Art, crafts, and culture fill historic downtown

Journey into Tuscon

EL PRESIDIO HISTORIC DISTRICT

This downtown neighborhood has its origins in the 18th century, and many buildings survive from the 1800s. Attractions include:

Tucson Museum of Art. Now undergoing an expansion, the museum is part of a complex of 19th-century buildings. Historical tours are offered twice weekly. $2, $1 seniors and students. 140 N. Main Ave.; (520) 624-2333.

Old Town Artisans. Pleasant one-stop spot in an adobe setting for a good selection of Southwestern crafts and jewelry. 201 N. Court Ave.; (520) 623-6024.

CONGRESS STREET

Between Toole and Stone avenues, this downtown street is one of the liveliest in town, and the center for a growing art and music scene. The first and third Saturday of each month, the area hosts Downtown Saturday Night, with live street music and other events. (520) 624-9977.

Hotel Congress is notable for its restored vintage Southwest decor and a busy program of cutting-edge music. 311 E. Congress; (520) 622-8849.

Eric Firestone Gallery has a great selection of mission-style and Arts and Crafts-era furnishings. 316 E. Congress; (520) 622-3350.

FOURTH AVENUE

The stretch between Speedway Boulevard and the underpass just north of Congress has more of a Haight-Ashbury throwback feel than the urban, hipster quality of its neighboring street, with a large selection of restaurants. Caruso's Restaurant is a vintage Italian spot. 434 N. Fourth; (520) 624-5765.

BARRIO HISTORICO

Just south of downtown, this neighborhood has undergone a dramatic transformation and has become a showcase for Tucson's own take on Southwest style. You won't see any howling coyotes, just some lovely flower-bedecked adobes south of Cushing Street, particularly on Meyer, Main, and Convent avenues.

El Tiradito.  S. Main at Simpson Street.

Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House, a nearby survivor of redevelopment next to the Tucson Convention Center, was once home to prominent city residents and now holds a small museum. Free. Wed-Sat. 151 S. Granada Ave.; 622-0956.

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