Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2021 and updated in 2023.

While furloughed for three months during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucson native Aiesha Beasley decided to amp up her work on TikTok.

Though she officially started her account during the summer of 2019, she didn’t pay much attention to it and only had 60 followers by the time the world seemingly shut down amid the coronavirus crisis.

By spring 2021, more than 82,000 people followed her. Now, she has more than 154,000 followers.

“I wasn’t expecting to grow that fast,” she says.

Beasley initially used TikTok to post comedic videos and share her love for Korean pop. But now, many of her videos take her followers on a journey through the many hidden gems throughout Arizona.

Although Beasley now lives in Phoenix, her TikTok account features lots of Tucson favorites including Rajin Ramen, American Eat Co. and El Jefe Cat Lounge.

“One of my first videos that took off was of Little Anthony’s Diner in Tucson,” she says. “I didn’t expect that to blow up.”

It got so much attention — it has more than 35,000 likes at the moment — that Beasley says a restaurant employee reached out to her to tell her that customers said they were visiting the restaurant after seeing it on TikTok.

“I was like, ‘OK, maybe I should share some more stuff I find and cool places that I love,” she says. “I always feel like there’s this stigma, especially when you’re born and raised in Arizona, that it’s boring and there’s nothing to do. I had that mentality too, where you’re stuck and stagnant.

“But when I started posting content, I was like, ‘Tucson’s not that bad.’ It’s no LA, but there are some cool spots. From exploring and finding cool spots myself, I discovered this love of Tucson through content creation.”

Beasley says people have messaged her words of appreciation for helping them find Arizona’s lesser-known gems.

“I’ve had people who say, ‘Wow, thank you, I used to hate it here,’” Beasley says.

Beyond TikTok, Beasley began her journey in content creation when she started an Instagram account more than five years ago. More than 93,000 people now follow her on Instagram.

“I was wanting to get back into blogging. Back in 2009, 2010, I had a Tumblr account, so I was posting inspo photos and a little bit of my fashion back then,” she says. “I had a friend at the time who inspired me to start posting fashion photos on Instagram, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll give it a go.’ I was just sharing my adventures living in Tucson and a little bit of my traveling back then and it kinda grew from there.”

Below are 10 other TikTok users that have growing followings and Tucson ties:


Tucsonan Scott Hubbard has more than 7 million followers on TikTok, and more than 252 million likes across his videos on the platform.

Hubbard sprung to TikTok fame thanks to his hilarious videos of his dog Gracie — videos of her "dancing" to trendy songs while sporting the cutest pair of sunglasses, one of Gracie being wrapped up like a Christmas gift and another of her dressed as Billie Eilish. Gracie, who is a chiweenie, has gotten so much fame that someone even got her face tattooed

Although Hubbard no longer lives with Gracie due to a divorce (back-and-forth custody would be too stressful for her age, he said on Instagram), her videos live on. Hubbard has also introduced his followers to his newest furry friend, Garrett.

Poets Square Cats

About two years ago, Courtney Gustafson moved into a new home, unaware that a colony of cats was living outside. The cats had infections, ear mites and one even had a broken jaw. The community cats are now all spayed or neutered, and Gustafson has even been able to adopt out some of the friendlier cats when they became healthy again. 

Poets Square Cats has a following of nearly 1 million followers. Follow along for all the cat content of your dreams. 

Volare Helicopters

Volare Helicopters, a company started by Tasha and Tyler Sturges in 2017 that offers helicopter flights above iconic Tucson spaces such as Gates Pass, Mount Lemmon and downtown Tucson, made its TikTok debut in early 2019.

Since then, the company has garnered 517,000 followers and more than 5 million likes. Tasha Sturges says their viewers come from all over, with a large following from people in India.

"Aviation is a niche category and there aren't a lot of other accounts posting stuff especially about helicopters," Tasha Sturges said in an email.

The videos, some of which have gone viral, have taken followers above Tucson's airplane boneyard, Casino del Sol and Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, plus some more behind-the-scenes videos of skydiving, flight training and the helicopter itself. 


6 beauty mistakes you’re most likely making 🧖🏽‍♀️ #beautytips #4u #4upage #fyp #skincaretips #skin #beautyhacks who is guilty of some of these?

♬ original sound - Adaleta Avdić


Tucsonan Adaleta Avdić posts fashion and beauty videos from skincare tips to having her more than 337,000 followers choose what press-on nails she should wear.

Among her most-viewed videos are about the cons of makeup wipes, common beauty mistakes, and a tutorial on how to properly use the Mario Badescu drying lotion. She's even posted a few videos of Tucson wildlife.

Arizona Athletics

Wildcat fans, this one's for you.

From videos of March Madness to a cheeky compilation of Arizona's win against Arizona State in November, Arizona Athletics posts videos showcasing all of its sports. The account has more than 201,000 followers.

That Geek Family

Self described as a nerdy, geeky and caffeinated account, That Geek Family posts skits, first going viral for a series dubbed "How to Piss Off All the Nerds at Once." The account is dangerously close to 175,000 followers.

You might recognize a familiar face in their TikToks — actor and magician Benny James.

@chefmariamazon SAVE THIS ⬇️ for the next time you are shopping for avocados! I learned this when I was a kid and use it all the time. #ChefMaria #MariaMazon #cheflife #cheflifestyle #cheflife #chefsofinstagram #chefsoftiktok #cheftips #restaurantowner #tucsonfoodie ♬ original sound - Chef Maria

Chef Maria Mazon

Chef Maria Mazon, of Tucson's tasty Fourth Avenue restaurant Boca Tacos, is on TikTok! You might also recognize her from season 18 of "Top Chef."

She posts all kinds of recipes to her 57,000 followers, from habanero guacamole to homemade mac and cheese. I'm personally excited to one day make her chilaquiles recipe. 

@eegees happy graduation! take it easy class of 2021 🎓🎉 #graduation #GoodMemories #arizona ♬ Never Forget You - Noisettes


Tucson's homegrown sandwich chain is popular in the Old Pueblo, so it should come as no surprise that Eegee's is also popular on the internet.

Some of the most popular videos are of Tajín being sprinkled onto a Mango Tango Eegee, and one that's an Eegee's-themed parody of Julia Fox's viral interview where she mentions "Uncut Gems." One video has 3 million views, as it shows graduates moving the tassels on their caps after receiving an Eegee.

Sigfus Designs

If you've ever wondered how the sausage is made, Sigfus will show you.

Sigfus Designs is a local maker who creates funky jewelry and homewares. You'll see what the studio looks like after it's restocked, how Sigfus tests out natural pigments, and a soothing compilation of polymer clay being transformed into a sherbet-colored set of earrings. Sigfus has more than 20,000 followers on TikTok!

Pima County Library

Yes! The library has a TikTok and it's truly hilarious. There's a reason they have more than 19,000 followers.

They post library hacks, like this one about a streaming service called Kanopy that you can access for free with your library card. There are funny ones, too, like one about someone who used beef jerky as a bookmark and put the book down the chute. And another popular one of Shrek dancing on top of the downtown library.

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