Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Tucson, AZ

Before the internet came along (so when I was like, in 5th grade) I really wanted to be a travel agent.  I love the idea of planning vacations, knowing about all the best hidden spots, great hotels, and beautiful places.  I still get lost for a day planning a dream vacation, filling all the information and prices out on a Word document, to places I know I can't visit (at least not now or anytime soon!).  So for my love of daydreaming of magnificent travels around the world, I bring you the first installment of Travel the World Wednesday!

Today we will be traveling to my favorite city in the United States, Tucson, Arizona (pronounced two-sahn) Put your negative opinions toward Arizona aside (we've all got em) and enjoy this gorgeous desert city.
Pack your bags, we're off to TUCSON

My pup enjoying the city view from Mount Lemmon
I may be biased because I lived here for 4 years (go Wildcats!) but it definitely had to prove itself to me. I hated this city with all my might for the first 1.5 years and then it just hit me. This city is absolutely beautiful and no other city can compare. A large city that still has a small town feel with countless local restaurants, events, outdoor activities, and sunshine all year round!  My favorite Tucson day was in mid-April when we drove 30 minutes up Mount Lemmon to play in the woods and the snow, then drove back and lounged in our bikinis by the pool to get our tan on.  Can any other place in the United States give this to you?! Probably not.

Highlights:

Our gorgeous hike through the Santa Catalinas
The Mountain Ranges: This city is tucked away between several of the largest mountain ranges in the western US. Santa Catalina Mountains, Rincon Mountains, Tucson Mountains, Santa Rita Mountains etc etc. There is also the breath taking Sabino Canyon which flows water most of the year, has bus rides down into the canyon, amazing wildflowers and countless hiking trails.

Carving and statues inside San Xavier
Photo courtesy of sanxaviermission.org
Mission San Xavier del Bac: this is one of the oldest and most impressive missions in the United States (it was even featured in one of my art history books!). The white exterior glows in the desert sun, and the frescoes and artwork that fill the interior are visually stunning. There is also usually members of the Tohono O'odham tribe selling delicious fry-bread outside, to die for!

La Encantada shopping. Photo courtesy arizonafoothillsmagazine.com
The Foothills:  all of my dream homes in Tucson are nestled away in the northern part of Tucson, or just 'the foothills'.  Here you will find a top of the line upscale shopping district called La Encantada, a variety of fantastic restaurants, art galleries, and a sunset view that will blow you away.

Our Valentine's stay at Hilton El Conquistador
The Resorts:  no other city has the class of sprawling resort hotels like Tucson. Even Oprah swears by some of these places, and I often see national giveaways for weekend stays at some of my favorite places. Most are located in the foothills. My favorites from experience? 1) Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (there was even a real waterfall behind the place... in the desert!)  2) Hilton El Conquistador 3) Westward Look  4) Westin La Paloma  5) Arizona Inn, which is actually hidden in the middle of the city

All Souls Procession. Photo by Tom Willett allsoulsprocession.org
Famous Events:  Every year Tucson is the host of some nationally recognized events. The most famous is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  People literally travel from all over the world for this two week event that spans the entire city, this is also my favorite event!  Other happenings include the All Souls Procession (day of the dead), Tucson Rodeo Days (I know, very stereotypical), and the Fourth Avenue Street Fair.

And of course, I can't finish this post without letting you all know how amazing the University of Arizona is! Bear Down ARIZONA!
Proud Arizona Alum!


Thanks for traveling with me! PLEASE comment with any places you are in love with and would like to see on a future Travel the World Wednesday!


<3 RWK
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6 comments:

  1. I love this idea! I also love Arizona, the nature is so beautiful there. My only issue with it is how the towns are not ecologically sustainable. But that's many places in the southwest. My favorite place is Newport, RI. My dad grew up there so we go there to visit every summer. It is a little island off of Rhode Island with lots of history, fun shopping & eating and beautiful B&Bs.

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  2. Liz thanks for the Newport idea! I've actually been there (I live in CT now) ill probably do that next week! And I 100% agree with you Arizona has horrible public transit options and I wish they would do more with solar energy since its sunny 98% of the year!

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  3. This is fun! Thanks for sharing a place near and dear to you. I've only been to Newport once, and I was so young I don't really remember it, but we did the mansion tour which is supposed to be interesting if you're old enough to appreciate it! I'm partial to the Cape because that's where we went most summers. There's a great feeling you get when you cross the bridge!

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  4. Cape Cod is a great idea, too! I haven't made it there yet, but I definitely have planned many trips to the Cape. Keep the places flowing! Thanks ladies!

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  5. Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog today. Unf. they are not stamps, but chipboard from Cosmo Cricket!
    Have agreat day, hugs Karin

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  6. This is my first time visiting your blog & I LOVE your background! Supercute!

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