Toto, we’re not in Starkville anymore.
Of all the destinations on the Mississippi State away game schedule this year, none is more dramatically different from Starkville than Tucson, Arizona.
Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is home to the Arizona Wildcats. Those heading west from northeast Mississippi to watch the Bulldogs play will spend a weekend in a place where the landscape has a few more cacti and the kitchen has a few more peppers, but they’re all two beautiful in their own way.
“To the fans who traveled to Tucson for the game, I say, ‘Get ready to experience a beautifully lush desert filled with amazing food, attractions and people,'” said Cindy Aguilar, public relations and communications manager. communications for Visit Tucson.
We’ve compiled some must-see spots for those in Tuscon for the weekend, though like the desert itself, the city is vast and beautiful, and has far too much to see in just a few days.
what to eat
El Charro Cafe
This year marks a full century that Tucsonians have eaten at El Charro. It’s not only the oldest restaurant in town, it’s also the oldest continuously operating Mexican restaurant in the United States.
The food is a Tucson version of flavors from the Sonora region of Mexico, and El Charro is the birthplace of chimichanga – the story goes that it was accidentally invented there when a burrito fell into the fryer.
El Guero Canelo
When a hot dog wins one of the nation’s most prestigious food awards, it has to be a good hot dog.
In 2018, El Güero Canelo won the James Beard Award for American Classics for his Sonaran Style Hot Dog, a bacon-wrapped hot dog served in a Mexican version of a baguette. The menu also has burritos, tacos and more, but you have to try this hot dog.
If you need a touch of home in the middle of the desert, Bobo’s can cook you a comforting breakfast worthy of a southerner – eggs and sausage and a bunch of cookies and gravy (not oatmeal, but you can’t have everything in life). But if you want something unique to Tucson, try their larger than plate banana pancakes.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little more upscale for your breakfast or brunch, check out Prep & Pastry. It’s a place where the biscuits come with a duck fat sausage jus and the “Beni” offers a goat cheese Hollandaise sauce.
Things to do
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Located in Saguaro National Park, a visit to the Desert Museum is a great way to learn about the local flora and fauna around Tucson, combining the experiences of a zoo, botanical garden, and museum of nature. national history on two miles of trails that are home to 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants.
Mercado San Agustin
The Mercado San Agustin and the nearby MSA Annex offer two shopping opportunities, with open-air walkways lined with small local shops and restaurants.
Pima Air and Space Museum
If you’re interested in planes, you’ll want to include this in your itinerary.
Pima offers around 400 different aircraft, from the Wright Flyer to the 787 Dreamliner, as well as relics telling the story of the space race to the Moon.
Kitt Peak National Observatory
Home to more than 20 telescopes that have given scientists a better understanding of our cosmos, Kitt Peak is one of the reasons Tucson has laws to ensure the night sky there is as dark as possible. Even if your trip doesn’t include a visit to the observatory, be sure to find time to get away from the lights and gaze at the stars you won’t see back home.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for a unique experience, Hotel Congress bills itself as an “urban, historic, rock ‘n’ roll hotel.” Its original switchboard at reception is still in use, and the website lists the most haunted rooms. The interior reflects the same style as when bank robber John Dillinger was captured there in 1934.