tucson

The Weekly Tucsonan

1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 
2021 North Kinney Road
Visiting Information

For a half-century the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has enchanted millions of visitors with its exhibits of live animals in astonishingly natural settings, while intriguing and instructing them with fascinating educational programs.  At the same time, the Museum has gained a worldwide repute in the scientific community as an institution committed to researching and protecting the land, plants, and the animals of the Sonoran Desert region.  The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.  The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place!  Exhibits re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert Region so realistically you find yourself eye-to-eye with mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters, and more.  Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. There are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert.

2.  Swimming
Parks and Recreation Aquatics
or
University of Arizona Rec Center Pool

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise.  Because the density of the human body is very similar to that of water, the water supports the body and less stress is therefore placed on joints and bones.  It is also relaxing.  (Please see the Wikipedia page on Human Swimming)

3.  Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co.
865 E. University Blvd.
(520) 624-4177

Gentle Ben’s has been on this block since 1971 and has been brewing award winning brews since 1991.  The original house was located under what is now the lobby of the Marriott Hotel.  Built in 1908 as a private residence for the Hamilton family, over the years it served as the University president’s house, a boarding house and home to several fraternities.  The name Gentle Ben’s was chosen through a contest and the winner was a University professor who thought the manager looked like Dan Haggerty from the T.V. show Grizzly Adams whose co-star was a bear named Gentle Ben.  That show was based on a man who roamed parts of Northern California in the 1920s and 30s.  He had two bears, Benjamin Franklin and Martha Washington.  Martha was a mean bear by people standards and had to be kept chained to a stake. The other was gentle and was free to roam, hence Gentle Ben.  Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company of Tucson.  Brewing began in 1991, and they started with three beers; Tucson Blonde, Red Cat Amber and Copperhead Pale Ale, all still brewed today and joined by five other styles.  In 1994 the Marshall Foundation who owns most of the real estate in the neighborhood including the old Ben’s, informed ownership of plans to raze the block and offered them a chance to rebuild.  At the time, the location was The U of A Center for Architectural Landscaping.  They were allowed much input on the building design and decided to save the foundation and triple red brick walls of the one story building.  The structure was originally built as a bank in 1970.  Much of the wood and brick salvaged from the original Ben”s and the bank were used in the new construction. The old vault and its two foot thick concrete ceiling is still intact, holding up the 30,000 pounds of beer in the upstairs cold box and serving as the office and employee room.  We tripled the size of the original kitchen and our brewing capacity as well so we can offer kegs to the other bars and restaurants in the state.  Ben’s history would not be complete without a nod to the thousands of people who have worked under the Bear and the millions of patrons over the years who have made the future possible.

Enjoy and let us know if you want us to sponsor an event.  Sonora Review