1. Tucsons Always Buy Sunblock In Bulk
“But I tan,” you say. It doesn’t matter. Tucsonans know what they’re talking about when it comes to protection against the sun. It’s either sunblock in bulk now or aloe in bulk later.
2. Anyone With A Pool Is A New Best Friend
Source: Flickr user diamondmountain
Tucsonans will overlook a lot
if someone has a pool. The allure of a cool dip in the middle of June is just that appealing. All the better if they actually get along.
3. Tourism Season Is The Opposite Of Everywhere Else
Also known as snowbirds, vacationing retirees flock to Tucson in the winter to escape the cold of their home states. It’s great for the local economy, but not so great for traffic.
4. Turn Signals Are A Sign of Weakness
Source: Wordpress user nypdecider
Driving in Tucson is kind of an adventure. Turn signals are used sparingly, so keep an eagle eye on the cars around you. If you like your time on the road to get your heart pumping, you’ll love it.
5. When It Comes To Pizza, Tucsons Pick Sides
Source: Tumblr user whatshouldbetchescallme
Either Magpies Gourmet Pizza or Brooklyn Pizza Company. No straddling the fence on this one. You must choose.
6. Don’t Mess With The Plants Because They Will Fight Back
Source: Flickr user danramarch
Don’t touch a cactus. This should be obvious, but for some reason folks from cacti-less parts of the country can’t seem to resist. Nope, don’t even touch the ones that look fuzzy—they are not
7. eegee’s Is Basically The Best Thing Ever
Source: eegee’s Facebook
eegee’s is famous for its icy, delicious slush drinks. Nothing helps beat the summer heat better and as an added bonus your tongue will be fun colors all day.
8. Going Out At Night Means Going To 4th Avenue
The best way to party is to bar hop from Bison Witches to Che’s, then end up dancing at IBT’s—all conveniently located on 4th Avenue.
9. If You’re Caught Not Knowing How The Wildcats Are Doing, You Will Be Publicly Shamed
Source: Flickr user seanpconnolly
The Arizona Wildcats are a big deal in Tucson. If you weren’t a football fan before, you are now.
10. Leather Car Seats Are Equivalent To Torture Devices
In some places, leather car seats are a status symbol, but true Tucsonan’s opt for cloth every time. That’s why true Tucsonans don’t have third degree burns in the shape of a car seat on the back of their thighs.
11. Tucson Is Treated Like Arizona’s Middle Child, But That Doesn’t Discourage City Pride
Tucsonans have a sense of humor when it comes to constantly being compared to Phoenix. Mostly because they already know they’re awesome, and they just don’t care. But it’s still probably best to avoid bringing it up.
12. Learning Basic Spanish Is A Must
Nearly a third of Tucson’s population speaks Spanish, so learning the language makes a ton of sense. It gives job hunters an edge. Plus who wants to miss out on what a third of the people around them are saying?
13. It’s Pronounced “How-ton”
Source: Tumblr user emirizilla
Pronouncing Houghton Road tends to trip up those new to the city. But for the record, that’s how you say it.
14. If Phoenix Is Your Conservative Dad, Tucson Is Your Cool Hippie Uncle
Source: Flickr user dedhed1950
When it comes to Tucson, ignore what you’ve heard about Arizona on the news. Pima County is one of the few in the state that votes blue.
15. There Are Five Seasons In Tucson, And One Of Them Is Monsoon
Source: Flickr user petegregoire
Mid-June through September brings flash floods, lightning, and generally apocalyptic looking weather to Tucson. On the bright side, the monsoons cool things down for a couple of hours.
16. Common City Pests Are Way Creepier In Tucson
Source: Flickr user bamyers4az
You think you’re bad because you killed a cockroach last weekend, but Tucsonans find that adorable. Which is fair, considering the guts it takes to battle scorpions and rattlesnakes.
17. Biking Is The Best Way To Get Anywhere
Source: Flickr user daquellamanera
Despite Tucson’s size (it’s big
), the roads are designed with bikers in mind, and they’re some of the few people on the road the drivers actually give some space.
18. Climbing Mt. Lemmon Is The Most Beautiful Way To Escape The Heat
Source: Flickr user thart2009
You’ll probably talk about going to Mt. Lemmon way more often than you actually go, but it’s the perfect breezy place when you really need an escape.
19. No One Has To Look For Good Mexican Food In Tucson
Source: Flickr user adactio
If you tripped in Tucson, you’d fall into a good Mexican restaurant. Ask for suggestions and you’ll be bombarded with descriptions of the fresh corn tortillas at Taqueria Pico De Gallo and the melt in your mouth flan El Sur Restaurant
20. This Is The Heartbreaking True History Of “Bear Down”
Source: Flickr user kenlund
In 1926, John Salmon, the starting quarterback for the Wildcats, was fatally injured in an automobile accident. His final message to his teammates? “Tell them… tell the team to bear down.” If that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, what will?
21. Hot Sauce Is An All Purpose Condiment
Source: Flickr user magpie-moon
It’s not uncommon to peek into a Tucsonan’s pantry and find it stocked with with one or two dozen different varieties. Don’t you dare say that sounds excessive.
22. You Can Never Take Too Many Artsy Pictures Of Sunsets And Cacti
Source: Flickr user cindydevin
Although your Instagram followers might disagree after the fiftieth beautiful skyline. That’s okay, just break it up with some photos of the awesome tacos you had for lunch.
23. Some Of The Best Food Comes From A Truck
Source: Flickr user streetfoodfiles
Sometimes it’s hard for people to believe fine cuisine can come out of something on wheels, but Tucsonans know you haven’t lived until you’ve had a Sonoran style hot dog at Aqui Con El Nene.
24. The Potholes Are As Deep As The Grand Canyon
Source: Flickr user matsubatsu
The extreme climate can lead to some extreme road damage, including car busting potholes. If a Tucsonan in the passenger seat yells swerve, you better swerve.
25. Formal Attire Includes Shorts
So maybe it’s not what you’d want to wear to a job interview, but shorts and sundresses are totally acceptable for an outdoor wedding or night on the town. Tucson is a laid back city, and no one wants to sweat out the summer in a three-piece suit.
26. Everyone Has A Favorite Summer Swimming Hole
Source: Flickr user xoque
If Tucsonans can’t find the aforementioned best friend with a pool, a scenic swimming hole will do. Romero Pools and Seven Falls are local favorites.
27. Libraries Are Super Cool—Literally
Source: Tumblr user lindsreadsya
Pima County has some excellent libraries—twenty-four excellent libraries to be exact. There’s nothing better than taking advantage of some free air conditioning while you get lost in a book.
28. Everyone In Tucson Can Play Six Degrees Of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Source: Flickr user expertinfantry
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, or DM, is Tucson’s Kevin Bacon. It’s one of the largest employers in the city. Everyone in Tucson can name a friend, a cousin, or a great aunt who’s connected to the base in some way.
29. It’s 110 Degrees, But At Least It’s A Dry Heat
Source: Wordpress user lisabonnice
Tucsonans actually do recognize how sweltering it is, but saying this proves how tough they are in the face of deadly heat.
It’s the equivalent of your parents reminding you there are children starving somewhere as you shovel down limp, unseasoned green beans.
What do you have to explain to Tucson out-of-towners? Tell us in the comments below!