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Although Phoenix still holds the title of Resort Capital of Arizona, Tucson is not far behind, and this city's resorts boast much more spectacular settings than most comparable properties in Phoenix and Scottsdale. As far as nonresort accommodations go, Tucson has a wider variety than Phoenix -- partly because there are numerous bed-and-breakfast inns both in historic neighborhoods and in the desert on the outskirts of the city. The presence of two guest ranches within a 20-minute drive of Tucson also adds to the city's diversity of accommodations. Business and budget travelers are well served with all-suite and conference hotels, as well as plenty of budget chain motels.

At the more expensive hotels and resorts, summer rates, usually in effect from May to September, are often less than half what they are in winter. Surprisingly, temperatures usually aren't unbearable in May or September, which makes these good times to visit if you're looking to save money. When making late-spring or early-fall reservations, always be sure to ask when rates are scheduled to go up or down. If you aren't coming to Tucson specifically for the winter gem and mineral shows, then you'll save quite a bit if you avoid the last week in January and the first 2 weeks in February, when hotels around town generally charge exorbitant rates.

Bed & Breakfasts -- If you're looking to stay in a B&B, several agencies can help. The Arizona Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (www.arizona-bed-breakfast.com) has several members in Tucson. Mi Casa Su Casa (tel. 800/456-0682 or 480/990-0682; www.azres.com) can book you into one of its many B&Bs and homestays in the Tucson area or elsewhere in the state, as will Arizona Trails Travel Services (tel. 888/799-4284 or 480/837-4284; www.arizonatrails.com), which also books tour and hotel reservations.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.