Category: Travel Guide

Top Ten Tips for Travelers

Posted By : Chris Martin/ 163 0

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1.  Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visa, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page on your passport!

2.  Read the Consular Information sheets (and Public Announcements of Travel Warnings, if applicable.) for the countries you plan to visit.

3.  Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends at home, so that you may be contacted in case of an emergency.

4.  Make sure you have insurance, which will cover your emergency medical needs, while you are overseas.

5.  Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to it’s laws!

6.  Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas and never accept packages from strangers.

7.  While abroad, avoid using illicit drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, and associating with people who do.

8. Do not become a target for thieves by wearing conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry. Do not carry excessive amounts of cash or unnecessary credit cards.

9.  Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques in order to avoid violating local laws.

10. When overseas, avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed.

What’s New in Tucson / November 2012

Posted By : Chris Martin/ 133 0

Stay at a Historic Hotel. Legend has it that the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort’s Casita Grande was the favorite hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Rich in history, the resort originally opened in 1929 as a ranch school for girls, and is listed as a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America. Today, the property encompasses 34 acres of natural desert landscape, surrounded by established gardens of cacti, flowers, and sculpture. This peaceful landscape contributed to the resort’s selection this month as a Fodor’s Choice property. With this designation as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value in 2012, the resort will receive special recognition in the next Fodor’s guidebook to Tucson as well as on Fodors.com.

Watch Huge Cranes in Flight. One of nature’s greatest spectacles can be seen at Wings over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival, January 16-20, 2013, in the Sulphur Springs Valley, east of Tucson. Every day, tens of thousands of sandhill cranes rise en masse at dawn from their wetland winter roosts, and fly off in search of food. Watching these flocks of huge birds, with their long legs and expansive wings, as they take off and glide like airplanes is a festival highlight. Other activities include guided tours, seminars, and a nature expo celebrating southeastern Arizona’s natural wonders. Festival keynote speaker/featured guide Kenn Kaufmann is an author, artist, conservationist, and naturalist, well-known for his field guides of birds and butterflies. (1-800-200-2272, wingsoverwillcox.com)

Shop for Gems and Minerals. Fluorite, called “the most colorful mineral in the world,” is said to help energize the body and raise powers of concentration. This beautiful and interesting stone will be featured at the next Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, February 14 -17, 2013, at the Tucson Convention Center. Besides a stunning selection of fluorite, the “Fluorite, Colors of the Rainbow” show will also feature at least 250 retail dealers and more than 125 exhibitors displaying and selling all kinds of gems, minerals, fossils, lapidary items, and jewelry. This show is one of the 40 locations that make up the citywide Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase, February 2-17. Information related to all Tucson’s gem shows can be downloaded on a mobile phone using the application available at visitTucson.org/gemshow. (520-322-5773, tgms.org, visittucson.org/visitor/events/gemshow)

Hear World-class Music. World-renowned conductors and rising stars of classical voice will join Tucson’s leading performing arts groups for the first-ever Tucson Desert Song Festival, February 8-17, 2013. This ten-day event is a creative collaboration between the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the School of Music at the University of Arizona, Tucson Chamber Artists, UApresents, Ballet Tucson, Chamber Music Plus, and Tucson Guitar Society. A series of concerts featuring singing in orchestral, choral, chamber, and solo formats is planned for the public’s enjoyment, while various seminars, recitals, and master classes will provide education and enrichment for those yearning to learn more about the composers and the pieces performed. (520-360-6510, tucsondesertsongfestival.org)

Go Cowboy at Tucson Rodeo. More than 1,000 horses will participate in the Tucson Rodeo (also called La Fiesta de los Vaqueros –The Celebration of the Cowboys), outnumbering the 600+ contestants, February 18-26, 2013, at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. As one of the top-25 professional rodeos in North America this major outdoor event consists of six rodeo performances that have attracted locals and visitors from all over the world to experience an authentic Old West lifestyle since 1925. The rodeo action, the Tucson Rodeo Parade (February 21), the Coors Barn Dances, and great “eats” promise a fun time out with family and friends in the real southwest. (1-800-9645662, media@tucsonrodeo.com, tucsonrodeo.com/)

Catch a Pro Golf Match. The PGA TOUR will present the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, in the Tucson suburb Marana, February 18-24, 2013. The first in a series of four World Golf Championships and one of the biggest draws on the PGA TOUR circuit, this event is a single-elimination match play tournament featuring the Official World Golf Rankings’ top 64 available professional golfers in a contest for a $8.5 million grand prize. The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain since 2009. (pgatour.com/tournaments/r470/)

Hire a Horse-drawn Carriage. Sightseers can now take a leisurely trip through Tucson’s past aboard a carriage drawn by a pair of Clydesdale horses, courtesy of the Sentinel Carriage Company. This new tour starts in El Presidio Historic District, adjacent to the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, home to five restored mansions from the early 1900s. The tour also includes the Armory Park Historic District with its colorful 1880s railroad-era Victorian-style homes, and Barrio Viejo Historic District, known for its 19th century Sonoran row house adobe buildings. Half-hour and one-hour tours are available, Wednesdays through Sundays. Prices start at $50 for up to six passengers; the carriage has room for 12. Reservations are not required. (520-609-3582, sentinelcarriagecompany.com)

Sip the World’s Greatest Margarita. The “Tatas & Tequila Margarita,” created by Ryan Clark, executive chef at Lodge on the Desert boutique hotel, won the top spot at the World’s Greatest Margarita Championship, hosted at the Tucson Museum of Art in October. Click here to check out Clark’s concoction: a blend of pomegranate jam, pomegranate white balsamic vinegar, citrus, and Tequila Penasco. This year’s cocktail contest, a Tucson Culinary Festival event, featured a record 18 mixologists from the independently owned Tucson Originals restaurants who faced off in a spirited celebration of tequila and the quest for the perfect margarita. (tucsonoriginals.com/culinary-festival/world-margarita-championship/)

Browse a Botanical Garden. Tucson Botanical Gardens recently unveiled the first phase of its capital campaign with a new front entryway, titled First Impressions. The entryway, a classic steel arch, is modeled after Tucson’s important ranching past. The new arch already is making a remarkable impact on the visitor experience by cementing not only Tucson’s history but by honoring the founding Porter family’s legacy without which Tucson would not enjoy this lush city oasis. Tucson Botanical Gardens, designated as an America’s Best Secret Garden by Reader’s Digest, is an urban oasis in the heart of Tucson featuring a five-and-a-half-acre collection of 17 specialty gardens. (520-326-9686, Ext. 10; tucsonbotanical.org)

Dine at a Downtown Mercado. Tucson’s newest downtown development, the Mercado San Agustin is a bustling marketplace located in a green building with 15,000-square-feet of space, west of downtown. Billed as “Tucson’s first and only public market,” the Mercado is home to independent merchants that range from small kiosks with locally produced goods to the Agustin Brasserie, a chic French bistro whose outdoor dining options include both courtyard and rooftop seating. A shared-use commercial kitchen allows small-business owners to prepare and package foods for retail. A weekly farmers’ market, a holiday bazaar, community activities, and a prime location at the base of “A” Mountain on the forthcoming Tucson Modern Streetcar route make the Mercado a dynamic component of Tucson’s expanding city center. (520-398-5382, mercadosanagustin.com)

Save with Tucson Attractions Passport. Travel the Tucson and Southern Arizona region with a Tucson Attractions Passport (also called the Book of Fun). This pocket-sized savings guide includes more than $400 in saving for only $18. Discounts and special offers are valid at attractions, museums, parks, malls, and more. Purchase online, download one to your smartphone, or pick one up at the Tucson Visitor Center or other distribution location. (tucsonattractions.com)

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