|From Ballparks to BBQ||
I recently returned from a trip to Tucson, Arizona related to a work conference, and it was my third visit to this city in the desert.
Though the first time was when I was a kid and the past two trips have focused primarily on business, I feel like I’ve experienced enough of Tucson to provide an idea of some of the things you can do there.
Tucson is home to many things, including a variety of resorts, the University of Arizona, the Sonora Desert Museum, beautiful winter weather, an ongoing revitalization of the downtown district, and beautiful landscapes of foothills and desert.
With nearly 1,000,000 people in the greater metropolitan area, it’s a growing and exciting place that blends the energy and activity of a growing city with the culture and heritage of the Southwest.
My first visit to Tucson was during a trip with my dad almost 20 years ago. We took a road trip through nearly the entire state of Arizona and our stay in Tucson included a trip to the Sonora Desert Museum, which is one of the most memorable zoos I’ve ever been to.
Unlike many other zoos that stand out awkwardly in a city in an attempt to be an attraction/theme park, the Desert Museum blends in perfectly with the surrounding topography. It’s essentially a zoo tucked away in the desert.
During my last two trips to Tucson, I’ve been in the Catalina Foothills section of the city at the Westin La Paloma, which is a beautiful resort that features a golf course, spa, first-class dining, and recently renovated guest rooms and a completely re-designed pool area. Much of my time was spent in the conference and meeting rooms, but the resort offers wonderful views of the foothills and the pool area is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day.
While I was in meetings during the conference I attended, my wife enjoyed relaxing by the pool and took advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service to La Encantada, an outdoor strip mall with many well-known stores, including Louis Vuitton, Coach, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew and Lululemon.
I’ve also done my fair share of eating during my past two trips to Tucson. The first visit included eating one of the most famous burritos in America from El Charro Cafe, one of the best meals I’ve ever had at Wildflower, and a true western classic at In-n-Out. My second trip gave me the chance to have my first sonoran dogs from El Guero Canelo, great pizza in a former funeral parlor, and Rice Krispy Treat Ice Cream from Hub in Downtown Tucson.
During the cold months of winter, Tucson serves as a potential spot for a warm-weather getaway. The weather has been fantastic during my previous two visits, which were near the end of April, as its warm but not yet at the sweltering temperatures that Tucson locals deal with during the summer.
It’s also only a short drive from the border to Mexico, if you’re looking for a little south-of-the-border adventure.
And with a downtown area that appears to have bright future with new shops and restaurants opening on a regular basis, I look forward to when I’ll get to visit Tucson again.
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