The metropolitan Tucson area covers more than 500 square miles in a valley ringed by mountains—the Santa Catalinas to the north, the Santa Ritas to the south, the Rincons to the east, and the Tucson Mountains to the west. Saguaro National Park bookends Tucson, with one section on the far east side and the other out west near the Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum. The central portion of the city has most of the shops, restaurants, and businesses, but not many tourist sites. Downtown’s historic district and the neighboring university area are much smaller and easily navigated on foot. Up north in the Catalina Foothills are first-class resorts, restaurants, and hiking trails, most with spectacular views of the entire valley.
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