Neither of us had ever been to Tucson before, so we were both surprised at how big the city is, how beautiful it is and how much there is to do there. I can’t believe how much we stuffed into two weeks, and there was still more we didn’t get to.
As I started planning our article about Tucson and going through all our photos, I realized I’d need more than one piece to talk about everything we did (and ate). So let’s start with one of our first days in the city, which was unplanned and ended up being pretty perfect.
–> Want to read more about Tucson? Check out “Meet the Beautiful Sonoran Desert in Tucson.” <–
Lunch at Taqueria Pico de Gallo
After working all morning, we met Dan Gibson, Director of Communications at Visit Tucson, for lunch at Taqueria Pico de Gallo. We let Dan pick our lunch spot, since we figured a guy with his job would know the best places in town. All of the tacos were good, but make sure you go with corn tortillas, since they’re made in-house.
2618 S. 6th Ave. – Yelp
Dan unloaded his best Tucson tips for us. Essentially, he planned our entire afternoon, since we ended up spending the rest of the day following his suggestions.
Our Streetcar Adventure
We headed to Mercado San Agustin, where Eric picked up some fresh polverones (his favorite Mexican cookie) from La Estrella bakery before we browsed the shops. The mercado is also home to a coffee shop, restaurant and sno cone place. It’s a charming collection of local businesses and the perfect place to relax.
100 South Avenida del Convento – Website
Eventually, we crossed the street to buy two Sun Link day passes from a kiosk and wait for the streetcar to arrive. We took Dan’s advice and stayed on the streetcar all the way to the last stop, on The University of Arizona campus. The trip allowed us to see different parts of the city. We could’ve got out to walk around the university area because it looks hip and fun, but instead we went back to Fourth Avenue.
Ah, Fourth Avenue in Tucson. This is one of the only places that has ever made me rethink Austin’s claim to weirdness. There were a lot of weird places here (some were cool-weird, and others were just weird-weird). Two of my favorites were Pop-cycle and Antigone Books.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we walked right past Lindy’s on 4th, which ended up being one of our favorite eateries in Tucson. More on Lindy’s in another article!
Time for Happy Hour in Downtown Tucson
We made it a point to ask Dan about his favorite craft cocktails in town, and–once again–he pointed us in the right direction.
We landed at 47 Scott first. Scott & Co. next door is the real cocktail spot, with dozens of drinks from various eras, but it didn’t open until 6 p.m. So we settled for 47 Scott, which is owned by the same person. Our mixologist made excellent drinks, and provided us with helpful Tucson tips in the process.
While you’re in the area, make sure to stop by Hotel Congress. Built in 1919, this place is brimming over with history. One of the many colorful stories is that of John Dillinger being captured there. Make sure you glance at the wall by the bathrooms to see all the news clippings and photos!
About a block away is Tough Luck Club, a speakeasy hidden in the basement of Reilly Craft Pizza. Tough Luck Club is without a doubt one of the most unique bars I’ve ever been to. Because it used to be a crematorium. So I sipped my $5 happy hour specials while awkwardly glancing at the wall, where a big hole had been plastered over. Because they used to cremate bodies there.
So…tell me how this compares to the most unique bar you’ve ever been to?