422 N. Fourth Ave.
The beauty of shopping at Pop Cycle is that no matter what you buy, you can be sure a local artist made it. And even better, the art is made out of recycled materials, re-used products and refurbished goods. As you stroll through the overflowing, woodsy walls of Pop Cycle, gift ideas will just jump out at you. You might never think of gifting someone a Frankenstein refrigerator magnet, bedazzled cowboy shirt, or a Where The Wild Things Are wall decal. But once you enter Pop Cycle, you’ll enter a whole world of awesome, unexpected gifts.
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
Multiple locations: 3733 W. Ina Rd., 3330 E. Speedway Blvd., 6230 E. Speedway Blvd.
We really can’t say enough great things about Bookmans. Arizona is lucky to have all six Bookmans’ locations, and Tucson is even luckier to have half of those. While the obvious gift here is a book, you might as well just plan a whole dedicated holiday shopping trip to your nearest Bookmans. Because you can also pick up video games, movies, instruments, enamel pins and whatever else you happen to find hanging out in their bookshelves. And if you don’t feel like choosing between all that, they also sell their own gift cards!
Old Town Artisans
201 N. Court Ave.
Within the century-old adobe walls of downtown’s Old Town Artisans are a series of small walkways and walls containing a treasure trove of local desert art. The multiple shops housed within range from designer clothing to vintage knick-knacks to Native American jewelry to contemporary art. Old Town Artisans is like an antique mall all its own, but with an even broader inventory. The shops are just as fascinating and charming as their surroundings, and that’s saying something.
Silver Sea Jewelry
330 N. Fourth Ave.
The mermaid in the window is only the beginning of the charm and mystique at Silver Sea, and a good representation of it, too. We’re sure you can find a nice piece of jewelry for almost anyone at Silver Sea. But for the friend or significant other of yours who holds a penchant for sterling silver or turquoise tones, Silver Sea can be a dream come true. While their pieces can come from all over the world, they also sell many locally handcrafted pieces of jewelry. Buy a piece of the sparkling sea from right here in the desert.
Wooden Tooth Records
426 E. Seventh St.
Whether you want to buy a gift to add to your friends’ record collection, or help a friend begin their vinyl journey in the first place, Wooden Tooth is a great bet. Independent and specializing in “all things vinyl,” Wooden Tooth has a great collection of both new and used records. They even sell turntables, stereo equipment and vinyl care products. And if you aren’t sure which album to buy your friend, chances are Wooden Tooth will already be spinning some pretty great tunes to inspire your purchase.
6208 E. Speedway Blvd.
Well, we’ve got to give Mostly Books the award for most honest store title. Even if that’s not all they sell, the books are the stars of the show at Mostly Books. Be it used or new, classic or independent, this charming independent bookstore most likely has it in their expansive stock. Mostly Books even hosts a “Book Lover’s Surprise” subscription, where you or a friend can sign up and get a new book every month. And if you’re not sure what to buy, the staff will be more than excited to talk books with you.
5251 E. Speedway Blvd.
7745 N. Oracle Road
A gift from Summit Hut can either serve as an accessory for your already outdoorsy friend, or a suggestion that someone needs to get out more. Either way, this awesome locally owned store has something for everyone who likes to move: camping equipment, running gear, fitness attire and even some pretty hardcore climbing tools. We’re especially fans of all the outdoors technology they sell there. If you buy someone a gift from Summit Hut, don’t be surprised if you see them scaling a nearby mountain, and don’t be surprised if the store’s employees are right there with them.
The Happy Saguaro
7974 N. Oracle Rd.
Whether you lived in the region your entire life or you’re a new transplant, there’s just something beautiful and eye-catching about Southwestern art that leaves people wanting to fill their halls with ristras and scenes of the desert. If you’re on the hunt for the gift of beautiful, handmade pottery, metalwork, art and Native American jewelry, look no further than The Happy Saguaro, nestled on the south end of Oro Valley. Some of our personal favorites include the Talavera pottery.
The Shops at Tohono Chul
7366 Paseo del Norte
Few (if any) places in Tucson come close to capturing the beauty of Southern Arizona’s native plant life as Tohono Chul’s gardens, but that’s only the start of it. In addition to the breathtaking nature, Tohono Chul is also home to a marvelous collection of local and unique art, regional foods, Southwest books, handcrafted jewelry and so much more in The Shops. Looking to get someone a potted plant of a leafy new friend? Tohono Chul’s retail greenhouse is open year-round, complete with plant experts who will help you find the perfect present.
University of Arizona Bookstore
1209 E. University Blvd.
While it may be located in the heart of the University of Arizona campus, the UA Bookstore is home to a wide selection of official Arizona Wildcats gear—ranging from the standard hoodies and T-shirts to “A” cookie cutters, nail polish and piggy banks. Whether you’re shopping for a Wildcat in the family, or just looking to show a little pride in the university, the best gear comes from the source. And yes, you can even buy a Wilbur and Wilma cake topper, because why not?
5620 E. Pima St.
Open seven days a week and full of more foliage than you can even imagine, Harlow Gardens is for all intents and purposes an oasis hiding in central Tucson. Since its humble beginnings 70 years ago, the gardens have provided outstanding customer service and some of the most beautiful plants in town. Service doesn’t stop at the cash register, though, as Harlow Gardens also offers landscaping and irrigation services so that your new friends stay watered and lit.
351 N. Fourth Ave.
Is there someone on your holiday shopping list that loves the smell of patchouli, wears Bob Marley T-shirts and can’t help but put up a peace sign whenever they see someone they know? Well, there’s a place just for that kind of person, right in the center of Tucson’s most eclectic district—Fourth Avenue. If the name isn’t enough of a giveaway, Hippie Gypsy is possibly Tucson’s most iconic smoke shop and is the only business that can really call itself a “hippie emporium.” Buy some tie die, boho fashion and cool sunglasses, to surprise your favorite free spirit this year.
3235 E. Allen Rd.
Spread out across 13 acres in the Catalina Foothills region, Green Things can only be described as a plant lover’s paradise that’s filled pots full of foliage since 1970. There’s a wide variety of plants to sort through, including annuals, geraniums, houseplants, cacti and plenty of agaves, succulents and plenty more. If you’re looking to learn more about the delicate art of keeping something alive and impart that wisdom to whomever receives your gift, the bevvy of experts on site are more than capable of teaching you a secret or two. If you’re interested in a fun day, take your favorite friend out for mimosas and succulents.
Golden Goose Thrift Shop
15790 N. Oracle Rd.
First things first, this isn’t just some dirty thrift store located in a dingy strip mall. The Golden Goose has been a favorite spot for Tucson’s northside residents for well over a decade thanks to their wide selection of antiques, heirlooms, artwork, collectibles and plenty, plenty more. Not only does this fine establishment stock some pretty neat gifts, all profits go towards Saddlebrooke Community Outreach and Impact of Southern Arizona. Support a good cause while you shop!
3035 N. Swan Rd.
All it took was a trip to Greece for Diana Madaras to realize her true calling as an artist—and we’ve been reaping the benefit of her inspiration for decades in the form of iconic paintings depicting desert flora and fauna. She’s won numerous awards and been featured in various museums, and now you can gift a Madaras original to a loved one this holiday season.
411 N. Fourth Ave.
There’s nothing better than a locally-owned bookstore, and Antigone is just that. The Fourth Avenue institution sells a host of holiday items that are sure to be hits with anyone on your gift-giving list. Antigone has a helping of soft-and-hard-cover novels, as well as assorted knickknacks that your loved ones will cherish. The longtime literary haunt also has a host of items that are sure to be a great addition to any household, such as kitschy dishtowels and colorful socks.
Blue Willow Restaurant and Gift Shop
2616 N. Campbell Ave.
Blue Willow isn’t just one of the best breakfast/brunch/lunch spots in the Old Pueblo, it also features a jewel of a gift shop with a host of can’t-miss items that are perfect for filling a stocking or two. Blue Willow has a host of fun (and sometime obscene) signs, socks and items—meaning they’ll be surefire hits with anyone looking for a hearty laugh along with a heaping helping of love in their holiday gifts.
Why I Love Where I Live
267 S. Avenida Del Convento, Bldg. 2
This merchandising company has become a mainstay thanks to its iconic and unique host of Tucson-centric designs on its apparel. They recently opened an outpost at the Mercado San Augustin Annex, selling all their locally made goods to the public. The company’s Instagram states a desire to, in their words, “Encourage people to love where they live and engage in local community.” It’s hard to argue that wearing their Old Pueblo-loving apparel doesn’t inspire a bit of pride in our lovable stomping grounds.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 N. Alvernon Way
Tucson’s midtown gem started in 1964 when a horticulturalist named Harrison G. Yocum opened a garden on North Jefferson Street. Five decades later, the Botanical Gardens has become a must on any plant lover’s list, hosting a wide array of flora and fauna and a helping of gifts. Consider providing someone with a membership that will get them free admission for a year and other benefits!
2790 N. Campbell Ave.
What could be more Tucson than an authentic, western-style hat? Well, Arizona Hatters on the corner of Campbell and Glenn offers just that and more, with a host of hat styles on its shelves ranging from cowboy numbers to fedora, trilby, pork pie, gambler, golf and hiking caps. Arizona Hatters has operated in the Old Pueblo since 1935, though it was taken over by new ownership in 2016. Its trusty service and wide selection of hats has earned it a loyal following, meaning it’ll be the perfect place to buy a hat or cap for anyone on your holiday list.
The Book Stop
214 N. Fourth Ave.
You can find everything from a first-edition version Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail to a 19th-century map of Arizona at The Book Stop, which is pretty neat if you ask us. This literary haven has been a trusty stop for bookworms and history aficionados alike for a long time due to its eclectic mix of items and the simple fact that you can get lost in books for hours and not even notice.
2001 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson’s most well-known thrift store traces back to when Kerstin Block opened the retailer’s first location five decades ago. Fast-forward to today, and Buffalo Exchange has become a juggernaut in the industry, with 50 stores stretching across 19 states. For all their nationwide success, Buffalo Exchange maintains its headquarters in our fair city, and deserves your hard-earned holiday giving as a result. The resale retailer is sure to have the right gift for whoever you’re looking for, with a host of unique items for men, women and the kids in your life.
Midtown Mercantile Merchants
4443 E Speedway Blvd.
Midtown Mercantile Merchants is one of the best antique malls in Tucson and carries just about everything under the sun. Do you have a cook on your shopping list? Gift them some beautiful, copper cookware. Maybe your cousin is obsessed with knick-knacks from yesteryear. They have shelves and shelves of items with lots of personality to please the person in your life who wants someone no else has (except for maybe grandma). This antique mall has been a favorite holiday shopping ground for Tucsonans for years and there’s a good reason for it. Gift someone with a little piece of the city’s history this season.
200 S. Park Ave.
Tucked off Broadway Boulevard is the hidden shopping oasis that is the Lost Barrio warehouse shopping district. There’s about five shops where you can find imported and custom furniture, art and everything something might need to decorate a hip, eclectic home. If you know someone with a flair for color, style and culture, you can’t go wrong with something from any of these shops. La Casa Mexicana is especially great for cute Dia de los Muertos figurines and handmade clothes.
Rustic Candle Company
324 N. Fourth Ave.
Who doesn’t like to open up a present to find a beautiful, fragrant candle to fill their home with their favorite smell? Rustic Candle Company makes their candles right in house in an array of colors, sizes and fragrances. Additionally, they sell a great selection of incense, gifts and everything you need to display your hand-crafted candle, like pretty sconces. From sage cedarwood to sugar cookie, there is a perfect candle for everyone on you shopping list. Why stop at one? With the variety available in this Fourth Avenue shop, you could find something special for each room of the house.
Top Deck Towers Cards & Games
3805 W. River Rd.
By gamers, for gamers. Founded two years by two local gamers, Top Deck Towers Cards & Games is a collectible game and hobby store located on the north side that offers a fun, safe and enjoyable environment for all your nerdy needs—or the needs of any gamers on your holiday shopping list. Looking for a new tabletop adventure? They’ve got you covered. On the hunt for the latest card release? Look no further. Games, accessories and more, it’s all about embracing your inner geek and filling a stocking with the newest, coolest collectible.
Arizona Zipline Adventures
35406 S. Mount Lemmon Rd.
Have you ever wondered what the Catalina Mountains look like as you’re flying through the air, wind roaring in your ears? Explore the local natural environment in the most exciting way possible at Arizona Zipline Adventure, where breathtaking views and groundbreaking adventure is on the menu. After you’ve had your fill of ziplines for the day, which isn’t even possible, there are trails to hike, gold to pan and plenty more to do out in Mother Nature. Get the adventurous type on your list a gift certificate to fly through the clouds.
Color Me Mine
4500 N. Oracle Rd., #166 (Tucson Mall)
5870 E. Broadway Blvd., #268 (Park Place Mall)
Sometimes, the best gift is art—we all know that. But, do you know what’s even better than art someone else painted? Painting something with a loved one, and creating some pleasant memories along the way. Either buy your loved one a gift card so they can experience the simple bliss of picking out a ceramic object to paint, or paint them something yourself. It’s also a great time with kids.
5870 E. Broadway Blvd. (Park Place Mall)
Some people like to play video games to blow off steam, others like to exercise, and the more artistic types among us even turn their pent-up emotions into beautiful paintings, sculptures, drawings and more. If you know someone who needs to blow off a little steam in a creative way, send them over to Arte Bella and toss a smock on them so the creative experts can show them the way to artistic bliss. From beginners to experts, this is the perfect spot for some personal expression on the canvas—so get a gift card!
Sonoran Glass School
633 W. 18th St.
Put someone on your gift list right in the hot seat with a gift certificate to Sonoran Glass School. The school offers a variety of classes in glassblowing, torchworking, kiln-firing and more where participants will walk away with a unique piece of glass art they created themselves. Gift certificates can also be applied towards items for sale in their gallery as well. If your gift recipient isn’t a fan of fire or not big on art classes, they offer plenty of glass giftware ready to go straight into a gift bag.
Skinology Skin and Body Studio
4249 W. Ina Rd., Ste. 105
From facials to the stress buster massage, Skinology has a version of pampering for everyone in your family. This skin and body studio offers e-gift cards which you can load with cash and send instantly to the person in your life who deserves a spa day. While it might only take a couple hours to get a treatment, the glow and relaxation will last for days to come. Plus, there are a number of great body-care products that would make great stocking stuffers or luxurious gifts for someone who would rather create their own spa experience at home.
Desert Artisans Gallery
6536 E. Tanque Verde Rd., #120
The colorful Desert Artisans Gallery is filled with a feast for the eyes of an art lover. Featuring a mix of watercolors, oil, acrylic, photography, jewelry, ceramics and more, there is a locally crafted piece that will look great on someone’s wall or mantlepiece. A gift from the gallery is excellent for people who love the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, a subject depicted in many of the art pieces on display. The gallery regularly hosts holiday shopping events, like their Christmas Bazaar, where they feature handmade ornaments by their local artists.
4811 E. Grant Rd. #15
For the cinephile in your life, what better gift to give than movies? We recommend you gift them an entire movie theater loaded with new releases, the best concession stand foods and super comfy seats. A gift card to Roadhouse Cinemas gives your loved one access to movies on the big screen and the theater’s full menu of food. If your gift recipient likes a nice, cold beer with their serving of popcorn get them a roadie beer glass, a special branded cup that will keep that ale cool through even the longest, most epic superhero movie.
Valley of the Moon
2544 E. Allen Rd.
Midtown Tucson’s hidden fantasy world is one of our local treasures: Created way back in the 1940s, this collection of castles, tunnels and paths is the stage for fun shows about fairy tales and Halloween magic that ultimately teach lessons about the importance of kindness. Sprinkle a little fairy dust their way and support this local magic with the gift of a membership that includes free admission and other bonuses. Learn more at tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com.
3370 E. Speedway Blvd.
Vinyl is having a moment right now, with record sales earning $224.1 million in the first half of 2019, according to Rolling Stone Magazine. Zia Records is a great place to start or continue your own collection, with a host of records stretching across genres and decades. Zia also has an amazing selection of band and music-related apparel, which means it’s sure to have that special something for the music-lovers in your life. And what better gift is there than turning somebody on to the next band they’ll love?
Mildred & Dildred
2905 E. Skyline Drive #186 (La Encantada)
Mildred & Dildred is like a local imaginarium chock full of gifts to inspire creativity and play for the kiddos in your life. With a wide variety of hand-picked toys, games, puzzles, plushies and more, there’s a gift that will light up children’s’ eyes, and most likely their parent’s, too. Though it has a nice boutique feel, there is something for everyone’s price range in the store. Since the location itself is such an experience, opt for a gift certificate so your recipient can walk around and test out the different toys and games.
2595 N. First Ave.
Everyone has a special nerd in their life and there’s no better place to find the right gift for just about any fandom than Fantasy Comics. This comic book store has all the latest releases of books, comics, graphic novels and manga, as well as a great supply of back issues. It’s far more than just a comic book store, as they have a huge variety of games, collectables and everything necessary for an epic roleplaying quest. If you are overwhelmed with the options, just talk to a knowledgeable employee who can guide you to something fun for that superhero in your universe.
Deco: An Illuminating Experience
2612 E. Broadway Blvd.
One of Tucson’s best historic features is its collection of iconic neon signs, many of which can be found inside Ignite Sign Art Museum on the Sunshine Mile. Inside the museum lives Deco, a bright gift shop filled with Tucson vibes. Each item in the store is unique, featuring Tucson art and neon jewelry. We recommend picking out a miniature, card or magnet that features one of your favorite neon signs in town for the history buff in your life. If you are buying a gift for someone creative, consider picking out some beads from Deco so they can make their own jewelry.
Chicago Music Store
45 S. Sixth Ave.
5646 E. Speedway Blvd.
What do you get for the musician who has everything? You get them more instruments, of course, or music books, maybe some new guitar picks and a fresh pair of drumsticks. Chicago Music Store is a music-lovers paradise and a great place to find musical instruments and accessories. If your loved one’s violin has been sounding a little tired, why not give them the gift of a repair from one of Chicago Music’s talented repair staff?
Mynd Spa & Salon
3666 E. Sunrise Drive
Most of us are so busy in our daily lives it’s hard to take the time to treat ourselves. Force your favorite hard worker to relax with a gift card to Mynd Spa and Salon (formerly The Red Door), nestled in the gorgeous Catalina Foothills at La Paloma Resort. Each gift card actually comes in a pretty gift box with your own personalized message and can be used for both products and services. One of the most memorable gifts you can give is the treat of an experience someone probably wouldn’t splurge on for themselves.