So what's Tucson like as a place to live? Would you recommend?

  1. My husband and I moved to AZ from Minneapolis. We knew we wanted to get away from MN weather, and we THOUGHT we wanted to get away from big city living. So we chose Prescott. Now, we're coming up on two years here and we finally talked about it last night and we realized that we're just not small town people, and we miss many things about living in the city. But we LOVE AZ (and don't want to live in Phoenix), so we're talking about checking out Tucson. We would both actually LOVE to live in Flag, based on what we've seen of the city, but I absolutely will NOT go back to that kind of winter.

    I also like the fact that there are SO many more job opportunities than where I am now. The idea of having about a dozen hospitals from which to choose is just thrilling to me. Plus, I want to go back and get a graduate degree and would like the option of doing it on an actual campus, rather than online.

    So anyway, just wondering what people's thoughts are on Tucson and raising a family there. We're not big suburb people, and prefer being closer to the city. We like the university atmosphere so are thinking maybe something near the UA campus. We're planning on taking 3-4 days off this summer and drive down there and just look around. We want to see what the summers are like, compared to Phoenix (I've gotten the impression it's a BIT cooler in Tucson).
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    I love Tucson !!!

    I visit my sister there as often as I can.. about once a year. She lives near the UA campus as well. Tucson has quite a bit going on.. lots of interesting things, a LOVELY zoo , all kinds of festivals, parks, artsy things.. you name it. Lots of intersting places to visit nearby as well. San Xavier Mission, of course Nogales down the road.. Tupac (an artist community) and Mt. Lemon just a forty minute drive up away from the heat and into to kool crisp air (about a 20 degree drop in temp ) where you are surrounded by pines and great camping !

    Sabino Canyon and Seven Lakes are other lovely places. Tucson has great restaurants, lots of variety, and it's pretty much an upbeat town. I would far prefer it to the big city. I'd NEVER live in Phoenix.. ever. And it is true.. Tucson is about ten degrees cooler than Phoenix.. it lies at 2000 feet above sea level.
  4. by   neuronursein06
    I absoultely LOVE Tucson. My parents maintain a house out there to go at times during the winters, and I look forward to going as often as I can! My bf and I are going 1st wk of March, and again with my fam for Easter....

    My p's are in the mtns- in the Foothills. About 5 min. from Sabino, Ventana, and La Paloma (a bit farther from La Paloma)....it's absouletly beautiful. I like it much better than Phx. My bf and I are moving there in '08...will prob raise a family and get my Masters while out there. U of A has a good school- applied there, and almost did their accelerated.

    Good luck!

    :-)
  5. by   DesertSunRN
    I am a Tucson native and still live close to the city. Yes I would recommend, additionally, I would encourage you to look sooner, as opposed to later. The main reason for that is that the housing prices are going up and up and up. In some areas they are passing PHX.

    UMC is great, a load of different opportunities to be had. Northwest has a new facility in Oro Valley, and TMC is getting ready to expand their main campus as well as add a new one on the southeast side. Certainly a good time to be looking for work.

    yes, it is not as hot as PHX, but I dont know huch much cooler you will feel when it is still 105 outside. I would say to still make the trip down in the summer to be sure youy are up for the heat, but in all fariness you should come down in the spring as well, when the temps are best.

    T
  6. by   Kabin
    My wife loves Tucson and sometimes has regrets we left in 2000. She had a nice commute to UMC and I had a dreadful oneway 45 minute/17 mile commute. If you visit Tucson, try to visit during the rush hour. Tucson isn't as small and inviting as it once was.
  7. by   PhoenixGirl
    I think Tucson is like Phoenix but smaller and milder weather. It rains more though and has better monsoons in the summer.

    There are horrid parts and there are nice parts. I also like sabino canyon, but now on the west side there is a lot of building and growing. It's a small city, and some parts can be very shady, but I'm sure you'll find nice parts of town on the outskirts. There are such beautiful mountains all around and tons of things to do nearby.

    I am so partial to Phoenix, I love it hear! But if you don't want a huge city then Tucson is probably much better.

    Rebecca
  8. by   klone
    Quote from PhoenixGirl
    I am so partial to Phoenix, I love it hear! But if you don't want a huge city then Tucson is probably much better.

    Rebecca
    It's not specifically the SIZE of the city so much as the crime, traffic and temperature extremes in the summer.
  9. by   Kabin
    Found a couple of websites showing Tucson crime in 2002 was substantially worse than Phoenix per capita.

    http://tucson.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm
    http://phoenix.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

    Hopefully I entered the #'s correctly:

    ____________________Tucson____Phx
    -------------------------------------------------
    Forced Rape__________65.3______29.18
    Murder________________9.1______12.6
    Robery______________260.8_____290.1
    Aggrav. Assault_______574_______395
    Burglary_____________1297.7____1199.7
    Larceny/Theft________6286______2445
    Motor Theft__________1198.98___1823.85
    Arson_________________63.4______35.66
    -------------------------------------------------
    Overal Crime Index_____9692/100k__7823/100k
    Last edit by Kabin on Feb 22, '05
  10. by   RainDreamer
    We live in Tempe, but I've been to Tucson many many times for various small vacation trips. I've always heard that about it being cooler than Phoenix, but frankly it was still hot and never a 10 degree difference, maybe I just didn't get so lucky in all my visits there, I don't know ..... but when it's 107 in Tucson and a 110 in Phoenix, it's still hot.

    I'm like Rebecca though, I'm partial to Phoenix, so it's hard for me to say ...... I'm sure there are areas of Tucson that would be great to live and raise a family and has a lower incidence of crime .... just like anywhere, just have to find that certain area.
  11. by   RainDreamer
    I know Phoenix traffic is horrific!! But I've driven from Tucson to Phoenix many times .... on my school breaks I drive from TX to Phx. If I didn't time my drive right I'd get stuck in the Tucson traffic and it was just terrible, they were always working on the roads and didn't have many lanes at all. Again, maybe I just wasn't very lucky lol ..... but that's actually one of the main things I really hated about Tucson, was the traffic.

    Totally loved the mountains though, very scenic!
  12. by   PhoenixGirl
    Quote from klone
    It's not specifically the SIZE of the city so much as the crime, traffic and temperature extremes in the summer.
    I read the other posts, and I think everyone has different views. Those crime statistics are interesting. No, I would never live like in downtown Phoenix, or south Phoenix, but the outlying areas can be really really nice! And in Tucson, it is the same thing, the inner city areas are bad, but the outlying areas are nice. For example, you could find a nice little house in Chandler, work at the hospital there and not deal with crime or bad traffic/communiting. Yea, you would have the heat, but like other posters said it is still hot in tucson.

    I used to live in Sierra Vista which is a much, much smaller town, but even they have their problems. They have a big meth problem, and there is a high teen pg rate. The weather is great though. I was used to the weather there and went to tucson one evening when it was still 100 at 10pm, much different then the mountains of SV.

    Every place is going to have the good and bad, and everyone will give you different opinions. You'll probably have to feel it out for yourself to see if you like it. Good luck!

    Rebecca
  13. by   Kabin
    Traffic has been bad in Tucson for some time. From the beginning, they didn't plan the freeway system very well.

    As far as crime goes, I recall Tucson's population seemed to have a larger percentage of "have nots" than what I see in Phx. I recall one day on the way to work a fella with gun was robbing a Circle K and was randomly firing at passing cars. Thank goodness Phx is so spread out that I'm more isolated from those type of incidents.

    The temps are cooler in Tucson, maybe closer to 6 degrees in the peak of summer. However, Tucson cools off quicker in the evenings, depending on where you live.
  14. by   klone
    Hubby and I are taking a weekend trip down to Tucson this weekend to check things out. If we like what we see, we're going to take a longer trip this summer to see what it's like in the summer, as well as to get an idea of what weekday traffic patterns are like. The more I'm looking into it, the more excited I'm getting. There are SO many more opportunities down there for what I want to get into with nursing (reproductive health). They have a Planned Parenthood, and even a free-standing birth center!

    I almost wish it was a year from now and I was getting ready to graduate, so we could start looking for real.

    Thanks to those who PMed me with additional information about the city as well as family-friendly neighborhoods to look into. I will be printing it out and taking it with us this weekend.

    Kerry

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