucson Mountains, which offers amazing hiking trails including Tomamok Hill, one of Tucson’s most popular paths for walkers, hikers and runners, as well as trails in Saguaro National Park West. West Tucson is home to one of the most beautiful resorts in Tucson, the JW Marriott Star Pass Golf Resort. Attractions in West Tucson also include the Sonoran Desert Museum, which is a “living” museum and world renowned zoo and botanical garden. Tucson’s “A” Mountain is also located in Tucson’s West side and has walking trails and a road to the top, for that extra amazing view of the city. Homes on the West side consist of ranches, to track communities, to multi-million dollar mansions.
I hope this article helped you get an inside scoop of Tucson. Please be sure to look out for my next post which will be all about the surrounding areas of Tucson, including Oro Valley, Vail, South Tucson, and Sahuarita. If you are looking to purchase a home, I would love to assist you on the adventure. As a Tucson native, this city is truly my passion and I believe it is important to hire someone who knows the ins and outs of the city you are purchasing in.
Thanks for reading!