When you’ve decided to make a move to a new city, you want to check out the best neighborhoods before you decide where to make your home. Of course, what constitutes a great neighborhood can vary widely from person to person.
Do you want a buzzy neighborhood, packed full of the hottest restaurants, trendiest bars and places to be seen? How about a neighborhood that is focused on being environmentally-friendly, socially-conscious and walkable? Maybe you want a home in a neighborhood that’s safe, kid-friendly and close to great schools. Or perhaps you’re looking for something with a historic, quirky feel that has tons of character.
No one neighborhood fits all. The good news is, whatever you’re looking for in a neighborhood, chances are, you can find it in Tucson. In fact, the city is incredibly spread out and diverse, and each neighborhood has a distinctive feel and different property pricing. So let’s take a closer look at the five best neighborhoods in the city of Tucson. We’ve selected a wide variety to accommodate many different tastes, while showcasing the diversity of neighborhoods to be found in the city.
- Sam Hughes
You’ll find a mix of university professors, students, artists, young families and professionals in this central Tucson neighborhood, with charming bungalows and turn-of-the-century territorial houses hugged by quaint, tree-lined streets. Housing prices start in about the $200k range and get as high as $1.5 million, so chances are whatever your bank statement says, you may be able to find a property in your price point. If you’re looking for easy access to culture, cafes and shopping, you’ve found it. Sam Hughes is also close to the University of Arizona, one of the city’s major employers.
- Catalina Foothills
Ranked as the most expensive neighborhood in Tucson, Catalina Foothills has benefits to match its cost of living. With a median real estate price tag totaling more than $775,000, it’s also more expensive than 95 percent of neighborhoods in Arizona. Rental properties appear to be more affordable, as they are reportedly cheaper than 75 percent of the neighborhoods in Arizona.
The neighborhood is known to be quiet and safe, and is likely to be a hit with retirees moving to the area as well as families. It boasts some of the city’s top schools, art galleries and upscale shopping, as well as a crime rate that is 53 percent lower than the Arizona average.
If you’re socially-conscious and looking for a community that’s forward-thinking and harnesses the power of the Arizona sun, Civano could be a great neighborhood for you and your family. It’s known for being safe and family-friendly with just a short distance to cafes, shops, a community garden, two swimming pools and more than 50 businesses.
The neighborhood was actually created with an eye toward walkability, and it was designed to counteract the drawbacks of most developments, such as congestion, loss of community and shared spaces and wasted resources. Located on the southeast side of Tucson, in Civano you’ll find energy-efficient adobe and Sonoran-style homes with solar power, with a median home value of $219k and rental properties commanding $1,100 to $1,800 a month. Like much of Tucson, Civano also has stunning mountain views for residents to enjoy.
- Barrio Historico
While not for everyone, if you’re looking for an area with character and a sense of history, the Barrio Historico District, or Barrio Viejo neighborhood in Tucson, may be right for you. Located just south of the Tucson Convention Center, Barrio Historico is considered to be the best preserved of the Tucson Barrios, comprised of Instagram-worthy, brightly-colored Sonoran-style adobe row houses. Homes range from $100k to $500k for the newer properties, so affordable housing can be found.
When you explore the neighborhood, it has a distinctive, Mexican village-type feel to it. It can even feel gritty at times, and there are homes in need of some TLC, but Barrio Viejo is considered to be an up and coming neighborhood. Artists (and their studios), young couples and Hispanic residents call Barrio Historico home. Because of its storied history, the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, in cooperation with other local partners, is pursuing designation of the neighborhood as a National Historic Landmark
In the wake of a massive revitalization effort and the construction of several apartment complexes, downtown Tucson is a hot spot for those seeking chic apartment living that’s close to restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife (4th Avenue, which is lined with bars, late-night food options and places to get inked on impulse, is just a short walk away). If you’re into live music, museums and a taste of history, Downtown may be where it’s at for you.
You’ll have access to the new streetcar, which provides convenient transport to many of the hot scenes in downtown Tucson. And while Tucson is known for its population of snowbirds who migrate to the southwest for the winter, the University of Arizona, which dominates much of downtown Tucson, draws a vibrant, young crowd to the heart of the city.
Because Tucson is a city built with influences from many cultures and differing walks of life, there are a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose to call home; this is just a sample of what the city has to offer. So no matter if you’re looking for a great apartment, or in the market to buy a home; whether you want family-friendly living or something with a great vibe and a side of character, Tucson is ready to serve up whatever fits your lifestyle needs.