Travel: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona may not be high on your list of places to visit, but I’ve spent some time there over the years and it’s got a few things to offer.  After high school, a very good friend of mine moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona.  I went to visit her and instantly fell in love with the campus.  It’s a gorgeous campus with palm trees and cactus and old buildings intertwined with new buildings.

Many years later, we lived in Phoenix and my niece went to college at the University of Arizona.  While the campus is beautiful, the surrounding area is the Sonoran Desert at its finest – barren and deserted looking.  You get the full desert experience with Tucson.

Tucson Arizona

It is gorgeous once you get a little bit out of town and into the hills.  It’s also home to the world renowned Miraval Resort and Spa where Oprah and Gayle had a girl’s getaway.  You know it’s good if Oprah went there.  And since Oprah went there, of course I want to go there, too one day.

Here are some things to do in Tucson:

Where to Stay-

Westin La Paloma – This is a great resort, but the only drawback is It’s huge.  There are several different pools, and buildings, so our room was quite far from the closest pool.  And the closest parking spot was a little far as well.  You know, we had to walk.  The pool was freezing in March, but it had a water slide, and that’s all that mattered to my 10-year-old.

Tucson, Arizona

Lowes Ventana – The drive to the Lowes is gorgeous, and it’s pretty secluded from the rest of the city.  I preferred this resort to the Westin only because it was smaller and more manageable.  There is one pool and no water slide {the 10-year-old was not happy about this,} but there are Prickly Pear Margaritas, and Pina Coladas, so I was happy.

Tucson, Arizona

What to Do-

Pima Air and Space Museum- We moved from Arizona last year, but before we left, I wanted to take my daughter to the Pima Air and Space Museum.  There are acres and acres of defunct airplanes that you can walk around and get up close and personal with, including several commercial airliners, military planes and NASA planes.  There’s also an Air Force One used during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

Tucson Arizona

Tucson Arizona

Tucson Arizona
The one on the bottom is a NASA plane called the Guppy

Tucson, Arizona

The 80’s movie Can’t Buy Me Love was filmed in Tucson and the “Airplane Boneyard” was a major scene in the movie {this is across the street from the Pima Air & Space Museum at the U.S. military and government facility.  We skipped this part because reservations need to be made well in advance, and who has time for that?

Visit Can’t Buy Me Love Filming Locations- Tucson was a major part of this classic movie starring Patrick Dempsey well before he was McDreamy.  He mowed lawns for money, which is actually kind of ironic since it does take place in the desert.  Anyway, you can drive by Tucson High School, which looks very different than it did in the movie.  It’s right by the University of Arizona campus, so it’s easy to get to.

We also randomly ended up near the Tucson Mall, so decided we needed to go see the place where Ronald Miller paid Cindy Mancini $1,000 to date her.  It hasn’t changed since the movie was made in 1987.

Tucson Arizona

La Encantada Shopping Center- This is the newer, higher-end mall, and much better than the Tucson Mall.  Take your kids to Mildred and Dildred, a local toy store.

University of Arizona- If you visit Tucson during the school year, you should take in a Wildcats football or basketball game.  You can also walk around the campus year-round.

Where to Eat:

Teaspoon – We had a great brunch at Teaspoon, but the service was a little slow.  It sits in the back of a shopping center near Orange Theory, so it was a little hard to find as well.  But, the food was good and so were the Mimosas!

Blanco Tacos and Tequila – Blanco is located in La Encantada.  No complaints about Blanco, the food was good, the service was good and so were the margaritas.  As if you can’t tell, you have to drink your way through Tucson to beat the heat.  This is a chain, so you may already be familiar with it.

North Italia – North is also located in La Encantada.  They offer delicious Italian food and wine.  It’s is also a chain.

In-N-Out Burger – We always have to eat here when we’re in Arizona.  There’s one near the Tucson Mall, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Enjoy!  xoxo

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