Welcome Wildcats! A University of Arizona Freshman’s Guide to Historic Fourth Avenue

Just moved here to attend the UofA? Feeling a little intimidated by Tucson? Well, fear not Freshman! Here’s your guide to Historic Fourth Avenue in Downtown Tucson. We’ve got everything you might need right here, all walking distance from Campus. 

new school, new style

Welcome to Tucson, where living is easy but dressing for desert temps can be a challenge. If you’re not a native desert dweller, the climate here in Old Pueblo is probably significantly different than where you grew up. We will be dealing with soaring high daytime temperatures until October while you’re walking to classes. Then once you’re inside the hallowed halls of campus, you’ll be freezing in air conditioned lecture halls. Pop quiz: how do you deal with all this climate change? Answer: layered looks and light sweaters. 


Shop like a local and head to Fourth Avenue for a dose of Tucson style. Creations Boutique has bohemian, desert style for all the ladies. If you’re looking for a cactus-print anything or cute accessories to accent a look, Creations has some gorgeous options. If you’re looking for something more edgy, Razorz Edge has pinup and rockabilly style for men and women. 

Guys, don’t fear: Fourth Avenue has some cool options for you too. Generation Cool has vintage and bootleg designer duds from the 80s and 90s, and can style you in sweet gear from head to toe. Bonus? They’ve also got awesome UofA vintage gear that will help you show off your school spirit, while still looking fly. Speaking of Wildcat gear, The Underestimated City has Tucson-inspired screen printed shirts for men and women. Keep an eye out for their special and limited edition UofA gear for basketball season and special events in town (like Dusk Music Festival). 

Dorm room decor

If you’re living on campus or secured some off campus housing, chances are this is your first time living on your own (and with roomies). You’re living space should reflect your personality and your vibe, and if you’re looking for cool furnishings to make your space feel like “you,” check out the shops on Fourth Avenue to find unique art prints, wall hangings, and desk accessories. 

Show some local pride and embrace this desert town with Tucson-inspired prints and artwork from shops like PopCycle Shop and Tiny Town Surplus. PopCycle Shop specializes in artwork and decor items that are all handmade by Tucson artisans and really showcase the spirit of the town. Nothing says “Tucson” more than a teeny succulent for your desk or a candle that smells like the desert after a monsoon. They’ve got amazing wall art and hangings that would beautify even the most impersonal dorm room. Tiny Town Surplus is an offshoot of local screen printing shop, Tanline Printing. The surplus store sells printed shirts, stickers, wall art and maps inspired by this desert town. We think your dorm room just wouldn’t be complete without a Tucson local pennant or print. 


Maybe music is more your thing? Chances are you (or your new roomie) packed a record player and some cool hipster vinyl. Hurricane Records and Wooden Tooth Records are a record lover’s dream. Both spots specialize in used and new records, and have a great selection of vinyl from local bands. 

healthy habits 

If the Campus Rec Center is feeling a little crowded, head to Fourth Avenue for Yoga, Martial Arts, and Dance Classes. And while you’re on the Avenue, grab a bite or some groceries to take back to campus. 

4th Avenue Yoga is a great spot for drop-in yoga classes! With multiple classes offered everyday, you’re sure to find one that fits into your busy class schedule. If rhythm and dance is more your thing,  be sure to check out Floor PolishFloor Polish offers a ton of interesting and unique classes designed to get you moving (while never feeling bored!). From Bollywood to Tap, you’ll find a vast variety of fitness options at Floor Polish. 


We all know that staying active is only half the battle when trying to avoid the dreaded freshman fifteen. Fourth Avenue has two amazing markets that will help you fill your mini-fridge with tasty options. At the end of University and at the start of Fourth Avenue, you’ll find Time Market. It’s a great spot for a cup of coffee, fresh baked bread and tasty sandwiches. Head down the Avenue and you’ll find Food Conspiracy Co-Op, a small grocery store with everything you need. They have fresh and organic produce, tasty snacks, bulk bins with nuts and grains, and even healthy frozen foods. If you’re interested in learning more about the food scene here in Tucson or are curious about where your food is coming from in this desert, Food Conspiracy also offers classes. 


When you do want to eat a meal out (because, balance…right?), there are a ton of great dining out destinations on the Avenue. One spot in particular is offering a special discount to welcome back returning Wildcats and to welcome you to the neighborhood. Magpies Pizza is offering 20% off all pizzas to students with a valid I.D. until the end of September!

stylish school supplies & Study Spots

If the library is feeling a little packed for study sessions, escape to Fourth Avenue and hit up one of our coffee shops for wifi and a chill homework spot. On the corner of University and Fourth, you’ll find Epic Cafe. Epic is a great option for a study spot with comfy couches and tasty coffee drinks to help keep you focused. It’s close to campus, but still feels far enough away to get some peace and quiet. 


A bit further down the Avenue, you’ll find Cafe Passé. And although it might still be too warm to enjoy the outdoors, once the temps drop in Tucson, Cafe Passé has the best outdoor back patio with trees for shade and reliable wifi. 

If you need to find a copy of the latest bestseller or a classic for English Lit 101, Fourth Avenue has two incredible bookstores to find everything you need. The Book Stop is a great place to find used copies of classic novels, art books, plays and a whole section devoted to Tucson itself. If you’re looking for the latest bestseller to sink your teeth into, check out Antigone Books right across the street. Antigone Books is a female owned and operated, independent local bookstore.  They have a great selection of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books, feminist literature, and pretty much everything else under the sun. Speaking of sun, they are also 100% powered by solar energy. 


For more information about any of these locations, select the shop name to be re-directed to their merchant profile. 

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