Moving to Tucson
Welcome to the gateway of your new adventure: relocating to Tucson, AZ! This city, known for its vibrant culture, fantastic cuisine, and breathtaking desert landscapes, is a hidden gem. Rich in history, steeped in natural beauty, and boasting sunshine most days of the year, Tucson is an ideal location for those embracing a lifestyle of exploration and discovery. Our comprehensive guide is designed to assist you throughout the moving process, providing you with all the essential insights to settle into Tucson smoothly and swiftly. Ready to turn a new chapter in the 'Old Pueblo'? Let's dive in!
What to Know Before Moving to Tucson
1. It's Sunny ... A Lot!
If you're moving to Tucson, AZ, one thing you must know is that it's sunny nearly all year round. The city boasts more than 350 days of sunshine every annum allowing plentiful opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Just make sure you invest in some top-notch sunscreen, a sleek pair of sunglasses, and maybe even a cowboy hat if you want to blend in with the locals!
2. You'll Be Living in a Biodiversity Hotspot
Tucson is nestled in a unique intersection of three separate biotic communities--the Sonoran Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Rocky Mountains. This brings a wide variety of plants, animals, and bird species. Moreover, the city is surrounded by 5 (yes, five!) mountain ranges, offering breathtaking views and ample hiking and biking trails. Get ready to regularly meet friendly desert dwellers such as javelinas and roadrunners.
3. The Cost of Living Is Comparatively Low
An attractive point for many relocating to Tucson is its relatively low cost of living compared to other parts of the US. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home price in Tucson is well below the national average. Groceries, healthcare, and utilities also tend to be cheaper. Yet, despite the low costs, the quality of life remains high due to the great amenities around.
4. There's More To Eat Than Just Tacos
If you're a foodie, Tucson will not disappoint. Of course, you'll find some of the best Mexican cuisine around (the tacos are indeed spectacular), but that's not all the city offers. In 2015, Tucson was named the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S., thanks to its 3000+ year history of agriculture and food traditions. There's a thriving food scene here, with innovative chefs and an array of fresh, locally-sourced foods.
5. Witness Otherworldly Stargazing
One lesser-known fact about Tucson is its exceptional night skies. Thanks to stringent light pollution measures enacted to protect the astronomical research carried out by the University of Arizona, the city enjoys some of the darkest city nighttime skies in the nation. You don't need to move an inch from your backyard to witness spectacular celestial sights. Starry skies await you in Tucson!
6. You're Now A Part of "Wildcat" Country
Lastly, when you move to Tucson, you're moving to Wildcat Country. The University of Arizona Wildcats have an avid following in the city, and their basketball and football games majorly define Tucson's sports culture. Whether or not you're a sports fan, joining in on the communal Wildcat spirit (clad in the team's red and blue colors, of course) can be a fantastic way to feel a part of your new home!
In conclusion, moving to Tucson can be the beginning of an exciting chapter! With its abundant sunshine, diverse landscapes, affable living costs, vibrant food scene, fabulous star-studded skies, and spirited Wildcat culture, Tucson is eager to welcome you home.
Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson
Pros of Living in Tucson
Plenty of Outdoor Activities
Tucson is beloved for its abundance of outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by a copious amount of hiking and biking trails, and is in proximity to several national parks such as Saguaro National Park. This makes it an ideal location for those who love to explore and enjoy nature.
Rich Cultural Heritage
The city is abundant with historical significance. Tucson is rich in Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Wild West history, offering residents access to a plethora of museums, cultural festivals, and heritage sites to explore, such as the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block.
Year-Round Sunny Weather
Tucson is known for its warm climate, and those who love the sun will mostly enjoy living here. With an average of 286 sunny days in a year, residents can enjoy outdoor activities and a surplus of vitamin D.
Affordable Living Costs
Compared to other major cities in the United States, Tucson offers an affordable lifestyle. The cost of things like groceries, healthcare, and utilities is generally lower in Tucson, making it a good option for those looking to save money while still enjoying urban living.
Great Food Scene
Tucson has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, thanks to its mix of cultures cooking up delicious cuisines. Here, you will have access to a variety of foods ranging from authentic Mexican to innovative culinary creations, truly treating foodies to a unique dining experience.
Cons of Living in Tucson
Heat and Low Rainfall
While the sunny weather can be a pro, the heat can also be intense, especially during the height of summer, with temperatures often breaking the 100-degree mark. Moreover, the area sees very little rainfall which can contribute to dry conditions.
The desert flora and pollen in Tucson might cause uncomfortable allergies for some people. During certain times of the year, the allergen count can get quite high, causing problems for those susceptible.
Less Career Opportunities
Although Tucson is growing, its job market isn't as robust as larger cities. Some industries, such as tech, may have fewer opportunities in Tucson, which can be a downside for individuals seeking opportunities in certain fields.
Some regions of Tucson are known for having higher crime rates compared to national averages. While this is neighborhood-dependent and doesn't represent the whole city, it's still worth considering when deciding to relocate.
While Tucson offers a lot of outdoor activities and cultural experiences, its nightlife scene isn't as dynamic. If you're someone who enjoys a vibrant club and bar scene, the nightlife options in Tucson might appear limited compared to larger cities.
Is Tucson a Good Place to Live?
Tucson, AZ is a great place to live because of its fascinating desert landscapes, year-round sunshine, and a low cost of living. The city offers a unique blend of modern living with impressive outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and bird watching. Moreover, Tucson is also home to the University of Arizona, interesting historical sites, and boasts a lively art scene and food culture.
What Is Tucson Famous For?
Stunning Sonoran Desert
The surrounding beauty of the Sonoran Desert gives Tucson its unique charm. The area's saguaro cacti forests, soaring mountains, and vivid sunsets offer residents and visitors a beautiful and serene environment.
Rich History and Culture
Tucson is known for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage. With Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Old West influences all evident, the city's architecture and local cuisine tell the stories of Tucson's vibrant past.
Nature and Outdoor Activities
Outdoor enthusiasts frequently celebrate Tucson due to its warm climate and choice of recreational activities. From hiking the trails of Saguaro National Park to stargazing at Kitt Peak Observatory, the city offers countless chances for unforgettable experiences.
Tucson stands in the limelight as the first U.S. city to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Famous for its distinctive, delicious "Sonoran-style" cuisine, food lovers would argue that visiting Tucson is a culinary journey not to be missed.
Overview of Tax Rates
In Tucson, AZ, the average effective property tax rate for 2023 is 0.83%. This is lower than the national average property tax rate, which stands at around 1.07%.
The combined sales tax rate for Tucson, AZ in 2023 is 8.7%. This rate is considerably higher than the average sales tax rate in the US, which is approximately 7.12%.
Arizona's income tax rates range from 2.59% to 4.5% and they apply to residents in Tucson as well. Comparatively, the state of Arizona has a relatively lower income tax rate in the US, with the nationwide average being around 4.6%.
The housing market in Tucson, AZ presents unique opportunities. Median home prices in Tucson hover around $250,000, significantly lower than the US median of $375,000. This affordability makes Tucson an attractive location for home buyers. On the rental front, the average monthly rent in Tucson is lower than the national average, at approximately $956 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, compared to the US average of $1,470. Tucson's housing market remains competitive, but offers excellent value for renters and buyers, making it an appealing option for those considering relocation.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Tucson, AZ is significantly lower than many other U.S. cities. Overall, Tucson residents enjoy about 8% less expensive living costs than the national average, making it an attractive reassessment among major cities. Housing, a major factor in the cost of living, is considerably more affordable than in cities like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Yet, residents get to enjoy various amenities, including outdoor activities and recreational facilities. Therefore, Tucson, AZ presents itself as a budget-friendly city without compromising on the quality of life.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Tucson, AZ boasts a semi-arid climate characterized by two significant seasons: a hot summer and mild winter. Summer temperatures can soar above 100degF, while winter periods offer a pleasantly moderate range of 60-70degF. This favorable winter weather makes Tucson a popular destination for snowbirds. Monsoon season, running from late June to mid-September, brings dramatic thunderstorms, offering a much-needed respite from the summer's extreme heat and dryness. Although Tucson is not prone to typical large-scale natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, it does experience flash floods, especially during the monsoon season. Additionally, the hot and dry conditions sometimes lead to wildfires. Despite these, Tucson's 350 sunny days a year and breath-taking desert scenery are inviting, making it a unique place to live and visit.
Economy & Job Market
Aerospace and Defense
Mining and Mineral Processing
Optics and Photonics
Over the years, Tucson, Arizona has successfully transitioned into a diverse economy. There's been a seismic shift from primarily focusing on gold and copper mining in the past to now centering on high-tech fields. Tucson now thrives on technology-related businesses like aerospace and defense, particularly missile production. Also making a vibrant flight on Tucson's economic wings is the optics and photonics industry - who wouldn't love those light and laser innovators doing their thing on a brilliant Tucson day? Moreover, don't underestimate Tucson's prowess in health services. Ranked as one of the top biotech regions, Tucson also hosts world-class research institutions dedicated to everything from cancer treatments to cutting-edge robotics!
Considering packing your bags for Tucson to chase after jobs? Pack light, but pack right! Tucson has a mixed bag when it comes to the employment rate, harboring an unemployment rate that's just slightly above the national average. However, don't let that discourage you. Chase the sunrise to the East Side where a significant number of Tucson's business and commercial activity reside. Or perhaps, why not let the swanky resorts around Catalina Foothills be your refuge while you dig into their thriving hospitality industry? Tucson's a wonderfully quirky place to hunt jobs, so don your cowboy hats and go chase those Arizona dreams!
Traffic and Transportation
Oh, Tucson, Arizona! A place where traveling is as enjoyable as the city's famous sunsets! Here, the average commute time is a tick over 22 minutes, adding just the right amount of wind-in-your-hair moments and zen-like solitude. If you're eco-conscious or just looking for a little adventure, Tucson's public transportation is just for you! Sun Tran is the most charming bus around, while the Sun Link streetcar trendily shuffles between downtown and the university area. Want to stretch those legs? Tucson's bike-friendly, too! And don't forget about Tucson International Airport, your magical carpet to and from this desert oasis. Whether you're jetting off to your next excursion or flying in to taste the finest prickly pear margaritas, air travel is a breeze. So, folks, strap in, grab a cool drink, and let Tucson's traffic and transportation make you fall in love with the journey as much as the destination.
Best Neighborhoods in Tucson
1. Sam Hughes
Charming Sam Hughes, conveniently located on the east side of the University of Arizona campus, is known for its historic and architecturally diverse homes, wide avenues and mature trees. This well-planned neighborhood features shops, restaurants, and activities within walkable distances, making it ideal for those who love to stroll around. It's a perfect mix of young professionals, families, and students creating an energetic and vibrant community. Moreover, Himmel Park, with its public library, playground, tennis courts, and open space, is a community hub.
2. Catalina Foothills
For stunning mountain views, you can't beat the Catalina Foothills. Situated at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this neighborhood offers amazing vistas of both the mountains and the city. Hiking and biking trails run in abundance here, and it's also home to some of Tucson's top schools. With a delightful blend of luxury homes, shopping areas, and high-end dining establishments, Catalina Foothills offers the taste of desert living with all the amenities of the city.
3. Armory Park
Downtown Tucson's Armory Park carries a lot of historic charm with its well-preserved Victorian homes and wide, tree-lined streets. Known for its diverse mix of residents, you'll find everything from young professionals to retirees in Armory Park. An easy walk from downtown's booming arts scene, restaurants, and nightlife, the neighborhood also hosts the popular farmers' market and a plethora of community events.
4. El Encanto
El Encanto, affectionately known as "Tucson's Bel Air", is a picturesque neighborhood east of downtown, brimming with Spanish colonial and ranch-style homes. It's renowned for its wide streets, sprawling lawns, and tranquil parks. Ideal for families and those who value quiet surroundings without pouring any sacrifices on convenient access to the city's best shopping and dining district. There's always something happening at the nearby Reid Park Zoo or Tucson Botanic Gardens.
Looking for a sustainable living community? Civano might just be the place for you. Situated on Tucson's southeast side, Civano is a modern neighborhood that focuses on energy-efficient homes, community building, and the preservation of the natural desert environment. With two neighborhood centers offering a mix of commercial and residential spaces, community gardens, swimming pools, and plenty of park space, Civano is designed to promote residents' interaction with nature and each other.
Every neighborhood in Tucson, AZ offers its own unique charm and personality. These five neighborhoods - Sam Hughes, Catalina Foothills, Armory Park, El Encanto, and Civano - are all exceptional choices and provide a wealth of lifestyle choices, from stately and historic dwellings to modern, sustainable lifestyles. Whether you're drawn by the allure of living downtown or the quiet charm of residential neighborhoods, you can find your perfect fit in Tucson.
Things to Do
Ready or not, here you come - moving to the alluring city of Tucson, Arizona! This is a city thrumming with history, downtown charm, and an unbeatable sunset that gleams off the desert sand. You're gearing up for a bouquet of new experiences, and we've got a hit-list of activities that will help you settle into your new Southwestern home. So, fasten your seatbelt and dive into 7 of the best, somewhat secret, things to do in Tucson.
1. Become a Fan of Hiking at Sabino Canyon
When you're surrounded by five lush, towering mountain ranges, it would be a crime not to hike them. Sabino Canyon Recreation Area's trails wind through some of Tucson's most photogenic landscapes. It's a world dotted with towering saguaro cacti and alive with wildlife, ensuring you'll have plenty of stories to share about your new favourite hiking spot.
2. Gastronomical Adventure at Tucson's Food Tours
Already making waves as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Tucson's food scene is a must-explore. Embark on a food tour to discover Tucson's Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food - an adventure that'll have you drooling for more great food experiences in this remarkably tasty town.
3. Immerse Yourself in Art at the Metal Arts Village
Enjoy a unique twist on Tucson's art scene - the Metal Arts Village. Nestled in a funky part of town, the Village hosts a thriving community of artists working primarily with metal. Pop by the various studios, galleries, and workshops, and who knows, you might even join a class and learn a thing or two about metal sculpting!
4. Have a Blast at The Mini Time Machine Museum
The Mini Time Machine Museum is a lesser-known Tucson gem. This enchanted museum boasts a collection of over 400 antique and contemporary dollhouses and miniatures. It makes for a surprisingly spellbinding outing, and you'll leave feeling like you've traipsed through another universe and time.
5. Get Stargazing at the Kitt Peak National Observatory
In a region admired for its crystal-clear night skies, grabbing a telescope and some lunar enthusiasm could become your new hobby. The Kitt Peak National Observatory, an hour's drive from Tucson, provides a unique stargazing experience. It's a majestic place to visit, whether you're an avid astronomer or a curious soul eager to learn more.
6. Escape the Heat at Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Beat the Arizona sun with an underground adventure at the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Offering guided tours through beautiful crystalline formations, this historic cave stays at a cool 70degF year-round, providing a refreshing retreat from the desert heat.
7. Appreciate History at San Xavier del Bac
Last but not least, one of Tucson's hidden gems - the Mission San Xavier del Bac. Known as the 'White Dove of the Desert', this stunning 18th-century mission is a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest intact European structures in Arizona. This place beautifully expresses Tucson's rich cultural heritage and history.
Brimming with these treasures, Tucson assures that your move won't be one bit monotonous. So, here's to beginning your grand southwestern adventure with a dusting of desert magic, riotous laughter, and sunsets that'll make your heart soar.
Find Movers for Your Tucson Relocation
Moving to Tucson, with its vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes, is a great decision. And for your move to be just as great, you'll need a reputable moving company. Great Guys Moving provides a seamless solution by connecting you with the best movers in the industry. Not only will you receive quality service, but also affordable pricing. Great Guys makes sure all moving companies in its network are licensed and insured, giving you peace of mind. Submit your information and be guided through this exciting journey. Request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today for your Tucson relocation.
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