Tucson Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Beat the heat Prepare for scorching temperatures if you're visiting between May and September. Make sure to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen regularly.
- Habla Español? Because of Tucson's large Mexican-American population, it's not uncommon to hear Spanish spoken in certain neighborhoods.
- This is a college town The University of Arizona dominates a large portion of Tucson, and school spirit is strong. Expect heavier traffic and a rowdier atmosphere on football or basketball game days.
One number: 340. That's the average number of sunny days Tucson sees each year. And with daytime temperatures rarely dipping below the mid-60s, Arizona's second-largest city makes a great cold-weather retreat. But Tucson is much more than an incubator for snowbirds. Deeply rooted in Hispanic heritage, "The Old Pueblo" is a hotbed of historic and cultural attractions, not to mention a Mecca for those in search of some spicy Mexican cuisine north of the border.
Despite its ever-expanding size, Tucson exudes a small-town atmosphere. Neighborhoods like the El Presidio Historic District and the Barrio Histórico -- complete with colorful adobe buildings and quaint shops -- make you feel like you're in an old Mexican village. Meanwhile, the high-end restaurants and resorts of the Catalina Foothills district add a contemporary flair that may soon rival that of Phoenix's ritzy 'burbs like Scottsdale. And the trendy shops and rowdy bars surrounding the palm tree-laden University of Arizona campus infuse this city with a youthful spirit. And unlike the sprawling state capitol, Tucson has yet to overpower its surroundings; nearby mountains and wilderness areas like Saguaro National Park offer a true taste of the Sonoran Desert.
How To Save Money in Tucson
- Consider a summer trip Although the weather can get unbearably hot, hotel rates drop about 60 percent from winter to summer. And if you visit in May or September (the edges of the season), you'll find both low rates and lower temps.
- Fly into Phoenix The Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) is a larger, more trafficked airport than Tucson International (TUS). You'll save on airfare if you fly into the former airport and either drive or take the shuttle to Tucson.
- Get a Passport For $18, the Tucson Attractions Passport will grant you two-for-one admission to places like the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.