750 West Starr Pass Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85713
Phone: (520) 624-4455
Fax: (520) 624-3172
Owner Tom Philabaum is renowned as one of America's best glass artists, with exhibits throughout the US, Mexico and Europe, and his gallery, Philabaum Glass, reflects his position in the art world, exhibiting more than 100 nationally and internationally celebrated artists. Apart from wandering around and appreciating the exhibits, you can view glassblowing at his studio and learn about the history of the studio glass movement. This place is open from Tuesday to Saturday at 10am.
Mercado San Agustin is located in the burgeoning Menlo Park neighborhood in downtown Tucson. This recently built structure houses about a dozen different shops and restaurants, all of them very unique and cool. For a unique handmade gift visit MAST, for some wine and cheese visit Blu, and for quality skin care products visit Estudio Piel. If you are hungry, head to La Estrella Bakery for some tasty baked goods.
Due to the Hispanic influence, Christmas in Tucson always takes on a specifically Mexican flavor. 'Las Posadas', a reenactment of the Christmas story, 'El Nacimiento', the nativity scene, and tamales are parts of the attractions offered at the annual Mexican Christmas Market downtown, which runs from mid-November into January. Enjoy shopping for your own Christmas celebration while learning about Mexican Christmas traditions and sampling the food from different Hispanic communities. Bring the kids.
Located in an old warehouse neighborhood just south of Broadway between Euclid and Campbell is an area affectionately known as the Lost Barrio. The barrio contains a row of importers and manufacturers of custom furnishings inside its old brick and adobe walls. The shops offer southwestern antiques as well as imports of decorative items from faraway places. This is a definite stop for the lover of ethnic and exotic styles. All stores here accept major credit cards.
This store is a leather fetish heaven. It's not just leather, but vinyl, rubber, lacy corsets, spiked collars and dance wear and shoes, for both genders. An entire walled-off bondage room displaying more extreme toys may be a fun place to browse for some. There is nothing seedy about it, though. This respectable establishment is frequented by the likes of businessmen and lawyers. Body piercing is available, as is surgical stainless body jewelry.
Old Town Artisans is a place not to be missed when sightseeing in downtown Tucson. The old adobe structure in the historic Presidio district invites visitors to explore its shops, galleries and restaurants, or to just sit and relax in the wonderful courtyard shaded by palm trees. It's a kind of art shopping center catering to tourists eagerly looking for souvenirs from the Southwest. In fact, it offers everything from Navajo rugs to dried prickly pear jam.
As one of the finest collections of jewelry and apparel in Tucson, Beth Friedman has been selling quality products. Many of her best clients are folks from out of town. She works with several Southwest Native American silversmiths and artisans to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry and clothing.
Located in the heart of downtown, directly opposite the bus transit center, this little smoke shop remains a fixture in Tucson since 1908. Featuring the Sunday editions of all major national as well as some international newspapers, and a truly impressive array of magazines (from girlie to literary), there is, of course, a variety of tobacco products and accessories. Check out the incense and cool key chains with cacti imprints.
Located in downtown Tucson, just across from the Outback, Zee's offers just about everything the Southwest and the rest of the world have to offer in rocks, artifacts and minerals. It's a large space filled with fossils, Asian stone sculptures, wood carvings, meteorites, and gold and silver jewelry. If you can't be here for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, check out this business instead to get an idea of what it's like.
The area around Fourth Avenue is probably the best place in Tucson to go look for souvenirs and Barbara Robinson's shop fits right in. She carries a great selection of art prints, some made by local artists showing Southwestern motifs, as well as other art posters of general interest. You may bring in your own poster for framing or pick one from her racks. Trust Barbara to give you advice on what frame would look best on your poster, she's been in this business for many years.
This store on funky Fourth Avenue offers a vast display of provincial Mexican and Southwest gifts and curios and is just the place to do your souvenir shopping. La Hormiga Blanca, (The White Ant in English), invites you to furnish your home in Southwest/Mexican style. The array of decorative mirrors from Mexico is impressive and you can choose from a selection of copper Kokopellis in all shapes and sizes or choose to decorate your walls with one of those scary-looking Mexican masks.
Situated in the funky but hip environment of Fourth Avenue, this bookstore specializes in books by and for women, inspired by the tradition of the ancient Greek heroine who lent her name to the establishment. Feminist essays, women's studies and lesbian material are represented along with the works of the famous women writers of all ages and nationalities. Recently, the store has expanded to include cards, calendars, jewelry and gifts; but books are still at the core of the business.