Best City for Creatives, Writers and Artists

Tucson Voted Best City for Artists and Creatives
Tucson Voted Best City for Artists and Creatives

10 Cities That Creatives Should Move to That Are Not NYC or L.A.

With lush areas, that cater to rich people and a happening downtown attracting young adults in groves,  you’d never imagine it, but Tucson, Ariz. is becoming a great place for up-and-coming creatives to live.

Home to one of the country’s most fun party schools, that is paradoxically studious– The University of Arizona has been attracting the best and the brightest creatives to Tucson for years. Artists of all types who are catering to younger crowds are flourishing. But the city is also slick with wild wild west, cowboy, gunslingin’ desert history perfect for the budding mystery novelist. While the sun is down and the co-eds are at play, the thriving downtown music scene wherein artists like Calexico were born offers cheap amenities to up-and-coming bands plus primo weather for open-air shows and lugging gear back-and-forth as you please.

Located so close to L.A., San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Tucson has become a must-stop destination for all the big name musicians traveling through. Imagine seeing your favorite artist or DJ in an intimate venue with your closest friends? A luxury, a small, big city like Tucson can afford.

Tucson is quickly establishing itself in the technology world

Collaborative work spaces, trendy internet cafes, hole in the wall gems decorate the thriving, growing downtown area where you’ll find artist studios, galleries and performance venues. The magic of building community is a blossoming value to be discovered. There’s a reason they say Tucson is a small town in a big city.

Ramshackle mid-century hotels line the downtown streets and create an air of playful adventure. The historic, local favorite, Hotel Congress comes packaged with a story about being John Dillinger’s hide-out, a venue, and diner vibes near the trendy 4th Avenue.

Just imagine that Phoenix is like Dallas and Tucson is like Austin, only in a much cooler area, because, hello? Road trip to SoCal, and Las Vegas!

Complex.com’s list of the 10 Cities That Creatives Should Move to that aren’t LA or NYC:

  1. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  2. New Bedford, Mass.
  3. Providence, R.I.
  4. Tucson, Ariz.
  5. Athens, GA
  6. Hartford, Conn.
  7. Santa Cruz, Calif.
  8. Santa Fe, New Mex.
  9. Louisville, KY
  10. Big Sur, Calif.

The New York Times Mentions Saguaro National Park

The New York Times recently released an online, interactive list of 52 places around the world where travelers can be a part of the solution, rather than a problem. Because you know us, you know that we are only bringing this to your attention because they mention Tucson! Yep, the good Old Pueblo is in the media yet again. Okay, okay, more specifically they mention the beautiful Saguaro National Park. This national treasure can be found on both the east and west sides of Tucson. Nearly 2 million of the namesake cacti call these 2 parcels of land home and give our desert its distinctive look.
A plaque at the Saguaro National Park displays the cacti growth
A trail plaque from the Saguaro National Park.
As alluded to by the NYT article all 52 places on their list must have a problem to need a solution. In our case, the problem is that we have very few new saguaros, a species that is a notoriously slow grower. Think 75 years old to get its first arm, and not reaching its full height of 45 feet until 200 years old. So, a declining population of these stoic giants is a problem, not just for Tucson but for an entire ecosystem. The article highlights a local conservation project where volunteers work year-round pulling buffalo grass. Why does 1 weed need so much attention you might ask? There are a couple of reasons. The first is because it’s a non-native species that takes much-needed nutrients to other native plants. And secondly because due to climate change, we’ve been experiencing hotter summers. These withering temperatures dry out the buffelgrass and provide ample kindling for wildfires.
Saguaro National Park volunteers put on backpacks
Saguaro National Park volunteers get ready to tackle buffalo grass. Emma Gibson/AZPM
You can help mitigate the buffalo grass by volunteering with the Saguaro National Park. They organize clear-ups year-round. If you don’t want to be outside but still help out, that’s ok too! Find all volunteer opportunities here.

Tucson Ranked the Coolest City in Arizona

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According to thediscoverer.com Tucson ranks as the coolest city in Arizona! While we aren’t surprised let’s take a look at what they think makes u the coolest city in the state.

Tucson is the Coolest City in Arizona
Tucson is the Coolest City in Arizona

Winery & Vineyards

Hannah's Hill Vineyards
Hannah’s Hill Vineyards
  1. Hannah’s Hill Vineyards – Hannah’s specializes in small batch and estate wines. The owners are always around and happy to chat with you while enjoying views of a sprawling vista.
  2. Charron Winery– Charron’s is famous in the area for it’s white and dry merlots. With over 16 craft wines available you’re sure to find something that pleases your pallet.
  3. Old Pueblo Cellars– This boutique vineyard thrives amongst the desert heat and monsoon gales. Their tasting room is open by appointment, and we highly recommend.

Craft Breweries

  1. Pueblo Vida Brewing– This company not only has amazing beers but it’s focused on sustainability and doing their best to be great brewers and great people for Tucson.
  2. Borderlands Brewing– Located downtown this taproom & brewery boasts an amazing selection. Grab a drink then take in the sights of beautiful downtown Tucson.
  3. 1912 Brewing– This place has a relaxed atmosphere and creative beers to drink. They also partner with the delicious local Tucson Tamale Company and you don’t want to miss those pairings!

Southwestern Cuisine

El Charro Steakhouse
El Charro Steakhouse
  1. El Charro Café– this quaint restaurant is a converted house located in downtown, the food is so good it spawned El Charro Steakhouse and El Charro del Rey.
  2. Guadalajara Grill– this restaurant has atmosphere to spare, everything on the menu is delicious and you must try their table side mole and custom salsas.
  3. Boca Taco y Tequila– this place is a must try. Not only do they have a rare meats day (if feel like trying kangaroo,) the main chef and founder Maria Mazon competed on Top Chef season 18 so you know it’s got to be great!

The Arts Scene

  1. Mural Mania– Tucson boasts one of the best mural games in the country. There are always new beautiful pieces going up and many contain a message as well. Toole Shed Studios on 6th and Toole have their entire East wall painted in BLM, 1st American, and Mexicana culture.
  2. 1st Saturday Art Walks– You guessed it, every 1st Saturday from 5-9 downtown galleries open up their studios and art spaces to the public. See cool art and maybe take some home.

Tucson AZ One of the Best Cities for Millennials

Tucson AZ One of the Best Cities for Millennials
Tucson AZ One of the Best Cities for Millennials

Tucson AZ is One of the 5 Best Cities for Millennials says Time.com/Money

Tucson and its downtown revitalization has caught the attention of many potential prospects. Being recognized by Time, Tucson AZ was placed among the 5 Best Cities for Millennials in the US. 24% of Tucson population (and possibly higher) is made up of individuals 20 years old to 34 years old. For those individuals looking for a place to with exceeding job growth opportunities, accessible amenities and an affordable housing market. This youthful city is a place for millennials to gather, meet, work, study, play and simply live.

Downtown, encompasses four main areas: Mercado San Agustin, Downtown Tucson, Fourth Ave and the University of Arizona Main Gate. Retail business owners, well know chefs, investors and developers are just some of the few looking at Tucson, many already part of its exciting new growth.

Most would have to agree that the introduction of the light rail played a big part in fueling this excitement, helping make a Downtown Tucson a place Millennials could live without a car. The light rail connects several main shopping areas together. This allows you, the rider, easy access to over 340 venues.  Beginning at Mercado San Agustin, the light rail passes through downtown Tucson, Fourth Ave shopping district, Main Gate at the UA and ends at the University Hospital.  The end being part of a loop, which will take you right back to the beginning.

This diverse downtown Tucson area is a great place for everyone.  Along the light rail, there are a lot of places to meet, work, study, play and live simply with great connectivity. Being connected to so much is one of the main reasons that Tucson is recognized as one of the best cities for millennials.

Low Cost of Living:

If you’re comparing possible cities for relocation, Tucson just looks better and better. Its hard not to consider a city with a low cost of living and affordable housing. The cost of living index for Tucson AZ is 105 which is well below the urban average of 117. According to research done by GOBankingRates, it costs $39,966 each year to comfortably live in Tucson AZ.  Therefore, Tucson ranks number 1 as most affordable city in the US.

  • Income needed: $39,966
  • 50 percent for necessities: $19,983
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $11,990
  • 20 percent for savings: $7,993

“With the lowest total needed to cover necessities out of the 50 biggest U.S. cities, Tucson residents can likely make do on the $37,149 median income, which is just $2,817 short of the amount needed to live well there.”

Affordable Housing:

Affordable housing attracts businesses and new businesses create new jobs and that is why affordable housing is so important.  Tucson’s medium home prices have always been among the lowest in the US.

On a side note: There is nothing like pride of ownership. When I purchased my first home in the North West area of Tucson, I felt like I had finally grown up. I remember how great it felt not having someone dictate what I could do in my own living space. Paying the mortgage felt so much better then paying the landlord. Most importantly, it was a new beginning that helped me focus more on career, finances and other long term goals. Everyone should be able to experience buying their first home.

Have a great day,
Tony Ray
(520) 631-TONY (8669)
Free relocation package and Tucson fun info