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Tucson, AZ

In close proximity to the renowned Saguaro National Park and its iconic cacti, Tucson features postcard-image geography. Sitting in a lush valley at the base of four mountain ranges, the city has a rich history written by Native Americans, Spanish explore

By: Bridget McCrea

Appeared in January/February 2008 LINKS

Golf 
Situated in the canyons of the 6,000-acre High Sonoran Desert Preserve is Ventana Canyon’s two Tom Fazio-designed courses, Mountain and Canyon. Minutes from downtown, Starr Pass Country Club & Spa has 27 holes by Arnold Palmer, while Arizona National boasts breathtaking views and a challenging layout. In the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Omni Tucson National Resort was a longtime PGA Tour host.

Accommodations 
JW Marriott Starr Pass incorporates elements of the desert and far-reaching landscape in its design and decor. Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa boasts the largest resort guestrooms in the region, while Loews Ventana Canyon offers a first-rate spa to work out the kinks after tackling Fazio’s holes. Built in 1904 and located at the gateway to the El Presidio Historic District, the recently renovated Clarion Santa Rita is Tucson’s original hotel.

Dining 
Ventana Canyon and Starr Pass offer first-rate eateries, but for local flavor head to Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. Other choices for steak: McMahon’s and Sullivan’s. Try authentic Mexican fare at Casa Molina, known for albondigas soup and menudo, and at El Charro Café, the country’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family.

Activities
Visit 111-year-old St. Augustine Cathedral and the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, highlighted by Mission Revival-style J. Knox Corbett House, Stevens House and La Casa Cordova, believed to be the oldest structure in downtown. Old Town Artisans in El Presidio is home to shops featuring regional arts and crafts. An hour southwest of downtown, the Kitt Peak National Observatory on the Tohono O’odham Reservation offers telescope viewings from an elevation of 7,000 feet. 

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