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Old 02-26-2023, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
67 posts, read 159,416 times
Reputation: 77

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My wife and I are in our 70s, living in Portland, OR. To leave the winter gloom for 1-2 months, we are considering a winter rental in Tucson and are looking for advice.

Before the questions, here is what we are interested in:
  • Day hiking
  • Art museums
  • Botanical gardens
  • Concerts of classical music, folk music, new jazz
  • Eating out at varied restaurants
  • Proximity to a grocer with organic produce
  • Nearby pool for lap swimming
  • Nearby gym for resistance training (24 Hr Fitness would be ideal)
Here is what we are not interested in:
  • Golf
  • Backpacking
  • Late-night clubs, bars, drinking a lot
  • Dixieland jazz
  • Very high-priced restaurants
  • Noisy neighborhoods
So, the questions:
  1. What are the best ways to find a seasonal rental in Tucson? (Especially options to VRBO.)
  2. Are there certain neighborhoods where we should look? Certain neighborhoods to avoid?
  3. Are there local car rental outfits we should know about?
  4. What else should we know? We've visited Tucson only once, briefly.
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Old 02-26-2023, 03:04 PM
 
1,472 posts, read 1,419,895 times
Reputation: 1671
Vegas beats Tucson in just about every category one could imagine...gambler or not. Tucson hit its peak over 20 years ago.. Phoenix has left the formerly equal quality city in the dust (no pun intended).
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Old 02-26-2023, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Dessert
10,889 posts, read 7,382,548 times
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funny; we're looking to summer in Oregon.
maybe we can commute together.

A lot of people will tell you you have to be in northern Tucson; I live in and love the Tucson Mountains in SW Tucson. Great views, good hiking, near Saguaro Park and the Desert Museum (plants and animals), accessible infrastructure, including Sprouts a few miles away.
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Old 02-27-2023, 04:39 AM
 
3,822 posts, read 9,474,412 times
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The joke I've heard from friends is that if you want to retire to play golf, go to Phoenix. But to retire to hike, move to Tucson. Especially in my general area of NW Tucson, this seems to be the place that hikers, trail runners, climbers, cyclists and more come to train all winter. Know of an almost 80 year old guy that I see on occasion with his friends hiking up steep trails with a backpack full of climbing gear to hit the rocks.

Within 15 minutes of my house I have a Trader Joe's, Sprouts and a Whole Foods. More trails than I can hike in my lifetime, a community pool, workout gyms and almost everything else you are looking for. If looking on a map, look north of River Road between Oracle and the freeway.
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Old 02-27-2023, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Seattle
3,573 posts, read 2,880,685 times
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I moved down to S. AZ from Seattle in October. Currently in Rio Rico, 40 miles S. of Tucson.

I traveled from Tucson to Nogales 7 years ago and further S. the more I liked it, I think Tucson is around 2000 ft altitude, I'm closer to 3800 ft.
One location you may have interest is Tubac, about 30 miles South. It's an active artist community that has a spectacular specialty grocery store, Tubac Market, very high quality. Major groceries are a quick trip to Green Valley or Tucson.

Trails, parks, nature, culture, historical events nearby. It's a gorgeous area surrounded by medium and small Mountain ranges. East I have San Cayetano and a bit further Patagonia, west Tumacacori, south Atacosa and north Santa Rita mountains with Madera Canyon. There is so much more to explore.

Look up Arizona "Sky Islands" they're now part of my bucket list.
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Old 02-27-2023, 09:10 PM
 
92 posts, read 112,205 times
Reputation: 300
If we were looking for a home to rent in Tucson proper, I would look at the northern Catalina Foothills/Oro Valley/Casas Adobes area, along with the far eastern and far western areas. I would not consider central or southern Tucson. Southern Tucson is riddled with Dixieland Jazz places, so you would hate it there.

You might also look at the places along I-19 south of Tucson too. Less noise, less traffic, but still close enough to Tucson to go there at any moment's notice. Sahuarita, Green Valley, Tubac, and Rio Rico mentioned above would be great areas to explore. Green Valley has a lot of snowbirds, as does Tubac. Most everything you need in Sahuarita/Green Valley is located within a few miles of the interstate.

We like the Tubac area quite a lot since it is safe, quiet, beautiful, and cooler than Tucson. Lots of things within 21 miles in either direction on the highway, but I will say that within Tubac itself there isn't a lot. We do have the aforementioned very small grocery store, but you have to go up (Green Valley) or down (Nogales) the highway about 21 miles to a large grocery store or Walmart. We do have two "higher-end" restaurants, about five good restaurants, one poor restaurant, and a coffee shop. One small gym, but no pool that I know of (unless you rent a home in one of the HOA's that have a pool, of which there are several).

You might consider a short vacation in the area this Spring, and get to know this place. A few days in Tucson and a day or two exploring the areas to the south, and you should be able to figure out everything.
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Old 02-28-2023, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Seattle
3,573 posts, read 2,880,685 times
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OP, Caladan has a good suggestion, come visit this spring, beautiful time of year. My first trip down I rented an AirBnB in Tubac, very convenient.

Be sure to get over to Bisbee, people hit Tombstone on the way too, I did it once and won't need to again.
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Old 02-28-2023, 09:31 AM
 
11,023 posts, read 6,870,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
funny; we're looking to summer in Oregon.
maybe we can commute together.

A lot of people will tell you you have to be in northern Tucson; I live in and love the Tucson Mountains in SW Tucson. Great views, good hiking, near Saguaro Park and the Desert Museum (plants and animals), accessible infrastructure, including Sprouts a few miles away.
Summering in Oregon is a real crap shoot. The best months in my experience (7 years) are September and October. Before I moved to Arizona, I rented a condo at the end of July and returned to Oregon to pack up and move. I spent the entire month of August in double and triple layers, corduroy pants and 2 pairs of socks with sturdy shoes.
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Old 02-28-2023, 09:59 AM
 
1,472 posts, read 1,419,895 times
Reputation: 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladan View Post
If we were looking for a home to rent in Tucson proper, I would look at the northern Catalina Foothills/Oro Valley/Casas Adobes area, along with the far eastern and far western areas. I would not consider central or southern Tucson. Southern Tucson is riddled with Dixieland Jazz places, so you would hate it there.

You might also look at the places along I-19 south of Tucson too. Less noise, less traffic, but still close enough to Tucson to go there at any moment's notice. Sahuarita, Green Valley, Tubac, and Rio Rico mentioned above would be great areas to explore. Green Valley has a lot of snowbirds, as does Tubac. Most everything you need in Sahuarita/Green Valley is located within a few miles of the interstate.

We like the Tubac area quite a lot since it is safe, quiet, beautiful, and cooler than Tucson. Lots of things within 21 miles in either direction on the highway, but I will say that within Tubac itself there isn't a lot. We do have the aforementioned very small grocery store, but you have to go up (Green Valley) or down (Nogales) the highway about 21 miles to a large grocery store or Walmart. We do have two "higher-end" restaurants, about five good restaurants, one poor restaurant, and a coffee shop. One small gym, but no pool that I know of (unless you rent a home in one of the HOA's that have a pool, of which there are several).

You might consider a short vacation in the area this Spring, and get to know this place. A few days in Tucson and a day or two exploring the areas to the south, and you should be able to figure out everything.
The IGA in Rio Rico (exit 17), 10 miles from the border, was excellent at times. I did 90% of my grocery shopping there, over a four year period. I recall quite a few coming from Tubac to shop there. The checkpoint was a bit of a chokehold on business...I recall some older folks saying the checkpoint would be backed up, when they needed to use the restroom..badly..and if the chances of a secondary inspection were one in a hundred for a straight looking local, your number would eventually come up..and it is kind of intimidating considering they are ready to literally cut your car into pieces because of what a dog tells them. I hadn't been down there since 2013, so I don't know how legalization of rec weed has changed their tactics.
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Old 02-28-2023, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Dessert
10,889 posts, read 7,382,548 times
Reputation: 28062
Quote:
Originally Posted by pathrunner View Post
Summering in Oregon is a real crap shoot. ...

I spent the entire month of August in double and triple layers, corduroy pants and 2 pairs of socks with sturdy shoes.
gosh, that sounds so nice.
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