Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic we had not been downtown in many moons. We recently ventured out to see the progress of the new apartment buildings that use to be “La Placita”. Downtown is under construction in many places these days. There is likely no way to find your way currently from the Convention Center over the Garcas Bridge. George Hand’s Saloon picture at Stop 4 is no longer there. We will update this Tour when the dust settles. Until then, please take this under consideration when purchasing this tour. – Ms. Karen
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We now have a paperback copy of our Self-Guided Tour for only $25 which includes shipping. Send us an email and we will send you one or check at Antigone Books on 4th Avenue.
Hi. I’m Jim Gressinger, travel writer and photographer, author, restaurant critic, and publisher of Southern Arizona Guide. I’m also a time-traveler. Are you?
On our Monthly Guided Tour, we take you to Saloonkeeper’s Tucson in the 1870’s, when Tucson was nothing more than a dusty stage coach stop, and prostitution was legal. Our History and Libation Tour takes you through downtown Tucson and helps you picture what life was like back then.
We taste heritage food and wine from 300 years ago at the Presidio del Tucson and treat you to a wonderful lunch at Maynard’s by the Historic Train Depot. This for only $65.
Now, we offer this same tour in a Self-guided package for only $20. Dine where you like. Take as much or as little time as you like exploring Tucson from a time traveler’s viewpoint.
My Southern Arizona Guide’s easy-to-use Self-Guided Tucson History & Dining Tour will take you on a journey back in time to witness events and meet people who shaped the destiny of the Old Pueblo.
Field-Tested & Fact-Checked
Walk & Ride
This tour is a 2-mile walkabout through some of the oldest sections of Downtown Tucson, one dating from the 17th century. However, we will also use the modern streetcar to get around.
What You Will Need
This Self-Guided Tour is intended to be interactive. So you will need a small computer and an Internet connection. Most use a smartphone or tablet to follow the route and link to additional information about important historical points of interest. The larger tablet screen is definitely preferable. Be sure to fully charge the battery before you start the tour.
To get a larger image, and because some screens are hard to read in direct sunlight, some folks print out the entire 76-page tour (PDF Version) on 8.5″ X 11″ paper and use it in conjunction with their tablet or smartphone. We will send you a link upon purchase. Or you can purchase a print copy at Antigone Books for $25 which includes the online version.
Highly Recommended. Before you start, CLICK HERE to print the tour route map and directions from one stop to the next. This will make it much easier to follow the route.
Also, I have recorded an audio version of some of the stories. Just click on the word “AUDIO” to listen.
Dining On This Tour
This history tour also includes my recommendations for the best dining experiences along the route. For example, my SouthernArizonaGuide.com ranks the Top Three Mexican Restaurants in Tucson. As luck would have it, two are only two blocks from this tour route.
Of our Top 10 List of Best Steakhouses, this tour will take you right by one. Same with our Top 10 List of Best Burgers and Top 10 Pizzas. Plus several other very good restaurants to choose from, such as Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress, Maynards Market & Kitchen at the historic train depot, La Cosina Cantina at El Presidio and Cafe a la C’Art at Tucson Museum of Art. Most serve excellent wines, local brews, and great cocktails (think margaritas).
What Else Does This Self-Guided Tour Include?
To facilitate your time-travel, our Self-Guided Tour includes:
- • Easy-to-follow Interactive Maps.
• A PDF Version you can print.
- • Historical Photographs & Illustrations.
- • Dozens Of Links To Related Features On SouthernArizonaGuide.com, Including • • • • Original Videos and Photo Features.
- • Excerpts From Pioneer Diaries and Newspapers.
- • Tucson Trivia Questions just for the fun of it.
All This For Only $20.00.
BUY NOW to purchase your
Self-Guided Tucson History & Dining Tour
(See Testimonials & Special Bonus Offer Below)
On this 3-hour tour (plus eats & drinks), you will strip away the many layers of Tucson history as you travel further and further back in time.
What are people saying about our Self-Guided Tucson History & Dining Tour? Here’s a sample.
My husband and I are snowbirds from Wisconsin. Took a chance on Jim’s Self-Guided Tucson History & Dining Tour. What a delight! Great food. Excellent wine. Amazing history. Highly recommended. We learned so much. We even bought his book. What a great read. Barbara W.
My wife and I have lived in Tucson for more than 30 years. We had no idea. WOW! After the tour, we bought Jim’s book about Southern Arizona history. Some of these stories brought tears to my eyes. Tour + Book = a great experience!
Keith L. Tucson, AZ.
When I took history in high school, they managed to make it as dry as possible. Just facts and figures to memorize for a test. Jim’s Self-Guided History & Dining Tour was totally engaging, mainly because he relays these amazing stories of events and people back in the day. Jim is a master of bringing history to life. We took Jim’s recommendation for dining along the tour route and had an excellent lunch at Charro Steak on Broadway.
Martin Z. New York City, NY.
George Hand’s Saloon Diary
On this self-guided tour, you will meet my friend, saloon keeper George Hand. George passed in 1887, but he left us an invaluable diary. Mr. Hand has much to teach us moderns about Tucson in the 1870’s and ’80’s. In 1995, his diary was published as a book entitled:
Illustrations and old photographs will make it easier to picture in your mind’s eye what was once here and now lost forever.
Sometimes Strange, Sometimes Shocking!
Along the tour route, you will have opportunities to gain insights into the challenges faced by early Tucsonans. Not only did they have to deal with problems we never have to consider. (When was the last time you were afraid to leave home because some Apaches had just bolted from their reservation?)
It wasn’t just that their problems were different. Back then, these folks actually thought differently. Their attitudes about so many things will seem strange, even shocking.
“I’ve lived in Tucson for more than    years and I had no idea!”
Special Bonus Offer!
As a big “Thank You!” for purchasing my self-guided tour, I extend to you the same deal I offer those who take my guided tours.
Southern Arizona’s Extraordinary History is my popular book that sells for $19.95 in local resorts, hotels, visitor centers, and bookstores. If you would like a PDF copy of this E-book, we will send you a discount code that you can use to purchase it once your transaction is complete.
If you would like an autographed printed copy, I will be happy to send you one for $15 which includes the cost of shipping and handling.
Click on the BUY NOW button to purchase your Self-Guided Tucson History & Dining Tour. You will receive further instructions and a password. If you have any problem, please email email@example.com and we will help.