What's New in Tucson -September 2013
New Tucson-Portland Nonstop Flight. New nonstop service between Tucson and Portland, Oregon on Alaska starts November. 1. Alaska's schedule shows a daily incoming flight arriving at 1:05 p.m. with the outbound at 1:35 p.m. Fares start at $129 each way. Tickets are on sale now at AlaskaAir.com. Alaska Airlines is the first airline to offer a new destination that qualifies for the Tucson Airport Authority's Air Service Incentive Program, which provides marketing incentives and landing fee waivers. flytucson.com
Top Ranking for Inn. The Arizona Inn, Tucson's historic midtown gem, has been named to the 2013 list of 10 top small city hotels in the continental United States in the 18th annual poll by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. This top-10 list also includes hotels in South Carolina, New Mexico, San Francisco, Miami, and Boston. The Arizona Inn, built in 1930 by Arizona Congresswoman Isabella Greenway, is still owned and operated by its founding family and continues to fulfill its original mission as a sophisticated desert retreat giving its guests comfort, privacy, quiet and sunshine. arizonainn.com
Land Mass in a Museum Gallery. The Tucson valley and surrounding mountains lie in a region of the West known as the basin and range geologic province. This landscape has inspired a monumental sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson. Austrian artist Alois Kronschlaeger's "Untitled (Basin and Range)" installation utilizes a wooden grid, aluminum mesh, and poured paint; it consumes the three-story, 6,000-foot Great Hall at the museum, a former fire station. The museum director says this sculptural land mass provides an unprecedented art experience by radically reorienting the viewer's sense of place and scale. moca-tucson.org
Viva Mexican Baseball. Witness team rivalries and intense matchups as teams from Mexico's Pacific Coast League play a series of double-header games against Major League Baseball Future Stars at Kino Stadium during the Third Annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta, October 3-6. On hand will be the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Tomateros de Culiacan, and Yaquis de Obregon as well as a group of top instructional league players from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals organizations. For a genuine Tucson getaway, bring the family and sample the tacos and tortas. tucsonpadres.com
Wildlife Refuge Reopens. Oracle State Park and its Center for Environmental Education will reopen October 5, and remain open Saturdays and Sundays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through April 27. Fall activities will include tours of the historic Kannally Ranch house, nature-based workshops, and school programs. Located in the northern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Pinal County, Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge offering day-use picnic sites and over 15 miles of trail for use by hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. azstateparks.com/Parks/ORAC/index.html
Tucson Meet Yourself. Voted "Tucson's Favorite Festival" in a local poll, Tucson Meet Yourself will mark its 40th anniversary, October 11-13, with a new slogan, "Come for the Food, Stay for the Culture," and a scaled-back, walkable six-block footprint. New features include exhibits reflecting Tucson's Chinese and Western cultural heritage and an American festival-type food section. Music and dance acts on four major stages will be grouped by genre and region in a return to presenting educational as well as entertaining performances. And, as part of the event's minimal waste plan, Styrofoam products have been banned. tucsonmeetyourself.org
Soccer Madness. Soccer is becoming a major tourist attraction In Pima County, where Tucson is the county seat. A new, 2,000-seat soccer stadium is due to open at the largest professional sports venue in the area, Kino Sports Complex, this fall. The stadium will house FC Tucson, the city's semi- professional soccer club, and will host a Major League Soccer pre-season training camp and tournament next spring. In 2012 and 2013, four MLS teams participated in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup pre-season tournament; last year, the final match was broadcast on NBC Sports. Organizers are committed to establishing Tucson as Major League Soccer's Western hub for pre-season training. kinosportscomplex.com, fctucson.com
Curtis Reframed: The Arizona Portfolios. In the early decades of the 20th century, famed photographer of the American West, Edward S. Curtis created and published a vast photographic record of North American Indians. These iconic images have generated controversy even as they have fascinated generations of viewers. Photogravures from the permanent collections of Arizona State Museum and examples of the copper plates from the collections of The Center for Creative Photography explore Curtis's work with 13 Arizona tribes from 1900 to 1925. Twenty images will be exhibited at one time, then rotated after six months, for a total of sixty over the life of the exhibit, which runs November 9 through July 2015. statemuseum.arizona.edu
Massive Bike Swap Meet. The second-largest bike swap meet in North America happens in Tucson's lively Fourth Avenue District. Presented twice a year by the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, the GABA Fall Bike Swap will cover four, closed-to-car-traffic streets on November 16 -- the week before El Tour, Tucson's renowned perimeter cycling event. The swap attracts buyers and sellers of bike-related treasures, ranging from vintage bicycles to helmets, tires, and all kinds of parts. Bike valet parking will be available. The Swap runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is a fundraiser that helps GABA further its mission of promoting bicycling in Southern Arizona. bikegaba.org
Tasting Tucson's History. A group of volunteers is reviving Tucson's ancient agricultural heritage by re-creating the Spanish colonial walled-garden that was part of the mission known as Tucson's birthplace. The Mission Garden is developing as an authentic, historically accurate living agricultural museum. Heirloom plants and living Timeline Gardens interpret 4,000 years of Tucson agriculture -- the longest-known history of cultivation in the United States. The garden is stocked with rain-fed, Native American summer crops. The orchard of heritage trees was propagated with cultivars introduced by missionaries, and ancient varieties of corn and beans are growing in the Early Agricultural Area. The garden is open to visitors on Saturday mornings. tucsonsbirthplace.org
Great American Beer Bar. Tap & Bottle, a craft beer and wine-tasting room and bottle shop, located on North Sixth Avenue in downtown Tucson, has placed third in the Mountain West region in the Great American Beer Bars list, compiled by CraftBeer.com. The list reflects a survey of the website's readers for innovative and unique establishments where craft-brewed beers are served. Tap & Bottle, which opened in June, features 20 constantly rotating beers on tap, and hosts a Sunday beer brunch with on-site food trucks.
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