Tucson Northwest Community first responders

Tucson Arizona Northwest Community first responders

Best Community Leader

OV Police Chief Kara Riley


It’s not easy maintaining a status as desirable as “Arizona’s safest city,” but having a Police Chief like Kara Riley sure helps. She had some big shoes to fill when she took command in early 2020, and couldn’t have foreseen the chaotic year ahead. But she’s won over the department, the community and then some — winning the Best Community Leader award for two years in a row now!



Reader recommended


Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos

Marana Unified School District Superintendent Dan Streeter


Best Annual Festival

Marana Pumpkin Patch

14950 N. Trico Road

(520) 305-5481



Every October, kids from all over the valley head to the Marana Pumpkin Patch not only for their Jack O’Lantern, but also bounce pillows, train rides, giant slides, zip lines, kettle corn, fresh pie and oh so much more. It ain’t Halloween until you’ve made your trip to the Marana Pumpkin Patch.


Reader recommended


Gaslight Music Hall


13005 N. Oracle Road

(520) 529-1000



Tohono Chul Festival of Lights

7366 N. Paseo del Norte

(520) 742-6455



Best First Responder Agency

Northwest Fire Department


The Northwest Fire Department isn’t just there to put out your fires. They get you to the hospital in an emergency, teach safety courses to kids and relocate your rattlesnakes. When there’s trouble afoot, we’re glad this team is on the job.


Reader recommended


Pima County Sheriff’s Department


Best 55+ Manufactured Home Community

The Highlands Mobile Home Park

332 W. Matterhorn St.

(520) 297-2722



The Highlands are exactly what you’d want from a mobile home park in Oro Valley: It’s close to Canada del Oro Park and shopping centers. It has a heated pool and plenty of recreational amenities. And those spectacular Pusch Ridge views! It’s a little bit of heaven right here on Earth.


Reader recommended


South Forty RV Park

3600 W. Orange Grove Road

(520) 297-2503



Valley of the Sun MH Park

13377 N. Sandario Road

(520) 682-3434



Best Kept Secret

The Happy Saguaro

7974 N. Oracle Road

(520) 297-3333



Well, we guess it’s not too much of a secret anymore. But that’s fine, because we think everyone should pay The Happy Saguaro a visit. Outside of the great name, this charming Mexican decor shop captures everything we love about our desert. It’s eclectic, welcoming and surprisingly vibrant. Merchandise here ranges from small rings to entire wall installations, all with that signature Southwestern twist. Whether you want colorful garden decorations, jewelry, art or furniture, you can find it at The Happy Saguaro.


Reader recommended


Old Pueblo Cellars Winery and Tasting Room

10088 N. St. Patrick Road

(520) 551-1011



SkyRider Cafe

Located in the Marana Regional Airport

11700 W. Avra Valley Road

(520) 682-3046



Best Nonprofit Organization

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

3003 S. Country Club Road

(520) 622-0525



The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona was already a high-speed, low-drag operation keeping people in Southern Arizona from going hungry, but they really stepped up during the pandemic, when their help was needed more than ever. They not only deliver nutritious food boxes, but help people develop gardening skills to feed themselves and offer other assistance to lift folks out of poverty.


Reader recommended


Make Way for Books

700 N. Stone Ave.

(520) 398-6451



Jewish Family and

Children’s Services

4301 E. Fifth St.

(520) 795-0300



Best Place to Watch the Game

Putney’s Sports Pub

6090 N. Oracle Road

(520) 575-1767



If you’ve been in the Northwest for a few years, you no doubt are aware of Putney’s. For more than 40 years, it’s been the spot to watch sports and have a cold beer. It’s not one thing that puts Putney’s above the rest, but a combination of good grub, plenty of games (to play and watch) and a healthy dose of Tucson pride. They call themselves a “pitstop,” but chances are you can easily spend a few hours here.


Reader recommended



2944 W. Ina Road

(520) 531-1100

12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

(520) 229-0083



The Station Pub & Grill

8235 N. Silverbell Road

(520) 789-7040



Best Place to Escape the Heat

Oro Valley Aquatic Center

23 W. Calle Concordia

(520) 297-7946



It’s no secret that us desert dwellers need a spot or two to cool off. But sometimes, hiding away in the air conditioning just doesn’t do it. That’s why we’re lucky to have the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. More than a community pool, the competition-level aquatic center includes a water slide, community lessons, a splash pad for children and more. It just makes sense that a town as recreation-oriented as Oro Valley would also have a beloved aquatic center.


Reader recommended


Marana’s Splash Pad

12280 N. Heritage Park Drive



Tucson Jewish

Community Center

3800 E. River Road

(520) 299-3000




Best New Business

Davison Meats

3840 W. Ina Road, suite #100

(520) 579-6283



The Davison family has been ranching cattle for more than three decades, so they sure know a thing or two about meat. It’s our good fortune that they’ve opened up a Marana butcher shop. These are ranch-to-table cuts that are fresh, high quality and oh so delicious.


Reader recommended


Elevate Trampoline Park

9705 N. Thornydale Road, suite 1

(520) 505-4665


Rock Solid

3949 W. Costco Drive, suite 151

(520) 222-6228



Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party


221 E. Wetmore Road

(520) 888-4653



What’s not to like about a birthday party that includes laser tag, miniature golf, video games, a big waterslide and more? You can be sure that the kids are definitely not going to be bored at this place. They might have so much fun they forget all about the cake!


Reader recommended


Peter Piper Pizza

Multiple locations




4861 N. Stone Ave.

(520) 485-3334



Best Place for Family Fun

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road

(520) 883-2702



A perennial favorite all throughout Tucson, the Desert Museum takes this award for Best of the Northwest once again. We’ve always said they do themselves a bit of a disservice with the “museum” title, because it’s so much more! They’ve got hiking trails, animal encounters, art classes, food and drinks, and the occasional festival. Then again, maybe the “Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum-Gallery-Zoo-Park-Aviary-Bookstore-Vivarium” is a bit too long of a name.


Reader recommended


Top Golf

4050 W. Costco Dr.

(520) 284-5047



Catalina State Park

11570 N. Oracle Road

(520) 628-5798



Best Place to Grab a Cocktail

Trident Grill

2912 W. Ina Road

(multiple locations)

(520) 989-3685



The atmosphere of Trident Grill’s four Tucson locations are perfect to relax with a cocktail. Soak in the sports, the friendly vibe and the nautical themes all while enjoying one of their award-winning drinks. They have classics like Bloody Marys or La Palomas (with tequila and grapefruit). But our favorite is the Strawberry Basil Smash, mixed with rum and soda for a refreshing but not too sweet concoction. And be sure to get there during Trident Grill’s happy hour: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.


Reader recommended


Growler’s Taphouse

8275 N. Silverbell Road

(520) 389-8232



Dove Mountain Brewery

12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd.

(520) 579-8999



Best Place to Work

Marana Unified School District


Serving more than 12,000 students across 19 campuses, the Marana Unified School District is a crucial pillar of the community. And as far as employment goes, they have opportunities for much more than teachers. MUSD also employs counselors, bus drivers, health practitioners, secretaries, food service workers and more. We’re glad to see the community enjoys working there, because we don’t know what we’d do without them.


Reader recommended



Multiple locations




13500 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

(520) 878-2600



Best Place To Take Visitors

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road

(520) 883-2702



The Sonoran Desert is really something that needs to be seen to be understood. Out-of-towners might feel bad for us, living in a desert and all. But we know it’s one of the most biodiverse deserts in the world, with unique sky islands and a powerful monsoon season. What better way to show visitors the spectacular beauty of our home than with a trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where they can learn about the plants and animals we share the desert with? And if learning about the flora and fauna isn’t enough, the Desert Museum also has trails where visitors can explore the desert first-hand.


Reader recommended


Mount Lemmon


Tohono Chul Park

7366 N. Paseo Del Norte

(520) 742-6455



Best Religious Organization/Congregation

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (SEAS)


8650 N. Shannon Road

(520) 297-7357



This Catholic Church holds a large presence in the community, offering education, volunteering services, parish care and multiple clubs and organizations. For more than 25 years, SEAS has served as a hub and refuge for thousands of Tucson and Oro Valley families. SEAS volunteers support a chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a women’s club, an arts & crafts club and more.


Reader recommended


St. Mark’s Catholic Church

2727 W. Tangerine Road

(520) 469-7835



St. Mark’s United


1431 W. Magee Road

(520) 297-2062


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