All about living in West Tucson, Arizona

All About Living in West Tucson, Arizona

A helpful West Tucson guide 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 west Tucson. Your questions are welcome! Hello@RealTucson.com

Top 5 Reasons to Live in West Tucson:

  • Rural feeling, but still close to the city center
  • Many homes are on larger parcels of land
  • Easy access to the interstate highway I-10
  • Tucked along the Tucson Mountains and close to Saguaro National Park West
  • Because the west side is the best side, or course!

General Location:

The west side of Tucson is defined by Tucson Multiple Listing Service as a long narrow sliver sandwiched between I-10 to the east and the Tucson Mountains to the west with Ajo Way as the southern boundary and the northern boundary is just north of the Continental Ranch area. The zip codes in the west part of town are 85713, 85743, and 85745.

West Tucson History and Development

Native people inhabited what we call the west part of Tucson for thousands of years. In fact, prehistoric rock art can be found in many west side locations.

In modern times, the west side was slower to develop due to the Santa Cruz River and the Tucson Mountains being natural barriers. Homes were built in Menlo Park in the early 1900s and of these, a handful of historic Bungalow style houses remain in the area.

Several neighborhoods and hundreds of homes were developed during the postwar building boom. The 1990s through the 2000s saw more master-planned communities being developed on large tracks of land. But most homes on the west side have large parcels of land often 1 acre or more.


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Description of West Tucson

The Santa Cruz River and the I-10 freeway separate the west side from the rest of town. West Tucson is mostly a more rural feeling area with a lot of open desert throughout. A couple exceptions would be the Menlo Park and Barrio Hollywood neighborhoods, just west of downtown, which consist of smaller lots with homes built along a grid pattern.

The further west one travels, the hillier the land gets, the larger the lots are, and the more open desert land there is. As you travel north master-planned communities like Continental Ranch are more common. These communities were built from the 1990s-2000s and consist of more cookie-cutter homes on smaller lots.

Architecture of West Tucson

The west side has a wide variety of architecture styles depending on where you are. Menlo Park is the west side’s only historic district, which has a lot of older Bungalow style homes from the 1910s to 1920s.

There are several midcentury neighborhoods full of brick and burnt adobe ranch style homes. There are also quite a few 1970s slump block ranch style homes. And from the 80s to present, stucco is the main material used for most homes and townhomes.


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Petroglyphs share a story of those who lived here before us
Petroglyphs share a story of those who lived here before us

Popular West Tucson Neighborhoods

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The data relating to real estate listings on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Listings provided by brokerages other than the listing brokerage here are identified with the MLSSAZ IDX Logo. All Information Is Deemed Reliable But Is Not Guaranteed Accurate. Listing information Copyright 2020 MLS of Southern Arizona. All Rights Reserved.


West Tucson Attractions and Amenities

Public Parks and Recreation

West side Public Parks

Public parks on the west side are Christopher Columbus Park, Joaquin Murrieta Park, Kennedy Park, Greasewood Park, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Crossroads at Silverbell District Park.

Tumomoc Hill and Sentinel Peak (A Mountain)

A Mountain (Sentinel Peak), Tumomoc Hill are both located on the west side. Tumomoc Hill has a 1.5 mile long paved trail which is popular for exercising.

View of A Mountain and city of Tucson from Tumomoc Hill
View of A Mountain and city of Tucson from Tumomoc Hill

Mission Gardens is a “living agricultural museum” located along the base of Sentinel Peak. The non-profit organization has recreated an expansive garden with traditional fruit and heirloom crops that were grown in the area for approximately 4000 years. They host classes and events often.

Gates Pass

Gates Pass is a beautiful drive or bike ride for especially adventurous bicyclists. This picturesque mountain pass is on the way to Saguaro National Park West and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Gates Pass is a picturesque drive (or bike ride) through the Tucson Mountains
Gates Pass is a picturesque drive (or bike ride) through the Tucson Mountains

Saguaro National Park West

Saguaro National Park started out in 1933 as a National Monument designed to protect 2 large parcels of the Sonoran Desert which are home to the enormous cacti.

Saguaro National Park entry sign
Saguaro National Park entry sign

Tucson Mountain Park

Tucson Mountain Park abuts Saguaro National Park West and offers 62 miles of non-motorized shared-use trails among 20,000 acres. There are archery range and a shooting range located within the park.

Tucson Mountain Park boasts 62 miles of hiking trails
Tucson Mountain Park boasts 62 miles of hiking trails

The Loop Multi-Use Path and Parks

The Loop is a popular car-free walking, jogging, and bicycle paved path that touches most areas of Tucson. On the west side the path follows the banks of the Santa Cruz River.

Golfing

There’s a couple public golf courses on the west side: El Rio Golf Course and Silverbell Golf Course. As well as 2 private golf clubs: Starr Pass Golf Club and Quarry Pines Golf Club.

Starr Pass Golf course on the west side of Tucson
Starr Pass Golf course on the west side of Tucson

Shopping

Arizona Pavillions is busy shopping area with lots of big box stores, many chain restaurants, and a Harkins movie theater. There are other shopping areas along Silverbell near Speedway and Grant and a few in the Menlo Park area off of St Mary’s Rd.

Area Healthcare and Hospitals

West Tucson has Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and many medical offices nearby.

West Tucson Schools

The west side of Tucson is serviced by 3 school districts, Marana Unified School District, Tucson Unified School District, and Flowing Wells Unified School District. Pima Community College West Campus is the college’s largest campus with a distinct brutalist style of architecture. The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and The Blind is also located on the west side of town. Assorted charter schools are also available in the area.


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