Tucson Arizona: A Mecca For All

by : Scott Hubbard



Tucson loves to celebrate its rich medley of cultures, architecture, and peoples. The community places an emphasis on preserving its colorful heritage and on maintaining a casual attitude despite fresh growth. As Arizona's oldest city, established the same year Paul Revere made his famous ride through Boston, Tucson has become a trendy spot for cosmopolitan ambience. Named "a mini Mecca for the arts" by The Wall Street Journal, and included in the book, "50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family," The city has been named one of "America's 100 Best Retirement Towns" and Money Magazine ranks Tucson in the Top Six places to retire in the country. http://MSN.com recently chose Tucson as the fifth best place in America to live, rating 331 cities on cost of living, crime rate, education, home prices and weather.

Housing

Tucson real estate is abundant in the Tucson metropolitan area and, although Tucsonans treasure their pristine desert surroundings, new housing starts are consistently higher than the national average and prices are generally less than in other major metropolitan areas. Despite Tucson's growth, housing and land costs are still well below the norm and the recent boom in real estate investing and construction is expected to continue. Diverse housing options range from 100 year-old haciendas to trendy downtown lofts, adobe estates designed by architect Josias Joesler, Santa Fe and Territorial designs, contemporary California Ranch styles, and environmentally-friendly solar and strawbale construction.

Climate

Known for its mild winters, dry desert air, low annual rainfall and abundant brilliance - about 360 days of sunshine a year, more than any other U.S. city - Tucson is a popular health destination, winter resort, and retirement community. The metropolitan area's population swells from November through February as thousands of part-time "snowbirds" flee colder regions to enjoy Tucson's warmth in the winter when temperatures hover around 68 degrees during the day.

Resorts & Shopping

Tucson's natural beauty makes it an ideal location for world-class resorts and spas, and although much of Tucson's shopping is focused around five malls, there are many boutiques and small shops with Southwest character and unique wares on open plazas. The historic 4th Avenue neighborhood near the University of Arizona is fertile ground for unusual and artsy items, good little restaurants, and local art. El Presidio Historic District around the Tucson Museum of Art and Old Town Artisans is the city's center for local and regional crafts.

Lifestyles

American Heritage magazine recently named Tucson the "Great American Place." The metropolitan area has much to offer, and is known for nurturing the body, mind and soul. A sun-lovers' climate and the lush Sonoran Desert hemmed by mountains, canyons, wildlife and desert trails promote active lifestyles. Intellectual and cultural liveliness are enhanced by the oldest university in the state, and by a high percentage of creative artists, musicians and writers who call Tucson their home. The city is also home to the Tucson Sidewinders Triple-A baseball club, nationally televised PAC-10 intercollegiate sports, men's and women's golf tournaments, bowling tournaments, bicycling races, and the world-famous Tucson rodeo. Outdoor recreation adds to the local economy with the more popular activities being hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, hang gliding, mountain biking, paragliding and tennis.

Despite all the it's steady growth, Tucson still is an unassuming community that remains a small town at heart.