This was such a whirlwind trip, in such a strange way for me that it is hard to know. I did not feel a certain vibe, but I think that may be because of the circumstances. It felt like business, not like a get to know you Tucson trip. I didn’t do much research into the city, and I didn’t explore like Kait and I typically would.
I really liked the vibe in the 4th Avenue area. It felt like a really nice main street with restaurants, bars, clubs, coffee spots, breweries, and shops. It had a nice aesthetic. It’s a very small city center with sprawling neighborhoods.
I love that the city is surrounded by mountains, beautiful mountains. Homes that are not in cookie cutter developments are nice, with light, land, and amazing views. The people I encountered were all very nice.
But, it was also a ton of strip malls, a ton of driving, and a lot of seclusion. Coming from a pretty good size city, Philadelphia, where I can walk everywhere, go to major sporting events on public transit, tons of concerts, amazing restaurants, diversity, culture, rivers, skyscrapers, row homes….Tucson was just a bit different. Different doesn’t mean bad.
The heat. It was hot, but that really doesn’t bother me. I do think that I prefer the dry heat to the humidity. Temps reached to 105-107 degrees F, but it was alright. You don’t really spend the hottest times of the day outside, but the morning and evening were still lovely. Being in a pool with incredible views of cacti and other dessert vegetation, along with mountains and hills, was fantastic. I went to my first horse ranch, and I learned/observed that scorpions glow under black light!
Honestly, I didn’t feel a spiritual vibe, but I also didn’t really spend time in nature. I’d love to go back to Tucson to explore the area more. I have a lot of affection and connection to Arizona, more so Phoenix/Scottsdale area with living there for 3 months during a clinical rotation in 2009, and Sedona, so I believe Tucson could be similar.
Food: I only ate out once at a place called the Hub. When we entered, the vibe was dark and nice but casual, however we were sat in a side room that felt like a kids party section. It lost the vibe, but it was nice because it allowed us to talk…for a while. We shared wings which were pretty good. And I got the vegetable pot pie, something I rarely have as it’s quite an indulgence. It was very good. They also make their own ice cream, which was really delicious. I had the s’mores.
When we left the restaurant, the area had a nice vibrancy about it. During the day, it felt dead. Going into dinner it felt much more alive. Leaving dinner it felt vibrant. A lot of indoor outdoor bars and people seemed to be having fun and getting it in. Good crowds. Some felt like a lot of college aged people, but noticed all ages.
Tucson, as with many locations in the US is full of chains. All of the aforementioned strip malls were jam packed with all of the chain stores we have here on the east coast, and everywhere else – Chipotle, Panera, Target, Khols, UPS store, Starbucks, Costco, various fast food restaurants (a lot more Mexican food chains, similar to Phoenix), and so on. There were a ton of grocery stores, including several Sprouts and Whole Foods which would be ideal for our family. Farmer’s
The views, the nature, the weather….bottom line, I’d have to go back to Tucson to really get my full experience of the area. Maybe we will….