Tucson 23 | Featuring JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa


This past weekend we made a little trip out to Tucson for some of the world's best Mexican food. We let the JW Marriott Starr Pass spoil us a little, and we stuffed ourself every hour on the hour with delicious food!

Did you know that Tucson is home to the most authentic Mexican food north of the border?? Most of these restaurants are found within a 23-mile area that includes the City of South Tucson, downtown and lower midtown. At these family-owned restaurants, the settings are casual and the ingredients are fresh. And most have been around a VERY long time.  

This happens to be the second annual event! And hopefully, the tradition will continue. I know I can't wait to go back. 

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance partners with title sponsor Visit Tucson and the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa for this cilantro filled event..  


We attended ceviche classes and tequila tastings, enjoyed the pool and the spa, and had too many delicious margaritas. And I wish it wasn't over!

It was our first time to Tucson, and I'm so happy we chose the JW Marriott Starr Pass. It felt like home, but a little more tropical and a lot more fun! This property FULLY embodies RESORT. 

Nestled against the saguaro-covered foothills of Tucson Mountain Park, JW Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort & Spa offers a tranquil yet animated mountaintop setting as natural as the surrounding desert itself. It surpassies luxury and personal service with family-friendly recreation, an incredible array of dining options and three nine-hole desert golf courses.


In attendance this year.. YUM YUM YUM.

Charro Steak
hurros el Rey
Crossroads Restaurant
El Charro
l Cisne Cocina da Mexico
El Coronado Family Restaurant
El Merendero
Fermented Tea Company
Gringo Grill + Cantina
La Estrella Bakery
La Botana Taco Grill
Omni Tucson National
[POPPED] Artisan Popcorn
Perfecto's Restaurant
Pima Community College - Culinary Arts
Queen Ceviche
Red's Smokehouse + Tap Room
Reforma Cocina
Restaurant Sinaloa
Rigo's Restaurant
Seis Kitchen
Sir Veza's Taco Garage
The Heartmade Company

Libation Participants
Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine
Barrio Brewing
Borderlands Brewing Company
Dos Equis
Day of the Dead Beer
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Tucson-City of Gastronomy/UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Taller de Grafica La Malinche - ART
Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food
Sol Design Studio - ART
Art by Eli- ART
Arizona Daily Star


There was also a little more FUN & CULTURE in attendance. . . .

"Mariachi" means a certain repertoire of music, a special grouping of instruments, and a distinctive style of singing that create an unmistakable sound unique in the world. It has special meaning for many Mexican Americans as an emblem of their cultural heritage and a source of pride and community connections.

Other activities included Dia de los Muertos Face Painting by Ruth Spies and Etienne Boeuf, an interactive art project, photo fun booth with special themed props, and live artist demonstrations!

Mariachi Mexteca
No music celebrates the historic culture and sounds of the Southwest quite like the traditional mariachi. 

Ballet Folklorico La Paloma is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the native folk dances of Mexico. By doing so, they hope to arouse pride and heritage in the Mexican-American Community. They seek to educate the general public through their colorful and entertaining performances.

Mariachi Estrellas De Tucson is a new community youth group in Tucson, Arizona. Directed by Jaime Valenzuela with instructors Rudy Valenzuala and David Gill.


We really enjoyed the Tequila Tasting and live music every afternoon. It was such a treat! Our room had an amazing view of the mountains and the pools. It was truly unforgettable! The resort is very large, but walking from one end to the other never took longer than five minutes. It is laid out very well, thankfully! Because there are so many fun activities to get to. 

Discover luxury without compromise at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. Perfectly situated amongst the saguaro-covered foothills of the picturesque Sonoran Desert, this resort welcomes you with beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, a remarkable range of luxury amenities and a fantastic location; they place the best of Tucson at your fingertips. Perfect your swing with championship course play at Starr Pass Golf Club, tantalize your taste buds with exceptional cuisine at one of our on-site restaurants, treat yourself to a day of pampering at the signature spa or simply relax by their stunning multi-level pool, which also boasts a waterslide and lazy river. They're definitely setting a new setting for contemporary elegance!

Resort VIBES

Signature Grill


Signature Grill features an inventive menu, inspired by three unique cultures: Native American, Mexican and Cowboy. Southwestern take on fine dining. Many of these recipes have been handed down through generations of local families.

Primo With Patio Dining


Satisfy your cravings with handcrafted Italian fare at Primo with Patio Dining. Renowned chef Melissa Kelly's restaurant highlights fresh ingredients grown on-site in the garden! 

Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar


Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar showcases some of Tucson, Arizona's most delicious barbeque. Savor house-made sauces, prime cuts of top-quality meats, traditional side dishes and much more at their signature restaurant.



Relax after a busy day in Arizona at Salud. They showcase desert-inspired cocktails, an extensive list of fine wines, outdoor patio space and impressive views of the surrounding landscape. Make sure not to miss the festive daily Tequila Toast at 5:30 p.m.

Plunge Poolside Dining


Plunge Poolside Dining is the perfect place to unwind. This casual poolside restaurant features salads, sandwiches, wraps and tacos, as well as a warm, welcoming ambiance. 


Hashani Spa was a dream come true. We both went for the deep tissue Hashani signature massage. It was more than needed before our little road trip back to Phoenix on Sunday morning. Such a great way to end a wonderful trip. 

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JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa hosted us for this event. All opinions are my own.