This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by My Gym Tucson, hosting seven days of laughter, surprises, new friends, and super 2020 sign-up deals, Jan. 12-18. Thank you for supporting the local businesses that support us!
Sometimes you just want to talk a little stroll and enjoy the world around you.
Be sure to wear some comfortable walking shoes and bring water but these are urban explorations with little splashes of nature, not hikes.
Morris K. Udall Park
Where: East Tucson,7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. Corner street are East Tanque Verde Road and North Sabino Canyon Road
Distance: .8 miles
What you'll see: Udall Park is all about sports. On the paved walking path located on the east side of the park, you'll stroll by numerous tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields. This is the perfect walk for anyone who wants to get some fresh air without being too far away from the action.
And get ready to break a mild sweat — within the big walking path around the park are two smaller loops so you can really put in those steps.
What's nearby: To the north side of the park you'll be able to find ramadas, a playground, volleyball court and a rec center. In the summer months you can take a swim at the Udall Pool, which is open seasonally.
The Chuck Huckelberry Loop
Where: The Loop mostly covers the outskirts of Tucson and stretches into Marana and Oro Valley. Find Pima County's interactive map here.
Distance: 120 miles
What you'll see: With 120 miles of paved multi-use pathways that connect the Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano river parks, The Loop is a fun way to explore different parts of town on a bike or on foot.
No matter what point of The Loop you decide to start your walk, expect a peaceful experience with beautiful desert landscapes and sights of the city you may have never seen before.
P.S. We once interviewed a super hiker who walked the entire loop. Read her story here.
What's nearby: The Loop is lined with a bunch of parks, business and landmarks along the way. You can find a map and an entire list of activities here.
Some of our favorite places to check out on The Loop include a bridge where you can watch bats take flight at sunset located near North Campbell Avenue and East Limberlost Drive; Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, which has a splash pad area for the kids during the summer months; and Cañada del Oro River Park where you can spot wildlife and visit the Christina-Taylor Green River Park's desert gardens.
The Barrio Viejo Neighborhood
Where: The Barrio Viejo Neighborhood is located just south of downtown Tucson. Find a map here.
Distance: No real walking path, but the neighborhood circles about two miles. Get ready from some slightly uneven terrain — some areas have sidewalks while other places you're better off walking on the asphalt.
What you'll see: With colorful adobe houses and charming streets right of a Southwestern fairy tale, Barrio Viejo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in town where you can take a stroll and feel the Tucson history.
Between the mid 1800s and 1900s, Barrio Viejo, also known as "Barrio Libre," was home a culturally diverse group of people from America, Europe, Africa and Asia, according to neighborhood history. In the 1960s, a large portion of the Barrio was torn down to make make way for the Tucson Convention Center and La Placita Village.
Today, you can find a collection of homes, businesses and landmarks that still have deep roots in the area including The Coronet and Fondo La Hermanita which just moved into the old Cushing Street bar and restaurant space, El Minuto Cafe and the wishing shrine known as El Tiradito.
What's nearby: Take some time to explore other little neighborhoods around downtown including Armory Park and El Presidio. There's also the Chidren's Museum Tucson, MOCA, Jewish History Museum and the Tucson Museum of Art to check out.
University of Arizona's Mall
Where: The UA Mall is located at University of Arizona Campus near Old Main and stretches to Campbell Ave. Find a map here.
Distance: 1.3 miles
What you'll see: Known as one of the biggest communing hubs on the University of Arizona campus, the UA Mall is a giant multi-use path where on most school days you'll find hundreds of students walking and biking to class. But during holidays and in the evenings and weekends this more-than-a-mile loop is a fun stroll that's easily accessible for people of all mobility ranges.
Along the walk you'll be able to get a good look at Old Main, pass by a really cool cactus near the Student Union Memorial Center and touch a real-life meteor on the lawn of the Flandrau Science Center.
It's here you can also find the USS Arizona Mall Memorial, where a full-scale outline of the ship can be found lining the west section of the mall. There's also a main memorial area when the ship's bridge would be that has 1,777 medallions to represent the number of U.S. Military who died during the attack at Pearl Harbor.
What's nearby: Main Gate Square is located along University Boulevard between Euclid Avenue and Park Avenue and this is where you'll find food and shopping. Check out Gentle Ben's for craft beer and burgers or The Dutch for Dutch comfort food and cocktails.
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