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.
Ms. Karen here. On a pleasant Sunday in January 2015, I and Ms. Rosemary, hiked to Seven Falls in Bear Canyon adjacent to Sabino Canyon in northeast Tucson. Jim and I had hiked this in 1985 and at that time I considered it easy. I came back to see if … Continue reading
We at Southern Arizona Guide occasionally invite talented artists to share their creations with our quarter million annual visitors. I found Debbie Angel on Facebook and thought her Southern Arizona photography, mostly landscapes and wildlife, to be truly beautiful. Debbie tells us she has had a life-long passion for photography, … Continue reading
In the Fall of 2014, Southern Arizona Guide became more than just a website with all of its Dining Reviews and recommended Things To See and Do. We started offering tours to some of the most interesting and historical places in the American Southwest. This slideshow is about our first … Continue reading
Hiking Tumamoc Hill, located on the far west side of Tucson, is extremely popular. Reasons for this are proximity to Tucson neighborhoods and a short but promised workout. We had heard about this for years and finally decided to see what all the fuss was all about. Don’t let the … Continue reading
Dragoon Springs is located at the northern end of the Dragoon Mountains in Cochise County, Arizona. The springs were an important source of water for Native American people a thousand years ago or more. In September 1695, Spanish troops camped here. They described this place as muy penascosa, “very rocky”. … Continue reading
Many birders come to Southern Arizona just for the prospect of seeing the Elegant Trogan, a bird who colorful appearance resemble birds from more tropical climates. They have a distinctive call and are elusive. However, the males are bright red on the chest which should make it easier to spot. … Continue reading
Note: A high-clearance vehicle is advised. From Downtown Tucson, take I-10 east about an hour and exit Dragoon Road (Exit 318) Turn right (south) on Dragoon Road; continue 3.5 miles (past the entrance of the Amerind) to the town of Dragoon. You will cross several cattle guards. If you come … Continue reading
Unlike the many images we have of Geronimo today, no photograph of Cochise exists. We only know what he looked like from contemporary written accounts; mostly American and Mexican. These we owe to the very few people of European descent who lived to tell about their close encounter with the … Continue reading
Southern Arizona is peppered with places of major historical importance. Many are, in one way or another, related to the Apache Wars that raged throughout Southern Arizona from 1861 to 1886. In terms of historical significance, I can’t think of any place more important than Council Rocks, the most likely … Continue reading
Now that we have a thoroughly Modern Streetcar, I thought it might be interesting to see if we could enjoy our Downtown Tucson entertainment without taking our car, thus avoiding parking hassles and the need for a designated driver. Our plan was to start at Agustin Kitchen at the Mercado … Continue reading