MAIN ARTERIES & STREETS
Tucson is laid out on a grid that’s fairly regular everywhere except the oldest parts of downtown; some of the midcentury developments in midtown also have odd diagonal streets called “stravenues.” In the flatlands, major thoroughfares are spaced at 1-mile intervals, with smaller streets filling in the squares created by the major roads. In the foothills, where Tucson’s most recent growth has occurred, the grid system breaks down completely because of the hilly terrain.
The main east-west roads are (from south to north) 22nd Street, Broadway Boulevard, Speedway Boulevard, Grant Road (with Tanque Verde Road as an extension), and Ina Road/Skyline Drive/Sunrise Road. The main north-south roads are (from west to east) Miracle Mile/Oracle Road, Stone/Sixth Avenue, Campbell Avenue, Country Club Road, Alvernon Road, Swan Road, Wilmot Road, and Kolb Road. I-10 cuts diagonally across the Tucson metropolitan area from northwest to southeast.
In downtown Tucson, Congress Street and Broadway Boulevard are the main east-west streets; Broadway splits into the one-way, westbound Congress Street when it enters the western end of downtown, with Broadway one-way eastbound until leaving downtown. Stone Avenue, Sixth Avenue, and Fourth Avenue are the main north-south streets.
FINDING AN ADDRESS
Because Tucson is laid out on a grid, finding an address is relatively easy. The zero (or starting) point for all Tucson addresses is the corner of Stone Avenue, which runs north and south, and Congress Street, which runs east and west. From this point, streets are designated either north, south, east, or west. Addresses usually, but not always, increase by 100 with each block, so an address of 4321 E. Broadway Blvd. should be 43 blocks—or 4.3 miles, at 10 blocks per mile—east of Stone Avenue. In the downtown area, many of the streets and avenues are numbered, with numbered streets running east and west, and numbered avenues running north and south.
The best way to find your way around Tucson is to pick up a free map at the airport visitor center or the MTCVB. Maps handed out by car-rental agencies are not very detailed but will do for some purposes. Local gas stations and convenience stores also sell detailed maps.
Tucson’s main business district has also recently become a vibrant area, full of restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops, that buzzes until 2am. It is served by a streetcar that runs from the university to the west side.
El Presidio Historic District
Named for the Spanish military garrison that once stood here, this neighborhood is bounded by Alameda Street, Main Avenue, Franklin Street, and Church Avenue. In the 1880s, this was the city’s most affluent neighborhood, and many large homes from that era have been restored. The Tucson Museum of Art is a major draw here.
Barrio Histórico District
Another 19th-century neighborhood, the Barrio Histórico is bounded on the north by Cushing Street, on the west by railroad tracks, on the south by 18th Street, and on the east by Stone Avenue. The Barrio Histórico is characterized by Sonoran-style adobe row houses. A few restaurants dot the neighborhood, most at the southern end, but most restored buildings serve as offices and private residences. This remains a borderline neighborhood; try to avoid it late at night.
Northeast of downtown Tucson lie several different neighborhoods surrounding the University of Arizona. Just to the west, Fourth Avenue is a favorite shopping and nightlife district for college students. Neighborhoods to the east are largely residential but have a few good hotels. Stretching north from the university, Campbell Avenue has the city's greatest concentration of interesting budget restaurants.
East of the University District all the way to the eastern unit of Saguaro National Park, sprawling East Tucson has lots of hotels, including several all-suites properties, plenty of good restaurants, and both the national park and Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.
Along the flank of the Tucson Mountains, the west side is home to several top attractions, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, and the west unit of Saguaro National Park, but it doesn’t have many recommendable restaurants or places to stay.
Oro Valley & Marana
These two suburbs northwest of Tucson are where all the city's recent development has taken place. Here you'll find the posh Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort and several good restaurants. The area has stupendous views of the west slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, with access to the mountains at Catalina State Park.
This huge affluent area in northern Tucson boasts elegant shopping plazas, modern malls, world-class resorts, golf courses, and expensive residential neighborhoods, surrounded by hilly desert at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
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.