All About the Tucson Gem Show

It’s almost February, which means The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (or the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase) is just around the corner (Feb 13th-16th). For native Tucsonans, this is one of the most popular times of the year. This tradeshow is the biggest, most important rock and gem show in the United States and vendors from around the world crowd around the Tucson convention center and in countless makeshift booths all around the city, showcasing wares from Morocco to China.

Most of the gem exhibits are open to the public, however many are also reserved for private buyers only; which requires a proper business license to attend. Although the convention center is the focal point of the action, the truth is that there is no one single area that represents the entire event. In fact, it’s not uncommon for motel bedrooms to transform into storehouses for rock and mineral merchants.

In the gem industry, the Tucson show remains the biggest of all the exhibits; however, there is many other gem shows around the country that also aim to grow in size and caliber. As a result, many of these smaller shows come to the Tucson gem show to stay relevant in their home cities, and to maintain a presence in the international market. This is one of the reasons Tucson’s show continues to multiply in size and scope.

Gem Show Transportation

If you’re planning to attend the Tucson gem show, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, the area around downtown Tucson can become VERY congested, and many motels and even resorts become booked for the middle week in February, so whether you’re visiting Tucson for the show, or other purposes during this time—it would be best to plan well in advance before hitting the roads!

Secondly, a lot of gem show attendees have expressed frustration about transportation options for going to different exhibits. Within the show are free shuttle services that are designed to transport attendees between the different areas, and these are paid for by the individual exhibit owners to help ferry clients to wherever they need to go. However, a problem frequently arises where the merchants will change the schedule of the shuttle routes at the last minute to attract more customers. For instance, a shuttle to a bead show that originates near the convention center may suddenly start transporting clients from downtown, even though the schedule that was submitted months in advance says that the shuttle arrives periodically at a different location.

As a result of this confusion, a lot of gem show attendees find themselves waiting around at different pickup spots, only to find their shuttle did not arrive. This means lots of stranded and confused gem show customers!

This is why we recommend a trained town-car chauffeur to handle your transportation needs to and from the show. By traveling via private car with UNO Transportation, you won’t run the risk of messing up your schedule as you wait for a shuttle that may or may not ever arrive. Simply call 520 247-1811 to book your chauffeur for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show!

The Accenture Match Play Golf Tournament

Winter in Tucson can be a beautiful time of year, especially for golf enthusiasts. The air is fresh, it’s not too cold, and in the foothills of the mountains are plenty of world-famous green courses used by the PGA, and which also open for special events. One of the most unique golf tournaments in Tucson is the Accenture Match Play that is held annually in February.

Accenture is a local financial institution and is an umbrella sponsor of the World Golf Championships. The company is entering its 15th year of sponsoring this game. The idea behind the tournament is to pit world champions against each other for a special charity event that benefits the Tucson Conquistadores, an organization that supports many youth groups around southern Arizona, like the YMCA.

The event takes place at the Dove Mountain Golf Course, which can be accessed via Tangerine Rd in the city’s far northwest side (technically in the city of Marana). The course is a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature that opened in January 2009. The area includes 850 stunning acres, as well as a nearby Ritz-Carlton hotel for guests and players alike.

During a match play event, opponents face off for how many individual holes won, and on each hole the most that can be gained is one point. Contestants play on until a player wins a hole, and one round sometimes lasts for days. Traditional champions sometimes don’t do as well in a match play event, while others do very well, so it creates a different kind of game.

It’s important to plan ahead if you are going to attend an Accenture Match Play golf tournament. Due to the length of the games, visitors often require reliable transportation means if they’re not staying at one of the nearby resorts. In addition, the course on Dove Mountain is a bit tucked away for visitors who are centrally located.

At UNO Transportation, we’re prepared to help you get the most out of your time in Tucson, AZ. Not only can our experienced drivers get you to the Accenture Match Play tournament in a timely fashion, they’ll be prepared to get you back to wherever else in the city you’re staying at—and can pick you up again the next morning for another round. In addition, our drivers can show you many of the scenic and interesting locations found in Tucson’s beautiful Northwestern most reaches.


Need a ride in Tucson AZ? Try a Town Car instead of a taxi

Traveling in the Northwest Tucson Arizona area can be simple, inexpensive and luxuries all at the same time with UNO Transportation. If you live in Tucson you may know that the taxi service in places like North Tucson, the Foothills, Oro Valley, Marana, Catalina, Sabino Canyon, Saddlebrook and unincorporated Pima County leave a little something to be desired. As opposed to a luxury ride with UNO Transportation that is punctual and professional at a pre-quoted value price point.

The quality of the vehicles in Tucson’s local taxi market vary as greatly. Some are well maintained automobiles while others appear to be held together with duct tape and vigorous wishing. They came in an array of bewildering colors from shabby scratched silver primer to bright yellow and neon green and all the other colors of the rainbow in between. Yet all of these taxi’s have one thing in common regardless of color a meter that endlessly ticks off miles, waiting time and stops. The most frustrating part of this experience is the dreaded phone call to book a Tucson taxi some of the company switchboards ring to an entirely different city such as Phoenix but they try to book for Tucson anyway. A typical call to a Tucson taxi service (most of them have garages located downtown or south of downtown Tucson 20 miles away) usually consists of a replying statement of yes we will have a taxi at your location in twenty minutes and then that call is inevitably followed by the would be customer’s second call twenty-five minutes later, because no car is there yet. That frustrating reply from the taxi company is on the same script, yes we will have a car there in just twenty minutes, from now and this loop can go on for rest of the day or night without a single taxi ever showing up. If you are going to the airport to catch a flight or out for a special dinner this can be a great inconvenience to say the least.

  Fortunately there is an alternative and wether you prefer to call it a Town Car service or the black car industry these offerings provide a superior experience across the board then that of taxis. For Tucson Az with UNO Transportation the rates are often the same or lower then taxis. UNO has a fleet of late model luxury cars with all the amenities driven by well dressed professional drivers. UNO Transportation serves most of the major resorts in Tucson such as the Hilton El Conquistador, Westin La Paloma, Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, Westward Look, JW Marriott Star Pass and Loews Ventana Canyon as well as servicing the smaller hotel and bed and breakfasts. In these relationships it is vital to be punctual and UNO is on time every time. UNO Transportation drivers are local to the Tucson northwest they have excellent driving records and backgrounds with a superb knowledge of the restaurants, bars, clubs, resorts and tourist attractions for the entire metropolitan area.

If you are local to Tucson then you can join the growing number of people going out once or twice a week to Tucson’s wonderfully diverse local eating, drinking and entertainment establishments and call UNO Transportation to drive you to and from your location. Perhaps leaving you free to enjoy a glass of wine or two, if that is your wish. If you are a permanent resident, a tourist visiting Tucson or a snowbird then please consider UNO Transportation to and from Tucson International Airport or Phoenix Sky Harbor. We track all our reservation’s incoming flights and will meet our client at the airport with a name sign and a smile no matter how early or late your flight is and then the driver will escort their client to the baggage carousal and do all the heavy lifting.

UNO Transportation can do custom tours, shopping trips, weddings, spa outings, golf trips and all manner of other excursions. UNO Transportation is also available for courier assignments (moving something from point A to B such as a prescriptions, documents or even groceries) at very competitive value rates. Although UNO Transportation serves the whole Tucson metropolitan area UNO really shines in the northern part of Tucson (Oro Valley, Marana, Dove Mountain, Saddlebrook, Catalina, Catalina foothills and Sabino Canyon) and in most cases can have a car there for a point to point trip with a minimal notice of only minutes. UNO Transportation is available 24/7 and can meet all land transportation needs.

UNO Transportation’s phone number is (520) 247-1811 feel free to call and try our free concierge service over the phone. Do anything from inquiring about all of Tucson’s offerings from restaurants to theaters to then booking your hotel or restaurant reservations. UNO Transportation has a professional local travel consultant ready to speak to you 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Arun Chakrabarty

Go On a Tucson Shopping Mall Excursion with Uno Transportation

From handmade Southwest and Native American gifts, to couture clothing and high-class local designer brands, Tucson is a premier shopping experience for visitors that range from Mexico City to New York City. However, if you’ve just arrived in the Old Pueblo, you may be wondering where to get started. At Uno Transportation, we can provide a complete shopping excursion to all of the best Tucson shopping mall and boutique locations.

La Encantada

Definitely the first place to check out on your excursion is La Encantada. Nestled along the foothills in the Northwest side, this luxury Tucson shopping mall is almost fully outdoors and is a perfect place for a stroll as cooler fall temperatures sweep across the desert. This mall features all of the most exclusive shops in the area, from a thriving Apple Store to high-end retail options like Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers and Anthropologie. This is also a great location to capture photographs looking south across the expanse of Tucson, or to relax with some cocktails at any of La Encantada’s premier restaurants (we’re driving you, so don’t worry about a few drinks!)

Casas Adobes Plaza

Just south of La Encantada on Oracle Road is another world-class but smaller outdoor Tucson shopping mall. This plaza features some very popular local restaurants—Wildflower and Bluefin (a seafood bistro). This plaza has a lot of smaller, fun novelty stores and gift-shops, plus a few higher-end retail options like Maya Palace, a Southwestern clothing boutique. Finish your shopping with some of the famous frozen treats at the Frost gelato shop located on the plaza’s north end.

Foothills Mall

Most residents of the Northwest side know about the most popular Tucson shopping mall in the area, the Foothills mall. Located on La Cholla Blvd, it’s about another 7 or 8 minutes south of Casas Adobes Plaza, and there’s too much to do here in just one day. Retail enthusiasts can check stores like Sak’s Fifth Avenue and staples like Bath & Body Works, relax at the huge Barnes & Noble with a latte, or dine and party at the Sega World Sports Bar & Grill at the mall’s northeast side.

More Options…

These are just a couple of the prominent Tucson shopping mall locations. As you plan your excursion, the experienced drivers of Uno Transportation can provide you with everything you need to know about shopping in Tucson while helping you get everywhere you want to go, so you can relax, have a few drinks, and enjoy yourself without a care in the world. We hope to see you soon!

Tucson Tourist Attractions – A Look at Arizona Wine Country

When you book your Tucson town car, there are a few places that visitors of the Old Pueblo absolutely must see, and one of them is the Arizona wine country of Sonoita-Patagonia, located 60 miles southeast of Tucson on the I-10. Because of its relative proximity, visitors from our city frequent this hidden pastoral gem, and it has become one of the regions unique Tucson tourist attractions and a perfect day-trip to plan with our Tucson transportation service.

The first thing a visitor of Patagonia Arizona will discover is that the environment is markedly different from the rest of the Southwest. In fact, local vineyard owners have compared the soil consistency and quality to be almost identical to that of the richest vineyards of northern France. Big, golden meadows and beautiful mountains also help to create a unique European flare to this region.

If you’re planning a daytrip with our your Tucson transportation service, take note that the vineyard owners routinely open up their ranches to visitors, allowing people to go on wine-tasting tours, going from home to home sampling the grapes of famous vineyards like Callaghan and Charron. If you’ve gone shopping around Tucson, you’ve probably seen these local whites and reds for sale in specialty sections of the supermarket.

Aside from Sonoita, the nearby area of Patagonia is a separate, sleepy hamlet that is also a popular destination for people finishing their wine tour. This town features some very nice family run restaurants that also provide a little bit of a fine dining experience, as well. This region is very close to the Mexican border, and so there is a lot of great Mexican fare in this area, as well as many Southwest staples, farm-raised beef and country cooking.

Many locals agree that among Tucson tourist attractions, the Sonoita-Patagonia experience should be near the top of a visitor’s to-do list. In fact, it’s especially great for romantic dates, as couples frequently enjoy not only the romantic Parisian climate, but the chance to sample the state’s most well-known wines. If you’d like to experience Sonoita-Patagonia for yourself, at Uno Transportation we can provide luxury service and tours to bring you down to the wine country with class, style, and comfort. We hope you choose us for all your Tucson transportation needs, and we look forward to taking care of you soon!

The Tucson Town Car and the Black Car Industry

What many people do not realize is that personal transportation currently involves two primary options: the standard taxi service or the high-class town car service. Most cities have plenty of varieties to pick from between these two choices, but it’s the Sedans and town cars that are becoming the most popular option, and there’s a good reason why—and it’s the high-quality nature of the town car itself. Our own Tucson town car fleet is highly reliable and provides maximum comfort to guests, and this makes it a clear choice above regular taxi cars.

Aside from the comfort, another big factor with the town car is the car’s reliability. The less an owner has to worry about repairs and malfunctioning parts, the better. Town cars have an unusual quality of being highly durable, and this means high mileage does not affect the performance. In addition, customers are less likely to worry about sudden malfunctions or issues, even on long cross-state voyages.

Another quality of the town car is the feeling of luxury. The town car is historically known as the private transportation method of the world’s VIPs. CEOs, politicians, and public figures are all known for being transported via town car. One of the reasons for this is the privacy involved—no tacky logos or bright colored cars. Black-suited professionals provide accommodations that sometimes go above and beyond mere transportation, and this has become the standard for busy professionals.

These days, the town car industry is not just for VIP businesspeople. Rather, the affordability is good enough for all types of customers, from families to students to just regular people getting from point A to point B. Traveling in style and comfort is now available to everybody, and the town car industry remains an influential force in every city in the country, something we are happy to provide with our own Tucson town car fleet.

For your own travel needs, if you’re coming to Tucson, don’t forget to book your own town car experience through our “white glove service at a no glove price”. Our experienced Tucson town car professionals can provide everything from Tucson airport transportation services, fancy tours around town, or just basic pickups and deliveries. We’ll see you soon!

A Tour of the Tucson Mountains

One of the reasons Tucson is such a popular city for resorts and getaways is that it’s a famous mountain retreat. Tucson is known for its “sky islands”, and a tour of the Tucson mountains likely includes these areas where the elevation creates a starkly different ecological climate compared to the terrain immediately surrounding the “island”. An example of this is Mt. Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Mountains. As one traverses up the mountainside the saguaros turn to pine trees, and the climate becomes distinctly more chilled.

Aside from the famous sky island climate of the Santa Catalinas, Tucson contains many other scenic and mysterious desert mountains that attract nature enthusiasts from around the world. On the east side, for instance, is the Rincon Mountains. These are part of the famous Coronado National Forest and are also accessible from Saguaro National Park East.  The most well-known feature of these mountains is Colossal Cave, which is a must-see part of any tour of the Tucson mountains.

Next, don’t forget about the Tucson Mountains on the west-side. These are the mountains that encompass the Saguaro National Park West, and in years past many real-life gunslingers used to call their ranches under these jagged mountains their homes. In later years the mountains became the backdrop of many Hollywood depictions of these pioneers, and are well-recognized in many 1940s and 1950s movies. Today, Old Tucson Studios is still rented for movie productions in this area.

Next, back on the Northwest side of Tucson, you can’t overlook the Tortolita mountains. These sharp hills dot the horizon around Oro Valley and Marana, and they feature some interesting trails, including Honeybee Canyon, where one of the region’s only perennial streams is located. These mountains are lower elevation and get pretty hot, so bring plenty of water.

If you’re looking to book a tour of the Tucson mountains, look no further than Uno Transportation. Our Tucson town car service includes experienced native Tucsonan staff that can help take you between various exciting hikes around the city. In addition, we’re always happy to share our knowledge of local scenic spots and hiking opportunities. If you’re coming in from out of town, you can easily book our Tucson airport shuttle service from our website, and we can work with you throughout your week in Tucson to experience everything the region has to offer. We’ll talk to you soon!

The Heart of the Southwest – Saguaro National Park Tucson AZ

Among the many parks in Tucson, the one that stands out as a must-see for visitors is the pristine desert landscape of the Saguaro National Park Tucson AZ. First-time visitors are often awe struck by the grandeur of the Saguaro cactus, which is one of the longest living cacti and an ancient resident of the desert. This hallmark plant is found in the highest abundance across this huge park, which is the location of much of the region’s iconic photography found on postcards and calendars.

In addition to the impressive cacti, another thing that strikes visitors of the Sonoran Desert is the apparent foreboding nature of the realm. These desert landscapes of the Saguaro National Park Tucson AZ are coated with sharp cactus, rough terrain and harsh desert heat. Yet, there is actually a diverse ecosystem that allows many animals to flourish in this unlikely environment; from exotic Gila monsters to the surprising addition of large mammals like deer and bear that have adapted to the desert conditions and often migrate from higher elevations and can be seen right in the middle of the desert.

The park encompasses two huge areas known as Saguaro National Park East and Saguaro National Park West. The eastern side is located as part of the Rincon Mountain District. This unique area of the national park climbs to an elevation as high as 8,600 ft and the flora and fauna changes from rugged desert into an elevated pine wilderness. The western side of the national park can be accessed by traveling across Gates Pass road on the far west side of Tucson, and is known for extremely scenic desert landscapes and a high density of saguaro cacti.

The Saguaro National Park has a lot of interesting and exciting things to offer visitors and locals alike. The west-side of the park features some of the best photography locations in the country, especially along some of the scenic points on Gates Pass road, which is easily accessible just beyond I-10 on the west side, near Speedway Blvd. Meanwhile, the east-side features some of the best hiking locations in the city (just remember to pack plenty of water).

If you’re going to the Saguaro National Park Tucson AZ, don’t forget to book your ride with Uno. Our Tucson town car service includes experienced, knowledgeable drivers who can help you plan the perfect daytrip, while also providing lots of cool facts about the landscape. If you’re arriving from out of town, our Tucson shuttle service will help get you to your hotel, and then we’ll work with you to plan your perfect trip through the majestic local parks. We’ll see you soon!

Tucson’s Famous Zoo – Reid Park Tucson

Whether you’ve arrived in Tucson for business, to visit friends and family, or for a vacation retreat, one of the first destinations to check out in the city is Reid Park Tucson. The famous zoo is a cornerstone of the city, it features a wide array of both local and exotic animals, and it is a perfect day-trip to take with friends or family.

As far as zoos are concerned, there’s a reason why Reid Park Tucson remains one of the more popular ones in the country. Animals range from a family of elephants to tigers to exotic species like the jaguar, the lemur, and even the polar bear. The zoo also remains a strong voice for zoological research, preservation, and conservation. Partnered with the University of Arizona, the zoo remains another aspect of a city that is renowned for its scientific endeavors. It’s not uncommon to spot big groups of University of Arizona students coming to research the diverse array of wildlife.

Reid Park Tucson is located around a huge plot of land near Country Club and 22nd St, and our Tucson airport transportation service can easily get you across the city from your hotel in time for your zoo trip.  At their website it’s possible to book tickets in advance or plan all variety of events and activities, from school trips to exclusive tours. The park is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4;00 PM.

After you’ve explored the zoo, don’t forget that Tucson is one of the most diverse cities in the country in regard to its own natural wildlife. You can complete a day’s adventure by also checking out the Sonoran Desert Museum, where you can contrast the world’s exotic animals with some of the local species, such as cougars, javalina and bobcats.

No matter where you want to go on your wildlife safari adventure, the best way to get there is by booking your Tucson transportation service at Uno Transportation. Our staff is among the most experienced town car drivers in the industry, and we not only provide a reliable Tucson shuttle service, our knowledgeable drivers will also help new Tucsonans learn about all of the interesting activities and facts about the city, including the best places to check out the region’s interesting array of wildlife. We hope to see you soon!

Discover the Tohono Chul Park Tucson

There are many vibrant and beautiful sights unique to the Sonoran desert, and among them is the famous Tohono Chul Park Tucson that is home to the botanical garden of Arizona. Nature enthusiasts, gardeners, and general tourists from around the world flock to this unique location to experience a slice of majestic desert plants, trees, flowers and wildlife.

The park is considered a nature preserve and encompasses 49-acres in the area of Casas Adobes, easily accessible from Oracle Road. In fact, to reach the Tohono Chul Park Tucson is as easy as going toward the Oracle and Ina intersection and following Paseo Del Norte road north from Ina. Many tourists agree it’s these small slices of nature that make Tucson one of the world’s most memorable cities.

One of the main features of the Tohono Chul Park Tucson is the botanical garden. According to Travel + Leisure magazine, the garden is “one of the 10 great gardens in the world”, and National Geographic featured it as one of the 22 great secret gardens in the world. There’s a big variety of desert and Mexican plants grown here, and the park encourages both photographers and artists to enjoy the preserve. In addition, it’s an excellent place for bird-watching. Migratory hawks frequent the area and special programs are focused on the exploration of the native wildlife.

Aside from the gardens, the park also offers a lot of day activities. All year long tours are available across the whole park, and there are gift shops and a “garden bistro” available for a unique dining experience. In addition, the staff opens the place up for all manner of private activities that range from concerts to parties and weddings. This makes the Tohono Chul Park Tucson a favorite place for residents and visitors alike to plan very organic events, including specialized business meetings.

The best way to reach the Tohono Chul Park Tucson is to book a ride with Uno Transportation. Our high-quality town-cars provide an excellent Tucson airport shuttle service to bring you into the scenic area of Northwest Tucson. In addition, we provide a town car service Phoenix shuttle to bring arrivers from the Sky Harbor airport south into the Old Pueblo. For more information, check out our main page where you can also book a ride with us. We hope to see you soon!