ǿƵ | All ǿƵ Tucson | University of Arizona

All ǿƵ Tucson

Food • Environment • Culture

Your College Town

Tucson is Arizona’s second-largest city. ǿƵ – Arizona’s first university and home of the Wildcats – is at the center of it all. Learn more about things to do in Tucson, our famous culinary scene, what the weather’s really like, and about the region’s culture and history.

If you're looking for places to explore around town, check out our interactivefeaturing students' top Tucson recommendations.

    Afternoon view of the Tucson, Arizona skyline at sunset

    Where to Hang Out
    Near Campus

    Students enjoying coffee at main gate square outside patio

    Main Gate Square

    Just outside campus, Main Gate Square and University Boulevard is where Wildcats go to watch a game, grab a burrito, socialize, or all of the above.
    Map of Main Gate Square location in relation to the University of Arizona

    Students in front of the Rialto Theater


    From brunch spots to concerts, if it’s happening in Tucson, it’s happening downtown.
    Map of downtown location in relation to the University of Arizona

    Student riding bike

    Fourth Avenue

    Tucson’s famous Fourth Avenue is home to eclectic shops, coffee spots, and restaurants.
    Map of Fourth Ave. location in relation to the University of Arizona

    People enjoying the patio at El Mercado

    Mercado District

    Explore open-air markets, restaurants, and boutiques in west-central Tucson.
    Map of Mercado location in relation to the University of Arizona

    Things To Do

    Top view of food dishes spread on a wood table


    Tucson is a globally-recognized food destination. Tucson is the first in North America; recognized for its history of culinary distinctiveness. Explore , where you can eat tacos, the original chimichanga, and the Sonoran hot dog.

    BEST 23

    Miles Of Mexican Food In America

    View of sky at dusk with Kitt Peak National Observatory in the middle
    Attractions & Culture

    Visit the white dove of the desert, the San Xavier Del Bac Mission. Get up-close to a mountain lion at the open-air Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Wander one the world’s largest aerospace museums: The Pima Air and Space Museum. Or, look to the stars from Kitt Peak National Observatory. .

    Aerial view of bear down friday celebrations on University BLVD
    The Community

    Many compare Tucson to Austin and Portland – it’s a little quirky, and has a lot of character. A college town through-and-through, Tucson welcomes and supports University of Arizona students. There are more than 1 million people who live in the Tucson metro area, and whether you’re a local or an out-of-state student, you’ll feel at home.

    Tucson mountain range background view with students rock climbing


    Surrounded by five breathtaking mountain ranges, Tucson is an outdoor playground. Cycling is popular here – from cruising on campus to biking the 131-mile Loop. Wildcats love hiking Tumamoc Hill, near downtown; to the waterfalls of Seven Falls; and among the pine trees on Mount Lemmon. Also on Mount Lemmon: skiing and snowboarding.

    131 MILE

    Bike Loop Around Metro Tucson

    Old Main building in the background with students walking dogs on grass

    Tucson is cooler and wetter than Phoenix, thanks to its 2,643-foot elevation and the surrounding mountains. Tucson is in the Sonoran Desert; however, the University of Arizona is in the city’s metropolitan center. Tucson’s heat is at its peak from June through August; however, spectacular summer monsoons lower temperatures.

    Students honoring Day of the Dead by painting their faces.

    There are many to look forward to in Tucson. Admire glittery jewels at the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase – the largest and oldest in the world. A beloved tradition is the Tucson Rodeo & Parade, which began in 1925. The All Souls Procession honors and remembers, and ends with an urn lit ablaze.

    Students collaborating and working together on a shared workspace


    Opportunities abound when it comes to beginning your career in Tucson after graduation. In fact, about 40% of our most recent graduating class decided to stay here for work or school after completing their four years here.

    Industries like aviation, space, defense, health care, and a growing start-up scene make Tucson a hub for high demand jobs. Or, continue your education with graduate research opportunities at a Tier-1 Research Institution.

    Student Stories


    Road Trip Guide

    While there’s plenty to do in-town, we fully support expanding your boundaries. Explore hidden gems across Southern Arizona, and some favorites that are a little farther.

    Day Trips Near Tucson

    Image of Bisbee


    A destination for the free-spirited, Bisbee’s morphed from a copper mining town to a culture-filled, delightfully weird haven.

    Students Hiking Mt. Lemmon

    Mount Lemmon

    Just an hour from Tucson, Mount Lemmon’s Northern Arizona-esque climate is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and more.

    Tucson Sunset


    A blast set in the Wild West past, Tombstone takes you back to the days of cowboys and outlaws.

    Arial view of Tubac


    Wander art galleries and eclectic shops, walk the Anza trail, visit historic sites – Tubac’s small, but multifarious.

    Weekend Getaways

    Phoenix/Scottsdale - 2 hours

    Sedona - 3.5 hours

    Flagstaff - 4 hours

    Grand Canyon - 5 hours

    San Diego - 6 hours

    Las Vegas - 6.5 hours

    Los Angeles - 7 hours

    Zion National Park - 8 hours

    Map of popular cities near Tucson

    Tucson 101

    Panoramic View of Downtown Tucson and A mountain


    The “c” is silent – like Too-sawn


    350 days of sunshine annually


    The Old Pueblo

    History of Tucson

    Tucson’s name is derived from the Tohono O’odham Cuk Ṣon, meaning “(at the) base of the black [hill],” a reference to Sentinel Peak – otherwise known as “A” Mountain. The Santa Cruz River valley has been home to cultures including the Paleo-Indians and the Hohokam. Tucson was officially founded by the Spanish in 1775, when Hugo O’Conor authorized the construction of a military fort: Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón.

    Historic church in Tucson

    Plan Your Campus Visit

    Experience it for yourself! Discover the University of Arizona – and, our beloved Tucson – on a campus tour.