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#1 of 15 Old 03-11-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello! My family and are rv-ing in Arizona for the next week. Right now we are in Sedona, and we'd like to make our way down to Tuscon in the next couple of days. First of all, is there a perfect place to stop half way between Sedona and Tuscon that you can recommend? Secondly, what are some MUST DO's around the Tuscon area? Good places to eat? Activities for young kids? We're from western Canada, so we're fascinated by everything to do with the desert!!!!!

Thanks in advance!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#2 of 15 Old 03-11-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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sonoran desert museum would be a must see.

kartchner caverns

if you are up for hiking there are about a million great places to hike in and around town

the degrazia gallery is cool.

the tucson botanical gardens

agua caliente park

at night you can always check out the observatory at the UofA

there is more... my baby is up

have fun!

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#3 of 15 Old 03-11-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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tallulahma gave you some great suggestions... definitely check out the desert museum! it's a beautiful drive and you'll get to learn all about our wonderful desert.

If you're interested in seeing "downtown" Tucson (which isn't much of a city center, but can be fun), there is a St. patrick's day festival there on sunday. There is also book festival this weekend at the University of Arizona.

I dont have any recs about getting from Sedona to Tucson, but by the map it looks like you could forgo I-17/I-10 and go on the smaller highways through payson and globe, which are both pretty!
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#4 of 15 Old 03-11-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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Yup on the above. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is probably a must. Especially how gorgeous the weather is. (It is more or a zoo than a museum. I'm not big on zoos, but it's not too bad.)

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#5 of 15 Old 03-11-2009, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate your time - looks like a lot of really neat things to do!!!!!!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#6 of 15 Old 03-12-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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You asked for places to eat. Coming to Tucson you'll likely want to try Mexican food. There are quite a number of authentic restaurants on 4th Avenue around 29th street. We like Crossroads, but there are plenty to choose from.

If you go to the desert museum, their cafe is reasonably priced.

What type of food do you like to eat?

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#7 of 15 Old 03-12-2009, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mexican sounds great, we'll definitely give that a go - thank you for the recommendation!

You know, normally I would say that we aren't fussy at all, we eat pretty much anything. But having been on the road for a few months now, we'd love to find some good healthy food. Locally grown, possibly organic, lots of greens and no deep fried/processed cheese stuff - we've just had more than our fill these days!!!!

Also, for the totally tacky touristy experience, is there somewhere where we can try cactus or rattlesnake or something like that?!

Cheers!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#8 of 15 Old 03-12-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beaner&tiegs View Post
Mexican sounds great, we'll definitely give that a go - thank you for the recommendation!

You know, normally I would say that we aren't fussy at all, we eat pretty much anything. But having been on the road for a few months now, we'd love to find some good healthy food. Locally grown, possibly organic, lots of greens and no deep fried/processed cheese stuff - we've just had more than our fill these days!!!!

Also, for the totally tacky touristy experience, is there somewhere where we can try cactus or rattlesnake or something like that?!

Cheers!
No one around here eats rattlesnake--except the wild roadrunners. Napolitos, or maybe spelled nopalitos, are the young pads of prickly pear cactus. Some of the mexican restaurants have them. Another thing to try is Indian Fry Bread. If you were coming a week later you could get it at the 4th Ave. street fair. However, if you go to San Xavier mission they usually have booths set up in front of it. I like it with honey and you can also get an indian taco which is a popover (as fry breads are called) with beans, chili, lettuce, tomato, whatever. This is actually a worthwhile tourist stop. It's the original mission built in the 1600s, I think. Almost like walking into a European church right here in Tucson. They've been doing a lot of restoration work. You take I-19 south and the exits will guide you. Plus you can't miss seeing it from the highway.

By the way, there is major I-10 work going on. If you don't get off at Prince road, exit 254 I think, you can't exit for many miles.

There is a really good vegan restaurant called Lovin' Spoonfuls at 2990 N Campbell Ste 120. They tend towards a lot of meatless meat dishes--meatloaf without the meat with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy or chickenless chicken soup. They're quite good, though. no outdoor patio.

There are several indian buffets, our favorite is Gandhi at Stone and Ft. Lowell (nw corner.) no outdoor patio

The Blue Willow 2616 N Campbell Ave is a nice place. Crepes and such with a nice outdoor patio.

Maya Quetzal 429 N 4th Ave is guatemalan. The service is really fast. They have great tortilla soup. They have a selection of vegetarian. Also various meats with various sauces. My favorite is to get the stuffed chili (stuffed with potatoes and mushrooms) and get the pipian sauce. They only serve that sauce on meat but will put it on the stuffed chili if you ask. They have a small patio.

Across the street from Maya Quetzal--For Italian food, definitely recommend Caruso's 434 North 4th Avenue. They have a great patio. Service is slower. I love the eggplant parmigan with a side of linquine with pesto sauce. But the patio is what you go fo so the service is the side effect.

There is a local chain of restaurants called Chopped that sells salads.

Another local chain Xoom Juice sells smoothies. I think they're less sweet than Jamba Juice and I like the owner from the conversations we've had.

A popular local sandwich chain is called Baggins. (I don't like sandwiches.)

For pizza Magpies is a good local chain. There's one on 4th Ave near 4th street. Make sure you don't park in a neighborhood parking spot. You'll get ticketed.

Another 4th Ave and 4th street area restaurant is called Delectables. I haven't been there in years. Small fancy salads as I recall. Also on 4th ave on east side of street Casbah--it's tucked away right by La Indita (also good mexican food, though service can be quite slow. It's more indian than mexican.) Casbah is a lot of vegetarian stuff. I've not eaten there but I hear it's good.

This time of year I would search out a nice patio.

Baby's waking though this list should help you.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#9 of 15 Old 03-12-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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Prescott, Jerome and Payson are all really cool towns to stop in..Lots to see!

Picacho peak park would be a great place to stop on the way to Tucson. it is also in danger of being closed due to state budget cuts so go while you can!

Casbah teahouse on 4th Avenue is great place for lunch! There are also some good greek and ethiopian restraunts that escape me (exact names) but you probably want mexican anyway! Molina's (Pete's kitchen- wich is now Soto's) down on the border (Nogales) is good and authentic (it's an old military fort and has been a restaraunt ever since basically)) but probably a little far out of your way! (hour south of Tucson)

Rawhide in Phoenix will have buffalo burgers and there is an ostrich farm between Phoenix and Tucson you can stop at..

be sure to visit Saguaro national park. (right outside of Tucson) or Madera Canyon (just south of Tucson) for hiking/camping. and an art colony (Tubac).

Patagonia and Pena Blanca lakes are also popular places you could RV at in the southern part of the state.

Be sure to stop at The Velvet Elvis in Patagonia for the best pizza EVER if you are down that way!

there are 2 missions to see if you are into that..1 in south Tucson (San Xavier) and one south of Tucson (Tumacacori). on Saturdays the first one has a menudo lunch gathering..

Karchner caverns is cool (but it's spendy!!)

of course Tombstone isn't far from Tucson if you want to do the tourist "old west" thing!

There are hot springs in Safford, AZ (about 2 hours east of Tucson) if you are headed that way at all by way of NM..

there is also a wineries in the eastern part of the state...(pecan wine anyone?)

www.tucsonweekly.com will have lots of info for stuff to do around Tucson.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#10 of 15 Old 03-14-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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If you want to try rattlesnake Rawhide has it.

If you are in Tuscon you might want to try the Pima Air and Space Museum.

For local organic goodness try Joe's farm Grill.

Expecting #9.  Always busy hsing.
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#11 of 15 Old 03-18-2009, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions - we really enjoyed our time in Tucson! I wish we could have done everything you guys suggested, but in the end we just ran out of time! What a beautiful area.

Mybabysmama, yes I assumed the average person did not eat rattlesnake!!! I had just read about how someone tried that and cactus in a restaurant in Sedona, and of course read it the day after we'd left! So I thought I'd ask in case there was a tacky touristy place. Too bad I didn't ask BEFORE we drove through Phoenix!!!!!

We ended up lucking out, arriving in the old tucson area of downtown in time to see costumed men shooting guns and marching up and down the street - evidently they were having a fundraiser and celebration at the old fort, so we ate dinner there, enjoyed the entertainment, toured the fort and enjoyed many great conversations! The one question I had was we wandered around the old city hall (I believe? Or courthouse? Really close to the fort, beautiful arches and lots of plants) and there were tonnes and tonnes of newly wedded couples coming out, and numbers being called for engaged couples to go in. Is there a reason that so many people would be getting married at once, there? On a Fri the 13th evening?

Dh is really into alternative house building, so we drove down to the Canelo Project on Sat for a full day tour, stopping in Patagonia on the way back for a wander (art walk, good timing! Found a fun book on faeries in the Sonoran Desert!) and pizza - yum! Thanks for the recommendation, what a beautiful area!

Sun found us in Bisbee, what a neat area and beautiful drive down. We spent hours wandering and hearing local history from the locals. Then onto Tombstone, which was fun for the kids, but loud and crowded, everyone wanted money for everything and we fit in much better in Bisbee!!!! However, it was neat to learn more about the history, to ride in an old carriage, and to get our family photo done!!!

On Mon I was DETERMINED to get everyone to the desert museum, as I'd heard so many recommendations for it, but in the end we didn't make it. I was rather disappointed - but a reason to return one day! Instead we ended up in the Saguaro National Park close to our RV park, which was so different from anything we know from home, we were totally amazed. We did the junior ranger program, which is so great, and took tonnes of photos. Saw geckos, ground squirrels, birds galore and a huge jackrabbit - so the kids were thrilled! Oh, and we saw our first ever roadrunner which was very exciting!!!!!

Now we're in New Mexico.....thanks again for all your tips, I really appreciate them!!!!!! Take care.

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#12 of 15 Old 03-18-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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There is also the Tuscon Children's Museum. I didn't find it spectacular, but my kids absolutely loved it. Had to drag them out after several hours.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#13 of 15 Old 03-18-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Mybabysmama, yes I assumed the average person did not eat rattlesnake!!! I had just read about how someone tried that and cactus in a restaurant in Sedona, and of course read it the day after we'd left! So I thought I'd ask in case there was a tacky touristy place. Too bad I didn't ask BEFORE we drove through Phoenix!!!!!
People believe the most bizarre things about those of us from the southwest. My dad had a rock mark in his windshield once and told a tourist it was from an arrowhead during an Indian attack and they believed him.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#14 of 15 Old 03-19-2009, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhhh yes, and we live in igloos and travel by skidoo or dogsled!

I did see the children's museum, but we didn't have time....we've been checking them out wherever we go (Palm Springs, Las Vegas, etc) and the kids ABSOLUTELY love them!!!!!!!!!!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#15 of 15 Old 03-19-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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People believe the most bizarre things about those of us from the southwest. My dad had a rock mark in his windshield once and told a tourist it was from an arrowhead during an Indian attack and they believed him.
When I went to college on the east coast people asked if everyone in Tucson rode horses to the store, etc. And they were serious!
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