Tucson's 4th Avenue is a well-known street that has an electric flavor and is a great destination for shopping and dining. The well-known shopping strip of 4th Ave is located about 1.5 miles away from the main campus of The University of Arizona. One thing about this area that is very nice is that the Sun Link Light-rail Modern Street Car connected 4th Ave to a few other popular destinations in Tucson such as Congress Street and Main Gate Square. 4th Avenue is a very lively atmosphere and has a a multitude of shops and many different ethnicities of food. When exploring 4th Avenue you are almost always going to come across some live music being played on the street. This environment is always changing and growing but at the same time continues to provide a feeling of familiarity with local favorite food, shops, and people.

 From costume shops, to thrift shops to souvenir shops, antiques and jewelry, books, clothing and more, you will almost always find what you are looking for when strolling down 4th Avenue, the variety of stores are endless. Although this may sound like your typical shopping strip it is most definitely not, every shop on the strip has a very unique presence and gives off that electric hippy vibe.  Almost every shop has vibrant colors on the outside of it or a “vintage” looking presence. 

A list of retail shops on 4th Avenue:

  • A Foam and Fabric Place
  • Antigone Books
  • Borderlands Trading Company
  • Cabat Studio
  • Celestial Rites
  • Church of Satin
  • Co-Op Grocery
  • Creations Clothing
  • Creative Ventures
  • Desert Vintage
  • Everest Souvenirs
  • Handcrafted Tile Inc.
  • Hippie Gypsy
  • How Sweet It Was
  • International Market Place and Boutique
  • Kanella’s
  • Little Bird Nesting Place
  • Moon Smoke Shop
  • Nowhere to Land | A Shop Full of Treasures
  • Olytata
  • Ordinary Bike Shop
  • Pop Cycle
  • Preen
  • Razors Edge
  • Rustic Candle Company
  • Silver Sea Jewelry
  • Telegram
  • The Other Side
  • Third Eye Arts
  • Tres Boutiques
  • Zoe Boutiques
  • ZT Boutique

Desert Vintage is a shop that takes an elevated approach to vintage, indigenous looking clothes and accessories. It is an artsy shop that takes the vibe of Tucson to an extent. They sell everything from clothes, to handmade bags, and even some executive art pieces. 

Mabel’s on Fourth Ave, just recently closed was one of my family's favorite shops to check out every time they visited Tucson. Mabel’s is a Kitchen supplies shop that has anything you could think of when it came to cooking supplies. Not only do they sell kitchen supplies, but they create their tools to appeal to the buyers. Kitchen aprons with punny remarks having to do with cooking, Arizona themed cookie cutters, kitchen mixers, signs, creative shot glasses. Mabel’s has it all. It is a mothers heaven. If you’re looking for a gift for one of your cooking skilled family members, your grandmother or mother, this is the perfect spot to find something they would adore. 

 The Fourth Avenue neighborhood is an edgy, folk-art, hippie attraction. The overall vibe of Fourth Avenue is a throwback setting from the 70’s. One of the most iconic shops on Fourth Avenue is Hippie Gypsy. Hippie Gypsy is a shop that includes old school tye-dye retail, incense, tapestries, boho fashion, posters, CBD products, etc. Every amentitie that comes to mind when you think of a hippie 1970’s vibe and what those entail, are sold at Hippie Gypsy. The shop is very hard to miss with it’s murals all over the outside of the building. From the Beatles, to Bob Marley, this shops outer look directly displays what you’re in for before even walking inside. I would highly recommend Hippie Gypsy to any person visiting Fourth Avenue if you are looking for that throwback feel. 

 

Along with all the interesting and unique retail shops, 4th avenue also contains a wide range of amenities and services. Whether you are looking to get a new tattoo, a haircut, a good workout in or just looking to have a nice day at the spa you will definitely find something to do when visiting 4th Avenue. Within this eclectic environment you can find almost any kind of tattoo parlor as well ranging in many varieties of styles and well known artists this is definitely a safe bet for some ink.  If you are really looking to explore the area why don’t you visit “Roll With It” and take a guided tour on a segway or head on over to “Tucson Bike Tours” and cruise through the area on a nice bike? If Biking isn't quite your style 4th Avenue is also home to the last remaining locally owned and operated skateboard shop BLX. BLX provides a friendly and authentic staff immersed in skate culture providing a greatly needed service to the community including large skateboarding events as an outlet and way for skateboarders to become noticed in their craft. The shop also invites local artists and clothing manufacturers an outlet to sell and showcase their merchandise. If you are looking for a yoga session to unwind from a busy week or a rough day head on in to 4th Ave Yoga.

 

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List of Services and Amenities on 4th Avenue:

  • 4Forty4 Tattoo
  • 4th Avenue Hair
  • 4th Avenue Service Station
  • 4th Avenue Yoga
  • Barb’s Frame of Mind
  • Bix Furniture Stripping
  • Black Rose Tattooers
  • Coyote Wore Sideburns Salon
  • Crow Tattoo
  • Elements in Balance Salon and Day Spa
  • Historic Y
  • Magic Fun Store
  • Pharoah's Horses Tattoo 
  • ZUZI Dance Company
  • Red Sky Studio
  • Sacred Art Tattoo
  • Hi-Tech Computers
  • Mi Corazon Spa and Boutique
  • Roll With It! Segway Guided Tours
  • The Rogue Theater
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Tucson Bike Tours
  • Tucson Improv Movement
  • United Fire Equipment Company
  • WestWordVision
  • WGH Woodworking 

Sacred art is the most trusting, and reliable tattoo parlour in Tucson. The people working at sacred art know exactly what they’re doing and can see your vision clear as day. Sacred art loves their customers and are very accommodating. A cool thing about Sacred art is their Friday the 13th sale. Every Friday the 13th they let you pick off a list of tattoos and will give it to you for just 13$!   

 

As for restaurants the options are almost endless. Along with the many great places to eat there are also a few bars and lounges whether you are looking for some drinks in an intimate bar or a loud party scene, 4th Ave has just about everything for every type of person. All of the restaurants on 4th Avenue are definitely one-of-a-kind and than just your average restaurant. Most of the restaurants on the strip are locally owned and operated so they each have a very unique feel to them and great original menus. There is a very ride range of different cultural food from Mexican to Greek, American, Italian, French and many others, you can almost always find something to satisfy a specific craving and hunger - or hangover.

 

 

A List of Restaurants on 4th Avenue:

  • The B-line Restaurant
  • Bison Witches
  • Brooklyn Company Pizza
  • Bumbsted’s Restaurant
  • Café Marcel
  • Café Passe
  • Café Zope
  • Caruso's Italian Restar
  • Chocolate Iguana
  • Dairy Queen
  • Delectable’s Restaurant Catering
  • Epic Café
  • Food for Ascension
  • La Indita
  • Lindy’s on 4th
  • Magpies Pizza
  • Martin’s Comida Chingona
  • Maya Quetzal
  • Medusa Kabob House
  • Pancho Villa’s Grill
  • Revolutionary Grounds
  • Time Market
  • World Wide Wrappers 

The next attraction I want to talk about and highly recommend visiting is Time Market. Time Market is a rustic, urban, a market that is not only a place where you can buy your local produce, it is also a restaurant, cafe, grocery store, bakery, and a bar. When you first walk into Time Market, the initial vibe is an up to date rustic hang out. The general public of Time Market are middle age characters who seem laid back, hipsters, trendy, and overall entail the Fourth Avenue Vibe. They have any kind of soda pop which is something that reminds me of how shops used to be in the 70’s. There is an incredible LED sign that says Time Market, as well as photos of the old Time Market back in the 60’s before renovations. The restaurant serves everything from sandwiches, salads, incredible desserts, pizza, and creative dishes. If you are coming to Tucson looking for a yummy, laid back, vibey place to hang and have a coffee or even a first date, Time Market is your place!

For someone looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant, La Indita is the place to go. La Indita is a long time Tucson landmark, and you can tell just by the first look at the place. The building is a Mexican style white walls with uneven window holes, that make it look like a house you would see on vacation in Cabo. The owner of La Indita brings his Tarascan ancestry to every plate. Almost every recipe on the menu comes from his grandmother. This place is one of the rarest Tucson gems. I always say that the way you can tell if a Mexican Restaurant is going to be as flavorful as you expect is through the salsa. And theirs is the absolute best! The restaurant is fully family runned which makes it even better because you can tell how much this family cares about pleasing their customers and they all know exactly what they’re doing. Highly recommend La Indita for a dinner date or even a business lunch. 

Craving a yummy piece of mixed berry pie? The B-Line is a perfect brunch spot for a casual date, a lunch break from work, or even a night craving. The B-Line has an excellent breakfast and lunch menu and it is a perfect place to unwind. If you’re walking around Fourth Street spending the day shopping or even just strolling through and need a pick me up, the B-Line is the perfect place. The B-Line has an array of desserts in their bakery, but what their known for is their pie selection. If you go to the B-Line hungry, it’s likely that you will leave with four different types of pie you never even knew existed. 

 

 

List of Bar and Lounges on 4th Avenue: 

  • Che’s Lounge Bar
  • IBT’s Dance Bar
  • Maloney’s Tavern
  • Medusa
  • Mr. Head’s
  • Plush
  • Sky Bar
  • The Hut

Along with all the many shops, services and restaurants that 4th avenue has the fun doesn’t stop there. 4th Avenue is known for its endless list of activities and festivals that happen on the streets. One of the main and most famous events that they host is their annual street fair. There are two each year; the “Annual 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair” and the “Annual 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair”. The spring fair is usually hosted at the beginning of April and the winter fair is usually at the beginning of December and both last for three days and are open from 10am to dusk (usually 6pm). The street fairs admission is free the public and brings together over 35 food vendors, musicians’ street performers and over 400 arts and crafts booths. These two street fairs are Tucson’s largest art venue and a very well known tradition.

Besides 4th Avenue’s famous street fairs there are always a variety of activities and events offered every week from karaoke nights at Bumsteds, Penny drinks at Malloney's on Wednesdays, “Improv Throwdowns” at Tucson Iprov Movement, or “Saturday Night Starlets at IBT’s” there is always something fun to do on 4th Avenue. If you are not a regular to 4th Avenue and don’t know what is going on you can also check this website to find out what is happening during the upcoming weeks: https://tockify.com/fourthavenue/agenda

History: 

Fourth Avenue has not always been a commercial district and was not always an attraction with tattoo parlors, vintage shops, and hot topic restaurants. After the construction of the Fourth Avenue Underpass in 1916 is when it became a large commercial zone. Since 1916 when Fourth Avenue Commercial Historic District was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, Fourth Avenue has exploded with attraction. Since then, there have been countless new renovations and new attractions. Some of the first shops to open on Fourth Avenue, between 1916 and 1967 were good and supplies shops provided by the railroad and neighborhood warehouses. This is important because most of the commodities to first open on Fourth Avenue had to do with accommodating the public that was frequently visiting Fourth Ave. This public was mostly students, people that lived in the area, and small business owners. There were many mom and pop places on Fourth Ave, of course and there still are but the town has been renovated greatly since then, but still has the feel of a 1970’s disco hippie neighborhood. 

4th Avenue 

 

Retail- 4th Avenue Tucson features a diverse selections of specialty shops and boutiques to visit.  From bookstores that cater to local authors (Antigone Books) to stores that have a little something for everybody (Hippie Gypsy), you are sure to discover new interests on Fourth Ave.

Services- They say a picture is worth a thousand words... well, a picture in a frame from Barb's Frame of Mind is worth at least twice that.  While you're down here, visit the Historic Y (just off the beaten path) to catch a dance class or theater production.  It's a whole community packed into one office complex.

 

Events - Fourth Ave Tucson is known for the fun, family-oriented activities provided by local shops and business.  Be sure to check out the Fourth Avenue Street fair, featuring over 100 different merchants, exciting live entertainment, and food options you can't find anywhere else.

 

News - 4th Avenue is changing before our eyes.  Keep up-to-date with all the latest Tucson Light Rail (Modern Street Car) developments and learn about the evolution of the 4th Avenue Underpass.

 

Real Estate - There is nothing better than living near the light rail on 4th Avenue or Downtown Tucson.  You will have a world of entertainment and culinary options all within walking / riding distance.  Whether looking for a home or condo, 4th Ave is the perfect place to start your search. 

 

Service websites for further inquiry

http://www.sunlinkstreetcar.com/

https://www.tucsonaz.gov/park-tucson/where-can-i-park-downtown

http://www.fourthavenue.org/wildcarts-taxi-golf-cart-service/

https://fourthavenue.org/about/

Sources

http://www.fourthavenuetucson.com

http://www.fourthavenue.org

http://www.visittucson.org/includes/calendar-of-events/4th-Avenue-Winter-Street-Fair/3851/?fromMenu=0

#history #localhistory #tucsonhistory