hiking in Tucson

Exploring Tucson – Saguaros, Snow and Sustenance

There are three key ingredients to a great town or city: soul, sustenance and youth.  If a town has all three plus scenery or major points of interest (national park, monument, preserve…) or both, then it gets bumped from great town to great destination.

hiking in Tucson

Tucson has a little of each and made it in our top five destinations for Arizona.

Let’s start with soul and youth because downtown is filled with art, culture, history and a college.  We didn’t spend a dime downtown, and yes we spent hours walking around and loved it!  Between the cute shops, historic architecture and groups of skaters, bikers and college students hanging around we had endless entertainment!

Downtown Tucson

downtown tucson

art in tucson

downtown tucson

Sustenance.  I am just going to come out with it, the Tucson Tamale Company has the best tamales we have ever eaten, and that is no small statement!  We are from Texas and travel to Mexico often so we like to think we know good tamales…and these were GREAT!

tucson tamale company

We did find a good vegetarian dive and a very quirky Greek owned diner.  The diner had a backyard BBQ feel from the outside, an old Ihop feel on the inside and the food was Greek meets cowboy.  The food was mediocre but the strange ambiance, people watching and great company we had made it well worth the trip.

_MG_3606 _MG_3605 lovin spoonfulls



crazy greek

Now it’s time for the bonus features!  To the east and west is Saguaro National Park, North America’s largest cacti that are only found in a small portion of the United States.  We are not usually big into cactus but these tree size dudes are like the Jersey Shore boys of the cacti world.  They are pumped up and undeniable beefy.  It’s impossible to miss them with their giant arms outreached for the sun.


crazy cacti

tucson arizona

We met up with some fellow travelers / bloggers and hit a moderate 5 mile loop named Hope Camp Trail for some exercise and exploration.  The small amount of snow left on the ground made for a little extra fun!


And we spotted a family of javalina’s making their way across the road…


Snow?  Oh yeah, it does snow in Tucson…rare, but it does happen and it happened the one year and the one week we decided to be southern AZ snowbirds!  It was an amazing spectacle!

snow in Tucson

Another must see is the Mission San Xavier Del Bac!  It’s an incredible mission that Jason was bold enough to compare to the Vatican City (yes, there is an article explaining).


So, there you have it, a few of our favorites.  Now it’s your turn.  If you have a Tucson bucket list or a must see we missed, tell us about it in the comments below.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (11)

  • Tim Fitch

    You guys have great posts.
    Keep up the good work!

  • You can’t begin to know how sad I am that I missed you guys. You were on your trip, I was on mine on old route 66. Hoping and praying that we can connect sometime soon! Happy trails dear friends. Be well and in touch.

  • You can’t begin to know how sad I am that I missed you guys. You were on your trim, I was on mine on old route 66. Hoping and praying that we can connect sometime soon! Happy trails dear friends. be well and in touch.

  • Diane Smith

    I just love seeing your trips and all the exploring you do. We have been to so many places in our lifetime, celebrating 44 years of marriage May 29 and we bought our first camper, a truck camper in 1970. Seen half the US. but my final wish is to see Yoesmite National Park.

    Would love to visit Oregon and Washington but don’t know when that will be. We go south for the winter in Umatilla, FL for 6 months this year but who knows.

    Love Glacier National Park and you should definitely visit that and one of our other favorite is Therodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Definitely worth the trip but so are all our national parks. Just beautiful and lots of buffalo and mule deer. Enjoy your trips and I’ll keep watching.

  • Such fun to read and to watch your snowball fight! Our friends just moved back to Texas from Tucson. We visited them but did not see the sights you showed us! We must go back for a visit – we may show them some things they never experienced!

  • Katie Arnett

    My family and I have been to Saguaro National Park. It is a really neat place. The Saguaro Cactus does grow tall and has interesting shapes.

  • We loved Tucson! I do believe we may settle there some day if we get tired of full timing. We were there with Hans and Lisa, also, and did some amazing hiking together. I am addicted to the crested saguaro and this search led us on many of hikes. Some day I want a yard full of cacti!!

    • Lisa told us about you guys….she said you were more than addicted to the crested saguaro and it kinda rubbed off on her 🙂 I agree there is no plant with more personality than the saguaro.

      • Yes, I guess you could say I am way over the top when it comes to the saguaro and especially the cresty guys! I did hours of research to find each one in the area. My husband was a good sport with my persistence.


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