Barrio Viejo, an area of more than 150 acres in Tucson, is the largest barrio in the United States and exemplifies Tucson’s connection to Mexico, with centuries-old Sonoran adobe architecture.
This year, the neighborhood, which has one of the most diverse racial, cultural, religious and ethnic populations in the country, will receive National Historic Landmark designation. Revival projects include the restoration of the 300-seat Teatro Carmen, built in 1915 and later converted into the Black Elks Club, and female-owned boutique hotels, like the Citizen in the former home of the Tucson Citizen newspaper and the Downtown Clifton in a once-faded motel.
Take the Tucson Origins Tour by Borderlandia, which specializes in tours of the U.S.-Mexico border area, for a deep dive into history. Then explore the famed Etherton Gallery and Andrew Smith Gallery, both in new spaces. Don’t forget Barrio restaurants like the local coffee drinkers’ favorite EXO Roast, housed in an 1885 adobe home, and the Coronet, which moved to the neighborhood in 2019.