The second largest city in Arizona, Tucson is a city that has its roots in the brave crossings into the Old West. Located in Puma county about 2 hours southeast of Phoenix, Tucson is situated in the lush valley of the Sonoran desert and surrounded by 5 mountain ranges. The city has a population that exceeds one million and hosts over 7 million visitors each year. All enjoy exciting outdoor adventures, colorful cultural traditions, great golfing, and world-class dining.
Tucson was founded on August 20, 1776. However, the Hohokam Indians lived here for 4,000 years making it one of the oldest inhabited locations on the continent. Spanish missionaries and soldiers established landmarks here in the late 1600s. Two centuries later, the area was legally purchased from Mexico as part of the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. During the Old West era (about 1860 to 1880) Tucson was a battleground for settlers, cattle ranchers, miners and the Apache Indians. The city was incorporated in 1877 making it Arizona's oldest. After the Southern Pacific Railroad was established in 1880 Tucson's roots expanded with new residents.
Today geography and climate help attract residents and visitors alike to Tucson. An hour's drive along the Catalina Highway-Sky Island National Scenic Byway passes over 7 out of 9 ecosystems between Mexico and Canada. The drive extends from the valley floor to the peak of Mt. Lemmon at 9,157 feet. Several scenic protected natural areas border the city including the Coronado National Forest, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Catalina State Park, and Saguaro National Parks East and West where the giant cactus, native only to Mexico and Southern Arizona can be found. The variety of terrain in these protected areas makes it some of the world's best destinations for hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding and other outdoor activities.
Many residents consider Tucson's climate as a major reason for relocation. Low humidity and an average of 350 days of sunshine the year around is favorable for health and mood and ideal for outdoor recreation. The average temperatures in winter fall between 64 and 75 degrees. Summer days are hot and dry, the perfect time for indoor activities such as shopping and visiting museums. The evenings cool down for great summer activity like cookouts, hiking, and biking.
Tucson is a great place to live, work, play and get an education. It is home to great public schools and the University of Arizona with more than 50,000 students and staff from all over the world. The cost of living in Tuscon falls below the national index, and with no shortage of great homes of all types and prices in the area, it is a prime location for relocating. AreaVibes can help you customize a list of places to live in Tucson, Arizona.