Best Tucson Loop Cycling: Start Downtown To Explore Tucson


Start at The Mercado on Congress and use The Loop to explore Tucson



TUCSON, ARIZONA – Cycling – Downtown Tucson is the vibrant cultural and nightlife center of Tucson and this is a popular place for people looking to start their Tucson Loop cycling vacation.


We recommend parking at or near the San Agustin Mercado less than half a mile off the Congress Exit. Here you can mingle with many cyclists at Presta Roastery (a “Best of The Tucson Loop”). Mercado San Agustin offers some tasty little eateries such as Seis Kitchen (famous for great tacos), Beaut Burger and La Estrella Bakery. La Estrella offers traditional Mexican pastries and pan dulce that you won’t find anywhere else in town.


San Agustin Mercado is where cyclists congregate for food and coffee.

Parking is generally easier to find here. You could think about parking around the Tucson Convention area as there are free parking opportunities there. The Mercado is very close to The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop. And be sure to stop by for their regular farmers markets. The Mercado area is a gentrified Tucson area that is rising in popularity.
Biking on Congress is practical as there is a good bike lane. You can navigate to Downtown and get on lower trafficked streets heading over to some great places listed below.

And Loop cyclists often start here because they are looking for a short hill climb ride as “A” Mountain (Sentinel Peak) is right around the corner.

“A” Mountain is a fun and very scenic place to take your road bike,” said Doctor James Lunney, who is also a cycling advisor for The Arizona Bicycle Association. “The view of Tucson is even more spectacular at night.”

Most locals consider this to be the center of The Loop. This particular area is not as scenic as the other finer parts of our bike path system such as Oro Valley, North Central St. Phillips Plaza or say the Harrison Greenway Loop spots. This is an ideal spot if you want to jump on The Loop and explore vibrant, exciting areas nearby. And these areas are great Tucson bike rides when you are looking for some fun family things to do in Tucson while cycling.


Tucson is famous for its murals and art!


There are few cities that has the unusual, crazy and amazing collection of murals as Tucson, Arizona. Go bike riding and look for every nook and cranny you can find and you will see some unusual stuff. The city of Tucson offers an online murals and map link for you to take this extraordinary tour.

Tucson has a taste for crazy art. Do a biking and murals tour in Downtown Tucson.

Fourth Avenue – a college and bohemian area with lots of restaurants, coffee shops and alternative existence shops.


The University of Arizona – Just several miles away and is quite possibly the most gorgeous college campus in the country today. Take your family and kids for a bike ride here and get them excited about going to a great university.


Sam Hughes Neighborhood – A picturesque and historic neighborhood bordering the University of Arizona campus. The streets have little traffic and are a great for taking your family and children.


Downtown Tucson – A downtown on the rise! Check out Hotel Congress and get to know famous Tucson outlaw John Dillinger. Hotel Congress is one of our favorite places to eat. They have a charming outdoor patio. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, ice cream shops mixed with lively history to be found. Downtown Tucson is now one of the most invigorating and up and coming center points in the USA today. Real estate is now pricey as young hipsters and singles hang out here to mingle.


Our favorite restaurants it the Downtown Tucson/Fourth Avenue area:


Caruso’s Italian Restaurant – Fourth Avenue


Since 1932, Caruso’s has been a main stay of the Tucson culinary scene and is a “must do” Italian restaurant to visit. A great place to take out that special someone, Caruso’s offers one of the most beautiful backyard patios in Tucson. If you happen to love Lasagna, make sure to head to this wonderful family restaurant.


Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink, Downtown Tucson


This is a fun place to enjoy their 28 rotating tap beers, eight tap wines and some delicious eats. Their beer garden offers both indoor and outdoor seating options. The communal style tables are perfect for conversing with current and strangers that you will turn into friends.


EXO Roast, Fourth Avenue


There are many locals who consider this the best roastery and coffee shop in Tucson today. This shop has a charming ambiance – like few others in Tucson. They now serve food and their coffee is delicious. We wish they would offer better accoutrements to go with their coffee. We love the inside brick interior.


Tap and Bottle – Downtown


Just next door to EXO Roast, there is the a place to get some really tasty draft beer and many, many bottles of foreign brew. Tap and Bottle is just the place for you and your friends. Have some coffee next door and then hit the bottle! Or, grab a beer then go to EXO to mocha up. The possibilities are endless.


Time Market – Near Fourth Avenue


This is an eclectic college hangout that is most known for their pizza and great sandwiches. Their choice of coffee is always spot on and they do offer some tap beer – albeit a bit pricey. They have one of the best covered outdoor patios in Tucson.


Tucson’s downtown scene is very much alive. Start your Oro Valley/Tucson Loop cycling vacation experience here get to know this spectacular southwestern city.