The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

By Alison Bailin Batz


Though it was founded more than 240 years ago, with more than seven million people visiting annually, Tucson remains one of Arizona’s hottest spots to explore. If you’ve never been – or haven’t been in a while – here is what you’re missing:


The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

The ultimate in luxury, this expansive resort has something for everyone from multi-level pools and a lazy river to three Arnold Palmer Golf Courses to its own private hiking trails. It is so famous; it even has its own traditions known by locals and travelers from across the globe. Among its most popular – its nightly tequila toast for all resort guests. More than a simple “bottoms up,” the nightly celebration features the legendary story of “Ariba Abajo,” group revelry and – of course – tequila for all!

In addition to offering more than 500 rooms and 75 suites, the resort is also home to one of the most spectacular presidential suites in Arizona for couples, families, bachelorette parties or even getaways with friends. Centered on the top floor of the resort with panoramic views of the city lights, the golf course, the resort pools and Tucson’s picturesque mountain ranges, the 2,200-square-foot stunner features a living room, dining table for eight, separate kitchenette area with staff entrance, a private office, a gas fireplace in the parlor, oversized bathroom and additional bath, with connecting bedroom.

Oh, it’s also a foodie’s dream. Onsite, they boast three major dining venues in addition to quick bite options, poolside dining and even a brand new Starbucks. They are:


The Signature Grill

Experts in all things Southwestern, this restaurant features a trio of cultures combining Native American, Mexican and even cowboy influences with hand-crafted entrees and recipes handed down through generations of families.



Perhaps the best patio dining in the city, this marvelous Mediterranean option has mastered handcrafted Italian cuisine using only the freshest ingredients, many grown on the resort’s own property! It also happens to be the sister restaurant to two-time James Beard award-winner and executive chef Melissa’s Kelly.


Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar

Known for its house-made sauces and mouthwatering meats, Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar serves delicious American fare at our Tucson resort’s Golf Club restaurant.



Tucson’s variety of great nightspots ranges from quiet wine bars to college hangouts and high-energy dance clubs, with lots in between. You’ll find breweries, sports bars, country/western saloons, LGBT clubs, comedy shows, performing arts venues and casino gaming. Most bars and clubs are open until 2 a.m. so you can keep the party going long after the sun goes down. Some recommendations of regions to hit, each with its own flavor, attractions and vibe: