Moving to Tucson discussion

Negative reviews


You need to know one important thing before moving to Tucson. It's easily 115 degrees throughout the months of June and July. The temp never drops below 80 (at around 4:00 in the morning.) It remains at least 105 from July through September. There is NO LET UP in the heat factor or the insanely bright bright sun that will blaze your retinas out... so you better have really excellent sunglasses and several backups as well.

Now the locals claim there is a monsoon season here. What that means here is that it might rain heavily in one neighborhood of the city for about 20 minutes. It doesnt ever last long and you can bet that wet pavement dries up the instant the rain stops. It doesn't rain often at all, TBH. I've lived in Portland, OR, so I do know real rain. This place does NOT have real rain. And it isnt a monsoon by any means at all.

There will be a lot if static lighting everywhere though, so don't let that kill you.... if the heat hasn't yet. Dont let your pets out, because they will fry from heat and sun, and be dead in the yard within minutes.

I dont know why Tuscon government has not enacted some way to put up cheap shaded parking in grocery store lots. Your car WILL BE at least 200 hundred degrees when you exit the store with your popsicles. So good luck getting them home before they melt. On not exaggerating at all. It's HOT AF HERE.

There are a lot of sad poor poor people on the streets here. A lot of unemployment. Not a whole lot of extra curricular activities.... because its HOT AND BRIGHT AF all the time!


After getting a job in Tucson and moving here, I started looking up mediocrity quotes to explain how I was feeling. I work with young people that were born and raised here and also know how horrible it is getting here. They also comment on how bad their schooling was. Another co-worker had his african-american granddaughters staying with him and his wife from Alabama. They went to the public school here for a semester and were appalled at how the teachers didn't teach or care and the students treated the teachers horribly. One said a student threw a bag of chips at the teacher and the teacher did nothing. Even the school administration is inept. My co-worker will constantly get calls from the school saying his granddaughter skipped class when she is at a field trip or one of the grandparents signed her out. He says it never fails. People here are as stupid as can be and there is zero southwest culture. If I wear cowboy boots, people look at me weird because they all look like Walmart pop outs. The retired and community and snow birds have ruined the real estate in the nice areas and the meth heads, illegals, and welfare people have ruined it everywhere else. There is so much obvious corruption going on in this city between the illegals, cartel, government, and unions. It takes years for simple road work to complete because the unions try to suck every dime out of the government too. Then you had the mayor quoted saying that he doesn't want Tucson to have the southwest culture but instead wants to attract bicycle riders and hikers, basically turning it into San Francisco. The drivers are horrendous. I have to commute south to work and nobody uses blinkers or even understands what the purpose of the line in the road is for. The people in terms of friendliness are not as bad as Socal (where I moved from). People in California are more educated (besides their extreme liberal brainwashed ideas) but are extremely rude. They are only nice to save face or to use you. People in Tucson are at least slightly more normal but still not high caliber people. It is sad to want to share things about yourself and people just look at you with disdain and put you down because they haven't done a thing in their life. These are the kind of people that don't recognize quality in any way. All they want is attention to fullfill their low self esteem. If something is good or if someone is successful, they only show jealousy and put it down instead of appreciating it. I have been out here for 6 months and already see so much. I'm ready to move on. There is no future here. The city has been getting worse for years and I can tell nobody cares. It is too bad because it could be an amazing city. All they need is industry, follow the law (meaning not supporting illegals and druggies), and return to the southwest culture that people want to come here and live. These kids born and raised here are a bunch of sun brain fried, red neck gamers.....and they know it. I have to isolate myself to avoid being dumbed down in order to fit in. Also, everyone is ugly. I am absolutely amazed when I come across an attractive person that actually takes pride in themselves. This place worries me that the whole world is going in this direction because Socal sure is. They are over run by illegals and liberals that support over crowding and the dumbing down of society. I will continue my journey to strive for quality. 

Li Fan

I lived in Tucson from 2008 to end of 2011. 2 years as a international grad student and 1.5 years working for a tech company. Since 2012 I constantly went back to Tucson to visit my girlfriend for a couple of years.

As an outsider, my first impression to Tucson was bad, I felt like I was in Mexico. A lot of the buildings along major streets are in a pretty bad shape, really old. Sure, summer is really hot, people already have a lot of details provided so I won't talk about it. The part I like Tucson is that it's a quiet place and really low living expense. But I have to say it is not a good place to live, especially for young tech work or foreigner like me. Life is really boring, in summer you don't want to go outside, seriously nothing you can do. Tucson is only good for a few type of people: UofA students or professors,  retired people, people who really love outdoor lives and those who grow up here. All the students I know from school left here after graduate, it is not a place that can keep talent.

For those who are considering here for school, I honestly would recommend you considering somewhere else if you have a little ambition or want to get a good job. I kind of regret of coming to Tucson for school. Sorry for being negative but that's my true feeling. I will always remember the time I spent here but if I were given another chance I would not choose here.

Mia Elia

If you don't mind summers of 126 degrees Fahrenheit, then you'll be fine. Also, if you like hiking, unique local stores/restaurants and college sports, then you'll probably like it here. And the University of Arizona has great programs of all kinds -- they're the ones who sent the rover to Mars.

Tucson is a great place to visit for the fall and winter, but as a place to live, don't. Just don't.

I grew up here and I hate it. My shoulders are eternally sunburnt, the minimum wage is obscenely low, it's easy to dehydrate or overheat and die, and basically every living being here is trying to kill you. We have about 20 kinds of rattlesnakes, lots of gila monsters, mountain lions, venomous spiders and god knows how many scorpions. Even the trees here have spikes on them. And more than half of the people I know have seen scorpions in their bathroom.

The drivers here are also terrible, because they're all either students or old people. And because we have so much sun, when it rains, everyone freaks out and driving is almost impossible. The buses here are dirty, downtown is even dirtier, and there are virtually no high-paying jobs, unless you work at Raytheon (a company that makes missiles).

Long story short, you can come for winter or whatever, but unless you're wealthy enough to have a summer home, don't stay.

Neutral reviews

Former Resident

Something i like about Tucson is that we have the weather isn't as bad as other states, we don't have to deal with snow. Although i'd like to see the weather get a bit cooler because, it gets really hot outside especially in the summer.

Current Resident

I like how everyone knows each other somehow and how many fun things there are to do when you're over 21 years of age, but I do dislike how there is not that much to do when you're under 21. This city is made to seem like a retirement city, lots and lots of old people.

Kellie Russell

I lived in Oro Valley, on the North end of Tucson from 1995 to 2004.

I will say I absolutely hated it my first year there. Of course, I had had to move away from the state I loved, so I was a bit prejudiced. It is HOT in the summer and cool in the winter. Great for golfers and the elderly as it rarely rains. The most rain happens in July and August in the afternoons. And what a light show!! It does cool the temps down a bit during these but afterwards it's super humid and hot.

You will see javelinas as if you live anywhere on the outskirts. As well as, rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas, the occasional bobcat, and deer or goats. Also, if you like to go hiking, the following are absolutely essential to your survival no matter what time of year you go. A camelback water pack, hiking boots (to protect your feet from jumping cactus and rattlesnakes), a pair of pliers (for removing the cactus), a long walking stick (for warding off rattlesnakes and other creepy crawlies), an emergency flare or two, first aid kit, a cell phone (with your GPS turned on), some protein bars, duct tape and at least one person who you're supposed to check in with by a certain time and who knows where you went to let them know you got back safely. Oh, and one of those silver blankets that fold up into a tiny handkerchief sized square, just in case you get stranded or lost or hurt. It will double as an umbrella if used with your walking stick if you can't find shade.

By the time we had to move back to Texas, I had fallen in love with Tucson.

If you like the arts, there are free plays that happen year round at night at the park near the zoo. Old Tucson is always and adventure. And going to the desert museum at least once is a must. Mount Lemon provides a cool respite from the heat too. And has some stunning views.

The only thing about it that I still never liked was when the creosote bloomed. The whole city smelled of it. It's fairly strong in odor.

All that said, get a good steering wheel cover, try to park in the shade if possible, cover your car seats if you have leather or vinyl, invest in a shade umbrella, always carry and drink water. And Eegee’s ices are a whole other essential food group. Their sandwiches are pretty good too.


Politically: Tucson is the democratic stronghold of Arizona (from what I have been told) but most of the city council are too afraid to really want change unless it is minor or too little too late.

Things to do: checkout this page for a pretty good understanding of "day to day" events happening in and around the city. Overall though, depending on your lifestyle and what you like to do, the city offers a good amount of anything.

Living: Crime rate is large but it is mostly property theft and assaults. Nothing like a bigger city with murders and gangs. Tucson is not as bad as it is made out to be with crime numbers because they happen in excess in little pockets here and there, unlike Chicago where there are full city blocks and neighborhoods. It is hard to read certain areas just by driving through but check out this page that shows crime statistics. Personally, I live north of river (just outside the city) and it is great... but expensive. A 2BR place just north of the city will run you anywhere from 700-900/mo sometimes a lot more. Shop around on trulia or something, they show crime maps and everything. Keep in mind too, there is only one expressway in Tucson (unless you count Aviation which is more of a parkway) so it will be obnoxious city driving anywhere you go. Avoid the Grant/Alvernon area for anything other than a drive *personal opinion

Schools: Vail is great, but it depends on who you are as a teacher. A friend of mine is a teacher in Milwaukee and she would not trade it for anything else because the kids she works with make all of the shitty aspects worth it.

I have only lived here for 3 years, but when I first moved down here my wife and I lived in one of those "pockets" of crime where everyone said not to walk at night. In the end, it was all of the loose dogs that made us move, not the crime. Everyone has experienced different levels of crime and some people are more scared of the crackhead smoking meth at the bus stop than others. Tweakers gon tweak, it is how you handle the situation that either makes Tucson livable or not.


I won't disagree there. I've spent plenty of time living there, then in the Foothills and then in the university area and honestly you're generally fine in most places as long as you don't get mixed up with the wrong people.

South Tucson actually reminds me quite a bit of growing up in Mexico in that you're generally going to be fine at most times and places but you'll see some drugged out people more regularly and in turn might witness or be a victim of something like robbery if you're unlucky but violence isn't particularly common or likely as long as you're not walking around alone at really late hours.


Depending on your age it can be really boring. I’m 23, was just hanging out with a friend and we couldn’t think of what to do aside from bowling, movies, or eating. We went to 4th for hookah, closed. Other than that though tucson is an easy going town and when there’s events it’s really nice. Oh the college students and snowbirds are quite annoying but that’s my personal opinion.


I drove to Tucson in January. I really loved the natural beauty, but not sure which areas of town are safe. I heard of the crime. All the people I talked to were great. Considering moving there but need to know more about the area.

Positive reviews


Tucson has four very warm months, June through September. Any one is easily more acceptable than November through February in most states. Temperatures do not vary radically, but trend upward slowly and then downward slowly. There is still a monsoon season, although many long-term residents see them as stronger and less frequent than the predictable daily rain mid-afternoon of a few decades ago. The town is nestled among five ranges and has outstanding character. It values its history and preservation is high on the list of things the city traditionally values regardless of most political trends. Being higher in elevation, Tucson trends four to nine degrees cooler than Phoenix. Tucson gets water from the CAP program, which is dependent on water from the Colorado which is in jeopardy from years of drought and global warming. However, there is a large aquifer beneath Tucson, and the city has used some of the CAP program to recharge the aquifer. Water conservation in the city and surrounding communities is advanced compared with cities like Phoenix where large lakes and fountains are maintained. Although there are abundant golf courses, a large percentage of yards are low-moisture, drip irrigated, rock filled xeriscaping examples. A few of the historic neighborhoods in the central area of the city maintain lawns. Diversity is a strength of the city as is the can-do spirit of its people. Cultural events are frequent and attractions are widespread. This is both a biking mecca as well as one of the few dark skies cities in the United States. Night skies are incredible, as are sunsets. One of the few negatives I have noticed is air quality. There are often slightly sub-par hazes that collect in the central valley. In my personal experience, Tucson has overall exceptional weather - October through May are outstanding - with outdoor activities that take advantage of these conditions. Food, night life, entertainment and a friendly mindset are all plusses I have found over the years I have visited and lived here. 


I love Tucson so far. Moved here in January 2017 and my husband and I both love this area. Many outdoor things to do--and if you like wildlife/nature/birds, this is your place. We live in NW Tucson, so maybe we avoid much of the crime reported in the center of the city or South Tucson. I am not a "hot weather person", but for the couple of months that it gets hot, I survive. Swimming and AC help :) Love the southwest, and Tucson is a unique, fun city......

Current Resident

Lived here my entire life minus 3 years I spent in Phoenix. Great place to grow up, lots to do outdoors, excellent university, amazing food scene, and just good people.

Former Resident

What's so great about Tucson is the beautiful scenery of the mountains and the jaw-dropping sunsets. Tucson has the best air quality and this environment is great to be outdoors. And after from being outdoors, the food scene is great all over town with so many diverse places.

Works Here

I love it here, born and raised. Would not move, love my small city! Though there is not much to do, I wouldn't change it for a busy city.

Trevor Franklin

Tucson is a beautiful city in a beautiful state. Tucson has the most amazing landscape. You can look anywhere and you see mountains.

One thing I love about Tucson is the people. Theres all different types of people in Tucson people don't judge each other for the most part and there is very little racism in this city.

it's not too big but a good sized city with plenty of different things to do and see. you can go from fourth Avenue which is a very popular area of town all the way up to the foothills where there's more rich people and expensive fun little malls to go to.

The downtown is very nice with lots of cool looking buildings and restaurants all around. from what I've heard the nightlife is pretty good downtown, theres lots of bars and such.

Tucson is home to the university of Arizona which is a very good college filled with all different types of people. It's also known as a party school, but theres still lots of very smart people all around.

Tucson is very hot it gets easily to 100° almost every day in the summer but the winters are so wonderful and beautiful. We do not experience all four seasons here in Tucson.

Hope this helped, I may add more later. Thanks :D

Mohan Subramanian

As a newly moved resident of 7 months, my experience is limited but I would start by saying this is a great place to live. Summers are hot but bearable in the shade. People are very friendly and there is the winter to look forward to. Don’t let all the talk of critters creep you out. In the last 7 months I have only seen a bob cat and it is just a big cat. I am sure there are Scorpions, snakes and rattlesnakes around but if you take basic precautions, you should be fine. There is so much more to this city that is positive and worthwhile that make you ignore these minor irritants. There are so many nice places to visit within driving distance and the people make up for any inconvenience. It is not a big city but has all the conveniences of one. A quaint airport that you can zip in and out of is a great asset. Phoenix is a short drive away and the airport there, connects you to most other places that are not served by Tucson. The food scene in Tucson is amazing, with UNESCO recognising it as a gastronomic delight. If you have a good job, this is heaven except for 4 hot months. Stay hydrated and don’t do anything stupid and wear out the summer and the rest of the year is absolutely fantastic.

William Brown

Tucson is an example of how a place can be constantly transforming without losing sight of its roots. A sprawling metro area in southern Arizona, Tucson started small and expanded into the empty space around it, drawing new residents with its low cost of living and its nationally recognized university. Yet there are still visible reminders of the region's rich history, from a statue of Father Kino, founder of a nearby Spanish mission, to Sentinel Peak (known as A Mountain), the site of the Native American village from which Tucson derives its name.  

Although more than a million people live in the Tucson metro area, everyone seems to know – or know of – everyone else. People from all walks of life can be found here, and their cultures have left an impression on Tucson. Thanks to the large Latino community, holidays like Dia de los Muertos are observed here, which you may not see in other parts of the country.

But perhaps the best part of Tucson is its scenery. The metro area is ringed by mountain ranges that emphasize the great desert skies and sunsets that continuously impress even the most seasoned residents.