Over the past two centuries, Tucson has grown from an adobe-hut village on the far edge of the Spanish frontier into a major Sunbelt city, and yet through all that time and change the Old Pueblo has held on to the disparate cultural ingredients that have made it one of North America’s most unique destinations.
In Tucson, visitors will find the true Southwestern experience, one that is neither encased under glass nor petrified through architectural uniformity; the Southwestern lifestyle is lived, not merely marketed. And what is this lifestyle? Well, it definitely involves a dedication to cultural mixing and a concentration on an active life lived outdoors on the saguaro-lined trails of the desert. This lifestyle is casual and laid-back, with flip-flops and shorts sufficing for dinner-wear, and a friendly margarita-and-sunshine-inspired smile sufficing for a general greeting.
If you’re looking for extreme pampering, holistic pool-side navel-gazing, brisk hikes into the cactus foothills, and horseback rides along ancient trails, there are numerous world-famous resorts at which to stay and play. If you’re longing for physical proof of the myths of the Old West, you’ll find it in many of the city’s museums and historic buildings. If you want to experience the Sonoran Desert, one of the continent’s most exotic natural landscapes, you’ll find it within a short drive of your hotel.
This Old Pueblo is bustling with life, the Southwestern life — one lived just a bit off center, a bit slower, with a mild sunburn and a big happy smile.
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© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition