Tune Into Tucson, Arizona’s Southern Sweet Spot
By Chris Duthie
Among the benefits of living in Colorado is our four distinct seasons, each of which has palatable allure for residents and visitors alike. That said, it’s always a bit of a shock when autumn’s cold and wet weather arrives, hastening a check into nearby desert locales for a sumptuous, summer-extending golf getaway.
That’s where the Tucson Basin comes in.
From October through April, it’s hard to beat Tucson’s fabulous climate — which consistently is about five degrees cooler than upstate metro Phoenix. Mix in more than 40 golf courses crafted by some of the best names in the business, offer up a world-class assortment of resort properties, then garnish with inspiring events and festivals, and you have the makings for one helluva Arizona vacation.
Need itinerary suggestions? Here are five:
1) Tucson’s renowned golf experience sports the extraordinary design styles of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Jay Morrish, Tom Weiskopf, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and others. Among the area’s must-plays are Arizona National, 27-hole Dove Mountain (pictured atop), 27-hole La Paloma, 27-hole Omni Tucson National Resort (above), the Notah Begay-designed Sewailo (below), 27-hole Starr Pass, 27-hole Tubac Golf Resort & Spa (above) and 36-hole Ventana Canyon.
2) There is no shortage of sweet, self-indulging sophistication in Tucson, underscored by award-winning resort properties like Canyon Ranch, Casino Del Sol Resort (pictured above), JW Marriott Starr Pass, The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, Loews Ventana Canyon, Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain and The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.
3) Tucson’s surrounding Sonoran Desert makes an even more memorable stage when booking a signature treatment at one of the area’s premier spas. At the Oprah Winfrey favored Miraval Arizona’s Life In Balance Spa, the sensory extravagant Sweet or Savory pampers, renews and refreshes with native-ingredient applications, a full-body exfoliation and deep-pressure massage.
4) Tucson’s bustling downtown, comprised of six distinct districts and connected by the Sun Link Streetcar, is ideal for discovering new shops, breweries, bars and some of Old Pueblo’s hottest restaurants. Clear the calendar to also explore La Encantada, the upscale shopping center that hosts a slew of fitness events and festivals including complimentary yoga at LuluLemon Athletica.
5) Pair your trip with one or more of Tucson’s signature events or festivals. On tap: Mexican Baseball Fiesta (Oct. 5-8); Film Fest Tucson (Oct. 19-22); Wilcox Wine Country Festival (Oct. 21-22); El Tour de Tucson (Nov. 18); and the 28th annual All Souls Procession (Nov. 3-5).
Tucson is a two-hour drive south of Phoenix via I-10 and less than two hours north of Nogales, Mexico. For more information go online to VisitTucson.org. What are your favorite memories of Tucson? Share your comments below.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer. Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.