Surrounded by mountain ranges and nestled in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, Tucson is the second most populated city in the state behind Phoenix. Located in Pima County, the area markets a variety of home styles, from spacious ranch houses to Spanish Colonial and adobe. The real estate often feeds off the surrounding landscape, playing up the natural desert beauty and taking advantage of the mild winters and impressively hot summers.
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A large portion of the population lives in the beautiful suburbs outside of Tucson. Oro Valley and Marana are two of the major incorporated suburbs northwest of the city, with Sahuarita and South Tucson to the south. Downtown Tucson is divided into the Arts and Entertainment District, Barrio Viejo and the Presidio District, which is Tucson's oldest neighborhood. The Broadway Village shopping center is one of the main attractions of Central Tucson, designed by local and acclaimed architect Josias Joesler. Western Tucson offers a combination of urban and suburban development and is where you'll find the Santa Cruz River and the base of the Tucson Mountains. Just north of the city lies the suburban community of Catalina Foothills, where some of the area's most expensive estates can be found. The University of Arizona, one of the premier universities in the country, is situated in midtown, near the city's largest park, Reid Park.
Known to some as "Optics Valley," Tucson hosts a huge number of companies that are involved in designing and manufacturing optoelectronics systems. There are dozens of other tech companies with a large presence in the area, including IBM, Sanofi-Aventis and Texas Instruments. The University of Arizona is the city's second largest employer, behind Raytheon Missile Systems, and is responsible for a great deal of the local economic development. Another major industry in Tucson is tourism, with people traveling from all over the country to enjoy the desert resorts and scenic national parks.