Tucson: The Old Pueblo

A view across Tucson from my Airbnb.

The nickname for Tucson, Arizona is "The Old Pueblo." It is one of the oldest cities in the American West and was founded during the Spanish colonial period in the late 1700s.

I started this blog entry in 2016 after my first visit to Tucson, which happened on short notice. Somehow I never got around to finishing it and publishing. The weather had been bad and I wanted to go somewhere warm and dry. It was an unduly short visit though, so I'd wanted to go back ever since.

Having arranged a four day weekend a while back, I originally intended to go to California, but while not officially closed to tourism, it's apparent they were trying to discourage tourism. I decided not to be one of the people ignoring the official recommendation. My second choice was Zion National Park in Utah, but the weather forecast turned rainy, and some of the best hikes in Zion are subject to flash flooding. What to do? I decided to go back to Tucson for a slightly longer visit and see and do the things I missed before.

My earlier blog entry sounded a little grouchy. I seem to have had some issues with my visit to Tucson, but I somehow still came away with a positive impression. There are parts of the town that look like one of these junky little desert towns with dirty, flat-roofed houses of cinder block construction, trash sitting around, and window air conditioners dripping on the dirt yard. I saw two young men in one neighborhood who appeared to be about to get into a street fight. But there are also parts of the town that are nice, clean, and modern, with beautiful southwestern architecture, and the entire valley is ringed by beautiful mountains covered with saguaro and pine forest on the higher peaks. There are areas of dusty, dry desert, but also areas of lush, green saguaro forests and irrigated fields.

There are many things to do in Tucson, so I'm breaking up the two trips I've made into multiple blog posts to follow. Although I have made long weekends of it, you could easily go to Tucson and spend a whole week or more seeing sites, visiting parks, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, or attending sporting events. It's a great city.


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