Monday, July 18, 2011


(includes Mount Lemmon & Tubac)

Club Congress – 311 East Congress Street; 520-622-8848;; boisterous joint; live bands.
Plush – 340 East 6th Street; 520-798-1298;; cheap drinks.

Arizona Inn – 2200 East Elm Street; 520-325-1541 or 800-933-1093;; historic, luxury, boutique resort hotel spread over 14 tranquil acres of flowers, fountains, gardens, and lawns in mid-town; continually owned and operated by same family since inception under founder, Isabella Greenway, in 1930; casita-style hotel rooms and suites.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort – 7000 North Resort Drive; 520-299-2020 or 800-234-5117;; Santa Catalina Mountains view; spa.
Miraval Resort – 5000 East Via Estancia Miraval (Catalina); 520-825-4000 or 800-232-3969;; very pretty; 4 out of 5 stars by Conde Nast.
Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain – 15000 North Secret Springs Drive; 520-572-3000 or 800-542-8680;
Westward Look Resort – 245 East Ina Road; 520-297-1151 or 800-481-0636;

Café Poca Cosa – 110 East Pennington Street; 520-622-6400;; don’t be put off by location or décor; novel Mexican cuisine; try daily sampler.
El Charro Café – 311 North Court Avenue; 520-229-1922;; 1926 marked invention of chimichanga at this restaurant (for “thingamajig”).
Epic Café – 745 North 4th Avenue; 520-624-6844; epic-café.com; open from 6 a.m. to midnight and serves eclectic menu.
Maynard’s Market & Kitchen – 400 North Toole Avenue; 520-545-0577;; less than 50 feet from train tracks; dark and handsome former train station that attracts upscale crowd; steaks, etc.
Mi Nidito – 1813 South 4th Avenue; 520-622-5081;; good, solid Mexican food.
Stables Ranch Grille – 1 Otero Road (Tubac); 520-398-3759;; German food in historic ranch setting.
Tasteful Kitchen – 722 North Stone Avenue (Dunbar Spring); 520-250-9600;; 4-course raw and vegetarian tasting menu.

Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage – 44 West 6th Street (Dunbar Spring); 520-628-7950;; burrowed in warehouse complex adorned with bright murals and eye-catching stencils; nonprofit community bicycle recycling and education center; rents bikes with helmets and maps.

801 Gallery – 801 North Main Avenue (Dunbar Spring); 520-370-1610;; gallery and studio owned by sculptor Steven Derks.
Enchanted Earthworks – Plaza Palomino; 520-327-7007;; handmade crafts and jewelry.
La Encantada – Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue; 520-615-2561;; in Santa Catalinas’ foothills; stores like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany.
Lizard Acres Studio – 387 North Meyer; 520-792-2063;; call first; inventive public space artist Mary Lucking’s personal studio.
Plaza Palomino – downtown; 520-320-6344;; local merchants.

Biosphere 2 – 32540 South Biosphere Road; 520-838-6200;; Earth systems science research facility currently owned by University of Arizona; center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth; 3.14 acre structure originally built to be artificial, materially-closed ecological system.
Catalina State Park – 11570 North Oracle Road; 520-628-5798;; sits at Santa Catalina Mountains’ base; park is haven for desert plants, wildlife, and nearly 5K saguaros; 5.5K acres (canyons, foothills, and streams) with great bird-watching (more than 150 species call park home); trails lead into Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3K'; gift shop and restrooms, as well as equestrian center, Pusch Ridge Stables, offering horse rides on designated trails; hike to Romero Pools – you ascend trail past waterfalls; make sure to drive Mt. Lemmon/Catalina Highway (scenically ascends through several life zones)..
Center for Creative Photography – 1030 North Olive Road; 520-621-7968;; in hard-to-find building on University of Arizona campus; contains archives of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, W. Eugene Smith, and more.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park – 16721 East Old Spanish Trail; 520-647-7275;; not exactly colossal but certainly impressive; narrow passageways and dramatic lighting keep 45-minute tours interesting; for more adventurous, tours into little-visited parts; also horseback riding, small museum, and picnic areas (El Bosquecito).
Dunbar Spring – Tucson neighborhood just north of downtown; notable for street art; largest mural is on North 9th Avenue, stretching full city block.
Green Mountain Trail – from Tanque Valley Road, drive 4.2 miles on Catalina Highway to Forest Service boundary and continue 17.5 miles to San Pedro Vista; 520-749-8700;
International Wildlife Museum – 4800 West Gates Pass Road; 520-629-0100;; taxidermy.
Kitt Peak National Observatory – Tohono O’odham Reservation; 520-318-8726;; 90 minutes southwest of city; 6.9K feet above sea level; try to book nightly observing program.
Kolb Road – drive along fence to see 4K or so stranded civilian and military aircraft.
Madera Canyon – 303 Old Tucson Highway (Nogales Ranger Station, I-10, Exit 63); 520-281-2296;; outstanding cross-section Southwestern bird habitats (more than 200 bird species recorded); many trails, from desert grassland to mountain forest.
Mount Lemmon & Catalina Highway – 10300 Ski Run Road (Mount Lemmon, in Coronado National Forest);; highest point in Santa Catalina Mountains; named for botanist Sarah Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to top in 1881; Catalina Highway, also called Mount Lemmon Highway, as well as Hitchcock Highway (after Frank Harris Hitchcock) runs up from east side of Tucson up to Summerhaven; beautiful, curving road.
Pima Air & Space Museum – 6000 East Valencia Road; 520-574-0462;; offers tours of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and aircraft graveyard.
Red Barn Theater – 948 North Main Avenue (Dunbar Spring); 520-622-6973;; 60-seat community theater.
Reid Park Duck Pond – 100 Country Club Road; 520-791-4873;; part of Gene C. Reid Park (main entrance at 900 South Randolph Way); bird-watching venue.
Reid Park Zoo – 3400 East Zoo Court; 520-791-3204;
Rialto Theater – 318 East Congress Street; 520-740-1000;; non-profit, talent showcase; books some major acts.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area – 5900 North Sabino Canyon Road (in Catalina Foothills); 520-749-8700, 520-749-2861 or 520-749-2327 (moonlight shuttle reservations);; desert oasis with impressive scenery, hiking trails, and stream; splash in canyon’s waterfalls and swim in natural pools (water conditions permitting), or just enjoy crystal-clear water flowing through rocky canyon guarded by saguaro cacti; numerous picnic tables and many miles hiking trails; narrated tram shuttles visitors up and down lower canyon throughout day, and April-November (not July-Aug), moonlight tram rides 3 times each month (usually nights before full moon); Bear Canyon tram is used by hikers heading to picturesque Seven Falls, which are at 2.5-mile trail end.
Saguaro National Park – 3693 South Old Spanish Trail; 520-733-5153;; embraces Tucson on 2 sides; fields of multi-armed cactus giants; look for unmarked parking lot few 100 feet after Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for King Canyon Trail’s start (, put in by CCC in 1930s; if raining, make sure to walk Creosote Trail to get full sense of what hediondilla (creosote plant) smells like.
Saguaro National Park West – 2700 North Kinney Road (Cactus Forest Drive, from I-10 go west on Speedway toward Tucson Mountains, road name changes to Gates Pass Boulevard at Camino de Oeste); 520-733-5158;; scenic drive through Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park West; quite surreal.
Sweetwater Wetlands – 2551 West Sweetwater Drive; 520-791-4331;; water treatment facility, urban wildlife habitat, and outdoor classroom; tranquil park where visitors can view native wildlife in urban setting; water-rich, stream-side riparian zone supporting huge wildlife variety, including dragonflies, raccoons, hawks, bobcats, and dozens other species.
Tanque Verde Falls – Redington Road; 520-388-8300;; half-day hike to pools & waterfalls in Tanque Verde Canyon; short trail visits pools & waterfalls along Tanque Verde Creek; favorite swimming for locals; low cascades pour into pools that often hold water even during dry season.
Titan Missile Museum – 1580 West Duval Mine Road (Sahuarita); 520-625-7736;; nuclear silo open for tours.
Tubac – 44 miles south of Tucson on US Highway 19; arts community that includes galleries, restaurants (Stables Ranch Grille), and sights (Tubac Presidio State Historic Park).
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park – 1 Burruel Street; 520-398-2552;; founded in June 1752; 50 cavalrymen garrisoned at this remote military post to prevent further rebellion, protect colonists and tmission, and further explore Southwest; 2nd Presidio commander Juan Bautista de Anza II led 2 overland expeditions to Pacific, resulting in San Francisco’s founding in 1776; in 1860, largest town in Arizona.
Tuscon Botanical Gardens – 2150 North Alvernon Way; 520-326-9686;; set amid residential neighborhoods in midtown; focuses on desert plant life, landscaping, and gardening; 5.5 acres.

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