Local Life and Lore in Tucson

Brush up on your knowledge of Tucson history and lingo.
By: Jennifer Netherby
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Saguaro Cactus National Monument

Saguaro Cactus National Monument

Monsoons 

It's the season between late June and early September that's marked by sometimes brilliant afternoon and evening thunder, and lightning storms followed by heavy rains and flooding.

Flash Floods

Most of the year Tucson’s rivers run dry, but come monsoon season heavy downpours turn them into gushing rivers, along with low spots in roads throughout the city. Despite posted signs and warnings from local TV weather forecasters, without fail someone will try to drive their car, usually an SUV, across a water-filled ditch only to end up on the evening news. Don’t be that person.

Rocky Point

Mexican seaside town Puerto Penasco, also known by its English translation of Rocky Point, is a popular beach getaway for landlocked Arizonans. A four-hour drive south, the resort town sits on the northernmost edge of the Sea of Cortez, also known as Baja California.

Spring Training

The White Sox have left for Phoenix, but Tucson still serves as spring training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Unlike major league games, teams play in smaller stadiums, putting you up close to the action.

The Boneyard

More than 5,000 B-52 bombers, helicopters, fighter jets and other aircraft are mothballed and stored at the airport graveyard, or AMARC (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on the south side of town. You tour the miles of out-of-service planes on weekdays.

The Old Pueblo

The nickname for Tucson referring to its historic city center, a walled presidio built by the Spanish in the 1700s.

Pronunciations

There are too many neighborhoods, streets, shopping centers and other local spots with Spanish names to list here. But as a rule, Tucsonans tend to stick to the Spanish pronunciations rather than the English translations.

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