WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GETTING AROUND IN TUCSON
Tucson is unique among southwestern cities. Combining
the ambiance of big city life and its conviences with the leisurely pace of a small town, Tucson is different things to different people. Most importantly, it is refreshingly friendly. Folks here are used to out-of-towners and are ready to help you find your way around.
Hotels and tours are spread out around town, so there is no “right” place to be to get to all of the attractions. Most hotels will accomodate you in getting to you to your tour or in arranging to have your tour operator pick you up.
Public transportation is abundant and inexpensive. Try one of the city busses or, if you’re exploring downtown, grab the free trolley. We have many cab companies, including the “name brand” cabs that you’re used to. Limo services are also widely available. Greyhound Bus Service is located in the heart of downtown as is Amtrack Train Service.
Tucson International Airport bustles with activity but is not so big that you will get lost. If you’re flying into town and looking for a cheaper fare, hook up with a flight into Phoenix and take a shuttle down the highway. Many times the price difference is inconsequential, but sometimes, it is well worth the extra phone call. Just make sure you arrange the shuttle service before you make your ticket reservation.
If you are planning on driving yourself around, Tucson is easy to navigate with few dead end roads and no confusing interchanges. Laid out in a fairly even grid pattern, traffic is easy and flows well. The city lies in a “bowl” or valley, with mountains on all four sides. If you get to know your mountain ranges, you can find your way around easily.
The closest mountain range is the Catalina Mountain Range which makes them look the largest. This is your north reference. Here you will find the village of Summerhaven and, in the winter, great skiing at the Lodge. Scout camps and miles upon miles of hiking through several distinct ecosystems marking the elevation changes. Beyond these mountains lies Biosphere 2 and Phoenix.
Scanning the horizon to your left you will see the Tucson Mountain Range, the backdrop to many familiar westerns, behind which lies Old Tucson Studios. This is your west directional reference.
Far and away to the south is the Santa Rita Mountain Range. Heading in this direction will take you in the direction of Mexico and several authentic western towns, including Tombstone, Tubac and Nogales.
Completing the tour to the east you find the amazing Rincon Mountains. This is a hiker’s haven for the serious hiker. Old hunting cabins and flora abound. At the southern most base of these mountains lies Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Closer to town along the range you will find horseback riding and ATV adventures.
All of the mountain ranges are clearly seen from any point in town.