Tucson is set in a flat valley surrounded by mountains. It is rich in history. It was once a Spanish and Mexican outpost and then served as territorial capital for both the US and Confederate governments.
Tucson is only sixty miles north of Mexico. It is the second largest city in Arizona, behind Phoenix. As of the 2010 U.S. Censes, the population of Tucson was 520,116. The Tucson metropolitan area had a population of 1,020,200 according to the census.
Tucson is equal parts college town and retirement community. It’s one of the more attractive big cities of the Southwest. It has a compact center, many enjoyable restaurants, and a pretty good nightlife, energized by the 37,000 students at the University of Arizona.
Distinct neighborhoods and 19th-century buildings give it a rich sense of community and history. A good number of the low-slung Spanish and Mexican era structures remain.
Downtown’s Stone Avenue is home to two of the city’s most important houses of worship. St. Augustine Cathedral looks as though it is straight out of a colonial Mexican town. The historic 1910 Stone Avenue Temple features the Jewish History Museum. It features a mix of neoclassic Romanesque and Moorish styles.
The Congress Street District is on the east side of downtown. This is a good place for tourists. You can amble down sidewalks lined with 20th century buildings during the day and enjoy the lively nightlife after dark.
If you prefer a walking tour of historic downtown Tucson, you can pick up maps and other information for self guided tours on the Presidio Trail Walking Tour. The distance is about 2-1/2 miles and takes you past 23 historical sites. Click here for more information on this educational and fun venture.
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