Tucson, Arizona, USA

Living in Tucson

Iyna Bort Caruso

An attractive cost of living and temperate winters make Tucsona long-favorite destination of snowbirds.

This is Wildcat Country. The University of Arizona, the oldest university in the state, is one of the largest employers in an economy rounded out by the aerospace, defense and bio-tech industries. 

Tucson is located in the Sonoran Desert region in southern Arizona. The city sits on the Santa Cruz River, 60 miles north of the Mexican border in the center of five different mountain ranges. Pick a view for drama in every direction, most famously Tucson’s saguaro-and-sunset landscapes. 

The mountains are playgrounds for rock climbers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The city is pedal-friendly, too, with an extensive network of bike-only paths. For golfers, more than 40 courses tempt players of all skill levels.

The vibe is influenced by Native American, Old West and South-of-the-Border cultures. Until 1854, Tucson was part of Mexico and some its oldest buildings date back to the period. The arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880 spurred population growth and introduced new building materials and design perspectives to the region, ushering in broader architectural influences. 

Tucson’s historic downtown features St. Augustine Cathedral built in 1896 and a pair of movie theaters that date back to the 1920s. 

Two major events draw visitors from all parts. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show has been going strong for more than 50 years and is one of the world’s largest of its kind. For architecture buffs, Tucson Modernism Week, presented by the Tucson Historical Preservation Foundation, highlights the regional variation of the post-World War II movement that was adapted to the desert climate. Instead of glass and steel, materials typically associated with modernist forms, the regional style incorporated more locally available materials like brick.

Properties in the Greater Tucson area include multi-million estates, tucked-away homes in the foothills featuring pueblo-style design, luxury spa resort villas and equestrian ranches.