Discover Tucson’s Suburbs

This post is all about Tucson’s suburbs! Although Tucson has a population of a little over a half a million, combined with the entire metropolitan area, the population is a little over one million people. This article will go over four of Tucson’s suburbs: Oro Valley, Vail, Marana, and Sahuarita.

Oro Valley, Arizona

Oro Valley, Arizona is a suburb to the Northwest of Tucson and has some amazing scenery, which includes the Santa Catalina Mountains to the East and Tortolito Mountains to the North. Oro Valley has a population of 45,000 and, interestingly, the majority of the residence own their own home. A quarter of the residence are over the age of 65 and many own properties in other places in the United States. Tucsonans often times refer to this type of Tucson resident as a “Snow Bird.” There are many golf courses, country clubs, and hiking trails in the area. There are also multiple community events hosted in Oro Valley, including the Oro Valley Festival of Arts, the Oro Valley Music Festival and the Oro Valley Triathlon. Referred to by the Arizona Daily Star Newspaper as the “Tech Mecca of Southern Arizona,” Oro Valley hosts ten high-tech firms. The public schools in Oro Valley are in the Amphitheatre School District and Oro Valley is home to several private and charter schools, including the renown Basis School. Oro Valley has many family-oriented attractions like the Children’s Museum and the Farmer’s Market at Steam Pump Ranch, Aquatic Center, Honey B Canyon Park, and the Gaslight Music Hall just to name of the few. Most of the homes in Oro Valley are newer than 30 years and are in track home communities. Although the home prices are more expensive than Tucson, the crime rate is low and the city is kept up nicely, which makes Oro Valley an amazing place to live.

Vail, Arizona

Vail, Arizona is a suburb to the Southeast of Tucson and is unincorporated, which means it is not technically a city. The Rincons Mountains, which is home to Saguaro National Park East, are to the North of Vail, and the Santa Rita Mountains, home to Madera Canyon, are to the South. The population in Vail is around 15,000 and the homes in Vail are lower price-wise to homes in Tucson and some of the neighborhoods are track communities and some are more rural-type homes on acreage. The Vail Unified School District is award-winning and has been highlighted throughout the country and has an A+ distinction. In general, Vail is made up of families who moved to Vail because of the school district and for the lower cost of living. In fact, 30% of residents in Vail are under the age of 18, and 60% are between the ages of 18 and 65. Close to Interstate-10, Vail offers an easy access to other cities in Southern Arizona where many of the residents are employed. Attractions include Colossal Cave, which is one of the largest dry caves in North America, horseback riding, the Cienega Creek Trail Head, the golf course at Del Lago, and the farmer’s market at Rocking K Ranch.

Marana, Arizona

Marana is a suburb of Tucson located to the Northwest of Tucson and Oro Valley. Marana’s population is growing and is currently right around 50,000 and the median age of residents is 37. Located by the Interstate-10, living in Marana is a relatively easy 90-minute commute to Phoenix, which is very convenient for people who commute to Phoenix for work or for people who like to attend professional sporting events. Marana features beautiful landscapes, with the Tucson Mountains, home of Saguaro National Monument West, to the West and the Tortalita Mountains to the East. Like many areas in Southern Arizona, Marana has ranching and farming in its history and many of the homes are on acreage. Marana has several Master Plan Communities so many of the homes are track homes. There are many things to enjoy in Marana, such as Sombrero Peak and Cathedral, the Wild Burro hiking trail, the Gallery Golf Course at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Premium Outlet Mall, Dove Mountain Park and Gladden Farms Park and splash pad. Seasonally, the Marana Pumpkin Patch has the largest pumpkin patch in all of Pima County open to the public in the month of October, and is truthfully, more like an amusement park with its large variety of kid-friendly activities.

Sahuarita, Arizona

Sahuarita, Arizona is along the Interstate-19 and is a suburb 15-miles South of Tucson and is about a 40-minute drive North of the US/Mexico border. To the East of Sahuarita are the Santa Rita Mountains, home of Madera Canyon. Running through Sahuarita is the Santa Cruz River, which runs typically during a wet monsoon season. Sahuarita, which means “Little Saguaro,” has a population of roughly 35,000 and the median age is 35. According to, Sahuarita is Among the Top 10 safest cities in Arizona and it attracts families raising children. The Master Plan Community of Rancho Sahuarita started building homes around 2000 and most of the homes are new track homes with a community-feel. Close to Interstate I-19, many Sahuarita residents commute to work in Tucson or Green Valley. Madera Canyon is Southeast of the town and offers hiking trails and bird/nature watching. Other attractions include the Titan Missle Museum, ASCRO Mineral/Open Pit Mine, San Xavier Del Bac, which is the oldest European structure in Arizona, and Green Valley Pecan Company, the largest pecan orchard in the world. There are many family-oriented activities, mostly centered around Rancho Sahuarita and Sahuarita Lake, which is a 10-acre man-made lake, which lends for a day of fishing, biking, and hiking.

So there you have it… the four largest suburbs of Tucson in a nutshell. If you are looking to buy real estate in Tucson, I’d love to help you decide which area fits your family’s criteria!

Alexis Burrows

Alexis Burrows, Tucson Real Esate Agent

Are you thinking about buying or selling a home in the Tucson area? Please feel free to contact me to go over your needs: 520-869-3176.

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