Tucson City Guide

I went to Tucson a couple years ago and loved it. Actually, I just love all of Arizona. I’ve always had the best time meeting cool strangers there. My favorite (between Tucson and Phoenix, Sedona, and Flagstaff) is Tucson for the hip but gritty vibe and nature, especially the saguaros everywhere!

Where I Stayed

  • AirBnb – I loved the place I stayed at in 2017 – a private room northeast of downtown. I had the bathroom to myself and the adjoining library too! Good news – the space is still on AirBnb!
  • Hotel McCoy – I found a 40% deal for Small Business Saturday so we got to stay at the Hotel McCoy for $80/night. We chose the king bed with the kitchenette and after 3 nights in a shitty Rodeway Inn, the green tea bamboo bed was super comfortable. What we liked more was the service and lobby. Upon arriving, we received tokens for free local beer/wine. We hung out at the bar and met a sweet girl who we later ran into at the bars. Their pool was heated and open, and we were able to bring drinks out. In the mornings, they had oatmeal, PopTarts, and all-day free Presta Coffee. Their lobby had giant communal tables where we hung out in the evening playing board games and outside, we played cornhole by the fire pit! I can’t say enough good things – just check out the pictures of this artsy hotel! One of the best I’ve ever stayed at!

Where I Drank Coffee

  • Presta Coffee Roasters – Both times I forgot pictures. I went to their central location in 2017 and then drank copious amounts of their coffee at the hotel.

Where I Ate

  • Welcome Diner – First stop welcoming me into Tucson! I got their chicken and biscuit and enjoyed the mid-century modern decor.
  • Goodness Juice Bar & Fresh Food – I had one of their bowls (unpictured) and ogled their menu of smoothies.
  • Tough Luck Club – Morgue turned bar
  • Reilly’s Craft Pizza and Drink – I didn’t eat the pizza here, but I met some strangers at Tough Luck Club who invited me to sit with them at this busy compound.
  • Renee’s Organic Oven – After hiking Seven Falls in Sabino Canyon, I stopped in for a slice of pizza and prickly pear lemonade. I had their slice of the day, a big slice that filled me up.
  • Time Market – Another good spot for craft pizza by the slice, they also serve sandwiches, beer and wine, and they have lots of specialty chocolate. I hung out here while Jordan went to get Whataburger.
  • OBON Sushi – I stumbled in here drunk in 2017 and then came after hiking. The experience at night is totally different than daytime. At night, it’s super dark and lit up with neon lights. Both times I had sushi and both times it was just pretty good… but I eat a lot of sushi.
  • The HUB – Located downtown, they serve food, but I only had their ice cream. Can’t recall much, but I think I liked it!
  • Cashew Cow – Small but mighty – lots of flavors. I chose the peppermint bark, which was more chocolate than peppermint. Right next to Barrio Bread, which was closed when I went!

Where I Drank

  • Tucson Hop Shop – I stopped in for a beer and a puzzle with some of the nicest people.
  • Tap & Bottle (North) – Open on Christmas Day so we went and perused their great selection of beers from West.
  • Che’s Lounge – Dive bar open on Christmas Day
  • Surly Wench – Huge bar we went to on Christmas Day where they had pool and X-Mas karaoke. There was also a window where they served food (chicken nuggets for me!).

Where I Visited

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – I spent so much time here observing the javelinas and prairie dogs. If you’re driving from Phoenix, go here first as it is nestled in the Saguaro National Park so you’ll be hit immediately with mountains of saguaros!
  • Mission San Xavier del Bac
  • Mercado District – A little indoor-outdoor with Presta Coffee, a Mexican restaurant with a long line, and gift shops.

Where I Stayed Active

  • Seven Falls at Sabino Canyon – This is one of my favorite hikes in the whole world. I hiked this in 2017 by myself, with little experience and fear of water crossings. This time, I came equipped with a pole and just walked through the water. Honestly, wet feet didn’t bug me or anyone else. It’s really hard to stay dry.
  • Tumamoc Hill – This paved hill is located at the U of A and there were lots of people on the trail. It’s a nice spot to see the sunset.

Have you been to Tucson? If so, what should I see/do/eat next time?

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