"A Modern City in the Old Pueblo" Top 5 Page for this destination Tucson by lamentforicarus
Tucson Travel Guide: 965 reviews and 2,224 photos
The sleek high-rise buildings and modern shopping centers in downtown often mislead visitors to think of Tucson as a relatively young and upcoming city. In fact, it is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the United States, with Paleoindian artifacts dating back 12,000 years. Permanent agricultural settlements first began to appear in the area around 1000 B.C. The Tucson Presidio was established in 1775 by Hugo O'Conor, marking the birth date of the town. In 1821, Tucson declared its independence from New Spain and joined Mexico for more than thirty years before the Gadsden Purchase turned Tucson over to the United States. Evidence of Tucson's rich history and unique cultural identity and can be seen in the San Xavier Mission, one of the oldest buildings in the nation (see my Must See pages), and the Yaqui and Tohono O'odham Nations nearby.
Today, Tucson embraces a diverse make up of Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American culture, and celebrates its heritage through a multitude of festivities and events occurring throughout the year. Experience a Yaqui dear dance, a tradition which combines native belief with the Catholic holiday of Easter, introduced by the Spanish. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo or El Dia de los Muertos serves as a reminder of Tucson's strong Mexican heritage.
The natural beauty of the Sonoran desert abounds in the city and its surroundings, drawing hoards of tourists each year. The wide variety of plant and animal life attracts nature-lovers from around the world, and can be seen on the rocky trails of Sabino Canyon, which bend around Saguaros and Prickly Pear cacti in the Catalina Mountains, or the footpaths of Tohono Chul Park (see my Must See pages), where thousands of flowers draw tiny hummingbirds and brightly colored butterflies.
No visitor to Tucson will find a shortage of sights to see and activities to do. Whether you come for the natural beauty and serenity of the Sonoran desert, the 360 days of annual sunshine, or the extraordinary culture and history, you will be captivated by the city's old charm and young heart.
- Pros:Desert beauty, rich history, and laid back attitude
- Cons:Hot in the summer!
An exploration of San Xavier's surroundings gives visitors a more complete picture of the Mission. In front, a number of... more travel advice
Located on Tucson's northside, Maria Bonita serves good Mexican cooking in a fiesta-style atmosphere. Here you can find... more travel advice
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