Nicknamed “The Old Pueblo” and “Optics Valley,” Tucson is a bustling city in Arizona and county seat of Pima County. Behind Phoenix, Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona with a population of 526,116 as of 2013. There is a rich history of rough-fought battles between the Apache Native American tribes and the Mexican settlers that occupied the area in the 1800s, and Tucson was a part of Mexico until it became a part of the United States in 1853.
Tucson’s government operates under a weak mayor form of council-manager government, in which the six city council members hold exclusive legislative authority, shared with the mayor. The appointed city manager is fully responsible for the city’s everyday operations. The University of Arizona, the state’s first university, educates more than 40,000 undergraduates and postgraduates in 334 fields of study. The James E. Rogers College of Law, part of the University of Arizona, is the first law school in Arizona. The Arizona Superior Court in Pima County is located in Tucson, as well as the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona.
There is an abundance of fun things to do in Tucson for residents and visitors alike, including museums, amusement parks and a wide variety of outdoor activities for the especially adventurous, such as rock climbing and horseback riding. Visitors can marvel at the wonders of the universe at the Lawrence Whipple Observatory or explore nature at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Biosphere 2 at the University of Arizona was named one of “50 must-see wonders of the world” by Time Life Books, and those who enjoy food and culture can wine and dine in Desert City, hailed as a “foodie’s paradise.”