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
Please Join Me on Sunday, May 24, 2015 for Southern Arizona Guide’s Tucson History & Libation Tour: A walkabout the Old Pueblo as saloon owner George Hand lived it in the 1870’s. I’m Jim Gressinger, travel writer, photographer, and publisher of Southern Arizona Guide. I will be your guide for … Continue reading
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.
Continuing on our quest for the best Tucson Steakhouse, we could not overlook Silver Saddle. Back in 2009, it was voted best Steakhouse by readers of the Arizona Daily Star’s Caliente section. But that was a very long time ago. What I wanted to know was why have they had … Continue reading
Each year for several years now, we have published our list of the “Best” in selected dining categories. In our first year, we gave you our recommendations for the 3 Best Mexican Restaurants in Tucson. As many times as we have dined Mexican since, we have not experienced any better. … Continue reading
In the mid-19th century, in the remote southwest desert that was Arizona Territory, there were not many ways to earn a fortune. Life was mostly a struggle just to survive, let alone prosper. In the early 1850’s, 10’s of thousands of young men from the eastern United States, Midwest, and … Continue reading
Jim Gressinger, publisher of Southern Arizona Guide, will lead 3 guided tours this month. Bisbee Overnight Tour: Thursday May 21st and Friday May 22nd. On our way to historic Bisbee, we’ll check out a couple of interesting ghost towns. On Thursday PM, we’ll take a guided tour of Old Town … Continue reading
We occasionally have a feathered killer visit our yard. This Cooper’s Hawk frequents the big mesquite trees and tall eucalyptus tree in the garden areas between our casita and the main residence. He or she is an ambush hunter swooping down on unsuspecting doves & quails that feast below the … Continue reading
Did you ever wonder what was the value of $1,000 U.S. Dollars back through the ages? For example, when partners Ed Schieffelin & his brother Al Schieffelin sold their shares in their Tombstone mines for $600,000 in 1880, how much was that worth in 2014 dollars? I knew the sale … Continue reading
I find the history of Tucson fascinating, and enjoy leading our Southern Arizona Guide Tucson History & Libation Tour one Sunday a month. It is much easier to get my mind around all that has happened here over the past many centuries when I can put it all into context. … Continue reading
Southern Arizona Guide Tours Schedule April – September 2015 (Dates & Times are Subject To Change.) Other tours, such as our Ruby Ghost Town Tour, will be added from time to time and announced 3-4 weeks in advance. ) For a description of our tours please see our Guided Tours … Continue reading
In the 1880’s through the early 1890’s, Tucson was still a rough, often violent town. Geronimo had surrendered in 1886 and his Chiricahua Apaches hauled off to exile in Florida. But even after the Apache threat was largely history, Tucson and all of Southern Arizona continued to be known for … Continue reading
Hi. I’m Jim Gressinger, travel writer, publisher of Southern Arizona Guide and photographer. I am pleased to be your tour guide to the most beautiful and historic places in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Southern Arizona Guide offers themed tours, usually twice or three times a month. See tour descriptions and prices … Continue reading