Featured Destination: Tucson, Arizona
Written by: Sydney M Crago on July 09, 2018
Resting in a bowl-like valley between four mountain ranges, sits the city of Tucson. This a bustling desert city that doesn’t often appear on lists of must-visit places in the United States, but perhaps it should. With a vibrant food scene, an extensive list of outdoor activities, and unique attractions, Tucson, or “Old Pueblo” as it’s sometimes called, has something for every traveler.
UNESCO City of Gastronomy
Tucson is a foodie’s dream destination. In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named Tucson, Arizona a Creative City of Gastronomy. Tucson has developed distinctive flavors bolstered by local ingredients, like spicy chiltepins, and the Native American and Mexican traditions of food preparation. The strong focus on sustainable farming and support of local products empowers Tucson-based chefs to create dishes that inspired the farm-to-table movement.
Visitors are invited to dive into the food scene with the more than two dozen annual food festivals and numerous farmers markets. Boasting “The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food,” Tucson challenges its guests to explore the Mexican influence on the region and fill their stomachs along the way.
And don’t underestimate the drinks. Local breweries cater to craft beer lovers while prickly pear margaritas made with liquor from local distilleries appeal to those who prefer to sip on cocktails. Nearby wineries make a perfect day trip for those looking to sample sangria among the sites of the Sonoran Desert. All in all, visitors to Tucson should come hungry!
For those travelers who are searching for outdoor adventure, Tucson has everything from birdwatching to mountainous hikes. Saguaro National Park is home to giant cacti, which have become the symbol of the American Southwest, as they stand guard over the desert. The National Park offers guests the chance to marvel at these unique plants through the day and camp in their midst through the night.
Within the park and throughout the Tucson area, there are numerous trails to explore. Hikers and horseback riders can venture out to explore the local plant life and take in the sweeping views from the foothills and mountains that surround the city.
Golfers can partake in a round on one of the many area courses, including a 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Avid birdwatchers are able to catch glimpses of a variety of species, including roadrunners. With sunsets that paint the sky in rosy pinks, golden yellows, fiery oranges, and regal purples, visitors won’t forget Tucson’s natural beauty.
Things to See
Exploring Tucson can lead visitors to some one-of-a-kind experiences. The Pima Air and Space Museum houses over 300 planes across 80 acres and 5 massive hangars. Through this museum visitors can also schedule a tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) Facility on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Often called the “Boneyard,” this facility is home to over 4,000 aircraft, making it the largest aircraft storage and preservation location in the world.
Old Tucson offers guests an escape to the wild west. Here, guests can watch stunt shows and musicals or enjoy the western-themed rides and games. Tours lead visitors around the town to highlight the locations and elements that have appeared in numerous western films.
Other must-visit sights in Tucson include:
• Mission San Xavier del Bac is one of the oldest churches in the United States, originally established as a Spanish mission in 1700.
• The Titan Missile Museum showcases the technology and history of the cold war.
• The city’s art museums provide guests with a chance to dive into world-class art and the unique southwestern style of art.
For more information about Tucson, Arizona you can visit: visittucson.org/.
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