Friday, March 20, 2015

Cities Less Traveled: A Non-Traditional Trip to Tucson

Tucson, with its fascinating historical and cultural background, has so many different attractions and sights that it can be hard to decide which ones to include in your travel itinerary. Some of them are well-known, including Reid Park Zoo and Mission San Xavier del Bac. But if you’re the kind of person who enjoys discovering places and things that are not-so-well-known, Tucson is sure to keep you entertained in this arena, too.

Photo by Lisa Bunker via

Art-Filled Afternoons

There are over 30 galleries in Tucson featuring works by local artists and world famous artists. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is one you shouldn’t miss for its artwork that beautifully portrays Southwestern life. Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia and his wife, Marion, established the gallery in 1950 to exhibit his paintings and ceramics. After her husband’s death, Marion opened an exhibit which features rotating visiting artists. For those who find photography more to their liking, Etherton Gallery has an absolutely amazing collection of fine art photography by over 200 artists, including Ansel Adams, Timothy O’Sullivan, Danny Lyon, and numerous others.

Unusual Shopping

Whether you have ever been shopping at a swap meet or not, the Tanque Verde Swap Meet is unlike anything you've experienced before. There are over 33 acres of selling space at this family owned and operated business that is open every weekend, year round. You can pick up Southwest souvenirs, or buy shoes and clothing; there is even fresh produce. Visiting this swap meet is an entertaining way to shop and eat. Vendors sell hot dogs, nachos, burritos, and ice cream. You can even get a Southwest-inspired tattoo here as a memory of your trip.

Delectable Dining

Tucson has many restaurants with different cuisines, local and otherwise. When you eat at a locally owned and operated restaurant, you will be rewarded with freshly made meals and flavors unique to Tucson. The Gulf of Mexico Oysters at Bluefin Seafood Bistro are scrumptious, and you can’t find them this fresh in too many places. A unique and tasty appetizer from Pastiche is the fried avocado with chipotle aioli. Their fish soft tacos are outstanding as well. French inspired cuisine from Le Rendez-Vous or Italian cuisine from Travolino are also excellent choices.

Music-Filled Nights

Ready for some great music? The Maverick Live Country Club has live country music and dancing Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Maverick even offers traditional country dance lessons and line dancing lessons so that you can return from your trip with a new talent or two. If your music taste leans towards rock, Club Congress has you covered with live music, entertainment, and dancing seven nights a week. It is considered one of the best rock clubs in the U.S. Both venues also serve food to keep your dancing feet energized.

Sleeping in Style

Want to stay in a comfortable hotel that reflects Tucson’s history and culture, or do you prefer a modern hotel with a spa? It’s easy to find the right hotels in Tucson with the suggestions, reviews, and special offers available at Hipmunk.

This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.

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