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About the Tucson Region

About the Region

Tucson, the 32nd largest city in the country, is located in Pima County in Southwestern Arizona. The Tucson area, like the rest of the state, is famous for its picturesque desert and canyon landscapes, mountain ranges and rich Native American History. Tucson is the second largest city in the state and is located in a valley that is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks. The city radiates the influence of Native American, Spanish and Mexican culture in its architecture, cuisine and retail shops. The city offers a wide range of residential choices for all ages. Seniors are particularly fond of Tucson from December through March due to the warm, dry climate.

Tucson Metro Area

The term Tucson metro region in our directory covers Pima County. Although Tucson is the largest city in the area, other communities include Ajo, Arivaca, Casas Adobes, Catalina, Flowing Wells, Green Valley, Oro Valley, Marana, Sahuarita, Tanque Verde and Vail.

Tucson's Climate

Tucson is a low latitude city and has a semi-arid, high altitude climate. This ideal grouping allows winter months to be some of the warmest and driest in the continental United States. This climate is particularly beneficial to sufferers of Arthritis and also provides conditions perfectly suited for fitness and walking; the city was ranked one of the top ten Fit-Cities in the country.

The average temperature from March through December is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, however winter brings several days of freezing temperatures as well. Summers in Tucson are hot and commonly reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, although the city's higher elevation provides rather cool evenings offering some relief during the white-hot summer months. The average rainfall range for the area is 10 to 20 inches a year with the average being 12 inches per year. There are annual cyclic droughts and Monsoon seasons in the late summer that dramatically affect the annual precipitation.

History of the Region

The original inhabitants of the Tucson area were Paleo-Indians who formerly occupied the area around 7000 BC. Early in Arizona's history, Coronado and his expedition crossed the state in search of "The Seven Cities of Gold", leaving behind bold traces of Spanish influence in its wake, beginning in 1540.

The official birth date of the city was in 1775 when Hugo O'Conor founded the city, then part of Mexico, later becoming U.S. territory after the Gadsden Purchase of 1854 and gaining statehood as the 48th state in 1912. From 1867 to 1889 Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory, but has since been replaced by the city of Phoenix.

Tucson's Attractions

Parts of the overwhelming popularity of Tucson are the breathtaking national parks, monuments and wilderness areas of the state. Tucson's Saguaro National Monument is home to countless Saguaro Cacti and desert wildlife as well as an incredible, vibrantly hued, sunset skyline. A close and famous national park is the Grand Canyon, which is about 300 miles North of Tucson. Nogales, Mexico is an easy drive about 80 miles to the south. Within Tucson and it's surrounding areas, residents and visitors will uncover many chic galleries, destination malls, local museum attractions and exquisite dining locales. Behind every corner of Tucson waits contemporary and whimsical western charm.

Tucson, ranked a top ten Fit-City for its extremely suitable conditions for the purpose of fitness and walking, is a remarkably diverse region tailored to an array of outdoor nature activities as well as to the more tastefully upscale arts and arenas such as the Threepenny Opera, but also featuring many family-friendly events and sites like the Flandrau Science Center and the Reid Park Zoo.
Below is a listing of city descriptions for the metro Tucson area:

  • Ajo - Ajo, meaning garlic in Spanish and lying only 43 miles north of the border of Mexico, is a small town located in Pima County Arizona. As of the year 2000, Ajo had a population of 3,705. Charming desert flatlands rest upon the lands of Ajo, flourishing with traditional wild life and shrubbery such as striking ocotillos and saguaros.
  • Arivaca - Arivaca, the oldest continuously occupied district in Arizona, has a population of about 3,000 and is home to the desert light labyrinth, a unique 8 circuit natural site ideal for quiet reflection and meditation.
  • Casas Adobes - The first developed suburb in the area of Tucson, Casas Adobes displays numerous distinctive attractions native to the arid American countryside. Casa Adobes Plaza, an upscale Mediterranean-style shopping district, organically varied Tohono Chul Park, and the infamous Westward Look Resort, a former dude ranch, are all popular beautiful sites within the city.
  • Catalina - As a quiet and diminutively sized city, Catalina has a population of close to 7,000 and embraces the attributes of an average town while centrally located to many nearby historical and metropolitan attractions.
  • Flowing Wells - Ever more populated compared with the other cities previously listed on this page, Flowing Wells has a population of over 15,000 and is one of the nearest cities to nationally acclaimed Arizona State University.
  • Green Valley - Encircled by beautiful San Rita Mountains and twenty miles south of Tucson, Green Valley is essentially, a settled, yet active, retirement community loved for its excellent hiking and bird watching spots.
  • Oro Valley - In 2005, Oro Valley was identified as one of "America's Top-Rated Smaller Cities" for its excellent schools, golf courses and medical facilities. Also, with numerous positive elements making Oro Valley a uniquely celebrated city, are seasonal fairs such as the winter children's Musical Magic and pageant, world-class golf courses, and absolutely amazing Tortolita and Santa Catalina Mountains.
  • Marana - Famous for its resident Marana Air Museum, which houses a broad array of retired commercial airplanes, some even being stored while on the market for sale, is located adjacent to Tucson and many popular tourist destinations.
  • Sahuarita - Sahuarita, with only about a 3,200 population, is a very dry and arid landscaped area, which radiates a calm and old-fashioned way of life.
  • Tanque Verde - Spanish for "Green Tank", Tanque Verde is a community committed to responsible residential and economic growth, nature preservation and as of 2000, had a population 16, 195.
  • Vail - The Apache Native American tribe originally populated Vail, a small city, with a population of 2,484, in the 1880's. The town of Vail is very similar to its nearby neighbors throughout Pima County by way of a sprawling blaze of desert and unique attractions.

Transportation in Tucson

Transportation in the area of Tucson encompasses many different useful forms including area public transportation such as local Sun Tran bus routes/stops; general and those catering to seniors and commuters, TICT downtown shuttles, airport transportation and VanTran services for those with disabilities.

In the Tucson region, public transportation is a comprehensive system of interconnected routes, which convene at three transit centers: the Ronstadt Transit Center, the Roy Laos Transit Center and the Tohono Tadai Transit Center, all within the metro region of Tucson, Arizona. TICT shuttles into downtown are extremely convenient routes of transportation, which send passengers straight into the heart of Tucson by making the most of directional know-how, low cost fees and all-around transit efficiency.

VanTran services encompass free and accessible transportation to those with disabilities who have current ADA eligibility cards. VanTran trips must be scheduled one to seven days in advance, therefore guaranteeing arrangement possibilities for the date of service seeing as VanTran is not a taxi or emergency service.

Senior Services in the Tucson Region

Tucson's mild, dry winters and moderate city size make it very appealing to seniors and families alike as a place to call home. The city offers the conveniences of a larger metropolitan area with a good infrastructure of housing, transportation, medical and educational sources. Seniors in the area will find a variety of senior housing ranging from independent retirement communities, continuum of care communities, assisted living, skilled nursing, Alzheimer's assisted and Alzheimer's skilled nursing. Other senior services include a wide choice of home health care, home medical services, live in companions/caretakers and senior support services.

Use our Search Senior Services link to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in the Tucson metro area. Visit our Local Links web page to learn more about Tucson and the surrounding area.