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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Take a break from the Book Festival

    Steve Nguyen
    Steve Nguyen/ The Daily Wildcat After a day at the Festival of Books, climb the short hike up Sentinel Peak, also known as A-Mountain, for a vast view of the city of Tucson. From the A, you will be able to spot the UA campus, downtown, and Mt. Lemmon.

    White tents will witness more than 300 presentations from storytellers, poets, playwrights and book lovers from across the country this weekend. While there will be plenty happening on campus, Tucson also has unique spots to experience outside of the festival. Here are five places to visit during your trip to the Old Pueblo.

    Gates Pass
    Why go? Relax in a nature triad of hiking, sunset views and stars.
    This winding, scenic road was built in 1883 by pioneer Thomas Gates, who wanted a path through the Tucson Mountains; finding no shortcut, Gates decided to build one. During the day, climb the hills up to a little stone shack. At night, stop in one of the lookout spots for endless stargazing. In the time between? Catch Tucson’s saguaro-silhouetted sunsets from one of the best spots in town. To get there, take Speedway Boulevard west and you’ll reach a destination surrounded by mountains, saguaro and ocotillo cacti.

    Fourth Avenue
    Why go? Explore eclectic downtown in the sun.
    Fourth Avenue has character: Tucsonan character. It’s a unique opportunity to see pizza hand-tossed at a solar-powered pizza joint, eat a peanut butter-bacon-pepper jack burger, search through a remarkable collection of books or sip a drink while looking through telescopes ­— all on the same street. Brooklyn Pizza Company, Lindy’s on 4th, The Book Stop and Sky Bar are just a few of the many interesting places to check out.

    Sabino Canyon
    Why go? Hike through the mountains and make the day an adventure.
    Tucson is home to some incredible hiking getaways, such as Picacho Peak with its height, Douglas Spring Trail with its waterfalls and Mount Lemmon with its La Milagrosa Trail. Another awesome local hike is Sabino Canyon. One of its most popular destinations is Seven Falls, which can take a good half of the day to navigate but ends with an oasis of pools. Anyone who may have forgotten their hiking shoes can take a 45-minute tram ride through Sabino Canyon and learn about the Santa Catalina Mountains while passing over nine small bridges.

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    Why go? Learn where javelinas, coyotes and bighorn sheep roam.
    The 1,200 types of plants and 230 animal species at the desert museum prove that the Sonoran Desert is one of the most vegetated deserts in the world. Enjoy botanical gardens through two miles of walking paths. Currently, the museum’s live animal presentations feature Gila monsters and rattlesnakes in “A Look at Venomous Reptiles of the Southwest” and falcons, owls and hawks in “Raptor Free Flight.”

    Tumamoc Hill
    Why go? Exercise with an unbeatable view.
    This summit to the west of “A” Mountain boasts one of the best views of the city. A paved path leads to the south of the Tucson Mountains. The short, steep climb to the top is an ideal spot to view the Tucson valley and mountain ranges.

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