Posted by: Caroline | September 13, 2011


After a stay in clean-cut, conservative Phoenix, Tucson’s funky desert charm is irresistible. The nearby University of Arizona injects youth and vibrance into the saguaro-filled city.

Fourth Avenue is the premier shopping, eating, and nightlife district. With its bold colors and vintage stores, the street is like a mashup of downtown Athens and Atlanta’s Little Five Points.

The open courtyards remind me a lot of Nicaragua and are a must in such a sweltering place. At least there’s iced coffee to keep you cool.

Can you imagine seeing this sign in Phoenix?

Or this?

One of my favorite Tucson finds was this local/organic grocery store and restaurant operated out of the historic train station.

The patio is a pleasant place to sip a local beer or eat some lavender-honey ice cream…

…and a good place to catch a glimpse of what used to populate this space.

Although I would have happily eaten every meal at Maynard’s, we decided to try out that famous West coast burger joint, In-N-Out. I loved it, but I don’t know if it was the burger–or just the fact that their super-simple menu (with only three choices) is perfect for the indecisive eater (e.g., me).

And although this McDonald’s stop was intended to be a quick charge-up for a hike in Sabino Canyon, we had to linger a bit when we noticed the whole store was dinosaur-themed.

On our walk around downtown, we noticed something that looked a little familiar to our Midtown eyes.

Tucson’s version of the Fox Theatre was distinctly Arizonan, but with enough similarities to our own Fox Theatre at Ponce and Peachtree that we did a double take.

The Pima County Courthouse downtown is another landmark that fits perfectly into its environment, with desert flora and airy corridors.

After our downtown walk, we ventured out in the rental car–not a difficult feat thanks to Tucson’s mind-numbingly precise street grid. This pastel adobe house is typical in Tucson neighborhoods.

We stopped by this beautiful church to take a look inside.

According to our Lonely Planet, no trip to Tucson is complete without indulging at Le Cave’s Bakery.

Proceed with caution; these perfectly soft and sugary doughnuts are addictive.


  1. […] already covered Tucson and it’s surroundings in pretty good detail, so no posts about […]

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