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Tucson is on the Santa Cruz River, surrounded by the Santa Catalina, Rincon, Tucson, Santa Rita and Tortolita mountains
Tucson lies in the borderland, a region that blends the cultures of the United States and Mexico, and has a long history of settlement by ancient Native American peoples, Spanish explorers, and Anglo frontiersmen.

Tucson, Arizona

The Tucson metropolitan area is presently home to over 750,000, and is continuing to grow by nearly 2,000 new residents each month. People visit Tucson for its rich history, recreational and cultural pursuits, gorgeous desert scenery, world-class hotels, and year-round sunshine.

In this city, where old and new are equally represented, traditional adobe architecture and modern high-rise buildings stand side by side. Folklorico mingles with modern art, dance and music. It is not uncommon to lunch on a topopo salad and dine that same evening on fine French cuisine.

Tucson (pronounced Too sahn) has been continuously settled for over 12,000 years and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The city is spread out over hundreds of square miles in a scenic, high desert valley surrounded by five mountain ranges: the Santa Catalinas on the north and northeast, the Rincon range to the east, the Santa Rita Mountains on the south and southeast, the Tucson Mountain range on the west and the Tortolita Mountains to the northwest. Sentinel Peak, called "A" mountain by University of Arizona students, is slightly southwest of downtown Tucson and affords a fantastic view of the metropolitan area.

Tucson's historic neighborhoods are clustered within the central city and include Barrio Historico, El Presidio, Armory Park, West University, Sam Hughes, Iron Horse and the Pie Allen District (named for an early settler famous for his dried-apple pies). The downtown Arts District and the Fourth Avenue Shopping District are also centrally located.

Enjoy the architectural detail of Mission San Xavier del Bac; the breathtaking scenery and natural beauty of the mountains; the history and heritage of the Presidio district; the stately cacti in Saguaro National Park; the wet cave system in Kartchner Caverns State Park. Then venture out to view the traditional and contemporary works at the Tucson Art Museum and aeronautical history at the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Tucson's climate varies from the warmth of the 2,400 foot high desert basin to the cool breezes and ski areas of the 9100 foot elevation of the forests of the Santa Catalina mountains. The City's dry desert air and winter sunshine make it a popular destination and winter resort. The City is home to the University of Arizona and to Davis Monthan Air force Base. Industries include electronics and missile production.

The Sonoran Desert Museum combines a world-renowned zoo, a natural history museum and cactus garden depicting the most colorful and diverse of Arizona's deserts. Explore the museum's hummingbird aviary, then hike among bighorn sheep while delighting in observing jumping cholla cactus and Western whiptail lizards. After a day at the museums, itís time to relax in the Tucson Botanical Gardens, where you can drift away in a dreamy butterfly garden and meditate among Mexican gold poppies and owl clover wildflowers. Spend some time underground in cool Colossal Cave amid stalactites and stalagmites; marvel at the peaks and valleys on a hike through Sabino Canyon; and summarize the highlights of your natural journey at the famous Biosphere 2, a seven million foot airtight, glass replica of Earth's environment. Don't miss Tucson's trademark blazing sunset streaked with turquoise and pink, and the perfect follow-up: an evening of star-gazing at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Visit Arizona, and discover Tucson! This desert blooms with life!
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