8. Oro Valley

A suburb of Tucson, Oro Valley has really come in to its own by attracting some big name high tech firms in recent years, including automation and control systems company Honeywell and pharmaceutical companies Sanofi-Aventis and Ventana Medical Systems.

As a result, the median household income here is a hearty $74,480, while the median home price is $276,600.

For recreation, golf and bicycling are popular activities. Catalina State Park also offers hiking and camping opportunities.

Oro Valley is home to Honey Bee Village, a 13-acre preserved site featuring the prehistoric remains of a Native American Hohokam village that encompasses a ball court and plaza.

In the shadow of Pusch Ridge, the western end of the Santa Catalina Mountains, with the Tortolita mountains in the distance to the north and views of the Tucson skyline to the south, Oro Valley has a character and culture of its own, with all the conveniences of the bigger city nearby.

Less than half an hour from downtown Tucson up Oracle Road (State Route 77), Oro Valley was incorporated in 1974 and has a population just under 40,000. Its “Valley of Gold” name harkens back to a time when the area drew prospectors eager to find their fortune.

Though the rumors that the area was rich with gold proved false, Oro Valley is rich in natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and a small-town, family-friendly culture that’s landed it on several “best place to live” lists in recent years.

Among other highlights, Oro Valley is home to Tohono Chul Park, the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, and a fantastic Aquatic Center if you’re looking to get wet!


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