Here are our recommendations for things to do In Tubac including: dining, lodging, history, and nearby attractions.
The historic Village of Tubac is about 45 minutes south of Tucson via I-19. Today, Tubac is mostly known as an art colony, but its centerpiece is the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
When the Spanish first came to this region, they build a presidio (fort) at Tubac and a mission 3 miles south at Tumacácori. Although they struggled mightily to hold on to these remote outposts, in both cases the Spanish were chased out by Apaches.
Today, you can spend a day leisurely perusing the Park’s exhibits and exploring the 100+ galleries, shops, and restaurants of Tubac.
As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, we do not recommend any particular art gallery, although several are exceptionally fine and among our favorites. Some of our framed art, our living room rug, and almost all of our patio furniture came from Tubac.
North of Tubac
Perhaps 20 minutes north of Tubac just to the west of I-19 is the Titan Missile Museum. If you have any sense of the Cold War, this place will scare the begeebers out of you. Click HERE for our video.
South of Tubac
About 3 miles south of Tubac on on the frontage road is Mission Tumacácori. This is a National Park. Just go. You’ll thanks us later. Take the Guided River Walk Tour. In the meantime, you can watch our 3 Tumacácori videos. Just click HERE.
On the frontage road between Tubac and Tumacácori is Wisdom’s Cafe’, one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants. Note: Wisdom’s is not open Sundays.
For an extensive Tubac Calendar Of Events, click HERE.
Tubac Festival of the Arts. This is a very big art show with everything from exceptionally fine paintings to whimsical sculptures.
There’s music and other performances as well as plenty of food options.
Intricately linked by a common history, Tubac and Tumacácori celebrate Anza Day together each October. The day starts with a mass in the old church at Tumacacori. Then, Anza and his horse soldiers ride from Tumacácori to Tubac along the Santa Cruz River on the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail. This is a fun day for the whole family.
You will enjoy the festivities all the more if you understand the amazing history of these two places. Click HERE for a very brief historical overview and a map of the 1200-mile route Anza took in 1775-76 with 30 families and their livestock. Then ask yourself if you would have taken your family along with your cattle and goats on this journey across harsh and unknown deserts peopled with American Indians who don’t much care for your intrusion. This journey would have been brutal, but somehow they all survived.
La Fiesta de Tumacácori
This Fiesta celebrates the primary cultures that make up Southern Arizona: Tohono O’odham, Spanish, Mexican, Pasqua Yaqui, and Anglo. The weekend party features around fifty food and craft booths, continuous live entertainment, and children’s activities each day. On Sunday, the day begins at 10:00 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center with a procession through the Fiesta grounds to the historic church, followed by a traditional Mariachi Mass in front of the church. The mission grounds and park are open throughout the weekend and admission is free.
Click HERE for our Tubac area dining reviews.
If you like staying at golf resorts, we recommend Tubac Golf Resort. It’s a little north of the Village.
They have about everything you’d expect from a fine resort: 27 holes of gold, Spa, Restaurants, Tennis Court, Room Service, etc.
If you’d rather stay in a cozy Bed & Breakfast right in the Village, we recommend Tubac Country Inn.
All rooms have their own kitchenette and private entrance. And they all overlook a private desert garden.