Experience the rugged beauty of West Tucson, surrounded by stunning desert parks — just a streetcar ride from university
You’re making your home where city meets desert, so you’ll benefit from all the best big city conveniences, with some of the world’s most astonishing landscapes minutes from your door.
Saguaro National Park is a 30-minute drive from West Tucson — it’s one of few places where you’ll find the towering Saguaro cacti, up to 15m tall, which you’ll see pictured on t-shirts and licence plates all over town. The hiking trails are well-marked and maintained and, if you visit in May and June, when the Saguaro’s are in bloom, you’ll see all types of wildlife drawn to their huge, white flowers.
The desert climate means that the weather is always beautiful, but the heat can be overwhelming. Locals limit their outdoor excursions to mornings and evenings — follow their lead and pack a picnic, then drive out to watch the sunset. For truly breathtaking views, make the trip to Gates Pass; closer to home, you’ll get a dazzling view of the city lights from Sentinel Peak Park, which is a popular student hangout.
There are enough shops nearby to keep you stocked up on everyday essentials, as well as Mercado San Augustin, Tucson’s only public marketplace, which has a weekly farmer’s market, bakery, coffee shop and gift shops, all set around an open-air courtyard.
The streetcar stops nearby, so it’s easy to reach downtown Tucson, but there’s no need to travel to enjoy great food as there are lots of great cafés and restaurants on your doorstep, many of them serving delicious Mexican cuisine.