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Tucson AZ

Tucson, AZ

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Tucson, Arizona, located in high desert country, enjoys some 350 sunny days a year. Known as “The Old Pueblo,” the state’s second largest city and home of the University of Arizona blends Old West history with rich, distinctive colors and flavors from South of the Border.

In Saguaro National Park, one of Tucson’s top attractions, visitors can hike or ride horses to enjoy views of North America’s largest cacti and iconic symbol of the Southwest, the Saguaro. At the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, regional wildlife like rattlesnakes, bobcats and coyotes await in a zoo-like setting that holds more than 300 animal species and over 1,300 native plants species. Mission San Xavier del Bac attracts architecture and art enthusiasts with its blend of Baroque, Spanish and Moorish styles. This 18th century mission houses a wealth of beautiful art works, including original frescoes.

Also on the list of must-see attractions is the Amerind Foundation and Art Gallery, a non-profit research institution housing one of the best collections of Native American artifacts world-wide. Meanwhile, the Arizona State Museum, which is located on the University of Arizona Campus, preserves one of the country’s largest, most significant collections of whole-vessel ceramics in its Pottery Project, part of the Save America’s Treasures Program.

Visitors can stop by Miraval Spa for a luxurious, relaxing herb-infused massage or La Encantada, Tuscon’s Rodeo Drive, for shopping at Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Victoria’s Secret, BCBG and other fashionably elegant stores. When it’s time to eat, the “Mexican food capital of the United States” offers many options, including Mi Nidito where former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s dining experience was highlighted on the Food Network’s “Man vs. Food.” For a culinary experience worth its typical 30-minute wait, eating salsa picante and guacamole at El Charro Café is as memorable as simply being in the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant. For those wanting casual, cozy dining with a great view of the city and not far from the University of Arizona’s campus, Teresa’s Mosaic serves reasonably-priced chimichangas and juevos rancheros. Many locals also recommend BK’s Carne Asada and Hot Dogs, a taco joint that makes the “best tacos in town.” For hip ambiance and a creative twist on traditional Mexican cuisine, make reservations at Cafe Poca Cosa’s, where a new menu items spice things up daily.

After dinner, it’s fiesta (or siesta) time. Along Fourth Avenue, Tuscon’s happening happy hour place and the heart and soul of the city's nightlife scene, visitors will find everything from quiet watering holes and loud sports bars to dance clubs and spots to catch great live music. Overnight stays in one of the more than 75 Greater Tucson lodging choices give visitors time to rest up before exploring more must-see area attractions. One place, the Historic Hotel Congress on the west side of town, even features live music on Friday nights and welcomes night owls for dancing on Saturdays. Hotel rooms that accommodated the John Dillinger Gang retain their vintage feel while providing up-to-date amenities, including wireless internet service.

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