Tucson is an amazing smaller city about 2.5 hours south of Phoenix. Its natural beauty reminds me of Black Canyon City as it is surrounded by four mountain ranges; The Tucson Mountains are a minor mountain range west of Tucson, the Santa Catalina Mountains lie to the northeast, the Rincon Mountains are to the east of Tucson, and the Santa Rita Mountains lie to the south. Because Tucson gets more rain then Phoenix it is lush in green vegetation.
Mount Lemmon, with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. We highly recommend a drive up this scenic mountain to the town of summer haven. This amazing one hour drive will take you thru six various ecosystems! It is a small, quaint town near the top of the mountain that is a summer residence for many but there are some year round residents as well. We loved seeing streams of water finding its way down the mountain on the sides of the road thru the lush greenery and vines.
Another MUST STOP is the art Gallery of Ted DeGrazia, at the base of the Catalina's. It started as a small construction project and home in the early 1950s and developed into a 10-acre National Historic District. It was designed and built by the one and only acclaimed Arizona artist Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia. The vast exhibits of his original work were astonishing!
So take the day to head south and visit the town of Tucson. Lots of local restaurants and a great artsy downtown area as well!
Until next trip... Randy & Lori