Tucson, Arizona is a Magical Winter Golf Escape
Pictured above: Sewailo Golf Course at Casino Del Sol in Tucson
Tucson is an uncommon vacation destination that never loses its magical appeal. Be it for the near-perfect winter climate, inspiring mountain backdrops, pampering resorts, historic venues, fabulous restaurants or the dozens of golf courses in the immediate and surrounding area, “Old Pueblo” is righteously high on our list of preferred escapes.
Located 90 minutes south of metro Phoenix and about 70 minutes north of the Mexican border, Tucson underscores the intimacy and romance of a smaller city without sacrificing quality of services or experiences. After giving five reasons golfers love Scottsdale, here are five compelling reasons to go to Tucson right now:
Pictured above: Omni National Tucson
1. Avid golfers are exquisitely pampered in Tucson. Courses feature signature monikers of the best golf architects, including 27-hole Dove Mountain (Jack Nicklaus), 36-hole Ventana Canyon (Tom Fazio), 27-hole La Paloma (Nicklaus), 36-hole Tucson National (Tom Lehman and Robert Von Hagge/Bruce Devlin), 45-hole El Conquistador (Greg Nash), 27-hole Starr Pass (Arnold Palmer/Bob Cupp/Craig Stadler), Arizona National (Robert Trent Jones Jr.), Sewailo (Notah Begay/Ty Butler) and Vistoso (Tom Weiskopf). And if you have private club connections, go play sumptuous Stone Canyon (Jay Morrish).
Pictured above: Casino Del Sol
2. Tucson’s Sonoran Desert environs are bursting with singular resort facilities, including The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, which just completed a major remodeling of its 50 luxury suites; Casino Del Sol Resort, which earned its second consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award since opening in 2012; and historic Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, which has completed big-ticket amenity upgrades including meticulous facelifts to its 17 lüxe-level casitas and 27-hole golf course (Red Lawrence and Ken Kavanaugh).
Pictured above: Tubac Spa in Tucson
3. Southern Arizona is rich in history and culture. Scrapbook memories are realized at centuries-old Mission San Xavier del Bac; DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun; Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum; Kitt Peak National Observatory; Biosphere 2; and in nearby Tombstone and its infamous OK Corral.
Pictured above: Vistoso (Photo copyright Chris Duthie)
4. Tucson’s upscale, outdoor shopping center, La Encantada, also features a slew of fitness events and festivals throughout the year, including complimentary yoga at LuluLemon Athletica (Sundays), and free weekly fitness meet-ups that include walk, run, and strength conditioning classes (Wednesdays). Tree-lined Fourth Avenue also delivers a decidedly local and eclectic offering of shops, restaurants, bars and places to hear live music.
Pictured above: Ventana Canyon (Photo copyright Chris Duthie)
5. Schedule your trip around a major event, like the 110-mile El Tour de Tucson, ranked by Bicycling magazine the third-best roadbike race in the country (Saturday, Nov. 21); Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair for arts, crafts, live music and awesome holiday shopping (Dec. 11-13); and the second annual Tucson Jazz Festival featuring the talents of Jimmy Heath, The Road Trads, Arthur Migliazza and others (Jan. 14-24).
Pictured above: Arizona National (Photo copyright Chris Duthie)
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.