Things to do in Santa Cruz County AZ

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Amado, Arivaca, Ruby

The Girls by an Old West Saloon in Arivaca

The Girls

These white cows are affectionately known as “The Girls” in Arivaca, Arizona. Headed down the main street they appear to be headed for La Gitana Cantina, bragged on as being the oldest continually run saloon in the state, circa 1880. This scene is typical of the view you may see while visiting Arivaca. Quaint and slightly off center. The natives are friendly. There is alwaysa game afoot. Enjoy the outdoor patio. … Read On

Get your Southern Arizona Audubon Fields Trips here!

As every birder probably knows local Audubon Society pages are a great resource and reference for Birding and ecology. Check out the following page for Birding Trips. Audubon Field Trips Other events and Educational courses sponsored by Audubon can be found here. Audubon Events … Read On

Ruby Arizona: Our Best Ghost Town

Ruby Interviewing Howard

Ruby Arizona is about 12 miles from Arivaca. About half way there, the road goes from pavement to dirt. But it’s well-maintained and a standard sedan can easily travel on it (unless of course the area gets a hard rain). Again, do not rely on your GPS. ******************** Ruby was a mining […]

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The Village of Arivaca, The Ghost Town Of Ruby, & Sweet Peas Cafe’!

Arivaca Lakeshore

The road from Amado to Arivaca winds through rolling, mesquite-covered hills. It’s obviously very popular with cyclists, motor and otherwise.
Just before we arrived in town, we came to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge where, by appointment, we met and interviewed Richard Conway, a local geologist and Mary Scott, a seasoned birdwatcher and wildlife photographer.

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Amado Territory Inn – Near Tubac

amado_territory_inn

The Amado Territory Inn once had a very good restaurant although I see that their website now indicates dining room SNACKS, whatever that is. However, we have also walked their pleasant grounds, and wandered into their artist studios. I had a brief conversation with the new owner, Wayne, and seen the inside of their inn. I have not stayed here, but this looks like a fine place to overnight and dine in the I-19 corridor when you are visiting the missions and exploring Tubac Village, Titan Missile Museum, or Madera Canyon. It is also convenient to BANWR (Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge) and Arivaca. More info to come after I experience an overnight. For more Tubac Lodging see our Tubac Lodging page. For more lodging reviews see our Best Lodging listing page. Amado Territory Inn 3001 E. Frontage Road, Amado, AZ 85645 … Read On

Tubac and Tumacacori

The National Park’s Junior Ranger program

The Junior Ranger program exists throughout the National Park Service. Last weekend we took Anna and Isabella to Tumacácori National Park. Isabella (7) enjoyed finding the different pictures along the way. She received a badge and a certificate at the end. There are other Junior Ranger programs at other National Parks, including Saguaro National Park. Visit the National Park Website for more information. This article has been KID APPROVED. For more interesting ideas of Things to do with kids, some of the not very expensive, please see our page, “Things to do in Tucson with KIDS” … Read On

Elvira’s Restaurant – Tubac, AZ: A Review

Elvira's Tubac

Elvira’s is a restaurant name with which I am familiar. Since 1927, Elvira’s was located just across the border in Nogales, Sonora. And was justly famous for excellent Mexican cuisine and fine dining.

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Mission Tumacácori – Annual Events

Anza Day Mass

Each October the park hosts a commemorative Mass inside the Tumacácori mission church in conjunction with Tubac Presidio State Historic Park’s annual Anza Day celebration.

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Tubac Deli & Coffee Company

Tubac-Deli-logo

One of the better places to eat lunch in Tubac is the Tubac Deli & Coffee Company near the entrance to the Village. Coffee & Danish in the AM. Good sandwiches and salads in the PM. Or just stop in for a cold drink on a hot day. Tubac Deli & Coffee Company 6 Plaza Road, Tubac, AZ 85646 For Dining reviews of the Best Dining in Southern Arizona by Cuisine visit us here. For an Alphabetical list of Dining reviews of the visit us here. … Read On

Shelby’s Bistro

Shelby's Bistro Tubac

Shelby’s Bistro is a very good place to eat while visiting Tubac. It’s hidden away behind some shops and galleries and over a bridge on the south side of the Village, but once you’ve found it you’re in for a triple treat.

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Amado Territory Inn – Near Tubac

amado_territory_inn

The Amado Territory Inn once had a very good restaurant although I see that their website now indicates dining room SNACKS, whatever that is. However, we have also walked their pleasant grounds, and wandered into their artist studios. I had a brief conversation with the new owner, Wayne, and seen the inside of their inn. I have not stayed here, but this looks like a fine place to overnight and dine in the I-19 corridor when you are visiting the missions and exploring Tubac Village, Titan Missile Museum, or Madera Canyon. It is also convenient to BANWR (Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge) and Arivaca. More info to come after I experience an overnight. For more Tubac Lodging see our Tubac Lodging page. For more lodging reviews see our Best Lodging listing page. Amado Territory Inn 3001 E. Frontage Road, Amado, AZ 85645 … Read On

Wisdom’s Cafe’

Located on the frontage road just north of Mission Tumacácori, Wisdom’s cafe has been a family affair since 1944. Wisdom’s is justly famous for its fine Mexican food and margaritas.

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Madera Canyon

Bridge at Madera Canyon

Madera Canyon is a recommended side trip when you are in the I-19 corridor visiting the Missions, the Titan Missile Museum, or Tubac Village.The elevation ranges from 5,000-5,500 feet. The area is a birdwatchers paradise with over 250 species identified. This is part of the Coronado National Forest. It’s about 25 miles south of Tucson and 11 miles east of Green Valley. There are campgrounds and picnic areas and the extensive Santa Rita Mountain trail system is easily accessed from here. Detailed trail information and maps are available at each of the trailheads. Pets must be on a leash. At the lower end of the Canyon is a handicap-accessible nature trail. At the top are much more difficult hiking trails leading to 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson. … Read On

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Tubac Presidio Painting

Tubac is Arizona’s oldest European community. The 1885 furnished schoolhouse, Otero Hall, and Rojas House are all on the National Register of Historic Places. The Park features a small, but fine museum, an underground display of the Presidio ruins, Arizona’s first printing press, a picnic area, school house, church, and the Juan Bautista de Anza Trailhead.

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Wine Country - Elgin, Sonoita, Patagonia

Patagonia: Gateway to the Arizona Trail

Patagonia AZ Train Depot

Patagonia is an important gateway community to the Arizona Trail. The trail goes right through the town! In this video at 1m 45s you will meet Sirena Default, Gateway Community liason and Carolyn Shafer, Patagonia community activist who talks about the importance of Gateway communities to the Arizona Trail project. Take a hike, visit Patagonia. Stay a while. For our recommendations for dining, lodging, what to see and do in or near Patagonia, visit Things to do in Patagonia. CLICK HERE for a map of the Arizona Trail. Here are two other good resources. PatagoniaAZ.com Patagonia Area Resource Alliance … Read On

Mining Patagonia, an Environmental Impact Video

Circle Z Ranch, Patagonia AZ In this video, residents of Patagonia, AZ express their concerns about proposed mines in the Patagonia Mountains. We think they have good reasons for concern. If the Patagonia Mountains are mined, life in this largely rural community will be changed dramatically, and not for the better. Mining operations will destroy wildlife habitat; dry up wells and pollute whatever water remains available; kill the mature trees along the creeks that serve hundreds of bird species, and destroy the scenic beauty and ecotourism upon which many businesses depend. For an academic brief concerning these threats, please CLICK HERE. This video shared with permission. For more information visit the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance … Read On

26th Annual Patagonia Fall Festival

Glen-Powell-Art-011

The Best Not-So-Little Art and Music Festival in SE Arizona – Oct. 10, 11, 12 Experience the 26th Annual Patagonia Fall Festival This Weekend! Get ready for three great days of live music, entertainment and over 100 fine arts, crafts and diverse food booths in Patagonia as this quaint, historic Arizona town heralds the arrival of autumn with a celebration of music and art. Now in its 26th year, this free festival now attracts more than 15,000 visitors to the spacious tree-shaded park in the center of town for relaxed and cheerful browsing and shopping along the art-studded esplanade in what is, traditionally, near perfect weather. The Festival’s exhibitors are invited by juried vote to present the most unique and exceptionally high quality art and crafts, produced with the utmost care, creativity and craftsmanship. Beneath the white canopies you’ll find exquisite custom and mixed media jewelry, stoneware, pottery, tin cut luminaries, unique bird feeders, folk and contemporary collectibles, metal sculpture, Native American jewelry, blown glass, stained glass, Western hats and neon tie-dyes, stunning photography and floral design, beads and fetishes, custom furniture and furnishings, one-of-a-kind chimes, musical instruments and much, much more. Entertainment includes: • the Sugar Beats from Bisbee … Read On

Reisen Arizona Wine Tours Of Sonoita/Elgin Wineries!

Rancho Rossa Winemaker Chris Hamilton.

We had been searching for Arizona wine tours that we can recommend, particularly here in Southern Arizona. I mentioned this fact to Michael Foltz, owner/operator of Reisen Arizona Day Tours, that we at Southern Arizona Guide did not have a recommended tour company. Read On

Big Nose Kate’s Saloon To Overland Trout: A Pleasant Sunday Drive!

Big-Nose-Shaft

On the 4th Saturday of each month, Tombstone merchants on Allen Street have stayed open after sundown for an event they call Tombstone At Twilight. I photographed the goings on in January and had such a good time that I returned at the end of April 2014 with Ms. Karen and friends, Gary & Gini. The next day, we left Tombstone and Big Nose Kate’s and leisurely headed west on Hwy 82 to Sonoita and Overland Trout. We enjoyed the scenery and stopped at a few places of interest. Here are some photos we took along the way. … Read On

Pronghorn Released Near Elgin

Pronghorn Deer

The next time your are down Elgin way,headed to Overland Trout or some Wine tasting, keep a look out for the pronghorn deer. Their numbers grew by 40 last week. In this short video, Mike Foster tells you a bit more about their history in this area. Mike Foster, San Pedro River Videos, is an ardent supporter of the Friends of the San Pedro River which serves to educate people about the value of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). Please visit the site at: http://www.sanpedroriver.org and Friends of the San Pedro River on Facebook to join and learn more about conserving this important ecosystem. To learn more about the San Pedro River and the San Pedro Riparian Conservation (SPRNCA) Area, see our page dedicated to the river and its life. … Read On

Patagonia Lake State Park

Patagonia Lake Bridge from water

Many folks in Tucson don’t consider a day trip or overnight road trip to Patagonia and Patagonia Lake State Park because they think it’s too far. Read On

Tucson Day Trip 3: Southern Arizona Wine Country

Deer grazing near Sonoita

The dozen or so wineries in the little communities of Sonoita & Elgin are about an hour southeast of Tucson via scenic Hwy. 83.  The terrain here is very different from Tucson. No saguaros, but miles of rolling hills, tall grass & cattle herds. Empire Ranch More than a century before this was wine country, it was cattle country. The biggest ranch was the 100,000 acre Empire Ranch. You can visit what remains of it on your way from Tucson to Sonoita. Volunteers are working to restore the principle residence & out buildings. Inside the main house are simple exhibits with old photographs of the ranch and its ranchers. Definitely worth an hour’s detour. The Empire Ranch is located in the heart of the 42,000-acre La Cienegas National Conservation Area. Flowing through this preserve is Cienega Creek, a natural riparian zone that shows us what much of this region was like before the White Eyes established “civilization”. Today, Arizona has lost more than 90% of its original perennially flowing rivers and adjacent riparian areas.  So visiting here is definitely a look back in time about 150 years. (From I-10 take Hwy 83 south about 18 miles and turn left onto … Read On

A Day In Santa Cruz County

Harshaw Township Sign

Santa Cruz County is still sparsely populated and remains an excellent destination for bird and wildlife photographers, hikers, ghost town hunters, kayakers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Read On

Parker Canyon Lake

Parker Lake viewed through trees

It took me only about an hour & a half to get to Parker Canyon Lake from Tucson. My friends were pulling a small trailer and it took them about a half hour longer. The road is paved but narrow for about the last 10 miles. Read On

Tucson to Wine Country & Back Via Box Canyon – A Day Trip

Turn Left At This Sign

This is a very pleasant day trip from Tucson to the Wine Country of Sonoita & Elgin. When touring, we try not to back track and the route I suggest here takes you back through Box Canyon to Madera Canyon for a picnic, before heading back to Tucson via I-19 north of Green Valley. Read On

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