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Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
14 posts
13 reviews
Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Hi there! My husband and I and our little elderly Border Terrier are driving down to Tucson at the beginning of December from Vancouver Island, B.C. We found a cool condo to rent in a resort like complex very close to St. Phillips Plaza and just across the Rillito River from the Rio Vista Natural Resource Park. We are very happy and looking forward to exploring that part of the world! I would very much appreciate any and all tips and information from people who know Tucson and southern Arizona well. We may try to check out Yuma on our way in to Tucson at the very beginning of December, or on our way back home at the beginning of February. I know you insiders will be full of great information! Thanks so much.

9 replies to this topic
Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
7,262 posts
106 reviews
1. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Yuma? Alright... Because you want to buy there, or you just heard something? Or you want something to make Tucson look a lot better before actually coming?

I know exactly the place you're talking about. It's a very good location and it seems nice, though I've never been inside one.

You want to know about restaurants, things to do, or what? The "Things to Do" link at the top of the page is a good start on activities. Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park should definitely be on the list. Any interest in hiking? Being able to leave the dog at home will open up a lot more trails to you.

You can also do day trips to Phoenix, Bisbee, Tubac, etc. One of the larger (if not the largest) farmers market is right there at St. Phillips Plaza every weekend. It will nice to be able to walk too because parking is kind of a mess.

Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
14 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Hahahahaha! I know, we have heard very differing opinions on Yuma! We would not be buying anything anywhere, just thought it could be on our route there....and hey if it makes our destination look better, then why not? Great feedback on the location of the condo! Thanks. I have been looking through the forum for sure but sometimes locals are just a better source! Yes, we will go hiking and often will not take the dog, as she can only manage shorter walks now! We heard about Bisbee and Tubac and love to drive around, so will visit anything that is suggested as a worthwhile day trip while we are there. Thanks for tips. Appreciate it.

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
7,262 posts
106 reviews
3. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

I think it may be better to ask other Canadians about Yuma, because I've never heard an Arizonan from outside of Yuma ever say anything good about it but a lot of Canadians choose to winter there. There are much better places to stop along the way down. Personally, I would rather spend time in Fresno than Yuma, and Fresno sucks, but it at least has some decent restaurants and some things to do. It depends on the route you choose to take. If you plan on going through Palm Springs and cutting down to I-8, it's a good stop, but really just for gas (the gas is much cheaper in Arizona vs. California) and maybe some food. Palm Springs would be better. Lots of places in the LA area (if you end up going through there) would be better places to stop. If you want a back way, you can drop down Highway 85 and then through Ajo on Highway 86 to reach Tucson. It adds time, but it's more interesting than the interstates and is a nice desert drive through the Tohono O'Odham Nation.

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,370 posts
22 reviews
4. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

For things to see and do around Tucson and southern Arizona, check my blog. It is fairly comprehensive, except for birding activities.

http://mikepintucson.blogspot.com/

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
3,593 posts
117 reviews
5. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

<<I have been looking through the forum for sure but sometimes locals are just a better source! >>

Much of the information on this forum does come from "locals", most of us who have lived here for all or most of our lives.

Others have given you some good ideas to start. If you can narrow down your questions a bit more, we can give you a lot better specific advice. Might even be good to post several questions - i.e. one for restaurants, one for hiking, etc. Also would be helpful to know what kinds of things you like to do. There is just so much to do in the area that it's really hard to answer such a general inquiry.

USA
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
16,157 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

***I have been looking through the forum for sure but sometimes locals are just a better source! ***

Sometimes locals are a great resource, but it's also good to listen to tourists that know Tucson well enough, and have a different kind of love for such a great city. I first visited Tucson in 2007 and fell in love. I typically visit once a year, some years I visit two times.

As far as Yuma, there is a great date farm, Martha's Gardens, that is worth a stop for a quick browse/snack. They also do tours of their farm operation. Great family run business and I order dates from them every year.

http://www.marthasgardens.com

You picked a good location for your accommodations.

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,265 posts
828 reviews
7. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Don’t know how much you enjoy the arts (opera, symphony, ballet, etc.) however, there is one thing going on here in December, which is very unique and special. Most larger cities put on performances of “The Nutcracker” ballet in December. We lived in San Francisco for 43 years, and we went every year. Our children loved it, and we loved it. These performances were by the San Francisco Ballet, held at the Opera House. Very lavish productions.

When we moved here, someone told us about “A Southwest Nutcracker”, which is presented in December at the Tucson Music Hall. I thought it was some rinky dink thing, not worth looking into. But, am so glad I did, as it is magical. You don’t have to love the arts to enjoy it. The production is very unique, as you have coyotes, rattlesnakes, javelinas, saguaros (all in realistic costumes), dancing to the lovely, Tchaikovsky music (live orchestra). We go every year, and would not miss it. And, it really puts you into a “Desert Christmas” mood. I recommend it strongly, as I don’t think you will see this anywhere else, and it really is special.

One problem is that they don’t have that many performances, so tickets must be purchased early.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
433 posts
38 reviews
8. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Talk to your vet about possible vaccine for parvo virus. Not sure it would be recommended for an older dog, but since it will be new to the area best to check with the vet.

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
7,262 posts
106 reviews
9. Re: Long term visit to Tucson Arizona

Hummingbird brings up an important issue, I think, because you will be encountering many other dogs. The trail along the river right behind your condo complex is a very popular area for dog walking (it's one of the few sections of the trail where it's only open to walking), and the trail right next to it, from Mountain, is a main access point. It's worth asking about.

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