Category Archives: Exploring Tucson

Exploring Tucson – Summerhaven

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with your precious time off work.  Better yet, looking for a way to cool off from the summer heat?  Why not try Summerhaven.

The area where this small community on the top of Mount Lemmon stands has been a Tucson summer haven for over a century.  In 1906, the trail that the Native Americans had used to reach the summit was improved in a push to make the mountain more accessible.  In 1909, Jim Wesfall and his wife, Lita Camacho had a log structure built to entertain guests and called it the “Maricopa Lodge.”  At the time, of course, it took the whole day to reach the top.  Now, it is less than an hour from the intersection of Tanque Verde and the Catalina Highway, that is if you drive straight up and choose not to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.  There are many summer events in and around Summerhaven to keep your family occupied.  You can take a summer ride on the ski lift in Ski Valley for around $9.00.  You can have a meal at the Irondoor Restaurant and desert at the Mt. Lemmon Cookie Cabin.  You can hike the numerous trails along the trip to the summit.  You can camp overnight at the Rose Canyon Campground. You could even go fishing in one of the few places near Tucson where this activity is available, Rose Canyon Lake.

Of course, you don’t have to limit your Summerhaven activities to just the summer.  Remember, the closest place to snow ski near Tucson is Ski Valley.

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out Summerhaven.

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Exploring Tucson – Audubon Society

(Tucson Audubon Society Logo)

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with your precious time off work.  Though not a specific Tucson destination, the Tucson Audubon Society can be a way to make Tucson and our Sonoran desert a destination of itself.  As a non-profit organization they…

engage people in the conservation of birds and their habitats. We involve people through recreational birding, extend their horizons through education programs, and engage them in conservation actions from planting trees and counting birds, to working with local, state, and national policy makers.

As well as sponsoring on going ‘Bird Walks,’  they also coordinate ‘Free Birding Field Trips’ to areas such as Benson, Kitt Peak, Colossal Cave, and others.  Their Nature Shops (located E. Roger, E. University, and online) offer nature books, trail guides, and Tucson Audubon merchandise.

So check them out even if you already are a Birder, need yet another reason to head outdoors, or are simply amused by that neighborhood woodpecker that pecks metal stove pipes

Go to tucsonaudubon.org for more information.

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out Tucson Audubon Society.

Exploring Tucson – Postal History Foundation

Feeling philatelic?
Then you must like studying stamps and postal history.  Well, head over to the Postal History Foundation located in Historic West University.  The Postal History Foundation is a working Post Office.  Guides will gladly give you a tour of the turn of the century Naco, AZ post office which, back in the day, was procured via mail order catalog (a non-electric version of Internet shopping).

Volunteers work sorting stamps donated to the foundation.  These stamps are either added to the collection, sold to stamp collectors, or provided to elementary schools as teaching aids in themed packs.

Across the courtyard you’ll find the beautiful Slusser Library complete with postal history art and a spacious reading room.  From their site:

The Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library houses a collection of over 30,000 books, journals, catalogs, photos, maps, and other reference items related to the philatelic history of the United States, especially the Western States, U.S. postal history and worldwide philatelic history.

Dedicated in October 1996, the library is adjacent to the Postal History Foundation in the unique West University Historic Neighborhood District.  Its aesthetic appeal and architectural features have received national distinction.  It features a spacious reading room, exhibit area, book, and catalog sections.  Most importantly, it has become one of the most recognized repositories of philatelic literature in the United States.  Its material is an excellent resource for students, educators, historians and researchers. A trip to the Slusser Library is guaranteed to be worthwhile.
We look forward to your visit!

The museum is located at 920 N. First Avenue.  You can learn more, and how to volunteer, at www.postalhistoryfoundation.org.

So, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out the Postal History Foundation.

Exploring Tucson – Fourth Avenue

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with your precious time off work.  This weekend why not spend some time on Fourth Avenue.  The stretch of Fourth Avenue from Ninth Street to University is a great area for shopping, eating, or just people watching.

The shops along Fourth Avenue are a variety of gift shops, tattoo/piercing parlors, thrift/vintage shops, new age/earthy shops, book stores, and more.  If you are looking for that hard to find herb, there are the Food Conspiracy Co-op and the Tucson Herb Store.  If you are looking for the perfect new or used book, there are Antigone Books and the Book Stop.  If you are looking for the perfect gift to send back to the relatives in the East that just screams TUCSON!, there are Pop-Cycle and Creative Ventures.

The restaurants and bars along Fourth Avenue are mostly independently owned and offer a great variety.  If you are craving Italian, there are Caruso’s and Brooklyn Pizza Company.  If you want sweets there are the Chocolate Iguana and Dairy Queen.  If you want coffee there are Epic Cafe and Revolutionary Grounds. There is even a great Greek restaurant called Athens. If what you really need is a alcoholic beverage there are The Hut and Sky Bar or any number of other bars.

If people watching is your thing, you won’t find a more eclectic group anywhere else in Tucson.

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out Fourth Avenue.

Exploring Tucson – Trail Dust Town

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with your precious time off work.  Have family in town?  Why not take some time to enjoy Trail Dust Town located at 6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd.  Trail Dust Town was originally built in the 1950’s as a Glenn Ford movie set.  (Don’t feel bad. I had to Wiki him, too.) Later on the mock western town was taken over for commercial purposes and turned into a local family destination.  The small collection of shops ranges from photography studios, a jewelry store, gift shops, western wear, salon and day spa, Pinnacle Peak restaurant, and others.

Take the kids on the miniature CP Huntington Railroad, visit the Museum of the Horse Soldier, or enjoy the Wild West stunt show.

Go to www.traildusttown.com to learn more.

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out Trail Dust Town.

Exploring Tucson – Kitt Peak National Observatory

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with the family that won’t empty your wallet. One way to cool off this weekend without spending a great deal of money is to visit Kitt Peak National Observatory.  The observatory is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O’odham Nation.  Kitt Peak National Observatory is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).  Kitt Peak National Observatory is home to twenty-four optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions.  If you are interested in the closest star to earth, the National Solar Observatory is also located at the top of Kitt Peak.

The Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center is open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s day.  Guided tours are offered daily at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. and group tours are available by appointment.  The guided tours are inexpensive and offer great commentary by a knowledgeable docent.  In addition to the guided tours, the Kitt Peak website offers down-loadable audio tours for free that will take you through the same areas of the observatory as the guided tours sans docent.  Kitt Peak National Observatory also offers night time observing opportunities for those who must just see for themselves.

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out the Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Exploring Tucson – Southern Arizona Transportation Museum

The weekend is upon us and it is time to decide what to do with your precious time off work.  The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is a great destination.

The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is next to the Tucson Amtrak Station and Maynard’s Market & Kitchen; all of which are housed in the historic train depot.  The Museum itself explores the history of railroad travel in Arizona featuring maps of rail lines, a scale railroad, and interactive displays.  Across the courtyard you will find the Locomotive Number 1673 Ramada.  Locomotive Number 1673 is a restored Southern Pacific engine.  Knowledgeable volunteers are on hand in the ramada every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to answer all of your steam locomotive questions.

The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is located at 414 North Toole Avenue (on the north side of Toole between Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue).  The Museum is closed on Mondays, is open from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and is open 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Learn more at http://www.TucsonHistoricDepot.org

So this weekend, while taking a break from the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate, check out the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.