Guest Blog: Tucson Weekend on the Cheap

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Weekend & Day Trips

Saguaros can only mean one thing: Arizona! Tucson makes a great, quick, affordable weekend getaway.

Ed. note: We asked our fellow cheapskates at Tucson on the Cheap to tell us how we could get away to Tucson for Memorial Day without breaking the bank. Many thanks for their tips!

A warm hello to our friends in Albuquerque! How about buzzing down I-10 to Tucson this Memorial Day (or any time this summer) for a visit? We’re Hortense P. Tightwad and Cheap Chick from Tucson on the Cheap, the experts on cheap fun in Tucson. Want to know about Tucson summer entertainment deals? Let the cheapskates suggest a few money-saving activities to add to your fun.


You’ll need a place to stay first. Tucson resorts can be pricey but you’re in luck. Summer is the best time to find a lodging deal in The Old Pueblo.

Think about staying at the lovely Hacienda del Sol–Katharine Hepburn loved it, and

The famous Hacienda del Sol, Tucson

so did John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable.  For $198/room (historic or a Hacienda King) you receive your choice of:

  • $120 credit per night that can be used at The Grill for appetizers, dining, or dessert (oh, and they throw in a bottle of wine) or
  • $110 credit per night for a couple’s massage.

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is offering a spectacular bargain that’s perfect for families, golfers, and people who love a gorgeous view. But you must act quickly. Book by May 22, 2009 and you can stay in a room for $99/night (ordinarily far, far higher). Now that’s a deal!


For activity planning, we’d suggest a first stop at the Tucson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau in downtown Tucson. They’ll help you tailor your visit to suit your interests, but the BARGAIN here is the $15 Tucson Passport. With that in hand, you’ll get BOGO access (buy one admission, get another free) to every major attraction in Tucson. It’s quite a deal.

We think no trip to Tucson is complete without a stop at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to see some astonishing plant and animal life. Show your Tucson Passport for a special two for one admission price. Go early in the morning to escape the heat. By the way, they have a couple of wonderful cafes that make a nice lunch stop.

If you want to stay out of the sun and get cool, how about a drive to Mt. Lemmon? Right near the top (that would be around 9,000 ft.), you’ll find a cool little town called Summerhaven (See? We’re not the first to think of climbing a mountain to escape the heat.) You can stroll through town and stop at one of the two or three restaurants for a burger and beer. Think cookies. They have great cookies.

For some fun evening entertainment, why not head over to watch the Tucson Toros, our professional baseball team? There’s nothing better than baseball on a warm summer evening. General admission tickets are just $5. That’ll leave enough for you to enjoy a hot dog and coke, too.

Cheap Chow

Hungry? Sure hope so because Tucson restaurants offer delicious food . . . oh, and good bargains, too.

The J-Bar is one of our favorites in town because the food is top-drawer, it’s very popular with locals, and the patio offers a lovely view of Tucson city lights. Currently, they are offering their summer dining special. For $12.95, you’ll have your choice of three fine entrees. Of course, they have other items on the menu (the jerked pork is totally amazing) that cost a little more, but you can dine like a king for almost nothing. Oh, if you booked that room at the Westin La Paloma, you can walk to dinner. J-Bar is located on the resort property.

Or maybe you’d rather eat a little later. If so, we have an amazing special over at a little Mexican restaurant called La Fuente. They’re celebrating their 50th anniversary by offering 50% off the entire bill (including all beverages–even alcohol) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after 9:00 PM. While you dine, you can listen to live mariachi music, too.

Above all, we hope you have a grand time here in beautiful Tucson. We love it here. You will, too.

–Hortense P. Tightwad & Cheap Chick


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