Much of Tucson's retail activity is focused around malls, but shops with more character and some unique wares can be found in the city's open plazas: Old Town Artisans (Meyer Avenue and Washington Street), St. Philip's Plaza (River Road and Campbell Avenue), Casas Adobes Plaza (Oracle and Ina roads), and La Encantada (Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue).
The 4th Avenue neighborhood near the University of Arizona—especially between 2nd and 9th streets—is fertile ground for unusual items in the artsy boutiques, galleries, and secondhand-clothing stores. For in-town deals, the outlet stores at the Foothills Mall in Northwest Tucson score high marks.
If you're seeking work by regional artists, there are excellent galleries Downtown and in the Catalina Foothills; or you might want to drive down to Tubac, a community 45 miles south of Tucson.
San Xavier Plaza, across from San Xavier mission and also part of the Tohono O'odham Reservation, is a good place to find vendors and stores selling the work of this and other area tribes.