All about Northwest Tucson, including parts of Marana and Oro Valley

Northwest Tucson including Marana and Oro Valley

A helpful guide to the Northwest side of Tucson for newcomers and native Tucsonans, alike. The Tucson Metro area consists of a whopping 9,189 square miles. This guide is to help you narrow down what area of Tucson you’d like to live in based on your lifestyle. Learn about the history of the area, about some of the popular neighborhoods, what amenities and services are located here, and search homes for sale in the northwest side of Tucson. Your questions are welcome! Hello@RealTucson.com

Top 5 Reasons to Live in Northwest Tucson:

  • Can offer great views of Pusch Ridge or the Tortolita Mountains
  • Close to Catalina State Park with lots of hiking opportunities
  • Easy access to I-10 freeway
  • Several master-planned communities such as Dove Mountain or Rancho Vistoso
  • Several resorts and golf courses are nearby

General Location:

As defined by the Tucson Multiple Listing Service, the northwest area of town is bordered by I-10 to the west, the Tortolita Mountains to the north, the Catalina Mountains to the east, and Ina Road or River Road to the south.

Northwest Tucson area has the following zip codes: 85658, 85704, 85737, 85741, 85742, and 85755.


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Description of Northwest Tucson

Northwest Tucson includes the towns of Oro Valley and Marana. Oro Valley is along the northeastern portion of NW Tucson. Marana is located along the northwestern portion of NW Tucson, and the southern portion of the NW area is within the city of Tucson.

The northwest area of town is primarily the newer part of town with a lot of growth occurring in the 1990s to 2000s, with a few older neighborhoods here and there. It has a heavy concentration of golf courses and several master-planned communities.

Northwest Tucson History and Development

Since the 1800s, the area was first used as ranch land. George Pusch and John Zellweger purchased land in the late 1800s that they named Steam Pump Ranch. Water was plentiful in the area, so cattle ranchers from all over the county would water their cattle there.

Prior to the development of the interstate freeway system, State Route 77 along Oracle Road was the road that went to Florence and Phoenix. As a main thoroughfare, development along Oracle Road happened before growth branched farther out.

The building boom after WWII in the Tucson area also branched out a bit into the northwestern part of town. Development brought many resorts and golf courses to the area. Larger tracts of land got bought up in the 1990s and 2000s and became master-planned communities as growth kept radiating farther from the city center. Several of these master-planned communities are age restricted 55+ communities.


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Architecture of Northwest Tucson

Development in the area didn’t really begin in earnest until the 1950s. Lusk Corporation built burnt adobe midcentury ranch style homes in Suffolk Hills (Suffolk Hills is currently working on obtaining historic district status) and Shadow Mountain Estates, both neighborhoods are located along Oracle Road. Oro Valley Country Club was established in 1959 with 235 home sites.

The 1970s and 1980s brought more affordable townhomes to the area. Casitas de Castilian (designed by noted architect Bennie Gonzales) was one of these communities.

The 1990s to present time brought more master-planned communities which were oftentimes gated and centered around a golf course.


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Popular Northwest Tucson Neighborhoods

  • Dove Mountain
  • Suffolk Hills
  • Shadow Mountain Estates
  • La Reserve
  • Saguaro Ranch

  • Rancho Vistoso
  • Honey Bee Canyon Estates
  • Oro Valley Country Club
  • Tucson National Estates
  • La Cholla Airpark

Northwest Tucson Attractions and Amenities

Public Parks and Recreation

There’s a few public parks offering grassy fields including James Kriegh Park, Ann Day Community Park, and Arthur Pack Regional Park.

Catalina State park

Catalina State Park has stunning vistas, lots of hiking options, and a creek that runs seasonally. Tent and RV camping is available there too.

View of Pusch Ridge from Catalina State Park
View of Pusch Ridge from Catalina State Park

Tohono Chul Gardens

Tohono Chul Gardens is a wonderful botanical garden with art displays and a bistro.

See the Queen of the Night for one night each year at Tohono Chul Gardens
See the Queen of the Night for one night each year at Tohono Chul Gardens

Oro Valley Aquatic Center

Oro Valley Aquatic Center is a great place for fitness and family fun with a lap pool, a splash pad, and a water slide.

The Loop Multi-Use Path and Parks

The portion of The Loop, a car-free biking and walking path that’s within the NW part of town is along the banks of the Canada Del Oro.

Golfing

There are lots of golfing opportunities on the northwest side of town. In no particular order: Tucson National, El Conquistador, Oro Valley Country Club, Stone Canyon Club, the Gallery Golf Club, and the Golf Club at Dove Mountain, the Highlands at Dove Mountain, and Crooked Tree Golf Course.

Golfing in the beautiful setting of Dove Mountain
Golfing in the beautiful setting of Dove Mountain

Resorts

Westward Look Resort

Westward Look Resort and spa is a historic lodge that started out as a private home over 100 years ago. It’s evolved over the years from a dude ranch in the 1940s to a relaxing resort and spa in modern times. The original home was designed by noted Tucson architect Merritt Starkweather, the same architect who worked on the famed Arizona Inn located in central Tucson.

Omni Tucson National Resort

Omni Tucson National Resort offers a 36-hole golf course, tennis courts, a spa, swimming pools, and award winning restaurants.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain

The Ritz-Carlton is located in Dove Mountain, offering 27-holes of golfing, a deluxe spa, a swimming pool, and beautiful hiking trails.

El Conquistador Resort

El Conquistador is a resort that’s tucked against picturesque Pusch Ridge, close to Catalina State Park. The resort offers multiple pools, golf, a spa, and tennis.

Shopping

Lots of shopping available in the area especially along Oracle Road, Orange Grove, and Ina Road. The indoor/outdoor mall, Tucson Premium Outlets, is located near I-10 and Twin Peaks Rd. Dove Mountain also has a couple shopping centers.

Area Healthcare and Hospitals

Carondelet Marana Hospital, Oro Valley Hospital, and Northwest Medical Center are located within the northwest part of town.

Schools

The northwest part of Tucson is serviced by 3 public school districts: Amphitheater Public Schools, Marana Unified School District, and Flowing Wells Unified School District. There are many charter school and private school options available in the area. Pima Community College has a NW side campus.

Museums

The Children’s Museum has a location in Oro Valley, specially designed for kids 0-5 years.

Biosphere 2 is close to NW Tucson and is worth a tour
Biosphere 2 is close to NW Tucson and is worth a tour

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