The spectacular Sonoran Desert with its dramatic beauty covers the Tucson region with a variety of spectacular cacti that includes the Giant Saguaro cactus, the symbol of the American Southwest, as well as remarkable desert wildlife. Apart from the desert, Tucson is surrounded by mountain ranges that offer scenic drives, hiking, climbing, and even skiing in winter when it snows on the higher mountain peaks. The first city to have earned the designation of “World City of Gastronomy” by UNESCO, Tuscon has a vibrant multicultural heritage with a thriving performing and visual arts scene and respectable museums and galleries in addition to its gastronomical fame.
For an authentic Southwestern experience in a laid-back atmosphere, Tuscon and the surrounding Southern Arizona area will fit the bill. The Old West Roots are recalled with cattle drives, horseback rides, and guest ranches smack in the middle of resort hotels, championship golf courses, and a hub of popular spas. The extremely suitable conditions for fitness-related activities has helped Tucson to be ranked a Top 10 Fit-City tailored to a vast array of outdoor activities. The more upscale side of Tuscon includes the tastefully appointed Threepenny Opera House. There are many family-friendly annual events and popular sites like the Reid Park Zoo and the Flandrau Science Center. Around every corner the whimsical and contemporary western charm of Tucson awaits discovery.
Part of the irresistible popularity of Tucson is the breath taking wilderness areas, monuments, and national parks of the state. The Saguaro National Monument has an astounding amount of Saguaro Cacti and amazing desert wildlife the bonus of a vibrantly hued, spectacular desert sunset skyline. Close by is the famous Grand Canyon National Park situated jut 300 miles north of Tucson. Nogales in Mexico is an easy 80 mile drive to the south.
A Short History of the Region
The present Tucson area was originally inhabited by Paleo-Indians who occupied the region in about 7000 BC. During the early history of Arizona at the beginning of 1540, the Spaniard Coronado led an exhibition that crossed the state searching for the “Seven Cities of Gold”. They left behind bold traces of Spanish influence in the area.
Originally part of Mexico, the city was officially founded by Hugo O’Connor. After the 1854 Gadsden Purchase it became US territory and gained statehood in 1912 as the 48th state. Tucson was the capital of Arizona Territory from 1867 to 1889, when it was replaced by the City of Phoenix.