Tucson is a quintessential Southwestern city, with the Catalina Mountains providing a stunning backdrop, and the saguaro-studded landscape adding to the area’s majestic beauty. Plus, here in the Sonoran Desert, residents enjoy a rich arts scene influenced by Native American and Mexican artists as well as some of the best Mexican food north of the border. (Did you know Tucson earned a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy designation?) Affordable housing and a diverse economy are a perk for those relocating to Tucson, and, for the bonus round, the city gets 310 days of sunshine.
Top Industries and Employers: Education and defense are industry leaders, and some of Tucson’s major employers are the University of Arizona, Raytheon, and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Best Coffee Shop: Savaya Coffee is a beloved shop that also holds coffee classes for those who love coffee culture.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Churros Cream Ale from Borderlands Brewing Co
Must-Have Meal: From tortilla factories to taquerias, Tucson takes Mexican food seriously and claims to have “The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food.” Your must-have meal is more like a Bingo card: A Sonoran Dog! Soft tacos! Frosty raspados! You’re a bonafide local once you order tostitos, which is a bag of corn chips that could be topped with jicama, lime, pork skins, carne asada and other house toppings.
Best Co-Working Space: Catalyst in the Tucson Mall has a teaching kitchen, arts and crafts studio, music studio, and a robotics and engineering lab in addition to its offices, conference rooms and co-working spaces.
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Casa Film Bar, which is a bar within a video store where you and your crew can pair a craft beer with a movie.
Creative Hub: Housed in a repurposed firehouse, MOCA Tucson features contemporary art from around the world.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Slip away to Kitt Peak to watch one of Arizona’s famous sunsets and then enjoy epic stargazing with access to a telescope.
Local Dream Job: A geologist. Tucson is a known destination for rare gems and minerals.
- Brittany Anas