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Old 04-14-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
58 posts, read 143,526 times
Reputation: 66

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My husband and I are considering retiring in Tucson next year (after having to give up the dream of Los Angeles where our kids are due to being priced out of the market there. Waaah!). From perusing this forum, I think we'll concentrate our home search in the North, Northwest, Northeast and East parts of the city, so I'm trying to determine which motel is going to be a more convenient base camp for us when we drive down in May to scout out those areas.

There's a Quality Inn on Oracle Rd just north of Ina Rd that's well reviewed, but looking at the map I'm wondering if it may be too far North to be the best spot. Would we be better off in one of the motels concentrated in the vicinity of I-10 between Grant Rd & Speedway, perhaps? I've also learned from this forum that crosstown traffic is a bear, but it looks like Ina Rd goes quite a ways east and being so far North I'm hoping it's a less congested route to the east side of the city: Yes? No?
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,601 posts, read 31,701,421 times
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Unfortunately, DebBho, considering the logistics of your plans . . . no location is going to be perfect.

If you feel the Quality Inn on North Oracle is too far North, the Holiday Inn Express on East Wetmore may be a little more convenient. Just a block or two East of the Tucson Mall, River and Oracle and a direct shot out to I-10.

Other than just a simple overnighter, I would be a little reluctant to stay at any of the "downtown" motels along I-10. Possibly further North into the Marana area (Cortaro Road, etc) if you prefer an I-10 location.

Welcome and Good Luck on your retirement search.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,869 posts, read 16,319,598 times
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Ina isn't really "so far north" if you will be looking for houses in North (east or west) Tucson. Housing south of River Road, which runs parallel to Ina, is generally denser than north of River, which is more suburban. Much of the answer to your question depends if your home search will be centered on what I will call "in town" as opposed to a more suburban area where you are likely to find a newer home with more space.

Ina merges with Skyline and then Sunset, the three of which form what is simply one long road extending from Picture Rocks, west of I-10, all the way to Sabino Canyon in Northeast Tucson. The road isn't hard to drive. There is some congestion during rush hours, but most of the day you can zip along at the speed limit (which I believe is 45) or even faster. There is currently a bit of road construction at the intersection of Oracle and Ina, so the Quality Inn you mentioned (which would be my #1 choice for a "central" location) is a tad problematic for that reason. Otherwise it would be perfect because the rooms are essentially suites and there are stores, restaurants, and supermarkets right there. My family stayed there when we first moved here and our house hadn't closed yet. It worked great for us.

The Best Western Inn & Suites at Oracle and Orange Grove Road is in the same vicinity and is probably about the same price-wise. It would allow you to circumvent the construction slow-down, yet still have access to Ina. I took my mother to a traffic school held in a ballroom there and it seemed like a standard place. Right across the street is La Posada Lodge & Casitas, which is where my brother's buddies from Colorado stay when they come here to golf. They like it. It calls itself a "boutique hotel," but I don't think it's too expensive. There's also an Embassy Suites right on Ina near La Encantada Mall, but it's somewhat more expensive (check Priceline or Hotels.com, though, because it might not be busy this time of year, so they may have some discounts). There's a Windmill Inn at River and Campbell I've heard is nice, but I have no idea of price. It's not a spa/resort, though.

A mini-mass of mid-priced chains is located on the west side of I-10 (Holiday Inn, etc.) at the Cortaro Road exit, just north of Ina. That's a great base with a lot of choice if you expect your search to be Marana, Dove Mountain, Oro Valley, or the unincorporated part of Pima County in between (which is where I live). But if you think you're really interested in the North East side of town (Foothills and Sabino Canyon), that's a pretty far hike.

I'd stay away from the Speedway/Grant motel area. I'm not saying it's unsafe (it's popular with the gem show people and people here for university athletics), but it's not a place I would recommend Tucson newbies to be wandering around at night. If you want to be IN TOWN on the East Side, there's a Sheraton on East Grant and on Broadway on the East Side you'll find a Doubletree, a La Quinta, a Viscount Suites, and both a Residence Inn and a Courtyard in Williams Centre — all of which are business-style hotels.

Good luck. If you have any more specific questions you don't want to bother to post, feel free to shoot me a direct message. BTW, here's a home search site for Greater Tucson that I used when I was looking for a house here. I like it because you can easily search by neighborhood, zipcode, school district, or even specific subdivisions, before or after you specify price and size.
Create Your own Tucson Home Search
Here's the La Posada website: Tucson Hotels | La Posada Lodge & Casitas Tucson Hotel | Boutique Tucson Arizona Hotel
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,712,730 times
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I'm with Bummer, the motels along that stretch of I-10 would not be on my list of good places to stay - they are more of the "driving cross-country and need a place to crash for 6 hours" motels. The Holiday Inn Express (?) at I-10 and Cortaro is nice, clean and closer to several amenities you might want if you are here for a few days.

I am not familiar with the one on Wetmore, but that is a good location as well and will give you a little more feel for being in town as opposed to right next to the Interstate.

As for Ina, being a good way to get cross-town; no, not really. My recent experience is limited to the couple miles between I-10 and the Foothills Mall, but that is a mess most any time of the day. Orange Grove is better for getting around, but it isn't exactly a treat either.

Part of your experience may be dealing with the traffic and factoring it into your decisions; it is a pain, but it certainly isn't like an LA rush-hour or anything.

Let us know how your trip goes.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,532 posts, read 16,518,269 times
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I've stayed at the LaQunita on E. Broadway. It seems to be an ok location and the rooms were nice and clean. There is a full breakfast in the morning. It was clean and there were a number of restaurants and a big mall was nearby. We were all over Tucson and its location seemed to fit our needs. The price wasn't that bad either, at least if you book it online.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:13 AM
 
4,235 posts, read 14,063,176 times
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for driving between the NW and NE/E sides of town, use Ina from the Oracle Rd area and stick with it as it curves into Skyline then curves into Sunrise eastbound.....stay on Sunrise all the way to Sabino Canyon Rd to check out that popular area...or turn S onto Craycroft or Kolb to get down into the E area of Tucson
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
58 posts, read 143,526 times
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Wow, lots of helpful info. Thank you all so much. And boy, am I glad I asked! I'm really flying blind here. Just from looking at the map, I figured the Quality Inn was at the beginning of the outskirts of the north side!

I'm a bit torn about the sort of area I want to live in. I've lived in boring suburbia alllll my life and my ideal/dream home would be a Manhattan walk-up where I could step out of my building and be surrounded by people and things to do. I gather there are some dwellings of that sort in or around downtown Tucson that might be do-able, but if we're living in Tucson where the temperatures are unbearable at least a couple of months a year, I'm thinking a house with a pool would be more practical, so that's where I'm focusing at the moment. The one thing I really DO NOT want is to be so far out in the suburbs that I have a trek to go to the grocery store or other shopping.

I'm also torn about what price range I should be shopping in. We can afford up to around $250k, but would rather keep it considerably under that so we are, for the first time EVER, not slaves to a mortgage. I'm particularly concerned about that because for the next ten years until I'm able to get on medicare, we're going to have to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance and/or medical care, and as I'm battling cancer right now I don't think I can chance going without!

Again, thanks to all for the replies. Particularly you, Jukesgrrl. Fair warning: I may just take you up on your offer to assist via DM!
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,869 posts, read 16,319,598 times
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You're more likely to have to "trek" to a supermarket living downtown than in the suburbs. Tucson's downtown is really quite small. Nice homes and crummy homes are cheek to jowl and a neighborhood with all nice ones (such as the Sam Hughes district or El Encanto) would be significantly over the budget you mention, especially if they don't need updating (which they will). I share your ideal of living in Manhattan, but Tucson is the furthest thing from that of any of the many cities I've lived in (from Washington DC to Washington state).

Several of the suburbs in Tucson have abundant shopping and amenities in addition to plenty of nice houses in your price range. I live in suburbia (my first time ever in a suburb!) and within five miles of my house are the expansive Tucson Medical Center with every specialty I can imagine; Pima Community College's biggest and newest campus; Tucson's largest YMCA; two excellent public libraries; Arthur Pack County Park, which includes a desert-landscaped PUBLIC golf course; Tucson's second-largest mall; Costco; three supermarkets and two natural food stores; several large fitness centers; every denomination of church you can imagine; and tons of restaurants and all the shopping one usually finds in a major suburb.

In your first post you mentioned that coming to Tucson was in response to wanting to be close to your family in LA. I hate to throw a monkey wrench into an obviously already difficult decision, but is there a reason you discounted living in Phoenix? It resembles LA more than Tucson does being America's fifth-largest metro (public transportation, condos in a real downtown, freeways, professional sports, IKEA (LOL). In some areas houses are LESS expensive than in Tucson (condominiums certainly are) and it's easier to drive to LA from there than from Tucson. Or you could meet your kids in Palm Springs, which is right on the way between the two metros. But if the only lure of LA was the fact that your kids are there and you really want a more small-city feel, then Tucson is your place. And you can meet your kids in San Diego.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:35 PM
 
16,393 posts, read 30,282,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebBho View Post
My husband and I are considering retiring in Tucson next year (after having to give up the dream of Los Angeles where our kids are due to being priced out of the market there. Waaah!). From perusing this forum, I think we'll concentrate our home search in the North, Northwest, Northeast and East parts of the city, so I'm trying to determine which motel is going to be a more convenient base camp for us when we drive down in May to scout out those areas.

Since May is "off season", you might want to look at renting a condo through VRBO.com. It may be less expensive in the long run.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
58 posts, read 143,526 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
In your first post you mentioned that coming to Tucson was in response to wanting to be close to your family in LA.
Ah, no, that's not the reason we're considering Tucson, this is....



That photo was taken a couple of hours ago, and there's more snow forecast for today and tomorrow. I'm just done with Colorado weather. It used to be great. We had four very distinct seasons with nice respites from winter by way of Indian summers (sometimes lasting into December!) and chinook winds warming things up for a week or two in February. Not anymore. Now we have COLD weather eight months of the year, relentlessly HOT weather most of the summer and, at best, a couple weeks of mild temps in between.

My must-have list for a retirement locale:

WARM weather/NO snow!
Large city, (though not necessarily a sprawling metropolis)
Low bug population (leaves out pretty much all of the south)
Leaning to the left, politically

I realize Tucson just barely qualifies on that last point, but given that California is out due to financial constraints it's probably the most liberal spot that qualifies on the other counts. Also, it features in the top ten of "best sunny places to retire" lists quite often as of late, being afforded the number one spot on at least a couple of them. That certainly counts for something. (Interestingly though, for a few years ten years or so ago Fort Collins topped a lot of those lists but now it's no where to be found on any of them.)

I've strayed way off the topic of my original post (sorry!) but thanks for the continued assistance.
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