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One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

New York
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One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

Hi,

We are a couple in our early 30's driving to Tucson on our way to Los Angeles in early January, We will only have one night and want to have the best experience for our little time. We can do a nice dinner, hotel and one attraction the following day. I am a musician and like to go out where the live music scene is so I was thinking staying in downtown makes sense, however I am also a big fan of luxury hotels, maybe something with character like a boutique hotel, or nice views, but we want the "tuscon experience". We will have a car. Money is probably not a concern, but probably less than $400 for the room. In terms of dining, we are big foodies..so we are looking for the best "chefy" type restaurant. I appreciate your advice! Thank you.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

I'll let the local experts tell you where to stay and go, but IMO it is impossible to have any kind of meaningful 'Tucson experience' in a single night.

Marina, California
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2. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

It depends on the day. Weekends, you're certain to find something going on music-wise. There are a lot of venues Downtown and on 4th Ave. The local bands tend to play the weekends while the touring acts (generally) get the weekdays, because that's just when they roll through (they tend to save the weekends for LA, San Francisco, Austin, etc.). If you came in on a Monday or Tuesday, however, there's really nothing going on anywhere in town, and Downtown's pretty dead. There are shows during the week, especially at Congress, but it's hit-or-miss with the bands and they're likely touring acts, although that's not a bad thing all the time.

I would strongly encourage to stay at the Hotel Congress. It's certainly not for everyone, but it's definitely interesting, and it definitely fits your "under $400" requirement (more like $75). If you want something nicer, or you read the reviews and say "Nah," there's the Arizona Inn, which is one of the best hotels in the city and will run maybe $250 for the night, if that. Marriott University Park would also be a good option, but has less character than both the Arizona Inn and the Congress.

I would also encourage you to hit The Grill, on Congress Street. This is not "fine dining" or a place to have a "nice meal," but it's got really good food, lots of characters, and I don't really know many other places in town that say "Tucson" quite as loudly.

Feel free to ask more about the clubs and bar scene though. I'm a musician as well (drummer, if you count that), and I've actually played in most of the bars in town and frequent them pretty regularly to see bands.

Arizona
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3. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

I would second the Arizona Inn for a traditional, historic southwestern experience. It is pretty laidback, not at all trendy which is an attraction in my book. The new Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain is not in Tucson proper, but is brand new and first rate based upon the TA reviews.

tucson az
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4. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

There are several good "chefy" restaurants in Tucson. Among the best are Janos and JBar, both at the Westin La Paloma, which is also one of the nicest hotels in Tucson. The chef is Janos Wilder, who was featured on a show by Bobby Flay of Food Network. Janos' cuisine might be described as inspired Southwestern. He uses a lot of locally grown foods.

You won't have a "chefy" experience staying downtown. The Arizona Inn is indeed a fine and historic place, but in January will be close to your budget.

The music scene will depend on when you are here. You will need to check that out ahead of time, but I doubt you have time for both fine dining and that. Check the Tucson Weekly online, www.tucsonweekly.com, for possible music events occurring when you are here, but a week or two before your dates.

There is a unique restaurant downtown, Poca Cosa, which is "Neuva Mexicana," inspired by local and central Mexican cuisine.

Edited: 17 October 2010, 08:35
Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

For something unique to Tucson and close to the U of A and not too far from downtown, I would suggest the Arizona Inn. It's a older resort, but very classy. For something more modern with great scenery, the new Ritz Carlton NW of town in Dove Mountain or one of the other footlhills resorts like La Paloma or Ventana Canyon would be great, but they are much further from the downtown music scene.

For your one attraction, definitely the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.

Tucson, Arizona
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6. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

A new restaurant run by noted Tucson chef Janos Wilder is opening this week in downtown Tucson. Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, on 6th Ave, just south of Broadway. Too new to have the website up and running or to have a menu. But check here for updates:

tucsonoriginals.com/directory/dir_downtownki…

Arizona Inn would be a good bet.

san francisco
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7. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

Tucson also has some very nice resorts situated in beautiful desert locations. Have a look at Ventana, El Conquistador and La Paloma.

Also, for a genuine Tucson dining experience, I say head to South Tucson (a predominantly latino separate municipality within the city limits) for mexican food at El Torero. Very quality.

Really, though, stay an extra day. If you want a true Tucson experience, you have to go to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, one of the greatest zoological parks in the world.

tucson az
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8. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

I cannot agree with the previous poster about El Torero. The food is OK, but the place looks the same as when I moved to Tucson 33+ years ago, dirty and run down.

Along 4th Ave south of 22nd St are several very good Mexican restaurants: Crossroads, Mi Nidito, Rigo's Guillermo's, Micha's. US Presidents have eaten in some of these.

san francisco
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9. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

I prefer the, er, 'historical continuity' of El Torero to which bobbear refers, but his recomendations are great ones as well -- the key point is that you should try some Tucson Mexican food in that neighborhood!

south dakota
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10. Re: One Night in Tucson - Hotel & Dinner Recommendations please!

We have had several wonderful meals at Cafe Poco Casa, which is downtown. tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60950-d33…

Do you like b and b's? We have stayed at several in the University area, which is relatively near downtown.

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