Vail is an unincorporated area southeast of Tucson.
This family-friendly suburb has mountain views, spectacular sunsets, plentiful sunshine, occasional snowdrifts in the winter, and plenty of wide open spaces.
Most people move to Vail for one or more of the following four reasons.
Most of the neighborhoods in Vail are cookie-cutter style new developments, which range in construction date from the early 1980s to 2022. That said, you can also find ranches, farms, and horse property on acreage at good prices in this area.
Although not in Vail proper, Rita Ranch, Civano, Sierra Morado, and Mesquite Ranch are other popular neighborhoods in the southeast Tucson area.
Most of the neighborhoods in Vail have Homeowners Associations (HOAs) due to the close proximity of the houses. HOAs typically preside over issues like weeds, illegally parked vehicles, visible trash cans, exterior paint colors, etc.
* NOTE: If you want to buy a home in Vail or Tucson, we recommend REALTOR Tim Sheaffer. Call or text him to see available properties: 520-305-9005. Even if you want to buy/build a brand new house, it's wise to bring a realtor with you on your 1st visit to see the model homes so that you have someone to negotiate on your behalf.
Most of the homes in Vail are single or dual story homes between 1200-2800 square feet. You'll see miles upon miles of houses in the exact same design and colors with matching landscaping.
There is much pride in the public schools in Vail. Helmed by Superintendent John Carruth, the Vail School District has held an important role in the community since its inception in 1903. Every school in Vail that is eligible to be an A+ school is one. There are currently twenty schools in the Vail School District, which serve over 12,000 students enrolled in K to 12.
The Vail School District is known for innovation and high standards. Along with its traditional schools, Vail offers a blended learning center, Vail Digital Learning, and an Early College program.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN VAIL
MIDDLE SCHOOLS IN VAIL
HIGH SCHOOLS IN TUCSON
Click here for attendance boundaries for schools in the Vail District. If you are north of Irvington Road/Old Spanish Trail or west of Wilmot, you are probably outside of the Vail School District boundaries and will need to enroll your child in the Tucson Unified School District.
CHRISTIAN/PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN VAIL
Creation School, a ministry of Christ Lutheran Vail, offers programming for toddlers, preschool, and elementary school (kindergarten through 5th grade).
There are no Christian School options for middle school or high school in Vail.
HOMESCHOOLING IN VAIL
There is a somewhat active homeschooling community in Vail and southeast Tucson. For more information about local groups and resources, see our homeschooling in Tucson page.
The churches in or near Vail are:
Some families choose to drive "into town" to attend Pantano Christian Church or Christ Community Church, two of the larger churches in east Tucson.
The restaurant scene in Vail is pretty dismal (it's true). The options tend to be standard fast food or chain fare: Arby's, Bruegger's, Carl's Jr., Dairy Queen, Freddy's, McDonalds, Nico's, Jerry Bob's, Panda Express, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dunkin', and Taco Bell.
Arizona Pizza Company, Montgomery's Grill & Saloon, Luckie's Thai-Asian Cuisine, Rancho Rustico, and Argenziano's are five locally-owned, sit-down restaurants. If you go to Argenziano's, try the calzones! Mmmm.
Vail boasts one of the best Fry's Food & Drug grocery stores in Southern Arizona. It's expansive and has a bountiful produce section, plus sushi, a deli, a bakery, and a pharmacy.
There is also a Safeway in Del Lago - with a fuel center, full-service Starbuck, juice bar, and produce department.
A Walmart Supercenter can also be found at Houghton and Mary Ann Cleveland Way.
The non-chain coffeehouses in this area are Tay's Brew House (in Corona de Tucson), Viva Coffee House (in Rita Ranch), and Vail Coffee Stop (a coffee truck). Starbucks, Dunkin', Brueggers, and Dutch Bros can also be found in this area.
Because Vail is unincorporated land in Pima County, it does not have the same advantages as towns and cities do in terms of development. This shows in its lack of parks, libraries, and community spaces.
Some (but not all) of the neighborhoods do have small community parks, but they do not offer the same amenities or appeal as larger city and regional parks.
The closest city park is Purple Heart Park in Rita Ranch, which has a playground, a dog park, a swimming pool, and a skate park.
***Exciting news! Pima County has begun development on a 274-acre Esmond Station Regional Park.
The W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library, located near Empire High School at Houghton and Mary Ann Cleveland Way, opened in February 2021.
Some people in Vail also frequent the Miller-Golf Links Library, which is between 15-35 minutes away (depending on where you live in Vail).
Stores you won't find in Vail include Target, Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Kate Spade, Pottery Barn, and high-end retailers.
The nearest Costco is about twenty minutes away.
Because the homes tend to be affordable and the school district has such a sparkling reputation, Vail attracts plenty of young and new families! On most streets, you will find lots of children of various ages.
Vail School District events tend to be the "hub" of community life in Vail - offering sports, extracurricular activities, carnivals, and family events.
You won't find a hot culture scene in Vail (no museums, bookstores, professional theatre, etc), but there are children's activities available if you look for them: Ballet Rincon, Springs Gymnastics, Vail Soccer Club, to name a few. You and your family may also enjoy hiking at the Gabe Zimmerman Davidson Canyon Trailhead at Cienega Creek.
You might NOT want to live in Vail if you...
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***Moving TO or WITHIN Tucson? We highly recommend TIM SHEAFFER of HomeLink Realty. As a Tucson native, he knows the ins and outs of the city. Call or text him today at 520-305-9005!