Take a Low-Cost Tour Through Tucson's Culture

Posted April 1, 2009 by Kate Hamman

AZ-Tucson-PuebloTrolleyTour-DEF Though Tucson is clearly in Arizona, its history is deeply rooted in Mexican culture. Come learn about the city's past on a trolley ride, shop for arts and crafts, and dine on fresh Mexican cuisine. Plus, you'll barely spend a dime while you're here.

Old Pueblo Trolley: Hop aboard the Old Pueblo Trolley for a ride back in time, where you'll get to learn about the history of trolley operation and the surrounding area. The ride begins at the Fourth Avenue Business District and ends near the University of Arizona, and along the way you'll pass a dizzying array of shops, cafes, and restored homes, with narration explaining their historical significance. Kids are welcome to ring the bell. Each ride costs $1, but you can hop on or off at any of the stops for the one-time fee of $2.50.

Old Town Artisans: Located in Tucson's El Presidio Historic District, you'll find 150-year-old adobe structures housing six unique artisan shops and galleries. Browse the many examples of contemporary and traditional art from regional and local artists. You'll find jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and much more. And if your feet get tired, you can relax outside in the Spanish-style courtyard. Prices differ from item to item, but window shopping is always free.

Guadalajara Grill: Fresh is the name of the game at Guadalajara Grill, where you can watch as your salsa is made tableside, eat homemade tortillas, and sip a freshly made margarita. You can also dance the night away to live music. The menu features many familiar Mexican items, such as burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, and quesadillas, alongside different dishes like huaraches (fried maza crust topped with meats divided by beans) or volcano molcajetes (volcanic rock is heated and filled with soup-and-salsa queso mix). Don't miss happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when margaritas cost $2.99 and snack items go for $4.95.

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(Photo: Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau)

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