Introducing Tucson

A bustling college town where freight trains rumble and old West meets south of the border, Tucson is Arizona’s second-largest city, but it still exudes a small town feel. Distinct neighborhoods and 19th-century buildings give it a rich sense of community and history not found in the more modern and sprawling Phoenix, which boasts a more cosmopolitan (though disputably soulless) energy.

Attractive, fun and one of the most culturally invigorating places in the Southwest, Tucson is set in a flat valley surrounded by craggy, oddly shaped mountains. The place is rich in Hispanic heritage (more than 20% of the population is of Mexican or Central American descent), so Spanish slides easily off most tongues and high-quality Mexican restaurants abound. The eclectic shops touting vintage garb, scores of funky restaurants and dive bars don’t let you forget Tucson is a college town at heart, home turf to the 35, 000-strong University of Arizona (U of A).

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