Uniquely Tucson

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Heart & Soul

On the red carpet for the 2015 Academy Awards, actress/singer Scarlett Johansson gushed, "I love downtown Tucson! It is the best!" We agree. Downtown Tucson is booming. The city's strong, steady heartbeat is felt whether you're walking down its historic streets or zipping along in its modern streetcar.

In all, about 150 new storefronts—from breweries to bakeries, spas, restaurants, distilleries, boutiques, collaborative workspaces and lodging—have hit the ground running in the last few years.

Shop newer venues such as Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market or Krikawa Jewelry Designs. Savor Mexico City cuisine at Penca or experience a molecular cocktail at HighWire Lounge. Relax at the eight-story, 137-room boutique AC Hotel by Marriott, which is expected to be complete by mid-2017, or the hip and retro Downtown Clifton. Experience the peak of Tucson's heartbeat during 2nd Saturdays Downtown for a taste of food, music, arts, and entertainment converging in Tucson's walkable creative center.

Discover outstanding cornerstones of Tucson that have never missed a beat. Catch live entertainment at the Rialto and Fox theaters or enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at Children's Museum Tucson. Devour a traditional Mexican meal at Café Poca Cosa or get your movie fix at The Screening Room.

The best part is, the additions are flowing seamlessly with Tucson's existing soulful history. Downtown Tucson is a destination with positively something for everyone. Feel the pumping pulse of this lively city!

Historic Hub

Much of downtown is made up of local businesses and museums located in adapted historic buildings, from 1840s Mexican adobes to early 20th-century theaters. Look for B in this guide for historic buildings and spots to experience Tucson's unique heritage.

Main Gate Square connects the oldest part of The University of Arizona campus, which opened in 1891, with West University Neighborhood, which developed between the 1890s and 1930s along Tucson's first streetcar route.

Pedestrian-friendly 4th Avenue was one of the earliest commercial districts to develop outside of central downtown, and showcases a variety of architectural styles from the 1910s to 1940s.

The riverbank beneath Sentinel Peak ("A" Mountain) is Tucson's birthplace, where people have lived continuously for more than 4,000 years and maintained an agricultural oasis for most of that timespan.