Situated in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is surrounded by five mountain ranges. The 360 sunny days a year and noteworthy desert landscape make this city ideal for any outdoor enthusiast; from cyclists to golfers, Tucson offers an ideal climate.
The community places an emphasis on preserving its colorful heritage while maintaining a casual attitude. Named "A mini-mecca for the arts" by The Wall Street Journal, and included in the book, "50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family," Tucsonans embrace the quality of life while living in a place where the American dream can still come true. In Tucson, individual voices can be heard and people are the driving force behind making things happen. The city offers the best of both worlds; a progressive and innovative metropolitan while maintaining the friendly, caring small-town atmosphere.
Nicknamed "The Old Pueblo" after the Spanish word meaning town or village, the name Tucson comes from the O'odham tribe and was pronounced chuk-show, meaning "spring at the foot of a black mountain." Continuously inhabited for more than 12,000 years, Tucson is one of the oldest towns in the United States and has been home to Native Americans, Spanish explorers, Mexicans, Europeans, and West-bound pioneers. Hugo O'Conor established the Tucson Presidio in 1775. August 20th, 1775 is considered Tucson's birthday. The city is home to the University of Arizona and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Other top employers include Raytheon, US Border Patrol and Banner Health University Medical Center of Tucson. In 2015, Tucson became the first city in the United States to be recognized as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy.
Some credit for the designation goes to the “Downtown Revitalization.” In 2000, Tucsonans voted to increase the sales tax in order to breathe new life into Downtown. The three-part plan didn’t start until 2010 with a handful of infrastructure projects as step one, including the city’s solar-powered streetcar. Step two was an incentive plan for those looking to open new businesses – leading to a booming number of restaurants that helped Tucson earn its designation as a city of Gastronomy. With the opening of a new downtown hotel in 2017, Downtown continues to grow as both a great place for locals and a hub for the area’s tourism.