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    Presenting Your Full Weekend Itinerary For Tucson, Arizona

    All you really need to know: You can drink cocktails inside a former morgue.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting travel, and destinations around the world have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. Always check and adhere to local government policies as you're planning any future trips.

    Tucson, Arizona — a city of detailed murals, quaint shops, morgues-turned-bars, and oh yea, it's also a UNESCO City of Gastronomy due to its high volume of amazing food. To say your visit is long overdue would be the understatement of a century.

    a cactus
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Allow me to take your hand and guide you through a weekend itinerary best described as perfection, chronicling where to sleep, eat, walk, drink, and then eat some more. 

    illustrated graphic
    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    The Downtown Clifton is an authentically Tucson property that feels more like home than it does a hotel, cc: curated artwork and decor that feels cool without being pretentious. My room contained a cozy reading nook (vintage paperbacks provided) and a floor-to-ceiling window, ideal for midnight thunderstorm gazing.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Red Light Lounge: This watering hole is nestled within the heart of The Downtown Clifton and is ideal for a drink, a bite, and awesome company. I also never thought I'd write a love song about olives, but here we are: The olives here are sprinkled with pickled onion, chiltepin, lemon, and olive oil, and are officially the only app I want to eat alongside a cocktail going forward. Who knew.

    Address: 485 S. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701

    Rooms starting at: $109+

    illustrated graphic with text "what to do"
    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Drive through the west side of Saguaro National Park if you, like me, grew up in an overpopulated city and are terrified of winding roads. This scenic loop is an easy half-hour ride, there are pull-in spots so you can stop and gawk, and the views are breathtaking.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    And if you like saguaro views — you also *need* to check out the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the title of which does not do it justice. This place is not simply a museum but rather a zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, and art gallery plopped in the middle of 21 acres of desert.

    Address: 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743

    Stroll through Mercado San Agustin and MSA Annex (both across the street from one another). They're sprawling open markets that have a bit of everything: food, coffee, dessert, and local shops you can spend an entire afternoon exploring.

    the market
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 100 South Avenida del Convento, Tucson, AZ 85745

    Take a pew at Owls Club, a former funeral home turned bar for folks who prefer gin with a ghost garnish (maybe). Speakeasy vibes + delicious cocktails + a slice of Halloween every night = the perfect spot, and that's not up for debate.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 236 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701

    Tour Hamilton Distillers, one of six in the nation that make their own single malt. Samples of their award-winning spirits are also on the table, so you’ll have to swig some of their specialty: a hot whiskey infused with mesquite.

    the whiskey in front of the whiskey barrels
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Email events@whiskeydelbac.com to reserve a tour *or* call (520) 628-9244. 

    Weave in and out of the institutions lining historic Fourth Avenue, which include Antigone Books (oooo we love a #smallbookshop) and The Hut (a Tiki-inspired lounge you enter through an Easter Island statue).

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    You can also refuel post-Fourth Avenue shopping at BOCA Tacos Y Tequila. And if the name wasn't enough indication of what they were serving up...it's tacos! Delicious ones for as low as $3.50 a pop. Be sure to order a GIANT bag of chips for the table to pair with their four house-made salsas, flavors of which change daily.

    Dedicate an afternoon to the masterfully curated Tucson Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of indigenous, Latin American, and local Arizonian art. The space itself is also airy and open, a lovely reprieve from all that dry heat.

    the inside of the museum
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 140 N. Main Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701

    ....and the museums don't end there. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, designed by Arizona artist Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, showcases over 15,000 pieces of original artwork that offers an intimate glimpse into the history and native cultures of the Southwest.

    the inside of the gallery
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 6300 N. Swan Rd., Tucson, AZ 85718

    Drive south of Downtown to San Xavier del Bac Mission, a stunning church and national historic landmark built in 1797 — the ornate details inside are enhanced by the barren desert backdrop on the outside.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 1950 W. San Xavier Rd., Tucson, AZ 85746

    Other honorable "what to do in Tucson" mentions: Ignite Sign Art Museum, St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, Bon Boutique, Time Market, Sabino Canyon, Tanline Printing, and 5 Points Market and Cafe.

    hand holding paper in front of sign museum
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed
    illustrated graphic with text "what to eat"
    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    Inhale pastries at the family-owned La Estrella Bakery. This local biz has been around since 1986, is beloved by the community for their fresh ginger ~pigs~ (El Cochito) and sweet bread (La Concha), and best of all: the spread below cost less than $6.

    the pastries
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    The original location is at 5266 S 12th Ave Tucson, AZ 85706, but you can check out their second location at Mercado San Augustin. 

    It would be a sin not to dine at Seis. Dramatic? Perhaps, but true nonetheless. Mouthwatering menu items include chorizo burritos and bacon tacos, which you'll want to wash down with a fresh agua fresca (watermelon cucumber was my fave) *and* a house-made horchata. I say and because you have to guzzle down both.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Horchata is a Mexican plant milk made from cinnamon, rice, and vanilla that you'll want to drink by the jugful.

    You can check out all of the Seis locations here.

    Cool down with a raspado! This iconic Mexican snow cone consists of shaved ice and is often combined with condensed milk and ice cream. If your main personality trait is "indecisive," then follow my flavor recommendation: peach.

    the peach raspado
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Here are just a few places you can get 'em throughout Tucson: 

    Taqueria Pico De Gallo: 2618 S. 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85713

    Oasis Fruit Cones: 4126 S. 12th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714 

    Sonora Sno-Cones: 120 South Avenida del Convento #120, Tucson, AZ 85745

    Anello is adored by locals for mastering the most divine of food groups: pizza. Their menu is simple, which means that each churned-out margherita pie will be nothing short of perfection. You'll also want to inhale the jam-and-cheese topped focaccia starter.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 222 E. 6th St., Tucson, AZ 85705

    Brunch it up at Prep & Pastry for unique twists on classic dishes. Their PB&J toast, for example, combines peanut butter ricotta fluff, strawberry jam, blueberry preserves, cinnamon, sugar, and Japanese milk bread.

    the peanut butter and jelly toast
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Prep & Pastry has two locations in Tucson, below:

    6450 E. Grant Rd. #160 Tucson, AZ 85715

    2660 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ 85719

    Tito & Pep serves up a delicious dinner menu in which you will, justifiably, want to order two of everything: turmeric-ginger fried cauliflower, steak skewers, mesquite grilled porkchop, and a rosemary and orange olive oil cake that proves one should never pass on dessert.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Address: 4122 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85712

    Enjoy handcrafted ice cream at The Screamery. Delicious flavors include Rough At Sea (sea salt base, honey-butterscotch swirl, candied pecans, almonds, and pistachios) and Sweet Sonoran Desert (honey ice cream with peanut butter swirl and homemade toffee), plus you can get a ~flight~ to sample six flavors in one swoop.

    the ice cream
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    You can check out their four Tucson locations here

    And with that, I bid you adieu — time to pack up your entire wardrobe and head on over to Tucson, Arizona, for the ideal weekend getaway. Have any more suggestions? Drop 'em in the comments below.

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