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Old 01-10-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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Are Austin and Tucson similar at all? I have job opportunities in both cities.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
1,207 posts, read 6,036,136 times
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Default there are *some* parallels

Punkzip, I talked to my husband about your question. He grew up in Tucson and went to college there, and we now live in Austin. Here's what he had to say. there are some parallels:

*Both are smaller urban centers a couple of hours out of a much larger urban center (Dallas/Phoenix)
* Both cities trend toward being pretty outdoorsy/active
* Both are dominated by a large university (UT/U of A)
* Both are kind of tough to find direct flights in and out of from some other cities

Some of the main differences are:
* Tucson really doesn't have a downtown; Austin has a vibrant downtown scene
* Tucson has awesome proximity re: driving distance to southern California, Vegas, Mexico and the beaches in Mexico (Rocky Point). Austin is sort of stuck in the middle - does have proximity to the Gulf Coast, though.
* probably better income potential here. Walmart is the #1 employer in AZ, so that is food for thought.
* the lake access here is a plus over Tucson, where there isn't much water

If he had to choose...he'd choose Austin. Note: if your job opportunity in Tucson happens to be with Intuit, Inc.....PM me. I worked for Intuit for 4 years out of there CA offices.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Kansas City
3 posts, read 18,146 times
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Default Austin or Tucson

I got the same situation right now:austin or tucson??? My wife and I really like both places. Could someone give us some advice and comparison on cost of living, housing, school for kids, and outdoor activities between these two lovely cities?

Thanks so much
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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I have not lived in Tucson, but have visited every year for many years. Although there are great things about it (the beautiful desert, mountains, interesting culture, good university, etc.), it is absolutely murder to drive across town. There are no freeways that help you to get across town - its all surface. And the surface streets are in a grid with lights on every corner. It just takes forever to get anywhere. Austin, I think, is easier to get around in. That may be a consideration.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Kansas City
3 posts, read 18,146 times
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Thanks Grasshopper for your info. There are few concerns I have for Tucson. Firstly, it has one of the highest rates of skin cancer due to the high temp. Secondly, the school in Tucson is not as great as the one in Austin. However, one nice thing about Tucson is I don't have to mow my lawn ever again.

I still have a few more months to make the decision. If anyone out there can help me on the decision process, you are welcome to do so. Be safe with the Hurricane Ike!
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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Austin has Louisiana for gambling to replace Vegas. Short drive to Mexico, SA, Houston, and Dallas areas. Austin also has a much better retail option if you want to go shopping.
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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You can xeriscape in Austin, just as you can in Tucson. Actually, lots of people in Tucson don't use native plants, but pour on lots of water to make lawns and fruit trees grow where they really are not meant to grow. It used to be that Tucson was a great place if you have allergies because of the dry air and low pollen counts. Not anymore. The air is still dry, but people have brought in all those plants that make us sneeze. Personally, I really don't like what green manicured lawns represent (monoculture, non-native, water and chemical guzzling, no habitat, etc.), and will always favor a native yard. You can do that in Austin, too. And it can look beautiful, not just a bunch of weeds.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:03 AM
 
673 posts, read 2,624,943 times
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Gigi's post captures the differences nicely. In general,
- Tucson is better for outdoor activities, cool mountains, Mexican food, overall beauty (city and state)
- Austin is better for non-outdoor activities, springs and beaches, shady trees, BBQ, funkiness, plentiful jobs, affordable housing, central location (city and state)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi927 View Post
* the lake access here is a plus over Tucson, where there isn't much water
You'd be surprised. When I lived in Tucson, I owned a sailboat as did many friends. At that time, Arizona had one of the highest per capita boat registrations of any state. Granted, everything down to a wind surfer had to be registered. Maybe not inner tubes....

In Tucson, there's Silverbell Lake. Better than nothing. Not too far of a drive south is Patagonia Lake and north is San Carlos Lake. The latter is on an Indian reservation and requires a permit that you can get easily at a nearby Circle K type of business.

Gigi's post captures the differences well. My perspective:
- Tucson is better for outdoor activities, cooling in the mountains, Mexican food, general beauty
- Austin is better for jobs, affordable housing, funkiness, non-outdoor activities, shady trees, beach access, BBQ, central location

A further drive is Lake Roosevelt. Plenty of water there. The Salt River isn't too far of a drive and has good inner tubing.

Last edited by aaauger; 09-14-2008 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:18 AM
 
17 posts, read 60,532 times
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I will tell you what I wish someone had told us when we moved from Chicago to Tucson - DON'T DO IT!!!

I'm sorry for being so direct and realize there are many people that like/love Tucson, but I can tell you that our experience there was awful. We thought it was going to be a great place to raise children, with lots of stuff to do and a lot of open-minded people and we were so wrong. Many people visit and think it would be a great place to live, but the experience of living there is very different from visiting.

Everyone talks about Mt. Lemmon, which is beautiful, but once you've been up there a few times you've pretty much exhausted your options of things to do.

There is absolutely no downtown and no diversity to speak of. There is a very large Mexican population and some great festivities like Day of the Dead parade, etc. but other than that, nothing going on. Same goes for food - if you like Mexican, you'll be in heaven, but if you like a variety of foods you won't really find it in Tucson.

It is not pedestrian friendly at all - there are no sidewalks in the Foothills and they have one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the country because there is really no safe place to walk.

The city council is run by a bunch of local business owners who don't want any growth in the city and, therefore, have kept a lot of great businesses from coming into Tucson. Just as gigi927 said, WalMart is the biggest employer and, yes, it is torture trying to drive across town on 2 lane roads in traffic.

Also, not sure where you are moving from, but we so missed seeing green grass and trees and water when we were in Tucson. Everything is so brown and the topography is just not very forgiving.

We spent a year in Tucson and couldn't wait to get out. We were so excited when we got an opportunity to come to Austin - we've been here 2 months and absolutely love it. Very different from Tucson, in our eyes. The people here are so incredibly friendly, there are parks everywhere, Lake Travis & Lake Austin and a very vibrant downtown.

Good Luck whatever your choice and hope my post was at least a little helpful and not too overwhelming
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:32 AM
 
Location: SoCal
2,261 posts, read 6,892,884 times
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I was sort of excited to drive through Tucson on the way to Austin. I had heard some nice things about it, and back when I was 15, I wanted to move to Tucson and work on a dude ranch. Seriously.

We drove right through it without even knowing!!!

About 1 hour outside of "town", I said to my husband "shouldn't we have hit Tucson by now?" I pulled out my map, and realized we'd passed it!!

When you drive through Austin... you know it. That's my two cents.
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