As students, we spend our weekdays in class, at the library and in our dorm rooms, sprawled next to mountains of books on the floor. We listen, take notes, study, write and rewrite.
But it's the weekends that we live for. Ready? Let's go!
If you're lucky enough to have your last class of the week on a Thursday afternoon, then your weekend starts here! University Boulevard always offers students a great spot to grab a bite to eat, but for those looking to venture somewhere new, look no further than Fourth Avenue.
An eclectic collection of local shops and restaurants along this street show off Tucson's true hipster colors, and it's not uncommon to find the sound of street performers filling the night air. It's an easy walk or streetcar ride from campus, and as the sun starts to set, the neon lights on each storefront switch on and the avenue comes to life with Tucson locals (T-Locs for you out-of-towners) populating their favorite eateries. While you're there, don't miss out on cheap eats at local favorites like Lindy's on Fourth, the best and most creative burgers around, and Bison Witches, an excellent pub and sandwich shop featuring hefty portions and bread bowl soups. Twice a year, you'll find the street lined with artist's tents and food vendors for the always-anticipated Fourth Avenue Street Fair.
OK, so at this point everyone's ready to shrug off studies for some much-needed rest and relaxation. If there is a home football game on Saturday, you better be at Bear Down Friday. As the official pep rally for the game, hundreds of students, parents and community members come together to cheer our team to victory. Jump right into the crowd and join speakers such as Vice President for Athletics Greg Byrne and junior Wildcat fans as they lead UA fight songs. Located in Main Gate Square on University Boulevard, the festivities run from 5-7 p.m.
After you've soaked up enough Bear Down spirit, why not head over to Tucson's independent film house, The Loft Cinema, for a screening of a critically acclaimed independent film? Blockbuster movies are featured here every once in a while, but the true magic of this small theater comes in its selection of fantastic films not available at any other Tucson location. On the first Friday of every month, The Loft hosts a fun event called First Friday Shorts. Anyone can turn in an original short film and the audience participates in a hilarious gong-show, where the best shorts are applauded and the rest get booed off the screen (an actual gong is rung for dramatic effect, in case you were wondering).
If live theater is more your speed, then you definitely need to check out Tucson's Gaslight Theatre. A lot of effort and talent goes into producing and performing live comedic musicals and spoofs at this excellent dinner theater where it's impossible not to have a good time. They've actually tested this – you won't be leaving without a smile on your face, especially if you're lucky enough to grab a table in the front by the stage!
Quick, check the calendar! Is it the second week of the month? Is it Saturday? Then get downtown Tucson because you've got a lot to see. Food, music, art, FOOD. Welcome to Second Saturdays. With so many events happening at pretty much every venue, shop and restaurant, you're going to want to get there early and stay late. Local artists like Calexico will fill yours ears as you fill your stomach with food from Café Poca Cosa, The HUB and many other incredible restaurants. Downtown Tucson has been revamped during recent years, making the lights, eateries and sights more vibrant than ever before! Take a stroll down historical Congress Street and experience a growing nightlife and foodie scene wrapped in Tucson's local culture.
As the night trickles away, drive up to Gates Pass for some serious stargazing. A tip from our photographers: Take your camera to snap some shots of the gorgeous Tucson skyline. Word around town is that it's a pretty good place to take a date. But you didn’t hear that from us.
Wake up early to grab your week's worth of homegrown local produce at the St. Philips Farmer's Market. The market is the largest in Tucson and features local cuisine, such as tamales and desert honey. You can grab the fresh produce and try tons of new foods you've never even thought of before. You can also get chatty and learn some professional gardening tips from the vendors.
It goes without saying that Tucson is a city for outdoor adventures, so don't go home just yet! Enjoy the breathtaking desert scenery by hitting some of Tucson's amazing hiking and biking trails. Hike Seven Falls and you may find some running water – yes, ACTUAL running water in the middle of the desert. Don't want to hike? The Loop is a 55-mile, car-free bike path that stretches across town and offers some of the most incredible mountain views in the city. Finally, here's a heads up to all of you thrill seekers: You can make your way to Catalina State Park to take a leap of faith and go cliff jumping into Romero Pools if you're feeling adventurous!
With so much to do and experience around town, there's something for everyone in Tucson. So when it comes time to take a study break this weekend, the only real dilemma is, "Where should I start?"