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Tucson Travel Guide

Inside Scoop From Tucson Locals

5 Best Photo Opportunities in Tucson

Lee Van Grack Tucson is Arizona's second largest city with a population...Read More

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Tucson OVERVIEW
Tucson’s earth-tone adobe houses and verdant golf courses are set against towering mountains, and framed by tall, stately saguaros in the desert sun. Sleek, bronzed vacationers lounge beside sparkling pools, and chile-spiced cuisine carries the desert warmth into balmy evenings around palm-shaded courtyards. Yet there are far more intriguing facets to Arizona’s second-largest city. It’s also Arizona’s most progressive city, for instance: The city council voted to challenge the state’s controversial illegal-immigrant law; development regulations and government policies strongly discourage water-thirsty lawns; and county regulations discourage night lighting to boost Tucson’s status as a star-gazing haven. The University of Arizona is the home of Andrew Weil’s Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine center, one of the nation’s foremost alternative health centers. And the metro area is one of the leading centers for development of solar power.Best of all, it’s part of, and surrounded by, ...See More the Sonoran Desert, the lushest and most diverse of North America’s four major deserts. Two distinct rainy seasons, winter and late-summer’s monsoon, nurture giant saguaros, old-growth mesquite and acacia, stick-like ocotillos and the novel, largely leafless Palo Verde; most years bring two bloom cycles for some desert flowers. The desert is home to roadrunners, bobcats, javelinas, Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, cactus wrens and innumerable hummingbirds, and most visitors see many of these intriguing wild creatures. The foothills leading into the four major mountain ranges that surround Tucson invite hikers to experience the desert, and its hidden magical springs and waterfalls. Gaze in the distance in the winter and you’ll likely spy snowy peaks in some of those ranges; watch the sky in late summer and you’ll likely see a monsoon thunderstorm’s thunder-and-lightning show. All this while, yes, basking in the sun by the pool, savoring chile-spiced handmade tamales at lunch, placing well-aimed golf shots down cactus-lined fairways, and tapping your toes to the salty beat of mariachi or ranchera music in the evening. Viva Tucson!   See Less
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