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Old 02-05-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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My friend Gary & I are heading to AZ in search of an affordable, beautiful, safe town in the desert. Yeah, it looks like Oro Valley and the likes of Catalina are beautiful and have shopping galore - but we're worried they might feel too suburban, too sanitized. Coming from the East as we are, we're really trying to find a place chock full of palm trees and cactus - we want it to feel like a 'different world' and not like the suburbs out here that's all developments and strip malls(except it has palm trees). It looks like the Phoenix area is too busy/crowded? And it seems risky, safety-wise, moving any closer to the border than Tucson. I'm an artist, looking to sell my wares in craft shows, so I'm also hoping for an area that has plenty of that going on. Any advice for us? Thanks - Heidi
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
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The Oro area is beautiful, heidiinpa, and there are really some upscale spots to live in that area. It appears to be growing. As far as the neighborhoods of Tucson, someone else more familiar will have ta chime in here, someone that lives in the Tucson area.

My wife and I are hoping to be able to come back to the area soon. We used to live in Willcox, AZ, about 80 miles east of Tucson. We love the whole SE Arizona area and are missing it dearly! =
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Thanks! I appreciate the info. and am happy to hear that you and your wife liked AZ so much - Heidi
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
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Just an FYI, Heidi . . .

Primarily due to space availability and relative age, with a few exceptions, you are going to find most cities out here are much more similar to large suburbs compared to the cities back east.

Good Luck on your relocation.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkotronics View Post
The Oro area is beautiful, heidiinpa, and there are really some upscale spots to live in that area. It appears to be growing. As far as the neighborhoods of Tucson, someone else more familiar will have ta chime in here, someone that lives in the Tucson area.

My wife and I are hoping to be able to come back to the area soon. We used to live in Willcox, AZ, about 80 miles east of Tucson. We love the whole SE Arizona area and are missing it dearly! =
I used to live in Willcox, and the guy who lives behind me across the fence grew up there. I think about that little town about every day.

To answer the OPs question, pretty much Benson is the only place that isn't suburbanish. Maybe Oracle. Marana and Green Valley are a little bit further out but they seem suburbanish to me.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:45 PM
 
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Hey Eddie - you mention Oracle, but isn't its altitude high enough so they don't have palm trees/cactus? Forgive me for my naivete about the region, but I'm just learning as I go along here from your forum and videos on youtube - Heidi
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Oro Valley AZ.
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Originally Posted by heidiinpa View Post
Hey Eddie - you mention Oracle, but isn't its altitude high enough so they don't have palm trees/cactus? Forgive me for my naivete about the region, but I'm just learning as I go along here from your forum and videos on youtube - Heidi
Elevation in Oracle is 4500 ft,
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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isn't that high enough that you don't have cactus and palm trees? and of course - you have much cooler temperatures?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:04 PM
 
Location: outer space
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You will still have cactus (palm trees?) but Oracle's ecology is different: more grasses, fewer (if any) saguaro but not drastically different. The temps are cooler as well.
Artist-types are found around Fourth ave. vicinity in Tucson. Have you thought about areas around the university?
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:19 PM
 
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Benson is my first thought as well. Lots of retirees and some commuters, but it's a small town at heart. You go little further down the road, and Saint David is a nice town as well, though extremely small.

You may also want to look at Bisbee.
If you don't mind being a little closer in to Tucson, I would also suggest the Tanque Verde community on the northeast side of the city. It's got a small town sort of atmosphere and feels separate from Tucson. Land is typically very expensive though. But it lacks the cookie-cutter sanitized feel of Oro Valley and Marana.

Palm trees no longer grow natively in the Sonoran Desert. Phoenix has no shame about being a virtual plasticine paradise in that respect, so that's why you don't see as many palm trees around Tucson.
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