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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Last updated: 10:36am

No excuses for being bored by Tucson summer



Tucson is not boring; you’re boring if you think it’s boring.

Tucson is a place full of vibrant cultures, good eats and sunny weather. Day after day I hear students complaining about it, and this whining is unfounded.

It would seem that many people groan about the lack of activities, restaurants and shopping malls. Oh yeah, and about the heat because, you know, it’s hot. But you are likely working or studying during the middle of the day under an A/C vent, and the evenings are quite nice, so the heat is not the thing holding you back from having fun.

Tucson has all the options and amenities to accommodate a large university town. If you’re interested in arts and culture, then there are many museums throughout Tucson and historical sites such as the San Xavier Mission. If you’re into the nightlife and like to boogie, there are tons of concert venues and clubs downtown, including an underground rave scene. If you enjoy social activities, events like Meet Me at Maynards and Meet Me at La Encantada offer a chance to meet new people and have a drink.

If you’re looking to do something with the family, the Reid Park Zoo, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Tucson Botanical Gardens all have family-friendly summer evening events. There is also the Thursday evening classic film series at La Placita and second Saturday street fairs downtown.

If you enjoy the great outdoors, then simply choose a direction and drive for an hour and you will undoubtedly come across a mountain with world-renowned hiking trails — Tucson is in a valley surrounded by mountains.

Now, after enjoying some of those activities, you’ll likely be hungry and Tucson’s unique blend of culinary talent has got you covered. Situated in the heart of the Southwest ensures that we have a steady supply of chefs who can create authentic Mexican dishes. Tucson has a very diverse population, including a large refugee population, so there are many opportunities to nosh on an even greater variety of foods. For example, a traditional African restaurant, Africa Café, just opened near Sixth Street and Park Avenue. Between downtown Tucson and Campbell Avenue alone, one can find Mexican, Chinese, Thai, American, Cuban, Vietnamese and other foods. There are also numerous farmers’ markets throughout the city.

What about shopping? While it is certainly true that Tucson does not possess the quantity nor quality of shopping that a richer city such as Scottsdale or a larger city such as New York City offers, it’s not devoid of retail hot spots. Tucson does have an assortment of clothing stores downtown and on Fourth Avenue, as well as five malls: Park Place Mall, El Con Mall, Tucson Mall, Foothills Mall and La Encantada. And for the hipsters, there are tons of used clothing stores as well. Additionally, Tucson is home to a bevy of antique stores (and a swap meet), which are just the places to satiate one’s desire to buy all sorts of odds and ends.

Tucson is a tremendously diverse city with a million things going on. Mentioned above is a small taste of what Tucson has to offer, but there is so much more if you’re willing to look. And, if you cannot find enjoyment here, then yours is a problem that will plague you regardless of where you live. You are simply a boring person and need to stop blaming Tucson for your own shortcomings.


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