What's New

Follow developments related to the travel and tourism industry in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

 

Hotels  

BOUTIQUE HILTON HOTEL COMING TO TUCSON'S FOOTHILLS - Construction on The Eddy Hotel, a 106-room boutique hotel, has begun in Tucson's foothills, near the Campbell/River intersection. This new hotel, expected to open by fall 2022, will have a buffet service in the lounge and a bar that is open to the public, along with 3,000 square feet of meeting or event space. The Eddy Hotel is a Tapestry brand, a franchise of Hilton Hotels, so guests can use their Hilton rewards and Hilton’s online site for reservations.

OMNI TUCSON NATIONAL RESORT UNDERGOING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR TRANSFORMATION - Resting at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the newly redesigned spaces at Omni Tucson National Resort will include the lobby, restaurants and lounge, meeting space, spa, fitness center, casitas and haciendas. The relaxed, yet inspired, ambiance of this southwestern destination will create an ideal backdrop for leisure, golf, spa, dining and wellness, corporate or group stays. Two new meeting rooms will support additional breakout requirements providing over 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Completion expected in Spring 2023.

WINE-CENTRIC BOUTIQUE HOTEL OPENED IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON JANUARY 2022 - Arizona winemakers, Sarah Fox and Rob Hammelman have partnered with local hotelier, Moniqua Lane to open a first-of-its-kind boutique hotel featuring wine barreling and cellaring on property. The Citizen Hotel and tasting room reside in a historic building in downtown Tucson, once home to the city’s oldest newspaper, and houses 10 guest rooms along with a 5,000 square foot wine barreling and tasting room in the basement. 

JAZZ CLUB & LOUNGE OPENING INSIDE HISTORIC HOTEL CONGRESS - The Century Room, Tucson’s only dedicated jazz club, opened its doors in February 2022 with a vibrant lineup of live entertainment. Century Room Music Programmer and jazz drummer Arthur Vint is booking an array of regional and national jazz artists throughout the year, with most Friday evening performances being ticketed concerts.  The acoustically perfect venue is a jazz musician's ideal setting – intimate, relaxed, with comfortable surroundings and great offerings. 

HACIENDA DEL SOL GUEST RANCH RESORT ANNOUNCES EXPANSION - Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, a Forbes Four-Star Resort, completed a property expansion in May 2021. The expansion adds forty new guestrooms, modeled after the Catalina Rooms added in 2015.  The guestrooms span seven new buildings facing both the Santa Catalina Mountains and Rincon Mountains offering guests expansive mountain views. A brand-new pool area with a forty-foot lap pool, an infinity-edge wading pool, spa, and a large sun deck will also be added along with a new fitness facility in April 2022.

HILTON EXPANDS MULTI-BRAND FOOTPRINT WITH NEW DUAL-FLAG HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON - The dual-branded Hampton Inn by Hilton, and Home 2 Suites by Hilton opened August 2021 in downtown Tucson near the Tucson Convention Center. Designed for extended stay guests, the six-story property, developed by Fayth Hospitality Group and owned by FHG DTN Tucson Owner, LLC, boasts 199 rooms, with 76 Hampton Inn rooms and 123 Home2 Suites rooms.

 

Restaurants

TUCSON BAKER DON GUERRA IS A JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER - Tucson’s very own Don Guerra of Barrio Bread has been announced as the winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Baker Award 2022. Held on Monday, June 13, in Chicago, Ill., The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards commemorate the most talented culinary minds in the country. Don uses hyper local ingredients, baking his breads with heritage grains that date back to the 17th century, when Spanish missionaries first brought them to the Tucson area.

BORDERLANDS BREWING TEAMS UP WITH MARIA MAZON ON SECOND LOCATION - Borderlands Brewing Company is opening a second location on East Sixth Street and teaming up with renowned Chef Maria Mazon to come up with a special menu of delicious, authentic Sonoran cuisine. Tucson is "about to get a whole lot tastier" Fall 2022. 

BATA OPENS IN WAREHOUSE ARTS DISTRICT - The culinary minds behind Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink opened their newest project, BATA, early March 2022 in Tucson's Warehouse Arts District. The small plate-format menu showcases flavors and cooking techniques from across the globe that "explore the taste and textures of cooking with fire." BAR BATA, a dedicated bar and lounge which is being built in the restaurant’s basement, is expected to open in May 2022.

'THE PARISH' TEAM OPENS 'THE DELTA'  Owners Steve Dunn and Bryce Zeagler, along with Chef Travis Peters of award-winning Parish Restauarant Concepts, opened The Delta on January 1, 2022. The Delta is located at 135 S 6th Avenue, taking over the space formerly home to Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails. Their menu features southern-style dishes inspired by Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana. 

SONAS TORTILLAS DE MAIZ – Maria Mazon, James Beard Award semi-finalist and a top five contestant on Top Chef’s season 18, is set to open SONA Tortillas in early 2022. The tortilleria will be part of SONA Tortillas De Maiz Y Bodega, which opened its market portion in December 2021. The bodega features several local businesses including Yellow Brick Coffee, CERES pasta, and Maya tea. SONA has been in the works for nearly four years and came to fruition with the help of Mazon's brother, Miguel Gil Lamadrid. 

'NEIGHBORHOOD' SISTER RESTAURANTS OPENING IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON – The Neighborhood, known for their award-winning Micheladas, will be moving locations and adding more sister restaurants to their lineup. Owners German Fuentes and Daniel Cordova will be moving The Neighborhood Cocina and Cantina from their location on 29th Street to Congress Street in 2022. The two have just completed the move of their newly-opened downtown restaurant, La Chingada, to the old Cafe Poca Cosa on East Pennington Street. In La Chingada's former location, the two will open La Cruda Mariscos and Oyster Bar. Additionally, Antojitos, a raspado shop, will open around the corner at 125 E. Congress St., complete with an indoor playground for families with young children in need of a downtown destination. 

'THE MONICA’ FEATURES A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FROM ‘SI CHARRO’ CHEFS - Flores Concepts, the culinary group that started it all with El Charro Café, has brought a brand new restaurant, The Monica, to downtown Tucson. Chef Carlotta Flores describes this new concept as a “collection of family recipes from around our table and the tables in our community curated and co-developed by our amazing team of chefs and food-loving professionals.” The Monica is a tribute to Monica Flin, the founder of Tucson’s oldest restaurant family, and opened March 2022 to coincide with El Charro Café’s 100th anniversary.

LITTLE LOVE BURGER OPENS DOWNTOWN – This new downtown restaurant wants to serve up the feeling that comes with sitting around a table with good company while eating a great burger. Little Love Burger is a new concept restaurant from Loveblock Partners, the group behind Good Oak Bar, HUB Restaurant & Creamery, and Playground Bar & Lounge. Making their debut in October 2021, their menu features chicken sandwiches, loaded hot dogs, milkshakes made with HUB ice cream, and specialty burgers.

 

Attractions

GEM & MINERAL MUSEUM OPENS IN DOWNTOWN TUCSON – Showcasing gems, minerals, and fossils from around the world, the UA Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum opened summer 2021. Highlighting more than 12,000 square feet of display galleries, this world-class museum also features a library, research lab, mineralogy lab, and community classroom. 

AVIAN ADVENTURES AT THE ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM - Get up close and personal with special birds at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's new Avian Adventures Program. This exclusive opportunity allows you to meet special birds that are not currently flying in their popular Raptor Free Flight program. The best part? You’ll have a bird fly to your glove for a special photo opportunity! You will also be given VIP access to interact and ask questions with our Raptor Free Flight trainers in an intimate setting. Ages 8 and older, reservations required. 

TUCSON BOTANICAL GARDENS "LIGHTS UP!" - A spectacular new holiday light show with more than a million sparkling lights will premiere at Tucson Botanical Gardens on Friday, November 25th, and run for 43 nights through January 15th, 2023. Designed by nationally known public garden landscape architect Tres Fromme, a carefully curated and artfully sequenced series of illuminated experiences will transform the Gardens into a compelling, all new holiday show.

 

Featured Annual Events

TUCSON JAZZ FESTIVAL – The only major jazz festival in January in the USA, the annual Tucson Jazz Festival presents 10 days of live music featuring legends and emerging talents of all jazz genres, from straight-ahead to contemporary, at outdoor and indoor downtown venues like the Fox Tucson Theatre and Rialto Theatre as well as at the free Downtown Jazz Fiesta presented on Martin Luther King Jr Day. January 2023.

TUCSON DESERT SONG FESTIVAL  - The Tucson Desert Song Festival (TDSF) fills concert halls in February with singing in orchestral, chamber, choral, and solo formats. Performers include internationally celebrated soloists and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Arizona's oldest continuing professional performing arts organization, formed in 1929), Tucson Chamber Artists, UA Presents, Arizona Opera, and others, in conjunction with master classes and lectures at the University of Arizona School of Music. January 2023.

TUCSON GEM, MINERAL & FOSSIL SHOWCASE - Each year, the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase attracts serious collectors and everyday treasure hunters seeking gems, minerals, beads, fossils, jewelry, apparel, and much more.  Show listings are updated daily and are located at tucsongemshow.org and tucsongemshowapp.com.  Please note some shows are for wholesalers only and be sure to double-check show details prior to your visit. January 28-February 12, 2023.

24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO - Tucson's own Epic Rides presents 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, one of the largest 24-hour endurance events of its kind in the world; this single-track mountain bike ride in Sonoran Desert terrain with outrageous costume-clad pedalers and DJ-spun tunes is so popular that registration sells out early every year. February 17-19, 2023

TUCSON RODEO & PARADE - The Tucson Rodeo & Tucson Rodeo Parade salutes Tucson’s Old West spirit every February. The Tucson Rodeo is the first major outdoor event on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association schedule and the parade is the largest non-motorized parade in the United States. This event dates to 1925 when local ranch hands saddled their horses and hitched up their buggies for the annual “Celebration of the Cowboys.” February 2023

COLOGUARD CLASSIC - PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS TOUR - The Cologuard Classic, a PGA TOUR Champions Tour event, is played in late February at Omni Tucson National Resort on its famed Catalina Course, a popular PGA venue since the 1960s. The 78-player field features legends of pro golf who compete for a $1.7 million purse. The event’s no-cut format includes three days of competition with players participating in pro-am events. Steve Stricker won the 2018 tournament. February 27-March 5, 2023.

TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS - In mid-March, the Tucson Festival of Books features panel presentations by best-selling and emerging authors; writer workshops; chef demonstrations; storytelling and a literary circus; programming for teens; a poetry venue; exhibitor booths; live entertainment; food vendors. The festival takes place on the University of Arizona Mall during the university’s Spring Break, so visitors have the beautiful campus and its parking spaces, virtually to themselves.  March 2023

TUCSON INTERNATIONAL MARIACHI CONFERENCE - The Tucson International Mariachi Conference brings together masters of Mexican folk music and dance and talented students from around the country for workshops and performances. The three public concerts include Espectacular Concert, featuring the world’s best and brightest mariachi musicians and folklorico dancers, a traditional Catholic Mariachi Mass, and the family-friendly Fiesta de Garibaldi. May 2023

AGAVE HERITAGE FESTIVAL - Agave Heritage Festival is a two-week-long fiesta on or near May 5 that celebrates the art, science, and cultural traditions behind the practice of producing agave-based spirits and other products. The fiesta extols the indigenous agave plant with a tradeshow, seminars, workshops, demonstrations, and tastings of tequilas, mezcals, sotols, and bacanoras at Hotel Congress and several other Tucson venues, indoors and outdoors. Programs and guest speakers hail from both sides of the United States-Mexico border. April 27-May 1, 2023

ALL SOULS PROCESSION - The All Souls Procession is a people-powered Tucson tradition blending rituals of All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos. Myriad altars, performers, installation art, and creatives of all kinds collaborate for almost half the year to prepare their costumes and offerings for this amazing event that draws roughly 150,000 participants in early November. This year it will be held on November 4-6, 2022

EL TOUR DE TUCSON - Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Tucson hosts an epic installment of El Tour de Tucson. The largest perimeter bicycling event in the United States is a fun adventure ride attracting an average of 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from throughout the United States and worldwide, consisting of novice, intermediate, advanced, and professional riders. November 19, 2022

TAMAL & HERITAGE FEST - Celebrate the rich tastes, smells, and variations of tamales from the Southwest and Mexico, and discover the culinary tradition of making tamales for Christmas at the annual Tamal & Heritage Fest at AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol Resort. Concerts by mariachi bands and performances by Mexican folk-dancers amp up this borderland celebration. December 2022

ARIZONA BOWL - Tucson's official football festival, the Arizona Bowl plays at Arizona Stadium on the University of Arizona campus in December. This annual post-season college football game matches teams from the Mountain West and the Sun Belt conferences (teams are announced in the fall) and is televised by CBS Network. December 30, 2022

 

Accolades

THE LOOP VOTED BEST RECREATIONAL TRAIL FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW  - The Chuck Huckelberry Loop has earned the top spot in USA Today’s 2022 “10Best Readers’ Choice” travel award contest for Best Recreational Trail. Measuring more than 136 miles, The Loop is the longest public recreation, multi-use path in the United States and is used by runners, walkers, cyclists, equestrians and other groups who enjoy the car-free paths for leisurely outings or as their connection to work and play.

TUCSON #20 IN RESONANCE'S "AMERICA'S BEST CITIES" - Tucson jumped to #20 in Resonance's top 100 city profiles after ranking 41st last year. The 2021 report showcases the best cities across the country with metropolitan populations of 500,000 or greater—where a high quality of life extends beyond incomes and infrastructure to include a dynamic culture fueled by a diverse, creative community.

TUCSON MAKES TOP TEN LIST FOR BEST BIG US CITIES - Tucson lands #9 spot in Conde Nast Traveler's 2020 Readers' Choice Award for Best Big US Cities.

TUCSON NAMED A TOP U.S. CITY FOR CYCLING - PeopleForBikes has released its third annual ratings of the best cities for bicycling in the U.S. Tucson ranks 13th overall. The PeopleForBikes City Ratings program is a data-driven analysis that evaluates more than 550 cities and towns and shows city leaders how they can invest to make bicycling better for all residents and visitors. Tucson performed well in acceleration, ridership, and safety. 

MONSOON CHOCOLATE WINS 2 MORE INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE AWARDS IN WORLD FINALS - Monsoon Chocolate was recognized with 2 additional awards in the World Finals while competing with other award-winning companies from all of over the world. This brings the total to 16 International Chocolate Awards received in 2019.

TUCSON RANKED 37 OUT OF 50 BEST LARGE U.S. CITIES – Tucson was ranked #37 out of the 50 best large cities in the United States, per Resonance Consultancy’s 2019 America’s Best Cities report, issued in June 2019: “Arizona’s second city is ascending fast, with bold city leadership, placemaking, and food scene dating back millennia.”

VISIT TUCSON NAMED 'TOURISM LEADER OF THE YEAR' - The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA) named Visit Tucson the Tourism Leader of the Year for 2019.

TUCSON INCLUDED ON SEVERAL LISTS FOR TOP TRAVEL DESTINATION S IN 2019 - On Oct. 7, 2018, Tucson was featured in TripAdvisor’s list of “7 Rising U.S. Cities That Should Be On Your 2019 Travel Bucket List". On November 26, 2018, Tucson was included on “Fodor’s Go List 2019” and on December 13, 2019, Tucson was featured on Orbitz’s list of “19 best places to travel in 2019.”

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For More Information Contact:

Mary Rittmann
Vice President of Communications & Tourism
1 (520) 770-2127

Megan Evans
Director of Communications
1 (520) 770-2133

Cindy Aguilar
PR & Communications Manager
1 (520) 770-2145

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