General city Information, Tucson
The combination of college students, a somewhat cowboy mentality and large liberal population give Tucson a great bar scene. A few of things to know about Arizona law:
1. Bars can open at 6am every day, and some actually do.
2. Last call is at 2am.
3. Opening and closing of the bars is also tied to the general alcohol sales. Meaning that you can buy any sort of alcohol at stores between 6am and 2am.
4. Beer and wine is readily available almost everywhere at most convenience stores and groceries. Hard liquor can be purchased from drug stores (including supermarkets, which usually have drug stores inside them) and liquor stores.
5. There is a strange law in Arizona that says a single person cannot be served more than 32oz. of beer (or one liter of wine or four ounces of distilled spirits) at a time, meaning that you cannot get a pitcher by yourself. If you're with someone who does not drink and want a pitcher, you can just get two glasses and pour a little into the other's glass.
6. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08. Arizona is considered to have the strictest DUI enforcement in the country. They're very serious!
7. Arizona has an open container law and it is enforced strictly.
8. The drinking age is 21. Bouncers are known to cut up fake IDs on the spot. California and Texas are known to be common fake ID state licenses, and you should be careful even if you have a valid one from one of these states. When I still had a Texas ID, I almost had one confiscated a couple of times.
OK, the world looks quite different outside a downtown - there are huge residential areas mixed with many business areas.
In Tucson they take a lot of area - you can just drive and drive and look at never ending houses along loooong streets.
Most (almost all) houses are 1-floor (don't they like stairs?) and have usually medium size (in European sense) or big size yards (frontyard and backyard, what about "sideyard"? :-)... as I know they don't have gardens, gardens are at palaces hehe.
So maybe it would be better to LIVE in Tucson and to VISIT European old cities hehe.
American cities I visited including Tucson look quite different than old European ones and they don't have a city center (centre), they have a downtown - usually it's located really down but not always hehe.
Don't look for numerous lovely, picturesque, small streets (usually closed to traffic) full of small shops oops... stores, cafes, restaurants with tables outside and with lovely yards.
Look for high buildings (skyscrapers), a few streets with buildings not quite as tall full of restaurants of various kinds (mainly American and Spanish/Mexican) located one by one (Congress Street) plus shopping mall and convention center somewhere close. It's just an American typical downtown - small in area but big in height usually.
Maybe it's more practical (like most things in the USA) but does it look more beautiful? I don't think so.
One of the first things I noticed when I moved here from a big city is that Tucson is very laid back. I was working as a wedding photographer when I first moved here, and I was amazed by how many people wore jeans to a wedding! That would never happen in Philly. Even shorts are acceptable at these formal affairs.
If you're from the midwest, you know that unless there is a turn way, you pretty much have to hold up traffic to turn into something. Arizona life is a little crazier here, and so they have removed medians and have put in this area a place for you to get out of other peoples way! So don't stop and hold up traffic if you need to make a turn into a shop...but watch for someone else in the other lane wanting to make a turn too!
For those interested in visiting Southern Arizona, there are many things to do. Yet many people forget that Tucson is just a few miles from some small little towns full of historical significance as well.
Tucson can be used as a base camp for many fun filled excursions to such places as
Tombstone Arizona, where the famous OK Corral shoot-out actually happened.
Wilcox Arizona, where Cochise and his Apache tribe held off the American military.
Benson Arizona, where the famous Amerind Foundation museum is located, and lots of real live ghost towns that surround the Tucson area.
Some of these ghost towns still have a resident or two that keep them alive with stories of the great Gold and Silver rushes that brought these now deserted communities to life for a few short months or even years.
Downtown Tucson, Arizona
See the Downtown Tucson travelogue. .