What cities can I visit that are similar to Tucson?
January 2, 2013 11:31 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I went to Tucson last year for a wedding. We fell in love with the place. What other towns in America could we visit that have a similar vibe?

Specifically, we are looking for:

Natural beauty
Interesting history
A bit quirky
Lively arts scene
Somewhat hip/hipster bar/hotel scene

We have already visited the northwest (Portland, Seattle), so are looking for somewhere other than that. Can be anywhere in the US.
posted by Conductor71 to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Austin, Texas!
posted by coolsara at 11:32 AM on January 2, 2013

Santa Fe? or Albuquerque.
posted by juliplease at 11:33 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I once heard Tuscon described as "Arizona trying to have Austin." That's a little unfair, but there's also a basis for it.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:33 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Taos NM, Austin TX

All of which have already been mentioned...
posted by dfriedman at 11:35 AM on January 2, 2013

Maybe Jackson, WY.
posted by kindall at 11:36 AM on January 2, 2013

Bend, OR, perhaps?
posted by chrchr at 11:40 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Moab, UT
San Luis Obispo, CA
posted by matrushka at 11:40 AM on January 2, 2013

Savannah, GA.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:41 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Missoula, MT.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:45 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Savannah, GA.

Specifically, Savannah is a town from the 1700s, with lots of interesting architecture and history to go along with it. Both are available as walking, taxi, horse carriage or trolley toours and the downtown Savannah itself is extremely walkable.

It's liberal college town that has plenty of Old South roots, which translates into electic mannerisms and attitudes from the locals, along with plenty of good food. There's an small, though active club and bar scene and most nights there are lots of music options, along with a major art gallery and numerous small galleries.

The only caveat is the humidity of the summer and especially late summer can be oppressive to many, so be there's that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:49 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Savannah is a good pick. So is Louisville KY or Charleston S.C.
posted by broadway bill at 11:57 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Quirky, hipster, artsy, natural beauty? I do belive you've just described Asheville, NC!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:58 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Chattanooga, since Brandon Blatcher already mentioned Savannah.
posted by mareli at 12:05 PM on January 2, 2013

Asheville NC?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:38 PM on January 2, 2013

Chapel Hill NC and Burlington VT.
posted by OrangeDisk at 2:12 PM on January 2, 2013

Carrboro, NC. Durham, NC. Asheville, NC. Greensboro, NC.
posted by oceanjesse at 2:39 PM on January 2, 2013

When you mentioned the Northwest, you said Seattle and Portland but not Vancouver, so I'm going to suggest Vancouver. And of course, how could San Francisco not be on this list?
posted by Dansaman at 2:48 PM on January 2, 2013

Brattleboro, VT.
posted by danceswithlight at 2:51 PM on January 2, 2013

Madison, WI
posted by professor plum with a rope at 10:49 PM on January 2, 2013

I agree, Santa Fe is a great choice. I lived there for 9 years and I still miss it (I live in Austin now). Talk about natural beauty! I have never seen skies so blue and clouds so white (or black during monsoon season). The sunsets are to die for. Santa Fe is a nature lover's paradise. If you want to be able to hike without seeing another person all day long, this is your place.

Santa Fe is quirky and has a vibrant art scene because of the two liberal arts colleges in town St. John's and College of Santa Fe. Lots of young artsy types. Also, if you haven't noticed, there are TONS of TV shows and movies being filmed in and around Northern New Mexico.

I disagree with the response that Austin is a place that meets all your criteria. Austin USED to be fun and quirky, but it seems that it's becoming more and more like Dallas every day. Lots of developing going on. It's very sad.

One other city that was mentioned was Asheville, NC. I have been there and have toyed around with moving there off and on for years. The Carolinas are one of the best kept secrets! Very beautiful.

Good luck in your search, but do check out Santa Fe.
posted by ATX Peanut at 9:21 AM on January 3, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips, everyone. We have narrowed it down to Moab, Asheville and Santa Fe. Spoilt for choice though.
posted by Conductor71 at 10:12 AM on January 3, 2013

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