Tucson Arizona has always enjoyed a great reputation as a vacation destination and it is becoming more popular every year. The primary reason for this reputation is the weather. Even in the winter months, average daytime temperatures remain in the 50 – 60 range. Rainfall is almost non-existent, though in the months of July and August it can reach just over 2″ per month. Abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and the absence of rain combine to create a vacation destination that is easy to pack for, and facilitates the maximum time out of doors without fear of selected activities being ruined by a rainy day.
Another obvious reason that Tucson Arizona is such a highly regarded vacation destination is the geography or ‘terrain,’ if you prefer. From anywhere in Tucson you can see several mountain ranges, but to get to them you must cross some desert. A twenty minute drive through the unique beauty of the Arizona desert puts you at the base of a mountain the most celebrated of which is mount Lemmon. Twenty minutes more and the desert is gone. The exciting drive up the twisting Mt. Lemmon road offers travelers several visually compelling changes in geology, flora, and ecosystems. There are no bad views on this drive it’s non-stop eye candy the entire way up to the summit. And some strategically placed pullouts offer panoramic vistas of some of the most stunning landscape in North America.
When you decide to vacation in Tucson Arizona, there are a few things to know that will make your trip easier, more fun, and more enjoyable. Here are some tips and suggestions to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the ‘Little Pueblo.’
No matter how conditioned your skin is to the sun, be sure to bring sunscreen. During the summer months, if you’re going to be outdoors for more than thirty minutes, be sure to apply some to exposed areas of skin. During the summer, the UV Index in Tucson rarely drops mellow the maximum and exposed skin will start to burn in 10-15 minutes! Select a protection level that suits your skin, and your planned activity. The longer you’ll be outside, the more protection you’ll need.
The desert gets cool at night. It’s not so much that the temperatures drop as that due to the extreme daytime heat and intense sun, the evenings and night ‘feel’ quite chilly. Visitors who have decided to vacation in Tucson are more susceptible to this sensation as they are not used to the daily climate shift. A light jacket is usually quite sufficient to ward off these chills, which can be quite uncomfortable if you’ve gotten even a mild sunburn.
Everyone who vacations in Tucson is understandably driven to go out and see the famous deserts and all the amazing animals and plants that inhabit it. You already know to take along sunscreen, now you need to add water to your list. If not water, then some other liquids for you to drink. When you are in the desert, you need to drink. If you get thirsty, you’re already starting to dehydrate something that can a) happen quickly in the desert and b) be quite serious. Take water along on your desert treks, and drink it at regular intervals.
This may sound too basic to be mentioned, but Tucson and the surrounding areas offer some of the most exhilarating scenery in the world some of which can only be seen in the Tucson area. One of the most common comments from vacationers is that they did not bring enough film, or adequate digital storage. Be prepared to pictures more than you think you will. Who knows, you may just get a great shot of a Roadrunner, a Pygmy Owl – or perhaps even a Gila Monster (one of only two venomous lizards in the world).
DESERT WALKING FOOTWEAR
If you plan to go out into the Sonora Deserts around Tucson, you’ll want good footwear. Today, many people are wearing tennis shoes for pretty much everything, and they’re okay in some areas. But if you want to really walk the deserts, be sure to have something more substantial. The biggest problem with tennis shoes is that they are relatively easily pierced by cactus tines. Make no mistake about it, a pancake cactus tine through your foot will definitely ruin your day or your entire vacation.
KNOW THE ANIMALS
Briefly, there are some dangerous animals in the deserts around Tucson some more than others. There are also some plants that you should be cautious of. If you plan to trek into the desert, be sure to familiarize yourself with these plants and animals that include rattlesnakes, scorpions, spiders, Gila Monsters, and several types of cactus that can really ruin a vacation if touched even lightly.
FEELING COOL IS A TRICK DON’T FALL FOR IT!!!
The Sonora Deserts surrounding Tucson Arizona are, by definition, “hot and dry.” The body’s cooling system is both simple, and effective. You get hot and you perspire. The water-based perspiration evaporates on your skin, dissipating the heat much more rapidly, and thereby cooling you. You don’t feel this effect too much in humid areas, but in the desert it is quite noticeable. Unfortunately, people who are not accustomed to this biological wonder mistakenly think they are cool when they are actually not cool at all. This cooling illusion is at the core of many of the worst sunburns experienced by vacationers in Tucson and the surrounding desert areas. The dry air cools the perspiring body so efficiently that even in the slightest breeze, many people will shiver in 100 weather. Keep an eye on this phenomenon you don’t want to spend the end of your vacation sitting in your hotel room with pain-relieving lotions slathered all over your glowing body.
SOME PLACES NOT TO MISS
So many people come to Tucson Arizona for the world class golf, spas, and resorts that they miss some of the other most attractive, and most amazing things to do and see. You can spruce up your trip considerably by checking out some of the area’s attractions that receive a little less press than the famous golf courses, spas and resorts. A partial list of these attractions and activities include:
Old Tucson Movie Studio
Agua Caliente Park
The Desert Museum
Tombstone Arizona is only an hour away