The Inside 5
Three-time Olympic cyclist and Tucsonite Gord Fraser opts for: 1. Road-biking the Saturday Shootout, an open-to-the-public 60-mile training ride that meets at the corner of University and Euclid every Saturday morning. 2. Salmon sashimi at Sushi-Ten. 3. Café Poca Cosa's signature dish, a combo of three Southwestern house specialties. 4. Checking out the local flora and fauna at the Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum. 5. Getting spoiled on massages, gourmet food, and luxury R&R at Canyon Ranch resort and spa.
Crux Move: The fabled hideout of the Chiricahua Apache, Cochise Stronghold—a complex of domes and cliffs in the Dragoon Mountains, 80 miles southeast of Tucson—is home to 250-plus traditional and sport-climbing granite routes. Try What's My Line, a three-pitch 5.6 with chicken-head holds all the way up. Summit Hut, 800-499-8696
The New Must-Do: Bust out your fat tires for a spin on a recently completed 22-mile section of the Arizona Trail. Park at La Sevilla picnic area, in Colossal Cave Mountain Park, 20 miles east of Tucson, and ride south on winding, technical singletrack with views of the Santa Ritas and Empires. Southwest Trekking, 520-296-9661
Cool Down: "Desert whitewater" isn't a complete oxymoron. Between February and May, head two and a half hours northeast of Tucson to the Class III–IV Salt River for a two-day run through 2,000-foot-deep Salt River Canyon. Mild to Wild River Rafting, 800-567-6745
Go Avian: The Patagonia–Sonoita Creek Preserve and Patagonia Lake State Park, about 60 miles southeast of Tucson, host more than 300 species of birds, from flycatchers and phoebes to the Montezuma quail. Stop at the Village of Elgin Winery, Sonoita Vineyards, and Callaghan Vineyards to quaff the local vintages. Patagonia Area Business Association
Fourteen acres of manicured gardens—including citrus and palm trees—surround the Arizona Inn's 1930s adobe lodge and casitas, near the University of Arizona. With its cathedral-ceilinged library and vintage furniture, the lodge is pure class. But it's also savvy to Tucson's wilder side, offering free mountain bikes and a concierge to arrange horseback rides. Doubles, $199–$369; 800-933-1093
For classic Tucson burrito-stand fare, try El Guero Canelo, on South 12th.
Xoom Juice, on East Speedway, has the city's best smoothies. 520-321-9666