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Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Taipei, Taiwan
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Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Bunch of questions.

Will be taking Amtrak into Tucson staying for a few nights and then flying out. So we are looking for a decent hotel around 100-150 a night that has good services and perhaps airport/train pickup/dropoff included with the room.

I know there are several taxi services in Tucson, and the cheapest one seems Andy's Cab? Which is now Discount Taxi, is that right? It appears to me that the cheapest one way fare for us will be about 20 bucks. However, while in Tucson we have many places to go, but not many per day.

Is there a decent mall in Tucson? I have found a couple but am unsure of the location, we would like to keep everything as close together as possible to avoid more taxi costs.

I had considered renting a car, however, it appears the cost of the rental may be more than just getting a taxi and if the hotel will pickup and drop off than it will be a little bit cheaper. As it is it seems there is no rental place near the train station which means a taxi ride to the airport to get a car, seems a little bit stupid...

Anyway, hoping for some ideas here thanks in advance.

Marina, California
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11. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Sorry, yeah, I used to be an expat in the PRC, so I shouldn't have assumed. I actually learned more Mandarin in college than in living there though.

> How far is it from the airport to the Tucson Mall?

Google Maps says 25 minutes via I-10. Normally I don't think I-10 saves time, but I think it will for you at rush hour, as all of the roads leading north from Downtown and, especially, the university have quite a bit of traffic. Exit at Grant as the map says, because there's construction now at Prince. It'll be roughly the same amount of time though.

The hotels by the airport are mostly very nice properties, but you're in a really desolate area with very little in the way of restaurants around. Everything is a 20-minute drive. It's close to Pima Air & Space Museum, but that itself is in the middle of no where as well. Getting to the attractions is going to have you on the road a lot anyway, so, personally, I was always think it's best to stay in a more built-up area so that you don't have the drives to go eat.

Taipei, Taiwan
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12. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

That's fine, no worries, just thought I should mention it, haha. I have lived in Taiwan for many many years. Have learned a lot of Mandarin living here, just I don't have much time to study now.

Well I had planned on only taking the normal streets to the mall from the airport as they are closer than the freeway, but they may be jammed with cars. How about not during rush hour? Would 30 minutes be enough to drive from the airport area to the mall?

I know the restaurant situation around the airport is not that great, but it's good enough I think, we won't really be eating many meals their anyway.

so would 30 minutes get us there basically? I really don't want to stay up by the mall because several days we are there we will be in west Tucson, which seems like a further drive than if we stay near the airport.. And most of the hotels in between seem not very good...

tucson az
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13. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

If you stay in a hotel at the airport, and there are a lot of choices, Enterprise is right there on the same street.

30 minutes is a good estimate for non rush hour times. You could go either by the interstate or through town. Going through town might take a little longer depending on time of day and traffic.

Taipei, Taiwan
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14. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Yep, I did see that, all of the rent-a-car places are right there, which will make the next morning easy for us as we have a very early flight.

Thanks for info Bob. I guess if we get to the Mall around 12-1 would be ok and then stay there all day, leave when it closes, I assume it closes around 8-9? Then we would avoid traffic pretty much all day. Though I am not sure how big the mall is, if we can finish it in four hours then, well.. need to find another place to go before rush hour..

Marina, California
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15. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Tucson traffic really isn't that bad. All of this worry over avoiding rush hour is somewhat for naught. I lived on the north side for roughly two years and we would never really worry about leaving right at 4:30 or 5 at any time, because it just never got that bad. Once you get a little further out, particularly past River, then it gets a little worse. Sans accidents, I don't think Tucson rush hour ever added more than 5 minutes to my drivetimes.

Tucson Mall has the H&M and the REI, but the rest of the shops seem to be roughly the same as Park Place, which is a little closer to the airport. There are a number of other stores around Tucson Mall as well though, including the new Nordstrom Off the Rack, so you could easily keep yourself occupied. 8 hours in a mall is a little (or a lot) much for me, but I guess it depends on who you are.

Tucson Mall's open until 9 every night except Sunday, when it closes at 6pm. Hours are on the web site: http://www.tucsonmall.com/

Taipei, Taiwan
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16. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

That's sort of what I figured. It's been many years since I have been in Tucson, but as I remember Tucson traffic wasn't that bad even during rush hour. I don't think it is nearly as bad as places like LA, Salt Lake or Dallas, so actually I think at most it would take me an extra 5-10 minutes to get somewhere during rush hour.

Maybe we will go to Park Place first or on the way back from Tucson mall and hit both of them on the same day.

And it figures, the day we will have free is a Sunday. What time does the Park Place mall close then? and are we going to run into restaurants closing early on Sunday also? I guess I am used to places here that are opened until 3am...

Yes I think 8 hours is a bit much also..

Can you guys recommend some decent restaurants for me around the Tucson Mall area, well actually anywhere between the airport and the mall is fine, looking at getting some decent big burgers and some decent Italian and Mexican food. Price rang for the Italian would be no more than $100 for two. Burgers and Mexican I am not all that worried about, for a decent burger I am willing to spend $20 as I have not had a decent one since the last time I was back in the states.

Marina, California
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17. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Yeah, I do miss the 24-hour nature of Chinese society, particularly the hot pot places and lack of a "last call." Not sure if that's big in Taiwan. They actually have one in Tucson now that opened less than a year ago.

Park Place closes at roughly the same time though. Most malls around the country open late and close early on Sundays.

For a burger, there's actually a relatively new place on Campbell and River (maybe 5 minutes from the mall) called Union Public House. Seriously one of the better burgers I've had in a while, and definitely the best I've had in Tucson. They have a happy hour as well where it goes down to roughly $5 for a burger and fries. Fantastic patio too.

For Italian, I really like Luna Bella (Swan @ Camp Lowell), Enoteca (Downtown) and Zona 78 (the one River is better) on the slightly upscale end. Gavi's is also good, but their only locations are on the far northeast side of town. I also love Cafe Milano (Downtown), but they're only open for dinner Thursday - Saturday. There's also Roma Imports and Mama Louisa's (on Craycroft, closer to the airport) for more "homestyle." Honestly though, Tucson doesn't do great on Italian food. Certainly nothing like you get in Chicago or on the coasts.

There are lots of threads on here for Mexican food, and I wrote out a list recently. You have to kind of take your pick, because there are a number of good places and triple that on opinions of what's "best." tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60950-i259-k50793…

Taipei, Taiwan
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18. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Hi guy, thanks for the reply. I think whenever I move from here I will also miss the 24 hour thing, very convenient and the variety of food endless. We have some last call, but the concept is pretty accurate for some places, the boss stays until the last customer leaves at least at some places.

Are we going to have issues with restaurants closing at 6 also? Or can I make a reservation at say 6:30 at a decent restaurant? I believe it should be no problem, I am sure most of them stay open until at least 8 or 9.

Did you ever try this burger place? Seems close to the airport and found it on a map: Brooklyns Beer and Burgers off E. Irvington Road and S. Alvenmon Way, it's one of the exits of I-10. It's actually just west of the AFB.

I will look up the one you mentioned also. $5 is cheap, how big is the burger? The last one I had was over a pound, you could actually taste the hamburger in the meat it was so good, one burger will fill up just about anyone from that place, unfortunately the owner changed and the burgers got smaller.. It's sad.

So what food is Tucson famous for then? I haven't stayed there more than a month over my life so I don't really know. Mexican?

Yeah opinions abound don't they...

Edited: 10:43 am, February 02, 2012
Marina, California
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19. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

Yeah, if restaurants are open on Sunday then they stay open until at least 9. Even the Red Robin inside the Tucson Mall stays open until about that time.

Never been there, but I recall it being written up in the local independent weekly a few years ago when they opened: tucsonweekly.com/tucson/…

I think the burger is a half pound. Zinburger across the street may have a one-pound burger, but I'm not sure, and I don't like their burgers as much. The sushi place Downtown, On a Roll, also has Kobe beef burgers. Not sure how big though.

Tucson is famous for Sonoran hot dogs, chimichangas (where they were invented, at least) and carne seca (literally "dry beef"). Most of the restaurants I listed have the latter two. Sonoran hot dogs can be had at a number of roadside carts all over the city. If you're uncomfortable with that, I'd recommend BK's on 1st Avenue or 12th Avenue, with a preference for the 1st Avenue location.

20. Re: Taxi vs. rental, hotels, best location near airport & train

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