Arts and Leisure
It’s certainly true that Tucson is an active, outdoorsy, sunburned kind of place. On any given weekday, let alone during the crowded, busy weekends, you’ll see Tucsonans decked out in colorful, skin-tight Lycra outfits, pedaling with all their might up and down the steep mountain roads and along the bike routes through the city; you’ll also see them hiking on desert trails among the saguaro forests, and exploring the sky island mountain ranges that encircle the valley.
If you’re coming to Tucson to find some similar action, you won’t have to look far.
Tucson is also a cultural center; it is, when all’s said and done, the cultural capital of Arizona, and one of the top art towns in the Southwest. There are scores of galleries and museums in town, and, contrary to popular opinion, not all of them are dedicated exclusively to paintings of cowboys and Indians and howling coyotes.
The festival seasons in Tucson are pretty much the opposite of everywhere else. There’s little going on here in the summer, but come February suddenly the calendar is full with arts fairs, cultural festivals, and sporting events.
Let’s say you want to get some exercise but you don’t feel like jogging or biking or walking in the wild desert. Fear not, for as much as I’ve tried to show that Tucson is indeed an exotic city with a wholly unique setting, the truth is that much of the town is as normal and American as can be. That means there are myriad green-grass parks within easy distance of all the neighborhoods. Here you can play all the tennis, golf, and pick-up basketball that you want to, only you don’t have to take it inside when the summer ends.
- Best Mountain Biking: Fantasy Island
- Best Live-Music Venue: The Rialto
- Best Movie Theater: The Loft Cinema
- Best Festival: Tucson Meet Yourself
- Best Urban Park: Gene C. Reid Park
- Best Contemporary Art Gallery: Etherton Gallery
- Best Hiking in the Desert: Tucson Mountain Park
- Best Place to Brush Up on Tucson’s History: Arizona Historical Society Museum Downtown
- Best Southwestern Art Gallery: Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery
- Best Hiking in the Mountains: Mount Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Mountains
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition