Restored Silver King Hotel: Florence, AZ
Here are our recommendations for Things To Do In Florence, Arizona including: dining, lodging, plus some interesting history.
Florence is a historic Western town about 70 miles NE of Tucson via Route 79, the old highway between Tucson and Phoenix that saw heavy use before the Interstate was built. Now Rt. 79 is just a pleasant back road.
In 2009, True West Magazine named Florence #4 on its Top 10 True West Towns. A year later, Florence jumped to #2.
Restored Brunenkant’s City Bakery now houses the Florence Chamber of Commerce.
This high ranking is because Florence has preserved so many of its original buildings, such as the Old Courthouse and the partially restored Silver King Hotel.
Visitor Center, McFarland State Park & The Old Courthouse
A good place to start your visit to Florence is the Visitor Center located at McFarland State Park in the Historic District. Florence has over 140 historic buildings exhibiting architectural styles from the early Territorial Period to the 1950’s.
At the Visitor Center you can get the device you need for a self-guided audio tour that will take you around a 1.4 mile loop that highlights the most significant buildings in the Historic District. If you don’t require the audio version, you can download the walking tour map HERE. Read More
Southern Arizona Guide Presents The Santa Cruz River Valley Tour Join us Wednesday, November 12, 2014 for a pleasant day trip through the Santa Cruz River Valley and discover its rich history, cultural heritage, unique landscape, and distinctive foods. Your guide for the day will be Jim Gressinger, travel writer, photographer, … Continue reading
As a “city”, Tucson really came into its own in the first decade of the 20th century, even though the city was legally incorporated in 1877. It never amounted to anything of importance until the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880. The railroad connected Tucson to the outside world. It brought hardware, lumber, and fresh produce at affordable prices. Even today, you can see how the architecture of the city changed after the arrival of the railroad.
Locals are generally familiar with our major Tucson and Southern Arizona attractions, such as our fantastic Desert Museum & the beautiful gardens of Tohono Chul Park. You can find the ones we recommend under “Attractions” in the Main Menu. However, very few locals know about or have been to the … Continue reading
On a clear Sunday morning in early February, Neighbor Roy, Ms. Karen, & I arrived at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for our 2nd Behind The Scenes tour, this time of the new Warden Aquarium. Lacey was our guide for our group of 8, including two little boys who looked to be about 4 and 6 […]
This slideshow will introduce you to some of the sights and scenes from Southern Arizona and stories about those places. Clicking on a slide that interests you will transport you to a story about a destination or adventure.
For some time, Ms. Karen and I had been wanting to see Roland Sarlot’s and Susan Eyed’s Carnival of Illusion. I had read so many rave reviews about their performance that, if the show lived up to the hype, I wanted to add it to our Things To Do In Tucson Section of our website
Tohono Chul is a peaceful garden oasis in the midst of city and suburb. You can stroll along winding paths through several different types of gardens with hundreds of native plant species, as well as many birds, including hummers.
Here is the history of manned flight. Pima Air and Space Museum has over 300 historic aircraft on exhibit, including the Blackbird, a 1950’s design that still holds the speed record for coast to coast flight: imagine going from New York to Los Angeles in one hour.
Mt. Lemmon is a recreational paradise in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest. It is 9,157 feet (2,791 m) above sea-level, and receives approximately 180 inches of snow annually. A perfect place for skiing in the winter or camping in the summer, it also has observatories that you can view through a telescope, winter or summer. Other activities are hiking, biking and hanging out to cool off in the summer.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is about 15 minutes south of downtown Tucson. It is the finest example of Spanish mission architecture anywhere. It was built in the late 18th century and is today both an important piece of Baja Arizona history and an active Roman Catholic church serving the Tohono O’odham people.
Tom and Alicia Davidson own and operate the Double D Guest Lodge situated in this beautiful and rugged part of Arizona. They clearly enjoy sharing with their guests the natural desert & mountain beauty, fresh air, gentle animals, and the amazing history of this place.
The first year that we published Southern Arizona Guide, we posted the Top 3 Mexican Restaurants in Tucson. It has remained one of our most popular features. The next year, we posted the Top Ten Burgers In Tucson. That too has remained incredibly popular with our visitors & newsletter subscribers. … Continue reading
As is my custom, I usually take others with me when visiting a restaurant for the purpose of writing a dining review. The deal is we all have to order something different so we can get a broad spectrum of taste experiences. This tends to involve a certain amount of … Continue reading
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. … Continue reading
Six of us ventured to mid-town to see if Grimaldi’s should be on our upcoming List of the 10 Best Pizzas In Tucson. Having read their website self-description, I was particularly interested in their oven. They claim that a “coal fired brick oven” gives their pizzas a “unique flavor and … Continue reading
Here are a few images of Sabino Canyon in late September 2014. The monsoons have been generous with their imported rains this season. So our favorite desert canyon was quite green in the late summer. Now is the perfect time to hike Sabino Canyon. … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
This weekend in Tucson, we will celebrate Dia de los Muertos with the increasingly popular All Souls Procession. This is a festive event, Tucson style honoring those that have gone before us. Please watch this video, demonstrating how the Dia de los Muertos event is celebrated in the rural areas … Continue reading
I have known audiophiles. I have known Francophiles. And now, after reviewing 13 pizzerias for our Top 10 List, I know a few people who self-identify as “pizzaphiles”: those who love pizza. Apparently, Chris Bianco is one. And there are those who love Chris Bianco’s pizzas. I suppose one could … Continue reading
This year’s Empire Ranch Fall Roundup & Open House is Saturday, November 1st. The day-long Roundup will feature presentations and demonstrations about cowboy life on the Ranch and showcase Western traditions, skills, music, and food. Ms. Karen & I went last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This is a great … Continue reading