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Welcome to the gay friendly Tucson Metropolitan Area

Arizona’s second largest city,Tucson (TOO-sahn) is the perfect blend of small town charm and big city convenience.  The Southwest is well-represented by Tucson’s cactus covered landscape, ring of green mountains, and Mexican-inspired architecture.  Tucson’s nickname is “Old Pueblo” and over one million people call it home.  Indeed, the area is so hospitable that archaeologists believe it has been continuously inhabited for the last 12,000 years.

Tucson is nestled in the valley of five small mountain ranges, the shining star of which is Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina range.  At over 9,000 feet, it is the southernmost winter ski resort in the country.  But don’t let the mountains fool you: Tucson is a desert city.  Several state and national parks surround the city, including Saguaro National Park, where a lot of the picturesque magazine photos of imposing saguaro cactus come from, The Spanish mission, San Xavier del Bac is located near Tucson.  Known as “the white dove of the desert”, it is a charming sight to behold again it desert mountain backdrop.

In downtown Tucson is the historic and cultural heart of the Old Pueblo, with ten nearby historic districts, the Arts District, professional theater, opera, ballet and symphony. Downtown’s landmarks include the old Pima County Courthouse, St. Augustine Cathedral, the Charles O. Brown House, Hotel Congress, and two historic train depots. With unique shopping, great restaurants, vintage theaters, bed-and-breakfasts, exciting nightlife, and eclectic architecture, Downtown has great places to explore and enjoy.

Downtown Tucson has been a focus of history for centuries. It lies directly on the longest continuously inhabited site in the U.S. The earliest documented residents are the mysterious Hohokam, a tribe that vanished hundreds of years ago. The area has seen Spanish Conquistadors and missionaries, Mexican and U.S. armies, Wild West legends, and modern heroes and villains. Come explore the centuries concentrated in Downtown Tucson.

Tucson AIDS Walk at the University of Arizona

The city is home to the University of Arizona, the largest employer in the region and an intellectual resource for the enitre nation.  Tucson is also home to Davis Monthan Air Force, another large employer, and several high-tech electronics and defense firms, including Honeywell and Raytheon. The city expects to see continued growth in its high-tech job force.

One adventure not to be missed while in the Tucson area is south to the hidden gem of the desert- Arizona’s rapidly growing “wine country”.  About 55 miles south of Tucson, in the Sonita-Elgin area, are about fourteen wineries- tiny, but producing some world-calss, award winning wines.  Take a day, or even a weekend, to visit this beautiful part of Arizona and get a “taste” of our state’s exciting new venture!

For more information on Tucson please go to www.VisitTucson.org/visitor/glbt