Tucson is the place to be according to The Sacramento Bee's article "Tucson: Two hours south and a world away." This time of year, thousands of people flock to the Phoenix area for an overdose of baseball and Spring Training, yet miss out on the opportunity to get outside of Maricopa County and explore Arizona's treasures. This article focuses on what you're missing in Tucson:
"Whereas sprawling Phoenix may be the big-box-store capital of the West, Tucson counters with its 4th Avenue shopping district, a diverse expanse of blocks between downtown and the University of Arizona campus with shops running the gamut from locally manufactured clothing to a quirky boutique whose wares are “upcycled” – alchemical use of found materials."
For some of the most unique shopping in Arizona, they recommend stores like Local First Arizona members Pop-Cycle and Antigone Books in the 4th Avenue shopping district. These independent stores and others offer a variety of unique items (try a notepad made out of repurposed Monopoly cards) that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
Tucson also boasts an impressive entertainment scene:
"Whereas Phoenix boasts a big-city lineup of performing arts venues – symphony, national-touring theater, arenas for rock concerts – Tucson has quietly (check that, loudly) developed a pop and alternative music scene on Congress Street that some say rivals Austin in its formative years."
They recommend heading to any of these venues for an evening of great entertainment, such as Local First Arizona members Club Congress and Fox Theater. You can make it easy on yourself by booking your stay at the historic Hotel Congress so you only have to stumble back to your room after a late night out at Club Congress.
How will you nourish yourself through all this shopping and entertainment? With some great local restaurants, of course! The Sacramento Bee recommends some more Local First Arizona members: The Cup Cafe, Maynard's Market & Kitchen, and La Cocina Cantina. Your guaranteed a delicious meal at any of these fine establishments.
Arizona locals, take note: this serves as an excellent staycation guide, even if you do already live in Tucson! Plus, this article further goes to show just how important local businesses are for creating a community that people want to live in, travel to, and label as a fun place to be.
And we'd just like to note while we know Phoenix does have a lot of big box stores, we hope the Sacramento Bee knows there are just as many unique local businesses, dining options, and entertainment venues in Phoenix as well!