A Weekend Getaway in Tucson by Rachel Erin McKeighan

For over a year, we have been dealing with the travel-prohibiting virus, COVID-19. Now that vaccinations are in full swing, states and countries are opening up their travel restrictions. One way to travel a little more safely is to utilize the road trip. This piece’s road trip destination: Tucson, Arizona. 

Where to Stay: The Westin, La Palomas 

This luxurious resort has everything you need to unwind and everything the kids need to be entertained. The pool area not only has a waterslide, pools, and hot tubs, but it also has an adult-only pool for when you want to relax without the splashing of adorable kids playing mermaids. There is a golf course on the resort, several restaurants, and, of course, a spa.

The main lounge restaurant area has a wall of beautiful glass windows overlooking the Catalina Foothills, which are shockingly draped in snow as I am writing this. 

What to Do

The San Xavier Mission
San Xavier Mission

Since you were not able to see a massive European Cathedral on your cancelled summer trip, you can drive down to the San Xavier Mission to fill the stained glass window void that you have been craving to satiate. This intricately designed mission is historic and open to the public. It is picturesque on the inside and the outside. You can even swing by the gift shop to find some authentic Tucson books, treats, and puzzles. 

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

What better remedy to cabin fever than an outdoor museum showcasing some of Arizona’s most unique plants and animals. This museum has it all – from furry cactuses to beavers to mountain lions. Aside from a few exhibits, everything is outside, so you can social distance while enjoying the Arizona sun before the temperature soars. 

Mount Lemmon

Fun fact: Tucson, Arizona has skiing. Mount Lemmon is about an hour away from downtown Tucson, but it seems closer to Narnia than the University of Arizona. Filled with trees and even snow right now, Mount Lemmon is a beautiful sight to see. Park your car at Windy Point at sunset to see the beautifully vivid Arizona sunset blanket the sky. As you drive back into the city, you will be able to see both the city lights and the night stars. 

University of Arizona

What’s a getaway without a college tour? For any of you with children, this is a great chance to explore the brick paradise that is the University of Arizona. They are currently offering both student-guided and self-guided tours to explore the campus and learn about the amazing opportunities. Bring your frisbee or spikeball and play a game on the mall. 

Where to Eat

Tucson is known for its Mexican food, so below are two delicious recommendations to satisfy all your taco cravings

Cafe Tumerico

Guy Fieri featured this spot on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, so you know it must be good. This delicious joint is 100% vegetarian, but you would have no idea if I did not tell you. The jackfruit both tastes and feels like pulled pork as it melts in your mouth.

The menu is written upon a chalkboard because it is always changing. Ask the employees what is best that day and order it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. If you are, call me up, and I will eat it.

Taqueria Juanitos

This purple building with murals covering the inside walls has tacos abounding in flavor but not abounding in price. Here you can get your classic Tucson street tacos double wrapped in 2 homemade tortillas. If you come before 11, you can snag a delicious breakfast burrito that will assuredly start your day on the right foot. The food is delicious, affordable, and authentic to Tucson. 

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