The area that is now Oro Valley, Arizona, has actually been inhabited by native Americans since 500 A.D. In Catalina State Park, located in Oro Valley, there are remains of an Indian settlement that you can walk around and explore from that time. European Americans settled here after German George Pusch settled his ranch, known as... Show all »
The area that is now Oro Valley, Arizona, has actually been inhabited by native Americans since 500 A.D. In Catalina State Park, located in Oro Valley, there are remains of an Indian settlement that you can walk around and explore from that time. European Americans settled here after German George Pusch settled his ranch, known as steam pump ranch after the fact that water was delivered to the ranch via a steam pump - one of only two in all of the Arizona Territory.
Once dismissed as a sleepy retirement community, today's Oro Valley is anything but. The rolling hills of old ranches and farmland have now given way to a bustling area with new businesses arriving all the time. From the new shopping center under development, to the schools, parks and trails, there is evidence everywhere that Oro Valley is growing. "I love living in a quiet area with a low crime rate," says Jessica Fish, a new Oro Valley resident who is gearing up for her first ride in Tucson's premier bicycle race, El Tour de Tucson. "There are so many walking trails and parks, it makes it easy to train. And the commute to Downtown isn't bad - I just hop on the freeway and I'm there."
New growth abounds in Oro Valley dotting the land with strips of contemporary Santa Fe style homes by various builders. Because of the beautiful views, it has also become home to several neighborhoods of luxurious custom homes. Since the highway system in Tucson is limited, Oro Valley was mainly populated by retirees, telecommuters and commuters for quite some time. However, the widening of the main street leading into Tucson and the development of an outstanding school district has lead to more and more people and amenities heading north.
Oro Valley enjoys slightly cooler temperatures and more rainfall than does Tucson. Recognizing the active nature of the people who live here, as development has continued, so has the addition of parks, community centers and trails. Every Saturday morning you'll find a farmers market at the main community center, along with various seasonal festivals and celebrations put on by the Greater Oro Valley Council for the Arts. The council puts on such events as the Musical Magic for Kids performances each winter, the Oro Valley Festival of the Arts, the annual Independence Day Celebration, and a commission for public arts. One percent of the money spent on construction for industrial and commercial buildings in Oro Valley has to go to viewable public art.
Oro Valley residents also enjoy a Christmas parade each year and the Tucson Marathon, one of the fastest marathon races in the country. This unique local community also has several nationally ranked golf courses, resorts, a brand-new, state-of-the art medical facility in Northwest Hospital, and even a neighborhood that boasts a private air park.
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