Best Of Tucson®

Best Place to Cool Your Heels

Sabino Canyon

Mount Lemmon is the usual ringmaster of regional cool-your-heels comfort zones. It won honors in last year's competition even as flames from the Bullock fire took out 30,000 acres of timber and grassland. Now that the Aspen fire has squeezed the Lemmon even further, with well more than 100,000 acres damaged or destroyed in the past two years, Sabino Canyon takes 2003 honors. (Although it should be noted that BOT voting occurred before the Aspen Fire.) People have been a part of this oasis longer than saguaros have. In fact, at the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago, the area was a lush landscape of lakes, marshes and woodlands populated by horses and bison. Then the climate warmed and dried; saguaros moved into Sabino; and the Tucson Basin took on its contemporary look as human populations sprang up in the foothills.

Runners up:

2. Mount Lemmon

3. Breakers Water Park, 8555 W. Tangerine Road

Vote of note: "Any southside raspado stand"