If you need an excuse to break away from meeting in the typical hotel, and like to play golf, I would highly recommend the La Paloma Golf Club.
On my last trip to Tucson, I was able to enjoy one of the nicest rounds of golf I had played in a while.
I took a customer who was a member here, and since I was staying at the hotel, I was able to secure a $50 tee time.
Wonderful desert views, and beautiful greens are what impressed me here.
Equipment: Clubs are available, but I always like playing with my own clubs.
I really enjoyed this hike. I recommend doing the hike as an out and back. Also, just before sunset is especially nice.. The hike is just over 4 miles total out and back. It has a climb at the beginning then rolls along a ridge with beautiful views of the Tucson Mountains.
Equipment: If hike during the day be sure to bring plenty of water. If at dusk, a headlight is a good idea, although this is a great hike to do under a full moon.
This is another out and back trail, and a trail I would definitely do again. I always enjoy hiking late in the afternoon and try and time it so that I can watch the sunset. Blackett's is especially good for this because as you descend back to your car you are facing the sunseting. The photos of the sun setting I have added are without any filters and is what it actually looks like.
It is steep at the beginning but gains a ridge and follows to the end. The trail is about 5 miles round trip.
Be careful if you hike this in the late afternoon, early dusk in summer. Thunderstorms with plenty of lightning pop up and you are totally exposed on this ridge. I've done this with seeing lightning off in the distance. Very scary and beautiful at the same time. Be sure to check the forecast.
There is a $5 fee for parking here. The trailhead is about 3/4 mile across the desert. If you go when the visitor center is open, there is a tram that can take you to the trailhead.
Equipment: If in the summer, bring plenty of water. Always use sturdy hiking boots. Remember a headlamp for those dusk hikes when you go up to see the sunset.
I've always wanted to hike this and finally had the opportunity. Cochise Stronghold is about 1 hour from Tucson and well worth the drive. This is an out and back hike which makes for a long day hike. Guide books have it at 4.5 miles one way but it is longer. From where I parked my car, my GPS put the round trip at 12 miles. The entire hike I didn't see one person. Great for some solitude, not so great if you have an accident and need help. Be prepared with plenty of water.
Equipment: Sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water.
Three trails of great interest in the Tucson area, all within a 30-minute drive from Downtown:
- Douglas Spring: starts at the very east end of Speedway and heads into Saguaro National Park and the Rincon Mountains. The initial, more flat walk is great for viewing Sonoran flora/fauna, and after the semi-difficult climb over the ridge, you find yourself in the upland grass areas more typical of southern New Mexico. Bridal Veil Falls is about 4 miles from the trailhead, and well worth it when there's water running. This trail also continues to Rincon Peak, but that is a two-day trip.
- Pima Canyon: starts at the very north end of First Avenue and heads into the Santa Catalinas via the small Pima Canyon. The canyon part is a great way to check out a Sonoran riparian area as it goes by a spring and follows a wash. Further in, the trail is less crowded (especially on weekdays), and when the cottonwoods still have their leaves to rustle in the wind, it's a very serene setting. The trail continues higher into the mountains, and eventually hits Mount Wrightson.
- Ventana Canyon: Named for a rock formation on top of the front range, this is a very nice, but crowded trail. The creek is flowing much of the year, and the canyon is tighter than most. This is a great day hike.
Equipment: Good shoes, lots of water, dress for the weather
Famous Sams Sports Bar - Somewhere to visit when you need to watch a game or you're a long way from home and need to check out the results!
I muttered and twitched my way through the first leg of the Champions League Semi that ended 0-0. As it was lunchtime there weren't many in the bar so no atmosphere except the one I generated inside of me! I was too nervous to appreciate the chicken teryiaki burger.
I could have done with returning there for the 2nd leg as the ranch only had a pc with no sound card and I had to endure the worst 90 minutes of any match following it with text updates. Never mind the result was worth it 1-0 to the Reds and on their way to Istanbul to bring the trophy home to stay.
Equipment: A cold glass of something and some good food.
This is a great place to see a baseball game!
I just happened to be lucky enough to attend the March 24, 2005 game in Tucson between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, (which was cancelled the middle of fifth inning due to an attack of swarming bees.)
It was a beautiful day for a game. The sun was full in the clear blue sky, but not too intense. I was sitting about 30 rows in when all of a sudden the game came to a pause. I couldn't really tell why, but saw the players on the field running in different directions ducking and diving.
After seeing the players swat in the air I said to my friends I think there's bees on the field. They all thought I was crazy, and there was no announcement to explain what was happening. A minute later thousands of bees raced upward (at a minimum a foot) above our heads and they no longer were laughing.
We watched the players go to the dugouts in hiding then, try to return to the field to continue play a couple of times to no avail, each time they continued to be attacked. Finally the game was called and security personell flooded the field. I guess they were afraid the fans would be mad and would run to the field, but most understood and exited orderly.
Equipment: We sat in box seats which were great; however, we would get tickets for the outfield berm nextime. you can lay out a blanket on the lawn and get a suntan whil watching the game.
Tickets range from $4 in the outfield berm to $15 for a shaded club seat.
El Tour de Tucson is a great event to cycle. I have done it twice and love it. (Although the last time I ended up in the hospital.) It is always the weekend before Thanksgiving (which is always the fourth Thursday in Nov. in the USA). The ride/race has three distances: 109 miles, 67 miles, and 33 miles. It is a charity event. The weather is typically pretty mild, not "mind-frying" hot like the summers in Tucson. However, it is EXCEPTIONALLY dry...so be sure to drink enough water and take in some form of sodium too. The route is not very hilly either, so it is a great place to do your first "century ride." The only drawback is it has become pretty popular..like 4,500 people popular! So prepare yourself for wrecks in the beginning. (My moto: road rash is sexy!)
If you are interested, more information at www.pbaa.com
Equipment: I always take my bike with me on the plane. I found a crate online to pack it in that works very well. The airlines typically chard $75 to take it with you. I don't mind because I really cannot see myself riding a rental or something.
When the University of Arizona Wildcats are in town, the city comes to a halt. College football is a major part of life here in Tucson. I don't go to the games, but it seems every other Tucsonan does. Traffic sucks during the games and only gets worse when everybody tries to leave the game when it's over.
If you like hiking, I don't know where to begin. There are so many places where you can go and hike that it is just unbelieveable. Hope I spelled that right. Sabino Canyon, east of Tucson, is a very popular hiking place. Joggers also line the pathways that go all around the place.
If you like swimming, your out of luck, unless you want to go to the waterpark. There are no lakes in the city and you really have to drive south if you want to go swimming in a natural like setting. Like 40 miles.
Golf is another thing in Tucson that is very popular. Not with me. We have so many golf courses, I can't even count them all if I tried. I think last year, we had one of the PGA games come to town. They like it I guess.
The Triple-A, Pacific Coast League affliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks play ball at Tucson Electric Park. This recent stadium (constructed in 1998) holds 11,000 people, although the Sidewinders rarely draw even half that on any given night. The D-backs and Chicago White Sox use TEP as their Spring Training facilities.
The stadium itself is quite comfortable with plenty of space to relax and good views from just about anywhere. Tickets range from $4 to $8, a real bargain for Triple-A ball. The Santa Catalina Mountains make an absolutely gorgeous backdrop. Parking is plentiful and in lots around the ballpark.
I have no complains about the place, but I have heard many players complain that the actual field is one of the worst in baseball. Being in Tucson, I imagine it can be very hot but the night I visited the weather was PERFECT, making my visit to Tucson Electric Park one of the most pleasurable baseball experiences I've had.
Sabino Canyon is considered a mini oasis in the desert. It was formed by a creek cutting between two mountains forming one of the best examples of life in the desert.
Sabino Canyon has several advantages over other hikes in the area. Like other hikes you can set off on your own and hike the desert. However, Sabino Canyon also has a small paved path that is several miles long. During the early morning or around dusk this path will get populated with walkers, joggers, and bikers. This option is a big advantage for singles, or anyone who want a little added security while still feeling close to nature. Along the path they have several stops with restrooms and water available. A stream also runs through here if you want to take a quick dip to cool off.
Throughout the day they run a shuttle (for a small fee) through the canyon that gives you basic information about the desert and the wildlife. This is a great option for seniors or disabled who would like to see the desert but normally have trouble getting to these remote locations.
Equipment: Water! Water, water, and more water!!! This is the desert after all. There are faucets available every once in a while but make sure you bring some water along with you. Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended, as well as a sweat towel.
If you are going off the paved path a few more things are recommended:
Firstly, a walking stick. Even if you feel you don't need one, in Arizona this is more of a safety tool than support. If there is a snake on the path ahead, it will attack the first thing that comes in its area. Better a stick than your leg! And there are rattle snakes in Sabino Canyon. Learn to recognize these and Gilla Monsters so you know to avoid them.
Secondly, a small first aid kit. Just enough to treat the basics. Bandaids, tweesers, neosporine, an ankle wrap just in case. Its always a good idea to bring a cell phone too, as a "just-in-case". This is advised for any hiking in the desert.
Winter is when you appreciate Mt. Lemmon the most. We would swim in the pool in the am and then drive up to go skiing in the afternoon. What a difference 9,000 ft. makes!
The ski area is rather small, only two lifts, but at least it's there! The cozy lodge burnt down in the fire of 2003 last June, but the skiing was still available this winter and the lodge is being rebuilt.
The state university is located in Tucson and therefore there are many athletic events open to the public (football, basketball, swimming, softball, baseball, tennis to name just a few).
Major League Baseball in AZ is a heckof a lotta fun...its mellow....usually not so crowded and a great way to see your favorite players and up and coming prospects
Horses are available for riding near the ranch. They will take you on guided rides of varying length.