Tucson, Arizona – My Favorite US City

Tucson, Arizona – A Bit of Everything, Lots of Cool

Before this year, I’d never pegged Tucson as a city I wanted to visit. I realized how wrong I was the moment we arrived. Tucson is a perfect blend of trendy city life and outdoor activities. Surrounded by Saguaro National Park on both sides, and close to various mountain ranges, you can easily do a morning hike, then head to trendy 4th street to reward yourself after. Below is a run-down of my favorite things in and around Tucson.

(Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for the ‘travel with dogs’ portion of this post, scroll to the section covering Borderlands Brewing. It’s a very dog-friendly brewery in Tucson).

Saguaro National Park

This national park boasts thousands of Saguaro cacti the size of small houses and lots of hiking trails. It’s a great place to take a break from city-life and hike amongst the Redwoods of cacti.

Saguaro National Park Tucson Arizona TravelSages
A ballerina cactus in Saguaro National Park.
Saguaro National Park Tucson Arizona TravelSages
My new best bud.

Borderlands Brewing

This brewery combines everything I love – Sustainable brewing practices, a fantastic selection of excellent New England IPAs, foosball, outdoor bocce ball, a great outdoor seating area, and art. Even the food trucks it invites in are sustainable. As an added bonus, dogs are allowed both in the brewery and in the massive outdoor area. I couldn’t love this brewery more!

Borderlands Brewing Tucson Arizona TravelSages
Playing bocce in the courtyard at Borderlands Brewing.
Borderlands Brewing Tucson Arizona TravelSages
A cool food truck at Borderlands Brewing.

Crooked Tooth Brewing

If not for Borderlands, this would have been my favorite brewery in Tucson. Its beers are very good, but its atmosphere is even better. It has an 80s/90s vibe, unique live music, and fun board games. Plus tastings are served in skateboards!

Historic 4th Street

Historic 4th street is a great place to spend your time in Tucson. It rivals the trendy areas of most major cities, just on a smaller scale. It has lots of breweries, unique restaurants, bars, vintage stores, record stores, and unique clothing shops. We spent most of our time walking around this area.

4th Street Art Tucson TravelSages
Street Art on Historic 4th Street.

Barrio Brewing

Although I wasn’t as fond of Barrio’s beer as I was of the beer at the aforementioned breweries, Barrio has the best veggie burgers I’ve ever eaten, and a great outdoor seating area. I particularly recommend trying the Bang Bang burger with veggie patty.

Solar Powered Pizza by Brooklyn Pizza Co

This pizza joint serves up great pizza by the slice, and is 100% solar powered! Good for you, good for the planet. A win-win!

Brooklyn Solar Powered Pizza Tucson TravelSages
Patrick <3s photos

BLM Dispersed Camping Near Tucson

There’s an odd BLM camping area just outside Tucson city limits. I say ‘odd’ because it’s a little triangular area surrounding a small mountain that’s boxed in by a major highway and houses. I’ve never seen anything quite like it! It’s a great place to spend a few nights for free while still staying near the city. Be warned, though, it gets really crowded. However it has great cell service.

BLM Dispersed Camping Tucson Arizona TravelSages
Pretty great sunset from our BLM campsite near Tucson.

About the author

Lauren is a 'digital nomad' (for lack of a less obnoxious term) who works, lives, and travels out of her truck camper with her partner, Patrick, and dog, Odin, the one-eyed Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. She started TravelSages in the summer of 2013, and has since founded a digital marketing consultancy, called LyteYear, and a sustainability brand, called RePrint. Before moving into her tiny mobile home, Lauren lived in Chicago for 6 years, pursued two graduate degrees, studied abroad at Oxford, worked for a summer in Hong Kong, and traveled to various countries in between. She has a mildly unhealthy love of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Netflix, and breweries with good New England IPAs.

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