Tucson ’s nightlife and entertainment scene is casual and mixed, drawing drunken college kids, post-college slackers and go-getters, thirty- something urban workers, hip parents who still haunt the alt-rock shows, and professors and professionals of indeterminate age. There’s really something for everybody out there.
Tucson’s youngest and sloppiest nightlife takes place on three blocks within easy walking, or stumbling, distance of each other: Congress Street downtown, 4th Avenue, and Main Gate Square near the University of Arizona . There are always plenty of cabs waiting around outside the bars in these neighborhoods, especially on the weekends.
When school’s in session these areas are fairly packed with college students. That doesn’t mean that townies don’t go out; in fact, some of the bars in these districts are just as busy during Spring Break and summer as they are when the students are in town. For more upscale watering holes, try the bars at the restaurants in the foothills.
Most of Tucson’s nightlife is relatively low-tech, so to speak, meaning that, save for a few places, the bars in the Old Pueblo are mostly neighborhood joints where locals go to drink and socialize. There isn’t a lot of importance put on the way you look and the way you dress. People here are friendly and laid-back, and they seem to be even more so once they’ve got a few margaritas in them.
There is no smoking in bars or restaurants in Tucson , but most have built outdoor patios to accommodate smokers. For a generation Arizona’s bars closed at 1 a.m., but in 2007 the state legislature put off last call until 2 a.m.; however, many bars close much earlier than that on weekdays.