Tucson Official Travel Guide - 2021

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READY FOR YOU READY FOR YOU Pima Pima County County Health Health Department Department is is working working with with businesses businesses to to provide provide Pima County Health Department is working with businesses to provide greater protection from COVID-19. Using State and CDC guidelines, greater protection from COVID-19. Using State and CDC guidelines, we’ve we’ve established the Ready for You program. It’s the standard for restaurants, greater protection from COVID-19. Using State and CDC guidelines, we’ve established the Ready for You program. It’s the standard for restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions to reduce the of established You program. It’s to the standard for restaurants, bars, pools, pools,the andReady touristfor attractions to follow follow to reduce the risk risk of infection. infection. bars, pools, and tourist attractions to follow to reduce the risk of infection.

Despite all efforts, high risk groups should continue to minimize public exposure. Despite all efforts, high risk groups should continue to minimize public exposure.

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Despite all efforts, high risk groups should continue to minimize public exposure.



Just Northwest of Tucson, You’ll Find Even More Visit Tucson 115 N. Church Ave., Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85701 800-638-8350, 520-624-1817 Fax: 520-884-7804 VisitTucson.org Email: info@visittucson.org

WIDE OPEN SPACES Waiting to be Explored










Please contact: Cindy Aguilar, PR & Communications Manager 520-770-2145, caguilar@visittucson.org

TUCSON OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE ©2021. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. The information listed in the Tucson Official Travel Guide has been carefully compiled to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, but it is subject to change without notice. Visit Tucson cannot, and does not, guarantee the accuracy of all information and will not be responsible for omissions and errors. Users of the guide are encouraged to verify independently any information contained therein. Many photos in this guide were taken pre-pandemic and don’t always show people wearing masks as may be required. Responsibility for performance of services will be with individual businesses. Visit Tucson shall have no liability for any claims or damages incurred prior to, during, or following the conduct of any business listed in this guide, and the purchaser agrees to hold Visit Tucson, its agents, and employees harmless therefrom. Additional photos provided by Julie Foskett, Pete Gregoire, and Dominic AZ Bonuccelli.

With plenty of room to relax and unwind, you’ll find another one of Southern Arizona’s natural wonders is closer than you think.

Learn More at VisitOroValley.org

Welcome to TUCSON & SOUTHERN ARIZONA! We’re thrilled to share the Tucson Official Travel Guide and hope you will take the time to read it from cover to cover. Inside you’ll find stories that highlight everything from our spectacular wide open spaces just waiting to be explored to top birding spots in the region. In between you can read about local ingredients that helped Tucson gain recognition as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S.; Ted DeGrazia, a local artist who built his home and gallery in the Catalina Foothills; places where you can shop like a local; and so much more. As we write this letter, we’re pleased to report the vast majority of Tucson’s tourism businesses have reopened even though the global pandemic has impacted the way they operate. Hours of operation and ticketing procedures have been adjusted. COVID-19 protocols have been implemented including things such as reduced capacities, additional cleaning measures, and requiring guests to wear masks. However, as a few businesses have yet to reopen (including some mentioned in this guide) we strongly encourage you to reconfirm your itinerary details. Many of today’s travelers are visiting the world from the comfort of their homes, and we understand. Hopefully, this guide will give you a glimpse into our community and why we love calling it home. When you’re ready to travel we look forward to welcoming you, offering the space you need to relax and recharge, and once again providing the perfect place to Free Yourself.


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Top Attractions 4 Inside Scoop 8 Visitor Info / Map 11 Annual Events 56 Worth a Thousand Words 58

OUTDOORS Wide Open Spaces 14 Explore Tucson's gorgeous landscapes on foot, bike, or horseback.

Drive it Home 21 Grab your irons for a golf adventure in the desert.

Go Outside and Play 22 Pima County's trails, parks, and public lands will delight young and old alike.

Parks & Rec 24

On the Cover

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park is easily accessible with districts on the east and west side of town. Saguaros, which can grow to be 60 feet tall and live for 200 years, are only found in a small region along the Arizona-Mexico border.

Stay active amid scenic vistas in the recreational oasis of Oro Valley.

Sonoran Desert Wellness 25 Relax, soothe, and purify yourself while basking in the desert sun.

Congress St, Downtown Tucson




Local Ingredients 30

The Written Word 38

Science City 46

Get a taste of the region and explore the culinary heritage of Southern Arizona.

Thanks to the inspiring nature of the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is a literary incubator.

From research here on Earth to the stars above, Tucson is a hotbed for scientific inquiry.

DeGrazia 40

For The Birds 51

Learn the story behind the art of one of Tucson's legends.

Grab your binoculars and look up in the branches to spot bucket-list feathered friends.

Shop Like a Local 42 Find great gifts at Tucson's independent shops — online or in-person.

Meet Your Sonoran Dog 35 Get to know Tucson’s iconic dish.

Tucson Museum of Art 44

Museums Without Boundaries 54 Discover these museums not confined within four walls.

The Kasser Family Wing is a stunning showcase for the art and history of Latin America.

Tucson Tortilla Town 36 Find your favorite handmade tortilla at tortillerias all over town.

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12 Must-See ATTRACTIONS 1 Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Branch out on the nature paths at Tohono Chul, Tucson Botanical Gardens, and Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson.

2 Arizona State Museum Delve deeper into culture and heritage at Amerind Museum, Arizona History Museum, Etherton Gallery, Jewish History Museum, and Tucson Presidio Museum.

3 Catalina State Park Keep on trekking at Oracle State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park, Picacho Peak State Park, or Roper Lake State Park.

4 Colossal Cave Mountain Park You can also head underground for a different caving experience at Kartchner Caverns State Park.

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Mini Time Machine Museum Of Miniatures

Kitt Peak National Observatory

There’s even more fun to be had at Children’s Museum Tucson/Oro Valley, Reid Park Zoo, and Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.

Keep your focus skyward with tours of Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, Whipple Observatory, and Mt. Graham International Observatory.

7 Mission San Xavier Del Bac Find other examples of historical architecture at St. Augustine Cathedral, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, and Tumacรกcori National Historical Park.

8 Mt. Lemmon Set your sights on such other birding hotspots as Madera Canyon, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, Ramsey Canyon, Sabino Canyon, and Sweetwater Wetlands Park.

9 Saguaro National Park Discover ever more Sonoran Desert beauty at Ironwood Forest National Monument and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

10 Tucson Museum Of Art & Historic Block Be further inspired at Center for Creative Photography, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, Museum of Contemporary Art, and University of Arizona Museum of Art.



Pima Air & Space Museum

Trail Dust Town

Further broaden your scientific horizons at Biosphere 2, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, and Titan Missile Museum.

Rustle up even more Old West history at Museum of the Horse Soldier,

Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum, O.K. Corral, and Boothill Graveyard.

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Tucson Roadrunners

Where Nature Meets Nurture Nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains on 80 acres of Sonoran Desert,

Westward look

Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa is a true desert oasis. With a new $10 Million

renovation, suite sized guest rooms, Sonoran Spa, award winning cuisine and three sparkling pools, Westward Look is where social distancing comes naturally.

800.722.2500 245 E. Ina Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704 www.WestwardLook.com Follow us on Facebook & Instagram! 6 | 2021 OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE



CASINO DEL SOL Just 15 minutes from Tucson International Airport and downtown, you’ll discover Casino Del Sol, The Sol of Tucson, where guests can unwind and enjoy the exciting gaming environment, seasonal dining selections, and luxury resort amenities. As a successive five-time recipient of a AAA Four-Diamond rating, Casino Del Sol is in the business of exceeding expectations and providing the perfect getaway.

along with Tucson’s finest wine list and gracious service at PY Steakhouse. Ume presents a blend of unique sushi and one-of-a-kind Asian creations, Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano features an array of classic Italian favorites, the 24-hour all-American diner, Moby’s, welcomes you home to the foods you love, and Abuelitas turns up the heat for a quick lunch and dinner.

Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center is the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s jewel in the desert and Southern Arizona’s premier luxury and business travel destination. This gorgeous high-rise 215-room hotel is adjacent to Casino Del Sol and La Estrella, their new 151-room hotel with stunning views. In addition to the impressive amenities featured in the resort, the incredible selection of casino games add to the fun. No matter your preference, Casino Del Sol has something for you. Home to more than 1,300 state-of-the-art slots, a variety of table games, bingo, and poker, Casino Del Sol is a gaming destination for everyone, from the casual slots player to the seasoned veteran. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy every shot at Sewailo Golf Club, a Notah Begay III designed 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, featuring Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, designed to embrace Tucson’s natural landscape. From fine dining and Asian fusion to fast, easy Mexican food, and now a modern Italian eatery, Casino Del Sol will please your appetite with a dazzling selection of culinary delights. Enjoy decadent steaks and seafood nightly,

Casino Del Sol was created with one thing in mind, providing guests with extraordinary service and amenities in a setting that is unique to the Southwest. A truly unrivaled and spectacular place to stay and play, make your next getaway to Casino Del Sol — The Sol of Tucson.



Make The Most Of This Very Important Place With Local History And Insider Tips

PUMP IT UP There’s history all around in the Tucson area, and that doesn’t stop when you head towards the foothills of the Catalinas. What’s now a community center, hosting farmers markets, drive-in movies, family events, and so much more, was once a ranch owned by German immigrants established in the 1870’s (before Arizona was even a state). George Pusch and Johann Zellweger (no relation to Jerry Maguire star Renee Zellweger to our knowledge, but maybe!) built a steam pump on the property to get water for their cattle, giving the area its current name. When Oro Valley reopened the property in 2012, a newly renovated five room adobe house belonging to the Pusch family was a new highlight. Whether you’re looking for a glimpse into our area’s history or something to do, Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley is for you.

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LIFE IS A HIGHWAY There’s something about Southern Arizona that makes you want to get behind the wheel—the beauty of the Sonoran Desert as a backdrop, the winding roads, the seemingly endless open space. There’s something for the car-lover in and out of the city, both in and out of the car. Here are three suggestions:


Cruise our Historic Neon Signs

Before there was a freeway running adjacent to downtown, cross-country traffic ran down Oracle Road, Miracle Mile, and Drachman Street as drivers took Routes 80 and 89 to their eventual destinations. Motor hotels with big bright beacons worked to draw tired drivers in for the night. Now, restored 1950s era signs comprise the Neon Art Walk, a glowing reminder of a slower day gone by.


The Franklin Auto Museum

The Franklin Automobile Company built cars in America from 1902 to 1934 before essentially becoming a forgotten part of our country’s vehicular history (although, for what it’s worth, Amelia Earhart drove a Franklin). However, Thomas Hubbard, an avid fan of the brand, didn’t forget, and his personal collection (plus Franklin Auto research materials) now makes up the Franklin Auto Museum, a quirky neighborhood museum, showcasing some amazing old cars.


Drive to Willcox

Head to the Sulphur Springs Valley (more appealing than it sounds on paper, we promise) via Interstate 10 for a quick little daytrip with something for nearly everyone. Love the Old West? Check out the Rex Allen Museum. Visit wineries, orchards, and pick-your-own-produce farms. Head a little farther and check out the eight-mile scenic drive at Chiricahua National Monument. You’ll see another side of Southern Arizona and probably still be back in Tucson in time for dinner.

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TUCSON’S HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS Spend any time looking through Instagram featuring #tucson and you’ll see them: photos of painted doors. There’s a good reason for this ever-present image. The character and color of downtown Tucson’s historic neighborhoods comes through clearly and beautifully. Surrounding the rapidly evolving downtown are neighborhoods still holding generations of history behind their walls (and doors). You can easily walk some of these areas and see architecture from the 1840s to folk and traditional styles of the 1950s. Armory Park saw rapid growth following the arrival of the railroad in 1880, Barrio Anita once hosted a local baseball team in the 1930s (and is home to a great restaurant/market today), and Barrio Libre has more pre-statehood adobe buildings than anywhere in Tucson, as well as the El Tiradito shrine.

Learn more about these neighborhoods and find a printable map at VisitTucson.org/ historicneighborhoods.

THE 800-MILE BACKBONE OF ARIZONA Hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, and equestrians − the adventure of a lifetime awaits you on the Arizona National Scenic Trail. This non-motorized path, part of the National Trails System, stretches 800 miles from Mexico to Utah. It can be accessed from many different places, allowing you to choose your own adventure — whether it’s a day trip, overnight, or the entire trail. The trail near Tucson takes you through Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Saguaro National Park-East District, and the Santa Catalina Mountains with environments ranging from desert to forest. Eight trailheads in the Tucson area provide unlimited opportunities for recreation. The ideal times to hike the Arizona Trail are October–November and March–April.

Detailed maps, trail descriptions, water sources and more is available from the Arizona Trail Association, aztrail.org.

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Welcome to Tucson

We invite you to follow local custom and “free yourself” in laid-back Tucson. Fancy dress is optional. You can explore nature on a hike, bike, or horseback ride; discover real science at a University of Arizona attraction; or take a relaxing spa break.

It’s A Dry Heat

Two-Nation Vacation

Tucson’s climate is mostly dry and clear, with about 325 days of sunshine. Hats, sunglasses, lightweight skin-covering clothing, sunscreen, and reusable water bottles are advised year-round. In the summer: enjoy indoor activities; venture outdoors at sunrise and after sundown; visit nearby mountains; seek shade at the swimming pool. Stay hydrated! Drink water before feeling thirsty.

Head across the international border to Mexico for a “two-nation vacation” with beaches, shops, and restaurants. Travelers are required to present a valid passport at the border and are encouraged to verify auto insurance requirements before driving in Mexico.

History In the heart of the Sonoran Desert region of the American Southwest, Tucson and the surrounding area have been continuously inhabited for more than 4,000 years. First by Native Americans including the Tohono O’odham and the Pascua Yaqui, and more recently by Europeans. Spanish explorers founded Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, which became the City of Tucson, on August 20, 1775.

Time Zone Tucson is in the Mountain Standard Time zone. Except for the Navajo Nation, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. Make sure you set your watch right so you don’t miss last call at 2 a.m.

For information or to make hotel or other travel arrangements, call 520-225-0531 when in the U.S. Visit Tucson operates Spanish-speaking visitor centers in Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico. To make Tucson hotel and other travelreservations from Mexico visit VamosATucson.com.

Bleisure Travel Tucson is open for business and leisure travel. You can host your group meeting here and experience the area through team-building and other planned activities.

GETTING HERE Tucson International Airport Nonstop service to more than 15 destinations, with connections worldwide. 520-573-8100, flytucson.com Amtrak Passenger Rail Located in downtown Tucson’s Historic Train Depot, the Amtrak station is served by the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle trains. 800-872-7245, amtrak.com GETTING AROUND Sun Tran Regional Bus Service Transit centers are located at major destinations throughout the metro Tucson area. The fleet uses such clean-burning fuels as compressed natural gas (CNG), biodiesel, and hybrid technologies. 520-792-9222, suntran.com Sun Link Streetcar In central Tucson, the four-mile Sun Link streetcar connects exciting dining and entertainment districts: University of Arizona, Main Gate Square, Historic Fourth Avenue, downtown Tucson–Convention Center complex, and Mercado San Agustín. 520-792-9222, sunlinkstreetcar.com Shuttle Service, Car Rental & Cab Shuttle service, car rental, taxis, and ride-sharing platforms are widely available in Tucson.

Contact our convention and sports sales teams at 800-638-8350 or TucsonOnUs.com.

Southern Arizona Heritage & V isitor Center Start your exploration of Tucson at the Southern Arizona Heritage & Visitor Center where knowledgeable volunteers share their insights and recommendations, and beautifully crafted displays tell the story of this region’s history, its people, and the land. Located in the Historic Pima County Courthouse, this hub of culture and tourism-related information and activities will soon expand to include the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum and Tucson’s January 8th Memorial. VisitSouthernArizona.com 1-800-638-8350.

115 N. Church Ave.

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Discover big flavors, soaring peaks, and cool temperatures. Extraordinary skies showing daily. Start your adventure at VisitSierraVista.com or call 800-288-3861.

Hacienda del Sol ad


Escape . Relax . Renew




Mount Lemmon


Wide Open Spaces 21

Drive it Home 22

Go Outside and Play 24

Parks & Rec 25

Sonoran Desert Wellness

Tucson Mountain Park

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Everyone has at least one lesson they’ve learned in 2020. It might be how to stay motivated while working from home or that pants with belts could be overrated. Many of us have learned which restaurants have the best takeout or what’s the most underrated TV show to binge on streaming (the answer is Never Have I Ever, by the way). Beyond just learning which masks match best with certain outfits, we’ve all come to understand how much we miss the opportunity to travel. There were surely benefits to our extended time home-bound, but the view was likely not one of them. A change of scenery, the opportunity to explore, the desire to get out and see more than the repeated images of the everyday, it’s part of who we are as people. And there are so many places to go, and seemingly all of them ready with an invitation. Everyday we’re looking at an enticing email promoting a deal somewhere. When nowhere has been your destination for so long, anywhere sounds very appealing.

Here’s our pitch for Tucson. And, strangely, if you look back at ads for this area in the fifties and sixties, you’ll see basically the same lure, plus an adorable drawing of a sun wearing a cowboy hat. Back then, we promised “lots of elbow room in warm, sunny Tucson.” Now, we’re talking about Tucson’s wide open spaces. In 1951, the ad promised the opportunity to “feel like a new person,” which is a bold statement, but maybe? There’s something about the Sonoran Desert — a spirit that has rejuvenated visitors for years: big blue skies, awe-inspiring sunsets, night skies dark enough to provide a nightly show of stars. This isn’t the big-city experience of feeling pushed in every direction, even though Tucson has the amenities and comfort you expect from a big city. Tucson offers room to breathe, places to be where you can have a moment to yourself. If that’s part of your recipe to feel like a new person, maybe they had it right back in 1951.

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The first place to start: Saguaro National Park. It has been said that the National Park system is “America’s Best Idea” and whether you head to the east or west district of Tucson’s extra-accessible National Park, it’s clear that preserving these landscapes, first as a National Monument in 1933, was definitely a spectacular idea. Want to take it easy? Saguaro East has an ultra-drivable eight-mile loop. From there, the Park offers something for every active ambition. Incredible views, possible glimpses of animal life, and of course, the majestic towering cacti that give the park its inspiration and name. Saguaros only grow in a small corner of the world – lucky us – growing to 40 to 60 feet in height over their centuries of life. It’s not hyperbole to say that seeing saguaros in real life is an awe-inspiring experience – way better than any photo on Instagram could possibly capture.

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Top: Saguaro National Park





Yes, a national park is always going to be among the highlights of any trip, but the room to breathe doesn’t stop there. In Oro Valley, Catalina State Park has plenty of saguaros as well (over 5,000, according to their website, although I don’t know who counted), opportunities for RVs and camping, plus hiking trails and the chance to see the area on horseback. 5,500 beautiful acres of the Sonoran Desert, just minutes from plenty of great places to stay in Oro Valley.

Top: Catalina State Park Left: White Stallion Ranch

There was a time when traveling to Tucson meant you were probably heading to a dude ranch, with dozens of them scattered across Southern Arizona. While the choices here have broadened, the chance to explore your inner cowpoke side is still a spectacular option for anyone looking for a truly memorable experience. In fact, it’s so special that families make trips to these family-owned ranches — Tanque Verde Ranch and White Stallion Ranch in particular, but also keep in mind Tombstone Monument and Rancho de la Osa further outside of Tucson – a yearly event on their collective calendars. Wide open spaces are sure to be a plentiful part of your ranch holiday, usually explored on horseback, but these days, also seen by bike or hike as well.

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Speaking of bikes, there’s opportunity to explore Southern Arizona at a variety of speeds on your choice of tires. It’s not scientific, but we think of Tucson as one of the best places to ride anywhere, largely because of the variety. Want an easy ride around town? The Loop is nearby nearly everywhere you might be around the city, 131 miles of car free paths from the foothills to the airport, framing the eastside all the way to downtown. Desire the sort of challenge those training for the Tour de France take on? The ride up Mt. Lemmon has been ranked as one of the best in the world, rising nearly 7,000 feet. Of course, there are also plenty of rides in between. If you like the path to be a little rougher, whether it’s mountain riding or gravel grinding, we’ve got it. Mountain bikers can pick the ride down Mt. Lemmon, racing past trees and across rocks, or a more desert-focused trip, avoiding cacti and kicking up dust. If you have quick typing fingers, you might even be able to sign up for 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, a race disguising itself as a pop-up city for a weekend; challenging, but also filled with camaraderie, new friends, and maybe some beer too.




Gravel riding is very of the moment, and Tucson’s ready. Tucson Mountain Park, just west of the city (and adjacent to JW Marriott Starr Pass, if you need a truly amazing place to stay) has trails ready to ride all day and still make it back to the resort for the sunset tequila toast. Want to get more out there? Look into what the Cyclist’s Menu offers out in nearby (and beautiful) Patagonia — camps with other riders (small, safe groups only for now) with incredible meals made with local ingredients served up every night, the annual Spirit World 100 race to the border of Mexico and back, or a new Airbnb if you want to explore on your own. All of this — *gestures arms wildly* — only scratches the surface of how to create a wide open adventure here in Southern Arizona? What about an outdoor wine tasting in Sonoita? How about exploring the “wonderland of rock” at Chiricahua National Monument? Birdwatching? Oh, the birdwatching. The point is, while there’s a city of nearly a million people in Tucson, it’s easy to find a space for yourself. One where after everything 2020 had to offer, you might be able to take a breath and take it all in. You’re invited to come and explore – and we’ll be sure to leave you six feet of space or more.

Clockwise from Left: Catalina Highway The Spirit World 100 gravel race in Patagonia, AZ


Mt. Lemmon Gravel Grinder race in Oracle, AZ

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When playing golf in Tucson, don’t hurry, don’t worry, and don’t keep your head down for too long. Look up every now and then or you’ll miss the stunning backdrop Mother Nature gives the game in Tucson. The collection of golf options ranges from stately Omni Tucson National Resort, host of the PGA Tour Champions Cologuard Classic, to the “new kid on the block,” Sewailo Golf Club, where course designer Notah Begay III blended native landscape with foliage, lakes, and meandering streams.

Some test their game by playing through the rugged mountain ridges and canyons of El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Club, while others head south to Tubac Golf Resort & Spa and play a hole made famous by fictional golfer Roy McAvoy in the movie Tin Cup.

Between these two are choices that include a private country club experience at the Westin La Paloma, a property that was once a historic stagecoach stop at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, and one of the most photographed holes west of the Mississippi on the Mountain Course at Ventana Canyon Golf Club.

Consider exploring the Tucson area's municipal golf courses; Randolph North (pictured) was home to the Tucson Open when Johnny Miller was winning in the 1980s. At Crooked Tree, you’ll be surrounded by saguaro cacti, ironwood, and mesquite trees until the last putt drops.

Tucson has hosted professional golf tournaments since 1945. If you like to play where the pros did, here are some options: Omni Tucson National Resort, Catalina Course Current home of the Cologuard Classic Randolph North Golf Course Past host to multiple PGA Tour & LPGA events Starr Pass Golf Club Past host to PGA Tour events

Whatever you choose, great golf set upon a breathtaking canvas is all teed up for you in Tucson. Just look up occasionally, and remember to bring your camera.

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Outdoor activities were popular in Pima County even before COVID-19 hit, and there’s no wonder why with so many opportunities to hike, bike, ride horses, picnic, camp, and see native animals. The views are never-ending, so make sure to take your camera!

Explore the beautiful landscapes of Pima County’s parks and public lands.

Go Outside and Play BY APRIL BOURIE

Historic Canoa Ranch is a former cattle ranch founded in the 1800s on a Spanish land grant. Its 4,800 acres provide for walking, hiking, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and photography. The paths here are wide, smooth, and mainly flat. Many of them circle the man-made Canoa Lake, once covering five acres. Today, half of the lake has been transformed into a cienega (or desert marsh) fed by the waters of the smaller lake. The result is an area that is home to a large variety of birds and waterfowl which also attracts bobcats, deer, javelina, and other native animals. Those wanting a longer hike will find five miles of the Anza Trail along the Santa Cruz River running through the property. The Chuck Huckelberry Loop has more than 130 miles of paved trails that encompass portions of Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, and South Tucson. “The Loop,” as locals call it, provides beautiful views of the area’s surrounding mountain

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ranges and unique neighborhoods. Art installations and signage about the area’s history, flora, and fauna are incorporated into its paths. The Loop can be accessed by walkers and bikers at many locations. Opportunities to see wildlife are also prevalent all along The Loop and in places like the Kino Environmental Restoration Project (KERP), a storm water retention basin that has been transformed into a native ecosystem. Wetland and desert birds, such as herons, hawks, swallows, and a variety of hummingbirds are often found here.

No visit to the area seems complete until you’ve gotten “off the beaten path” in some of the areas described above. It’s why people come from all over the world to enjoy Pima County’s outdoor activities.

Hikers, bikers, and equestrians looking for majestic saguaros and stunning city and mountain views will enjoy Tucson Mountain Park. From the moderate Gates Pass and Brown Mountain Trails to the less strenuous Ironwood Loop and Prospector Trails, the park’s 62-mile trail system offers outdoor adventures for all levels. Camping is also available at Gilbert Ray Campground, and picnic areas are scattered throughout the park. Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is known by walkers, hikers, and road riders for its amazing canyon walls lined with saguaros and other native plants. A 3.8-mile paved road leads into the canyon criss-crossing Sabino Creek, which runs most of the year. Some of the most popular desert trails here include Phoneline Trail, located along the mountainside that parallels the paved road, and Seven Falls Trail, leading to an impressive waterfall with seven drops. The scenic Catalina Highway leads to Mount Lemmon, located in the heights of the cooler Santa Catalina Mountains. Here, the altitude provides habitat for plants and animals that could not survive on the desert floor, creating a “Sky Island” effect. Trails on Mount Lemmon pass through towering pine trees, lush ferns, and even wild raspberry bushes. Camping and picnicking are also available here.

Harvesting cholla buds is no easy task. The spines are no joke, but also they’re in season in mid-summer.

Clockwise from Left: The Loop Coronado National Forest Sabino Canyon VisitTucson.org | 23


Oro Valley Aquatic Center



In the 36 square miles that make up Oro Valley, there are plenty of wide open spaces to explore. From hiking to cycling to running and everything in between, Oro Valley—a sports haven in the Sonoran Desert and just a 10-mile ride from downtown Tucson—is an athlete’s playground with majestic views all around. One of the first things you’ll notice about Oro Valley is its location right up against the Santa Catalina Mountains. For gorgeous views, the entire family will enjoy hiking Honeybee Canyon Trail. Keep your eyes peeled for petroglyphs on the North Trail. To experience the mountains up close and personal, try tackling the 50 Year Trail from Oro Valley into Catalina State Park, available to both hikers and mountain bikers. Road bikers will appreciate the miles of bike lanes and paved shoulders, but it’s the Loop that will keep you coming back year after year. The Chuck Huckelberry Loop is more than 130 miles of car-free, paved paths that link Oro Valley to Tucson and the surrounding areas.

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After working up a sweat, take a dip in Southern Arizona’s premier Oro Valley Aquatic Center, featuring an Olympic-sized pool, giant water slide, and a splash pad for kids. Teams from around the world participate in training camps, and triathletes train for the swimming portion of their races at this competition-level venue. In the center of town, Naranja Park is a popular 213-acre multi-use, family-friendly facility featuring a dog park, an archery range, and two archery walking courses. Bring along your teammates and hit one of the four multi-use fields for a game of soccer, rugby, lacrosse, or football. For more wide open spaces, head over to the Oro Valley Community Center, home of El Conquistador Golf and Tennis. There you’ll find 36 holes of championship golf, 31 lighted tennis courts, swimming pools, dining, and more, all in a picturesque setting. With so many places to go and things to do, you’ll want nearby accommodations. Oro Valley has more than 1,000 rooms within a five-mile radius including the El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort; Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites; Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, and the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa.



According to many ancient traditions, the desert is a spiritual, purifying place. And according to many contemporary aestheticians, it’s also a hair- and skin-drying place. No wonder, then, that some of the world’s premier spas reside in Tucson, which basks in the Sonoran Desert sun. Here’s a sampling of unique local treatments that share a single goal: to soothe body and soul.

Canyon Ranch Forget the desolate sands of Lawrence of Arabia. The Sonoran Desert abounds in distinctive flora, from green-branched trees to 40-foot-tall cacti. The Spa at Canyon Ranch draws on the healing properties of several indigenous plants for its Hydrating Desert Ritual. This sensory joyride includes a pore-opening cactus flower body scrub; the application of a prickly pear enzyme with antioxidant properties; a nourishing mesquite flour and red clay mask; and, after a short massage, a soothing soak in a bath redolent with saguaro-blossom oil. You’ll come away stimulated, exfoliated, and relaxed.

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Miraval Native to the Sonoran Desert, the mesquite tree is revered for its gluten free flour, beautiful hardwood, and incredible aroma when used for grilling. Guests at Life in Balance Spa can experience Cara Vida, a unique facial inspired by the Native people of Arizona and their connection to mesquite, or “tree of life” as it’s known for its power to heal, nourish, and protect. This sensual journey begins with a chia seed exfoliation followed by a mask of organic honey, antioxidants, and Omega 3’s. You’ll emerge with skin glowing with new life.

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Casino del Sol The only Native American-owned spa in Tucson, Hiapsi Spa (“heart and soul” in the language of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe) marries modern therapeutic techniques to traditional wisdom. At the start of the Flower Ritual, you are enjoined to breathe deeply and contemplate your connection with Mother Earth as your feet soak in warm, floralscented water. A full-body acupressure massage to release the body’s natural energy is followed by a gentle kneading with essential oils. The perfect finish: slowly sipping a cup of Yaqui herbal tea, a blend of prickly pear, chamomile, chicory, and hibiscus.

JW Marriott Starr Pass The Hashani Spa pays tribute to its natural surroundings with its name—hashani means “saguaro cactus” in the language of the local Tohono O’odham people—and with such treatments as the Arizona Copper Peptide Facial. A renowned antioxidant, copper has played a major role in the state’s history. It’s used alongside such above-ground treasures as prickly pear, sage, jojoba, and aloe to rejuvenate the skin. After a scrub with a soft brush, a toning, a two-layer mask, and a finishing spritz, you’ll be ready to put your best face forward.

Loews Ventana Canyon Inspired by the Southwest’s Native American heritage, the Lakeside Spa’s Aloe Vera and Blue Corn Skin Healer pays homage to a colorful source of sustenance and a plant famed for its healing properties. The treatment starts with the application of a mix of corn masa, desert salt, and aloe and jojoba oils, which simultaneously removes toxins and nourishes the skin. After showering, you’ll be moisturized with a lotion rich in plant extracts and husked in a warming wrap while enjoying a soothing face, neck, and scalp massage.

Hilton El Conquistador Located in the Catalina Foothills, with a spectacular view of Pusch Ridge, SpaWell is Tucson’s newest full-service spa. While many spas have wet and dry saunas, you’ll want to check out SpaWell’s Salt Therapy Lounge which uses salt bricks and salt dust to promote relaxation and rejuvenation while restoring calm. You can take it a step further with a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage where warm salt stones are used to sooth sore muscles and naturally replenish your body with vital minerals.

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Westward Look Wyndham Grand

You’d be hard-pressed to find a treatment that caters more to individual tastes—or makes more direct use of its natural setting—than the Sonoran Spa’s Wellness Garden Ritual. You’ll stroll with the therapist through a lush on-site garden, selecting herbs and medicinal plants with desired properties: lavender for calming, or jasmine for mood lifting. Your chosen botanicals are then mixed with your pick of exfoliant—perhaps Dead Sea salt or organic sugar—and blended into a light oil base. After a shower and massage—you decide the pressure, of course—you’ll feel empowered as well as relaxed.


With its large student population and outdoors orientation, Tucson naturally caters to the health-conscious—and the taste-conscious. Restaurants around town feature healthy menus filled with fresh, local foods. If you want vegetarian or vegan options, these places can dish them out. A longstanding casual favorite, Lovin’ Spoonfuls offers exclusively vegan dishes, from breakfast tofu scrambles to dinners of cashew loaf and garlic mashed potatoes. Open evenings only, the intimate

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Tasteful Kitchen raises vegetarian dining to an art form, using fresh, organic ingredients for its creative dishes (many of them gluten-free). An all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet makes Govinda’s a favorite of the budget conscious. Many selections are Indian-inspired, and peacocks roam the serene restaurant complex. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for its cactus tacos and fried jackfruit version of “carne” asada, Tumerico turns out vegan fare with south-of-the-border flair. The scratch

kitchen uses fresh local ingredients, so the menu changes frequently. Ethiopian food features many vegan and vegetarian options, as patrons of the cheerful Cafe Desta can attest. Dishes are meant to be shared and, best of all, you get to eat with your hands (albeit using spongy injera bread). The owner/chef of the kitschy-chic Yoshimatsu came from Japan with a mission: To serve authentic dishes that are good for you. Carnivores and sushi lovers will be happy here, too.




Local Ingredients


Meet your Sonoran dog


Tucson: Tortilla Town, USA Charro Vida restaurant Photo courtesy of Tucson Foodie VisitTucson.org | 29

Harvesting cholla buds is no easy task. Removing the spines is a multistep process.



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For more than 4,000 years, the land around Tucson and along the Santa Cruz River has been cultivated by its human inhabitants, beginning with the Hohokam—the ancestors of the Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham. Early farmers dug swales and berms to catch summer rains and cultivated plants that grew despite the dryness and the heat of the desert. This rich tradition of Sonoran Desert farming and the gathering of wild foods continues today, making Tucson the longest continuously cultivated place in North America—a fact celebrated by the city’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation. And while Tucson has, of course, changed significantly over the course of 4,000 years, it is still possible to taste its history in the form of heritage ingredients grown for centuries.

Above: Local Chiles Left: Mesquite Beans

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In appearance, the chiltepin is rather innocuous. But eat carefully, because the pea-sized bright red chile pepper packs quite a punch—50,000 to 100,000 Scoville heat units, about 20 times spicier than a jalapeño. Grown for more than 8,000 years throughout Mexico, Peru, the Caribbean, and the southwestern United States, the chiltepin pepper is known as “the mother of all peppers.” It is quite literally the wild great-grandmother of most cultivated chiles and the only wild chile native to the United States. In the last two decades, the chiltepin has become a focus for Southern Arizona botanical conservation. And if you’re a spice-seeker, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s also being celebrated and served by culinary creatives all around Tucson. To see chiltepin plants in the wild, hike to the Wild Chile Botanical Area, a 2,500-acre federal preserve dedicated to the protection of the wild chiltepin. Located near Tumacácori in the Coronado National Forest, it is the first federally protected botanical area for the preservation of wild relatives of domesticated crops.

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To purchase dried chiltepin peppers, visit the Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) store in midtown or shop its online store. In 1999, NS/S led the effort to preserve our northernmost chiltepin populations, now the Wild Chile Botanical Area, and also cultivates chiltepin varieties on its farm in Patagonia, southeast of Tucson.


Chiltepin Pepper

For a taste of this spicy pepper, visit Exo Roast Coffee downtown and order the chiltepin cold brew. This sweet and spicy favorite combines bittersweet chocolate, chiltepin, and single-origin Mexican cold-brew coffee for a full-bodied blend with subtle heat.


Tepary Beans In Tohono O’odham legends, white tepary beans are scattered across the sky, forming the Milky Way. One of the most resilient crops in the world, the species has captured the interest of climate scientists and farmers alike. And while it’s renowned for its ability to thrive in the hottest, driest stretches of the Sonoran Desert, the tepary bean is also beloved by home cooks and chefs. In the kitchen, this high protein, sweet-tasting staple can be substituted for any common bean, and its low glycemic score helps to naturally regulate blood sugar.


At the San Xavier Co-op Farm store, whole tepary beans are available for purchase. Owned and operated by the Tohono O’odham Nation on tribal land, the 860-acre cooperative farm is located just 10 miles south of downtown Tucson.


While the tepary bean’s hardy ancestors grew wild in dry riverbeds or on mountainsides, domesticated varieties are grown today in Southern Arizona. During the summer monsoon season, several varieties are produced at Ramona Farms, a 4,500-acre farm on the Gila River, owned by Akimel O’odham community member Ramona Button and her husband, Terry.

If you’re hungry, visit Welcome Diner and order the Three Sisters Burrito, made with tepary beans, tempura squash, corn, smoked pecan cheese, ranchero, and pico.

O’odham Bean Soup ( courtesy of San Xavier Co-op Farm )


2 cups tepary beans, soaked 6 cups water 4 slices bacon, diced 1 medium onion, chopped 2 carrots, sliced

1 cup celery, diced 1 clove garlic, diced 3 cups tomatoes with juice 1 tsp mixed oregano and cumin


Drain soaked beans, add fresh water, and bring to a boil in a big pot. When beans are tender, fry bacon until limp. Remove bacon; add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to bacon grease; and sauté. Add bacon, tomatoes, and remaining spices and cook for 10 minutes. Add mixture to beans and cook another hour until beans are tender. Serve with flour tortillas or fresh frybread. Dried red chile pepper may be stirred into pot during the last 10 minutes.

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White Sonora Wheat


White Sonora wheat is high in protein and low in gluten. Sweet, earthy, and fermentable, it’s a baker’s dream and a brewer’s delight—and it should be tried in both loaf and pint form. Visit two beloved Tucson establishments for a taste: Barrio Bread and Dragoon Brewing.


To purchase white Sonora wheat grown by BKW Farms, visit the bulk section of the Food Conspiracy Co-op, Tucson’s neighborhood cooperative grocery store, on Historic Fourth Avenue, in the heart of downtown.

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Southern Arizona has become a center for the reintroduction of white Sonora wheat, one of the oldest surviving North American wheat varieties. Introduced by Spanish missionaries and first documented in Sonora in the early 1700s, white Sonora wheat became one of the most sought-after wheats for tortilla making, due to its flavor and dough elasticity. It was extremely popular in the western United States in the 1800s, becoming Arizona’s first export crop, but then rapidly declined in the mid-20th century. Generally planted in the winter and harvested before the summer monsoon, white Sonora wheat tolerates both heat and drought, making it a perfect grain for our desert. Recent strategic partnerships among seed conservation groups, bakers, brewers, and farmers have led to a repopulation of white Sonora wheat. When Wong Yan emigrated to the United States from China in the early 1900s, it was unlikely he would have foreseen the success his family has had with BKW Farms over the last 75 years. Located on acres of land just north of Tucson, BKW has partnered with Native Seeds/SEARCH to grow white Sonora wheat since 2013.

GET TO KNOW TUCSON’S ICONIC DISH bacon-wrapped hot dog

Meet Your

(it 's in there)



(crusty roll)

yellow chile ~ sauce jalapeño


grilled onion

raw onion pinto beans



“It’s the maddest, stoned-teenager invention,” said British food critic Marina O’Loughlin in BBC Good Food magazine. That’s not far off. The creator of this dish—a fluffy bun full of more ingredients than probably makes sense—is lost to time, but a good amount of credit goes to Daniel Contreras, the namesake and legend behind El Güero Canelo.


La Estrella Since 1986 Where? 5266 S. 12th Ave. and 120 S. Avenida Del Convento, Ste. 100


As you might imagine, Tucson is a place where you can get some spectacular tortillas, locally made at family businesses. While the general belief is that corn is the more authentic option, in the Sonoran desert, the influence of Father Kino and his importation of Sonoran white wheat to make communion wafers still reigns here, making flour a solid, perfectly acceptable (and delicious) choice. Most Tucsonans have their loyalty to a certain tortilla factory, but you might need to try a few to pick your own favorite.

What makes them special? They offer spinach tortillas for those looking for a different twist.

Fun Fact

The demand for their tortillas is so high that they had to open a second location.

Alejandro’s Since 1980 Where? 5330 S. 12th Ave. What makes them special? Alejandro’s is among a very small number of local tortilla makers selling their goods across the state.

Fun Fact

They’ve partnered with Tucson Electric Power to increase energy productivity in their store.

La Mesa Since 1996 Where? 3684 W. Orange Grove Rd., 7823 E. Broadway Blvd. and 3923 E. Pima St. What makes them special? They also sell tortillas in whole wheat and jalapeño varieties and are working with local baker Don Guerra of Barrio Bread to include local grain in their tortillas.

Fun Fact

They’re the only tortilla factory with locations on the north and east side of Tucson.

Anita Street Market Since 1985 Where? 849 Anita Ave. What makes them so special? They offer a particularly luscious tortilla variety made with cottage cheese in the batter.

Photo courtesy of Tucson Foodie

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Fun Fact

Ever had a Mexican ice cream sandwich? Try their concha cake — ice cream sandwiched between two conchas (a Mexican sweet bread).




The Written Word 40



Shop Like a Local 44

Tucson Museum of Art Downtown Tucson Mural by artist Fin DAC VisitTucson.org | 37

Jack Kerouac may not have been the first writer to be charmed by Tucson, but his description of this literary desert haven may be the most poetic.


Tucson comes alive through our books and authors.

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“Tucson is situated in beautiful mesquite riverbed country, overlooked by the snowy Catalina range…,” the beat writer declared in his masterwork, On the Road, published in 1957. Sixty-plus years later, the landscape is just as lovely and the city is abuzz with book readings, writing programs, bookstores, publishing houses and one of the biggest book fairs in the country, the annual Tucson Festival of Books. And the old Mexican town turned cool modern hub has been home to legions of bestselling authors from novelist Barbara Kingsolver to the crusty desert sage Charles Bowden. An environmentalist and champion of social justice, Kingsolver set her first book, The Bean Trees, right here in Tucson. The late Bowden, like the Tucson authors Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire) and Joseph Wood Krutch (The Desert Year) before him, wrote fierce books advocating for the fragile desert landscape. After he died, the county gave his name to a community center in the Catalinas, the mountains he celebrated in Frog Mountain Blues.


Tucson’s flat desert and soaring “sky islands” — the assets that transfixed Kerouac — have a lot to do with the city’s romance with the written word. Many of its writers came from the East or the Midwest and fell in love not only with the big skies and long views, but with desert life forms from the saguaro cactus to the Gila monster. Ecologist Gary Paul Nabhan, born in Indiana, and nature essayist Alison Hawthorne Deming (yes, that Hawthorne!), who hails from Connecticut, both lionize that landscape. Tom Miller, raised in D.C., zeroes in on the borderlands.

THE CITY’S ENERGETIC BLEND OF MEXICAN, NATIVE AMERICAN AND ANGLO CULTURES IS A DRIVER OF PROVOCATIVE POETRY AND PROSE. Laguna Pueblo novelist Leslie Marmon Silko, Tohono O’odham poet Ofilia Zepeda, and Mexican-American nonfiction writer Patricia Martin all explore cultural traditions and conflicts (Zepeda, Silko, and Nabhan have all been named MacArthur Fellows.) Tucson also lays claim to mystery author JA Jance, novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, and recent star Victor Lodato, who live in the city part-time, along with a permanent contingent of poets including Luci Tapahanso and Charles Alexander. The city even has a poet laureate: TC Tolbert currently holds the two-year post. And speaking of poetry, the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona is a unique institution that combines a major library and archive with a packed schedule of readings by acclaimed visiting poets and authors. No less a poet than Robert Frost opened the center with a live reading back in 1960. The powerhouse creative writing program at the university does its part by hiring writers and producing new ones; its most famous grad, the late David Foster Wallace, stunned the literary world with his Infinite Jest. The university also plays host to the Tucson Festival of Books each March, with renowned authors of the caliber of Luis Alberto Urrea and Joyce Carol Oates flying in to speak. Typically, the festival audience tops 100,000. Devoted readers also flock to Tucson’s thriving bookstores. At the three massive stores in the Bookman’s used-book empire, fans buy and sell books of all kinds. Connoisseurs patronize the Book Stop, a near-Dickensian operation packed with rare and vintage books, maps and sheet music.

Top: Tucson Festival of Books Left: Antigone Books

Antigone Books, the 45-year-old flagship of Tucson’s new-book emporiums, stages weekly readings and sponsors multiple book clubs. When the beloved store went up for sale, Tucsonans fearful of losing a feisty independent voice rushed to save it. Within four days, local book lovers had raised enough money to clinch a deal that helped three young women staffers buy the store — and ensured its survival for another generation of bibliophiles.

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BECOMING A CULTURAL ICON Every June 14, there’s a celebration at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, complete with cake and ice cream— even though it’s been more than 100 years since Ettore DeGrazia (better known as “Ted”) was born in Morenci in what was still the Arizona Territory. The son of Italian immigrants employed in mining, Ted realized early on that his father’s life wasn’t for him, so he hitchhiked to Tucson to study art at the University of Arizona. Struggling for some time, heading to Mexico City to work with Diego Rivera, trying (and failing) to sell his work on the side of a Tucson road — DeGrazia’s road to artistic success was a long one. The 1940s brought a change in style and methodology (painting with a palette knife, putting his brushes aside), which led to a burst of success that was almost unmanageable for DeGrazia, leading him to work nonstop creating the celebrations of Southwestern life that he’s known for today. By the 1960s,

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DeGrazia’s work was seen on Hallmark cards and then on a UNICEF holiday card that sold millions of copies. Whenever the film biography Ettore: The Ted DeGrazia Story is released (not a thing yet, to our knowledge) it’ll be a wild ride of a movie, but the main plot line might be DeGrazia’s labor of love building his studio, home (and eventual resting place), the Gallery in the Sun. Frustrated by the city’s encroachment on his former studio at Campbell Avenue and Prince Road, DeGrazia went farther north, buying 10 acres in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. DeGrazia built on the space, fueled by his passions. As he told an architecture publication, “In my home, my studios…and my new gallery, I have tried to capture the feeling of what I am, and with reverence and respect for the land from which I came. What I find around me is what I use.” While the city has caught up again to DeGrazia’s creation, the Gallery in the Sun is still a refuge drawn around its creator’s vision of the Sonoran Desert.

Photo courtesy of DeGrazia Gallery

It’s an amazingly beautiful place — you can tell from the photos you see here or online — but once you walk past the ornamental gates and see the adobe buildings surrounded by the lush vegetation of the desert, there’s a solid chance your breath might be briefly taken away. The buildings, in particular the 16,000-square-foot Gallery in the Sun itself, blend into the landscape, but also exist as one of DeGrazia’s greatest works.

Ted DeGrazia

DeGrazia had an antagonistic relationship with the growth of Tucson, writing, “Some of the architects in Arizona work as though they are trying to fit a circle into a square. They ride against the natural laws of the Southwest. They fight the country instead of riding with it.” There’s no question that DeGrazia was successful riding with the spirit of the borderlands. For decades, it’s been DeGrazia’s admiration and understanding of the Southwest that has lured visitors, going beyond art appreciation and letting them experience a deep sense of place.

The gallery is open year-round with permanent and rotating exhibits, giving visitors an opportunity to experience where DeGrazia combined art with home. There’s also the renovated little chapel, Mission in the Sun — which survived a devastating fire in 2017 — and a 30-minute video which tells the story of his life (June 14, 1909 – September 17, 1982) along with a small but carefully curated gift shop if you’d like to take a piece of DeGrazia’s image of Tucson with you.


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LITHA CANDLE @remedes_richewals + @marcyellis 2 MONSOON CHOCOLATE @monsoonchocolate 3 SONORAN ROSIE DESERT HERBALS @sonoranrosieherbal 42 | Tucson Official Travel Guide

Find The Perfect Gift Or A Quirky Souvenir At Tucson’s Boutique Businesses.







SEEDING CLAY WORKS @seedingclayworks 5

PETROGLYPHS @petroglyphstucson

7 MAST @ilovemast 8

POP CYCLE @popcycleshop


WHY I LOVE WHERE I LIVE @whyilovewhereilive

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Photo by Julius Schlosburg


Tucson Museum of Art BY ANNE THWAITS

The Tucson Museum of Art is a cultural treasure in this community: founded nearly 100 years ago, filling a city block in the heart of downtown, with thousands of pieces in their collection covering pre-contact art from Indigenous people of Latin America to cutting-edge art of today. Featuring original and traveling exhibitions, an education center, plus five historic properties reflecting Tucson’s history, there’s something exciting and educational — and if you take a break at Café a la C’art (and you should), delicious — to be found at the Tucson Museum of Art. That’s even more true following the opening of the new Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. Seamlessly integrated into the museum, the Kasser Family Wing is not just a significant addition to the cultural landscape of Southern Arizona, but also an opportunity to develop a new perspective on art produced by peoples and cultures of the continent, from ancient civilizations to today. “The Tucson Museum of Art has always been committed to Latin American art, but with the expanded footprint offered by the Kasser Family Wing, we can engage more robustly in the conversation about art of the region, shaped in partnership with our community,” says Dr. Kristopher Driggers, Bernard and Jeanette Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum.

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... WITH THOUSANDS OF PIECES IN THEIR COLLECTION COVERING PRE-CONTACT ART FROM INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF LATIN AMERICA TO CUTTING-EDGE ART OF TODAY. Three of the five galleries feature art from antiquity. They highlight Ancient American works from the museum’s permanent collection alongside long-term loans from the Kasser and Paul L. and Alice C. Baker collections. These ancient objects are organized in galleries dedicated to Mesoamerican art, art from west Mexico and the intermediate zone, and Andean art, and explore themes of writing, visual narrative, costume, and portraiture. Importantly, the Wing also features an annually rotating gallery dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art, including stories of today presented alongside thousands of years of cultural history.




Science City


For The Birds


Museums Without Boundaries

Pima Air & Space

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As you read this, a spacecraft called OSIRISREx is hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth, scanning the surface of an asteroid 1,600 feet wide named Bennu. OSIRIS has gathered a sample of the asteroid’s surface to bring back to Earth — a 7-year mission. Back here on our home planet, on a clear weekend night, kids are looking up to the stars through a sixteen-inch telescope—at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus—inspired by what they’re seeing.

astronomy, ecology, geology, hydrology, and tree-ring research. Yes, tree-ring research. A unique (and beautiful) building on the south end of campus is home to UArizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, where the science of dendrochronology—or tree-ring dating—was developed. Walk into the lobby to see a giant slice of a tree trunk, telling the story of the environmental history of where that giant once stood.

North of Tucson, about a 45-minute drive from the main campus, a glass-and-steel structure that looks like a futuristic dream of From astronomy and medicine to Earth a colony on Mars is one of the world’s most and climate research, Tucson is a hotbed of scientific inquiry, with an incredible history of extraordinary scientific facilities. Biosphere pioneering discoveries and potential for even 2, built in 1991 and owned by the University since 2011, is a 3.14-acre terrarium open to more breakthroughs. What makes Tucson’s the public for daily tours where scientists science prowess stand out is the public accessibility to real research of breaking dis- have the opportunity to research at a scale coveries. The University of Arizona is known large enough to mimic field conditions, but as a world leader and trailblazer in fields like with the control of a laboratory.


Photo Courtesy of Kitt Peak

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Kitt Peak National Observatory

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Much of what makes Tucson’s landscape unique has contributed to making the city internationally renowned for science as well, an advantage that university leaders and public officials have cultivated and preserved over the decades as the city’s reputation has grown.


“Researchers led by Gerard Kuiper mapped the moon and did the science for the space race to land on the moon and that’s a great story,” says Shipherd Reed of the University of Arizona. “Kuiper founded the UArizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, which continues to this day and is one of the big reasons that UArizona is a leader in planetary science. There’s no other university that can claim to be the lead on NASA missions, like the Phoenix Mars Lander and OSIRIS-REx asteroid study.” Learn more about space exploration and Tucson’s role in furthering that endeavor with exhibits and planetarium shows for all ages at Flandrau.

The mountains rising from the desert-and-grassland lowlands lead to a striking biodiversity—known as the Sky Islands—and are natural boons for ecological and climate studies. For curious visitors and locals alike, many of the telescopes, labs, and archives are publicly accessible, as are the world-class researchers, making for awe-inspiring demonstrations, educational attractions, and thought-provoking lectures and presentations. The astronomy program began humbly a century ago, when A.E. Douglass (who also founded the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, making him a real Renaissance man) began a world-class observatory on what was then a far-flung corner of campus. Then in the late 1950s, with the founding of NASA and the Kitt Peak National Observatory (rising 6,800 feet about an hour southwest of Tucson), the University rapidly expanded its space science programs. Today, the observatory offers tours of the night sky, including the seasonal Meteor Mania programs.

Photo Courtesy of University of Arizona

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For Earth-bound astronomy, the UArizona invented the spin-cast method of creating large telescope mirrors, a breakthrough that’s allowed astronomers to peer deeper into space, and with more precision, as they probe the beginning of the universe. Tours showcase the Steward Observatory’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab underneath the east wing of the football stadium. The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter houses the largest public telescope in the Southwest, offering viewing nearly every night of the year, as well as astrophotography workshops. Science extends off campus as well, with the popular Science Lecture Series every spring and the Science Café Series, which connects scientists and audiences for presentations in more casual settings, including Magpie’s Gourmet Pizza and Borderlands Brewing Co. What’s remarkable about the University of Arizona’s science programs is the breadth of the science activity, from exploring other planets and stars down to the smallest microorganisms on earth. Not many other places can do that. Even more rare? The opportunity for non-scientist types to experience so much of it.

Photo Courtesy of University of Arizona Clockwise from Left: Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab

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Tumamoc Hill A Living Laboratory of Both the Desert and Human History in the Region. Tumamoc Hill, on the edge of downtown, is a remarkably accessible spot to connect with what makes Tucson special. An ecological preserve in the heart of the city, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill spans 860 acres and has been a place of sustained research since 1903. That permanent study launched the scientific fields of ecology and arid land studies. “There are so many layers to the space, and one of the things that’s important to keep in mind is you’re walking in a living lab; not just an ecological one, but a cultural one as well,” says Ben Wilder, director of the Desert Laboratory. “There’s very significant cultural history that’s preserved on the site, and then there’s 115 years of science. Basic concepts about how the desert works came from this piece of land.” Tumamoc and the surrounding area along the banks of the Santa Cruz River is the longest continually inhabited site in the United States, with radiocarbon dating showing maize cultivation 4,100 years ago. About 2,500 years ago, a village was built on the hill, and later extensive farming at the base of the hill supported Hohokam settlements. In 1757, the Spanish established Mission San Agustín del Tucson near the base of the hill. Tumamoc Hill is open to the public from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Thanks to the moderate incline on the winding, car-free paved trail and the reward of a spectacular panoramic view, the hill is popular with joggers, walkers, photographers, and bird watchers.

Download the Tumamoc Tour app Free for iOS and Android devices in both English and Spanish, for a richly informative cultural history of the site and valuable scientific information about the Sonoran Desert. With the app in hand, in just 45 minutes, you get a full sense of Tucson: the culture, the desert, the views, and plenty of exercise.



Clockwise from Left: Elegant Trogon, Anna's Hummingbird, Birding along The Loop

Sweetwater Wetlands:

For the Birds The right landscapes, the right climate, the right place in the world to spot bucket-list feathered friends. “Birdwatching is the opposite of looking something up online. You can’t really look for birds; you can’t make a bird come out and identify itself to you. The most you can do is walk quietly and wait until you hear something, and then stand motionless under a tree, using your animal senses to figure out where and what it is.” - Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing, 2019. With more than 350 species of birds among those sighted in Tucson and Southern Arizona and at birding events every August, this is an incredible place to take up this pastime or to finally check a flying friend off your list. With that in mind, here are some key places in the area for birding.

Built in 1996, this is a paradise for urban birders, with more than 300 species spotted here. There are lots of ducks, but rare birds can be found, too. Tucson Audubon Society offers a free guided walk on Wednesdays; check their website for the schedule, as the time changes with the seasons.

Mt. Lemmon:

The 9,157-foot-tall peak of the Santa Catalina Mountains offers the great views and biodiversity of what naturalists call a sky island. The drive up means you find wildly different species at the base (ladder-backed woodpecker, hooded and Scott’s oriole) than you see nearer the top (mountain chickadee and Grace’s warbler). Did we mention there are fantastic city views along the way and fresh-baked cookies at the village of Summerhaven near the peak?

Madera Canyon:

About 30 miles south of Tucson, the natural beauty of the Santa Rita Mountains appeals as much to birds — such as hummingbirds, quail, and owls — as it does to humans exploring the area. Like Mt. Lemmon, the terrain changes dramatically, leading to a variety of birding opportunities in creek beds and coniferous forests.

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The most place on Earth. Beauty takes many forms, but it starts with scenery that makes your heart leap. Add to that soaring monoliths that cradle an array of luxurious resorts, quaint inns and B&Bs, spas, art galleries, renowned wellness practitioners and boutique wineries to satisfy the mind, body and spirit. You’ll want to stay more than a day!








85% Outdoors 100% Adventure Enjoy two miles of scenic walking trails while visiting animal and plant friends.

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Tucson’s “Crown Jewel” The Place to Be for 90 years. Bringing Tucson together with music, movies, magical memories, and more.

For Upcoming Events, visit FOXTUCSON.COM Box Office: 17 West Congress VisitTucson.org | 53 520-547-3040



ADVENTURE ABOUNDS AT PIMA COUNTY ATTRACTIONS. Have you ever spied on a mountain lion in his den? Would you like to go spelunking by flashlight to search for hidden treasure? Perhaps knowing the power of launching a missile is more your style, or imagining yourself as a CIA agent who has the intelligence on the SR-71 Blackbird unknown to the general public until 1982. These adventures are often only seen in movies, but in Pima County, visitors have the opportunity to experience them all at family friendly attractions that have both indoor and outdoor spaces to make visits on both warm and cool days enjoyable. One of Pima County’s most popular attractions is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which exposes visitors to the grandeur of the Sonoran Desert running from the southern areas of Arizona and California to Baja California in Mexico. The Museum’s 98 acres include a zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, and a small aquarium and natural history museum. In addition to seeing a variety of native animals in their natural habitats, visitors can also safely spy on the museum’s iconic mountain lion in his den. It’s thrilling to be that close to such a powerful animal! All ages enjoy exploring the cactus-lined paths, seeing bobbing sea horses, and walking through the recreated cave and climbing through a human-sized packrat nest.

Photo Courtesy of Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 54 | Tucson Official Travel Guide

Titan Missile Museum

The highlight of any visit to Colossal Cave Mountain Park is exploring the cave, which can be done on a traditional tour with lighted pathways or on a Ladder Tour that squeezes visitors wearing lighted helmets through narrow passages. No matter which tour you choose, keep an eye out for the treasure stashed somewhere in the cave by train robbers in the late 1800s. The cave isn’t the only activity that can be enjoyed here. With 2,400 acres to explore, visitors also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding on the park’s many trails, as well as camping and picnicking. Titan Missile Museum takes visitors 35 feet underground into a Titan II missile silo — missile included. The 45-minute guided tour includes the operators’ accommodations and a simulated launch of the missile. This experience truly allows visitors to feel the drama such a launch would evoke. The tour ends with a view of the missile itself, an awe-inspiring sight. Those wanting to

learn more or visitors not wanting to walk the 55 steps down into the silo can view the missile from the top on a self-guided topside tour. Aviation enthusiasts won’t want to miss Pima Air & Space Museum, featuring nearly 400 historic aircraft, displayed both in hangars and outside over 80 acres. The museum hosts a variety of unique planes — including the previously-mentioned SR-71 Blackbird, the only manned aircraft to exceed Mach 3 — as well as aerospace exhibits. Although visitors are welcome to walk the grounds, the tram tour is led by retired pilots who flew many of these planes. Adventurous experiences abound at these Pima County attractions, all of which have been certified by the county to be “Ready for You” with COVID policies in place. They look forward to hosting you soon!

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ANNUAL EVENTS This list of signature Tucson and Southern Arizona events highlights each event in the month it traditionally occurs. However, we strongly encourage you to double check their websites to ensure they have not been cancelled or postponed due to the global pandemic.



American Indian Arts Exposition usaindianinfo.com

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo epicrides.com

Dillinger Days hotelcongress.com TAR Soccer Shootout fortlowellshootout.org Tucson Desert Song Festival tucsondesertsongfestival.org Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase tucsongemshow.org Tucson Jazz Festival tucsonjazzfestival.org Wings Over Willcox wingsoverwillcox.com

Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering cowboypoets.com Cologuard Classic PGA TOUR Champions Event cologuardclassic.com La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo & Parade tucsonrodeo.com MLS Preseason in Tucson fctucson.com Savor Food & Wine Festival saaca.org/savor Tubac Festival of the Arts Tubacaz.com Tucson Gem and Mineral ShowÂŽ tgms.org



Arizona Distance Classic arizonadistanceclassic.com

Arizona International Film Festival filmfestivalarizona.com

Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair fourthavenue.org Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival kj-vineyards.com Sugar Skulls Indoor Football Season Opens tucsonsugarskulls.com Tucson Cine Mexico tucsoncinemexico.org Tucson Festival of Books tucsonfestivalofbooks.org Tucson Invitational Games tigsports.com Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival arizonachambermusic.org Wa:k Pow Wow facebook.com/wakpowwow

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Cyclovia Spring Ride cycloviatucson.org Pima County Fair pimacountyfair.com Tucson Folk Festival tucsonfolkfest.org Tucson International Mariachi Conference tucsonmariachi.org


NOVEMBER All Souls Procession Weekend allsoulsprocession.org Dusk Music Festival duskmusicfestival.com El Tour de Tucson eltourdetucson.org Fall Open Studios Tour ost.artsfoundtucson.org GABA Bike Swap bikegaba.org Holiday Artisans Market tucsonmuseumofart.org Loft Film Fest loftfilmfest.org




Agave Heritage Festival agaveheritagefestival.com

HoCo Fest hocofest.com

Amerind Autumn Fest amerind.org

Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb bikegaba.org

Southeast Arizona Birding Festival tucsonaudubon.org

Film Fest Tucson filmfesttucson.org

A Southwest Nutcracker tucsonregionalballet.org

Patagonia Fall Festival patagoniafallfestival.com

Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair fourthavenue.org

San Ysidro Festival missiongarden.org Willcox Wine Country Spring Festival willcoxwinecountry.org

Southwest Wings Festival swwings.org Tucson Presidio Birthday Celebration tucsonpresidio.com

Wyatt Earp Days tombstonechamber.com

Rex Allen Days rexallendays.org TenWest Impact Festival tenwest.com


Tucson Meet Yourself tucsonmeetyourself.org

Chile Festival heirloomfm.org

El Dia de San Juan Fiesta facebook.com/diadesanjuancommittee

Tucson Modernism Week tucsonmod.com

El Tour Loop the Loop eltourdetucson.org

Ha:San Bak Saguaro Festival colossalcave.com

Oktoberfest on Mt. Lemmon skithelemmon.com

Tucson Roadrunners Ice Hockey Season Opens tucsonroadrunners.com


JULY HarvestFest-Sonoita Vineyards sonoitavineyards.com Sweet Corn Festival appleannies.com

Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo sonoitafairgrounds.com Sonoran Restaurant Week sonoranrestaurantweek.com Tucson Fall Gem Shows tucsongemshow.org Tucson Pride in the Desert tucsonpride.org

Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta mexicanbaseballfiesta.com


Holiday Nights tohonochulpark.org La Fiesta de TumacĂĄcori nps.gov/tuma NOVAÂŽ Home Loans Arizona Bowl thearizonabowl.com Parade of Lights & Festival downtowntucson.org Patronato Christmas at San Xavier Del Bac patronatosanxavier.org Tamal and Heritage Festival casinodelsol.com Tucson Marathon tucsonmarathon.com

Find out more at: VisitTucson.org/events

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WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS Tucson has an incredibly inspired Instagram community, and we’re continually floored by the amazing images that our visitors and neighbors post. Share yours by tagging @visittucson + #visittucson

Sarita Rides Tucson MTB-Style @saritamendez

Wildin’ Out in Tucson With Gina @wildginaa

Blazing Sunset @tzin.garcia

Two Explorers Are Better Than One @abeventurers

Southwest Style & Adobe Vibes @weboughtanadobe

Harris’s Hawk & Desert Petroglyphs @skyislandfalconry

Escapism Toronto Enjoys @BarrioBread @escapismto

58 | Tucson Official Travel Guide

San Xavier Soul @kelvinaz_photo

Makin’ A Splash at @hiltonelcon @beautyandthecycle

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60 | Tucson Official Travel Guide

Your Next Adventure Awaits Step away from it all and explore Cochise County’s wide open spaces. Enjoy hiking, cycling, stargazing, bird watching, camping, wine tasting, and so much more. You’re sure to be captivated at every turn.

Explore Our Communities



VisitTucson.org | 61

It’s time to enjoy yourself again.

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