Things to Do In Tubac AZ

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Tubac Presidio Painting

Tubac Presidio circa 1774, a year before it was abandoned in favor of a new fort at Tucson. Painting by William Ahrendt .

Here are our recommendations for things to do In Tubac AZ 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 arts 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 Titan II Missile Museum 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 thank us later. Take the Guided River Walk Tour. In the meantime, you can find our 3 videos on this page on Tumacácori 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.

Annual Events
For a complete list of Tubac Calendar Of Events, click here.

Tubac Festival of the Arts

Tubac Festival of the Arts

February
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.

October
Anza Days
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.

December
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.

Tubac Dining

Click HERE for our Tubac area dining reviews.

Tubac Lodging

Tubac Golf Resort

Tubac Golf Resort

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.

Tubac Country Inn

Tubac Country Inn

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.

or the relatively new Poston House B&B. 

Best LodgingFor a list of more Lodging Reviews in Southern Arizona see our Lodging Review page.
For a map and reviews by area see our Lodging Maps and Reviews page.

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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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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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