OPINION: Broaden your horizons and shop local in Tucson

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Farrah Rodriguez | The Daily Wildcat

An image of a map of Downtown Tucson by Farrah Rodriguez.

As students, it can be easy to stay within the bubble of college life. Universities often have all of the necessary resources to feed, house, clothe and entertain you, but there is so much more to explore outside of the University of Arizona's campus. Every place on this list is just a few Sun Link stops away from campus, and now is a great time to explore Tucson using public transportation while it’s still free

Tucson Thrift Shop

While the Tucson Thrift Shop is well known for its ample selection of costumes around Halloween, this is a year-round gem. Opened in 1979 and carrying vintage goods spanning the entirety of the 20th century, there is really something for everyone. With more unique and well-preserved goods than the average thrift store, the historic Tucson Thrift Shop makes for a great place to walk around. You never know what you’ll find in their rotating collection of goods. 

Yoga Loft Tucson

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Yoga Loft Tucson provides a restorative escape from the hustle and bustle of Fourth Avenue. Whether you’re an avid yogi or just want to try something new, Yoga Loft provides a unique approach to yoga rooted in the identities of its two co-owners. With one co-founder using yoga to manage her cystic fibrosis and the other with experience as a massage therapist, Yoga Loft creates a balanced approach for their clients. Contributing to the welcoming atmosphere of the studio is the beautiful century-old building that it's housed in. 

The Book Stop

The Book Stop is a local legend among avid readers because of the sheer diversity of works you can find there. Founded in 1967 and located on Fourth since 2007, The Book Stop has long held a unique collection of used and out-of-print books that keep book lovers coming back for more. It’s a fantastic place to walk around because you’re surrounded by history with every step you take. This gives it an almost museum-like feeling to the experience. For the claustrophobic among you, maybe skip this one because you will be surrounded on all sides by books.

Broken Clover

Broken Clover is a tattoo shop with an accessible location and a fun, punk aesthetic. It’s a great place to get a tattoo, as it always feels fun. The staff are attentive, the equipment is new and pristinely clean, and it makes getting a tattoo feel like an event. Make sure to check this spot out! 

Rustic Candle

In keeping with the theme of supporting local businesses, you need to make sure to stop by Rustic Candle. They hand-pour their own candles, and the scent they welcome you into the shop with is heavenly. While the candles are the main attraction for good reason, they also carry soaps, bath bombs and more. You can even watch them pour the candles in the store if you come at the right time. The scents and the charms are just two of many reasons why you need to make it out to Rustic Candle. 

Pop Cycle

Pop Cycle is a funky shop with a sustainable goal. As the cycle in their name implies, their whole store is filled with art made from recycled materials and reused products. When you walk in, you’ll notice the poppy charm of the art that they display. Much of what you’ll see is made in-house as part of two brands started by the founders of Pop Cycle. 

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&gallery 

&gallery is an amazing stop filled with local art, but it’s not your grandmother’s gallery. &gallery focuses primarily on the nerdy and weird, and that’s what makes it special. You can find cool pieces there inspired by media, such as “The Last Airbender” and “Star Wars,” and other pieces with a new, punk aesthetic. We recommend checking out their online selection as well.

Tucson Improv Movement

Just recently having celebrated its 10th anniversary, the Tucson Improv Movement is a great destination for comedy in Tucson. Focusing primarily on improvised comedy, Tucson Improv Movement has shows Thursday through Saturday, including many long-form improv performances where the performers make up comedy on the spot!

Revel

Revel is a wine bar that is far too overlooked in Tucson. For any wine-enjoyers, it’s a great stop. With an incredibly comfortable atmosphere with delicious drinks and occasional live music, Revel does a great job of making a traditional wine bar feel accessible and non-pretentious.

Dry River 

Dry River is a witch’s shop that emphasizes a vibe that’s accessible and comfortable. If you’re the kind of person who wants to try tarot or crystals, Dry River makes that experience feel less like uncharted territory and more friendly with its neat store, complete with cool designs and a welcoming vibe.


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Ben Pope is a second-year medical student at the UA. Although native to Tempe, he has moved down south to study medicine and enjoy all the good food Tucson has to offer.






kate-Herreras-Zinman-headshot.jpeg

Kate is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. She loves improv comedy and comic books.


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