I was born in Phoenix. Granted, I moved around a lot.. but when I came back to go to college… I went to ASU in Phoenix- Tempe to be exact (not U of A in Tucson). As such, I’m pretty familiar with Phoenix and it’s surrounds… but somehow I just seldom ventured south to Tucson. I have friends that are U of A’ers, lived and loved Tucson. I simple just don’t know it well. For me, it’s super congested (as if you couldn’t say that about Phx). But Tucson has no freeways to get you around. They wanted that old-town feel… and they got it. But meanwhile, Tucson grew up, and now it’s just hard to get around. Admittedly, I don’t know my way around.
I don’t want my friends thinking I am nay-saying their town… much the opposite. I was AMAZED at how charming Tucson was… and how artful. We went primarily to visit the Titan Missile Museum for John’s birthday. We took the Top to Bottom, 5 hour tour, that took us through the silo, the control room, and the inner guts of the only Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) museum. It was fascinating. I strongly recommend it.
During our visit we had the great opportunity to meet up with friends (which we LOVED)… and wander around Tucson a bit, albeit briefly. I was delighted to find how the downtown revival had brought great restaurants, art, and museums. It was colorful and historic just walking around.
Even driving the single highway, I-10, or I-19 toward Nogales, Mexico (and the Titan Missile Museum) is a display of artful mosaics and cement walls lined with interesting imbedded designs.
Downtown Tucson had murals galore (over 300 of them scattered around). I was fascinated by the Day of the Dead-esque artist Martin Moreno which adorned the walls outside the Tucson Museum of Art.. and our own hotel, the Downtown Clifton.
The Downtown Clifton was a great place to stay. It was affordable, convenient, clean, and friendly.
Just down the street was a very pleasant art gallery, WomanKraft, which was full of talented, affordable, interesting art. It made me wish I lived closer to get involved in this great consortium. Around the corner was a wonderful cocktail bar, Penca, making thoughtful original cocktails and snacks, which really made me want to come back.
All in all it was a fabulous visit. The only thing that I would change would be to stay longer.
We’ll just have to come back!