Location and Lodging

Located sixty miles north of the Mexican border, Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona (after the state capital of Phoenix), with roughly one million people calling the Tucson metropolitan area home. Indigenous people have lived here for more than 4,000 years, which makes Tucson one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in North America. Southern Arizona and the Tucson area form the ancestral homeland of the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui nations. Tucson’s current name derives from the one given to Sentinel Peak by the Tohono O’odham, “Ts-iuk-shan,” which refers to the fact that the base of the mountain is darker than its summit; the peak is the one with the A visible on it, in the first picture in our gallery on this page.

The varied landscape in this area includes flowering desert, rolling hills, winding dry riverbeds, rugged canyons, and pine-topped peaks, all beneath a clear blue sky (350+ days of sunshine per year). You won’t miss the saguaro cacti all over town, whose bloom is the state flower of Arizona (you’ll need to come back in May to see those though). Tucson is spectacular in the winter! While the city is at 2,389 feet above sea level and boasts average high temperatures of around 70 degrees Farenheit in February (lows of around 44 degrees), you may be fortunate to get a glimpse of snow in the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, soaring above at 9,000 ft. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see links to a vistor’s guide and things to do in the area.


The ICC Conference

For the first time since the initial ICC conference in 2008, we have placed the event right next to the University of Arizona, and–for the very first time–on the university campus itself: the 2024 Intercultural Competence will be held at the Graduate hotel and in the spectacular, state of the art University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building. Pre- and post-conference workshops will be at the Graduate, as will the poster session and reception on Thursday February 22nd. The papers, symposia, and plenary presentations on Friday February 23rd and Saturday February 24th will be at the Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB).

The hotel (930 E. 2nd Street) is about a mile from the HSIB (1670 E. Drachman Street). You can walk through the beautiful UArizona campus or take the free Sunlink streetcar. During most of the day, the streetcar departs every 15 minutes (on weekdays) or 30 minutes (at the weekend) from close to the hotel, with the final eastbound stop arriving just outside the HSIB; there is an app that will tell you when it is nearby. You can also take the streetcar in the other direction to head over to restaurants and shopping west of the university, and to the mercado district. We will provide maps and schedules closer to the event dates.

The Graduate hotel describes its interior as one that will immerse its guests “in local stories, history and Wildcat traditions, as creative interiors and college nostalgia come together for a stay that’s undeniably Tucson.” Boasting a rooftop pool and restaurant/bar with beautiful views over the university campus and towards the mountain ranges to the north and west, the hotel also has a fitness center, complimentary bike rentals, rooms with refrigerators, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

We have negotiated a conference rate of $259 (plus taxes and fees) for reservations made by January 10, 2024.

Booking at the Graduate

The room block that we negotiated at the Graduate was filled, and the booking deadline passed on January 10th. You might still be able to find a discount on lodging there if you call the hotel at +1 (520) 467 5900 and ask for the 2024 Intercultural Competence Conference rate. You can also look for rooms on their website.

Any cancelations at the Graduate must be received by the hotel by 4pm local time, the day before your reservation begins. To avoid an early check-out fee, guests should notify the hotel before check-in if they want to leave before their reservation period ends. Check-in is 4 pm and check-out is 11 am.



Other Lodging Options

Click on the map image to view a PDF version with links to the hotels.

In case the Graduate is not an option for you now, we are listing some hotels that are not too far from the University. These are suggestions, but not endorsements of any particular property.

The hotels closest to the ICC conference locations are the Marriott University Park hotel (right next door to the Graduate hotel) and the Aloft hotel (very near the HSIB building).

Some suggestions for other hotels that are downtown and further away, but within a third of a mile of the streetcar route (the first two are right on it) so it would be easy–and free–to get to the ICC conference:

A few hotels north of the University (you would need an Uber or car for the second two, or you can take the number 103X suntran bus north along Campbell Avenue, which is just east of the HSIB building):
Many University visitors stay at these, east of the university (but you’d need a car/Uber to get to the conference):

Transportation from/to Tucson International Airport to the Graduate Hotel

The Graduate is about 8 miles / 15 minutes from Tucson International Airport (TUS). The hotel does not have a shuttle to the airport, but there are several other transportation options available. Click the links below for more information about a particular method of transportation:

Uber(estimated AM cost from TUS to the Graduate hotel ~$20.95)  
Lyft(estimated AM cost from TUS to the Graduate ~ $19.86)
ShuttlesThere are a number of shuttle companies that operate within the Tucson area. Contact a company directly for information about fares.
Car RentalThere are seven companies from which one can rent a vehicle at the airport. Contact a company directly for rates.


Where to Eat and Shop

The Graduate hotel has a coffee shop on the ground floor that serves breakfast and lunch (Poindexter cafe, 6am-12pm daily), as well as the Moonstone, a rooftop bar and restaurant (Monday-Thursday 4pm to midnight; Friday-Sunday 11 am to midnight). There are many other dining options in the vicinity (e.g., in Main Gate Square just south of the hotel), but Tucson is a designated Unesco city of Gastronomy and there are lots of other places to try–Tucson has much to offer when it comes to delicious cuisine and unique shopping!

HSIB’s Bolo cafe is open Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, and has healthy and reasonably priced menu items. On Saturday, we are providing a registration option with which you can purchase a boxed lunch that will be delivered to the HSIB. However, there are many places about a half mile from the building (e.g., Unitea, Noodies, Miss Saigon, Rush Bowls, Berry Divine Acai Bowls, and Trident Grill, as well as Chipotle, McDonalds and Taco Bell), and more a half mile away in the Student Union to the south. You can also take the streetcar back to Main Gate Square or the hotel for lunch.

Tucson Attractions

Below are some resources that can help you plan your trip to the Tucson area:

    • The city’s Convention and Visitor’s bureau offers a general overview of the attractions in and around Tucson.
    • The University of Arizona and the nearby University Avenue, 4th Avenue, and downtown areas have a number of restaurants and lots of shopping.
    • Discover Arizona’s rich history by visiting the Arizona Historical Society located across from the Graduate hotel. To see a list of other museums on campus ranging from anthropology to photography visit the university’s Arts & Museums page.
    • The Fiesta de los Vaqueros, or the Tucson Rodeo, is taking place at the same time as our conference. Local schools are on vacation for rodeo break, a tradition that began in the days when families would be working the rodeo. Our favourite part of this event is the procession that takes place on the Thursday, billed as the world’s longest non-motorized parade. We built the conference schedule so that attendees can watch this Tucson tradition in the morning of February 22nd, before settling down to conference workshops and posters in the afternoon.
    • Tohono Chul Park is a botanical gardens with walking trails, art galleries, and a Bistro that serves southwestern cuisine and is well known to locals for its afternoon tea.
    • The Arizona-Sonora Desert museum is an outdoor museum located in the Tucson Mountains (approximately 25 min driving from campus). Part museum and part zoo, it showcases the ecology of the surrounding desert and is a truly unique destination.
    • Sabino Canyon is one of Tucson’s largest canyons and is just 2.5 miles from Ventana Canyon Resort. It is accessible both by tram and by foot, and usually has a river running through it in the winter. For the heartier of hikers, the Phoneline Trail and Blackett’s Ridge Trail leave the basin of Sabino Canyon for spectacular views overlooking the canyon and city.