DRINK Be sure to pop by Hub Restaurant & Creamery, where you can grab one of the 24 beers on tap to wash down your choice of one of 24 flavors of ice cream. Your bartender will advise on proper pairings. Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails could be in the “eat” category, since their bar-food menu is superb, so kill two birds with one stone and order the Oaxacan peanuts with lime and chiles (served warm) or the spicy lamb-tongue taco with a drink called the Gin District, and you can’t go wrong.
DO When a town is surrounded by mountain ranges, one must hike, and it’s best not to wing it. Hike in Tucson offers planned hikes, or they will customize one for you. Those more inclined to plan one themselves or those who want a less-expensive hike led by local volunteers should check out the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. Tucson also has plenty of golf courses, including the Mountain Course at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, a scenic spot tucked into its own canyon and boasting a par-3 third hole dubbed the “most photographed golf hole west of the Mississippi.” Movie buffs take note: Scenes for Tin Cup, starring Kevin Costner, were shot at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa’s Rancho Nine.
STAY The historic Hotel Congress dates to 1919 and is perhaps best known as the place bank robber John Dillinger was captured; rooms are furnished with period-appropriate furniture, including antique iron beds. Originally a family residence, the Lodge on the Desert opened in 1936 and is now a 103-room boutique hotel on five meandering, cactus-strewn acres in midtown Tucson. Set against the backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains and about a 45-minute drive from downtown is the legendary Miraval Resort & Spa. A completely new spa facility designed by Clodagh debuted there a month ago and features an extensive menu of Clarins treatments in addition to the holistic, mind-body experiences the resort is known for. Spa day passes are available as well for those who have less time for Zen.