Best Of Tucson®

Best Outdoor Venue

Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater

Every metro area of a certain size boasts at least one "shed"--the entertainment industry's term for an open-air venue with sloped seating and, beyond that, a lawn area for those looking to save a few bucks on their tickets. Approaching its fifth anniversary, the Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater is a fine specimen of a shed, indeed. AVA boasts a large stage and top-notch production values (great sound and lighting, video screens, etc.), a layout and size that make a bad viewing angle downright impossible (even if you're on the lawn, feel free to leave the binocs at home), and a capacity ceiling of less than 5,000--as compared to many similarly designed venues that hold tens of thousands. It's a pretty perfect venue for acts too big for the Rialto and not big enough for the Tucson Convention Center--with the added bonus of a nice breeze and the ability to stargaze. Plus, if you're feeling lucky after the show, you can always head over to the casino to try to recoup the cost of your tickets.

Runners up:

2. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, Reid Park, 22nd Street and Country Club Road,

3. Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave., 623-6024,

Vote of note: "Tucson Rifle Club"