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Living In Tucson, AZ
Getting to Know Tucson, AZ
The brilliant sunsets over Tucson are a perfect introduction to this desert city. Originally a Spanish possession, this jewel in southern Arizona has much to offer. The University of Arizona is a world-class institution and close to downtown. Tucson is also a biker's and runner's paradise, with trails galore, and a near-perfect climate that makes it easy to get outdoors most days. Thanks to its location on a plain in the Sonoran Desert and the surrounding mountains, this Sun Belt city experiences hot summers, low humidity, mild winters and an abundance of sunshine.
Tucson, AZ Attractions
Living in Tucson affords you a wealth of exciting attractions waiting to be explored. Discover the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which includes a zoo and botanical garden. For a taste of the area's Spanish heritage, visit the Jesuit mission San Xavier del Bac, originally built in 1692. The Center for Creative Photography and Titan Missile Museum offer interesting exhibits on their specific subjects. Adventurous residents can tour Biosphere 2, a research facility originally used to study closed ecological systems.
Tucson is a mid-size city with big-city amenities, including a vibrant arts and music scene. Linger inside the University of Arizona Museum of Art viewing works by European and American artists, catch a Broadway-style show at the Temple of Music and Art or listen to masterworks at a Tucson Symphony Orchestra performance.
Tucson Apartments and Neighborhoods
- Downtown: Downtown is the center of everything in Tucson. You'll find museums and other areas of historical interest, alongside the usual collection of shops and restaurants you find in any downtown. It's close to everything, and when you don't feel like walking, there's the relatively new streetcar to help you get around.
- Sam Hughes: Sam Hughes is a strange mix of places that just might be perfect for you. Houses built around 1900 sit on quiet streets, walking distance from shopping and other hustle and bustle of the city. It's also close to University of Arizona, giving it a vibrant, college town feel as well.
- Civano: Like an area that's walkable? That was one of the main motivations in the design of Civano. Walking friendly and featuring a number of shops and cafes, it's the place to go if any of that is on your list of must-haves.
- Catalina Foothills: With great schools and some distance from downtown, this is a great place for families. It's a little on the expensive side, but with the view of the Santa Catalina Mountains, it's worth it.
- Eastside: Like hiking or just spending time outside? Eastside is great for that, with hiking trails, grass fields, and even a garden to keep any nature lover satisfied.
Fun Things to Do in Tucson
When tracking down the right apartment, consider the proximity to annual fairs and festivals. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and the Tucson Festival of Books are both wildly popular. The Tucson Folk Festival takes place each May, and the annual Tucson Rodeo induces even reluctant cowboys to celebrate the spirit of the Wild West. Certain apartments in Tucson, AZ are even located along the rodeo parade route.
If you're looking to do something that doesn't cost money, head to Santa Cruz River Park to stroll along the dry riverbed or to visit the Thursday Farmers Market.
For Families with Kids in Tucson
Parents looking for entertaining, family focused activities can plan a day at Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, an interactive museum of tiny houses and figurines, or gaze at the stars at Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus. For parents reviewing their kids' options for schooling, Tucson offers a mix of public and charter schools, including 9 high schools, 25 traditional and middle schools and nearly 70 elementary schools.
Tucson's Outdoor Living and Natural Beauty
No matter where you live in Tucson, you'll have a view of the mountains in every direction, 350-plus days of sunshine, vivid sunsets and wide-open spaces. Tucson's weather can best be embraced at one of the nearby parks. Here are our picks for the best places to hike in Tucson:
- Tucson Mountain Park: From beginner to lung-busting trails, this 20,000-acre park 15 miles east of Tucson has trails for every skill level, including the hike up to Gates Pass.
- Saguaro National Park: Home to the saguaro cacti, this national park east and west of the city offers hiking trails with opportunities to encounter jackrabbits and Gila monsters as you view the 1.6 million saguaros.
- Pima Canyon: Hike this canyon of craggy peaks and thick forest landscapes to glimpse birds and desert bighorn sheep, just 10 miles north of downtown Tucson.
- Sabino Canyon: Hit the Bear Canyon trail on your way to Seven Falls waterfall, a moderate hike in the Sabino Canyon, which offers a number of trails to see saguaros and ocotillos.
- Catalina State Park: Test your hiking skills as you journey to "The Window" by following the Ventana Canyon Trail, one of Tucson's most daring trails, with its steep switchbacks and challenging climbs. A late fall or winter hike timed to catch the sunset through the natural rock opening is worth the 12.8-mile (round trip) hike.
Tucson also boasts numerous dog-friendly restaurants, dog parks and hiking trails, including Agua Caliente Park on the northeast side of town and Rillito River Park Trail, which offers water fountains at each intersection along the trail.
Getaways from Tucson
When you feel the need to get away, the beaches of San Diego are about a seven-hour drive. Head north, and you can hit the ski slopes in Flagstaff in about four hours. The stark red rock canyons, Coconino National Forest petroglyphs and New Age shops and ancient vortexes draw visitors to Sedona, less than four hours away.
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