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Here are our recommendations for the best things do around Willcox, Arizona. Most have something to do with the area's history or its vineyards.

Willcox is about an hour and a half east of Tucson on I-10. The town has seen better days, but fortunately the citizens have preserved many of the historic buildings. Some are pre-1920. Others were build pre-1900. So one of the best things to do around Willcox is to take the short, self-guided walking tour of historic downtown. Click HERE to identify each historic site below.

Historic Willcox Walking Tour Map

Historic Willcox Walking Tour Map

Rex Allen Museum

The main attraction in historic downtown Willcox along Railroad Avenue is the Rex Allen Museum. If you are younger than 65 as of 2012, it is unlikely you will know who Rex Allen was.

Rex Allen: Western Movie Star

Rex Allen: Western Movie Star

Through the 1950's & '60's, Mr. Allen was a singer-songwriter, Western movie star, and narrator for many Disney nature films.

At one time, he was almost as famous as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. In all, he starred and sang in 19 Westerns, and earned a star on Hollywood Blvd.

So popular was Mr. Allen that he became a comic book character for Dell Comics. With his trademark white Stetson, he was always the good guy. In his movies, he had a sidekick for comic relief: first Buddy Ebsen (later star of Beverly Hillbillies), then Slim Pickens. Read More

Book Now For Our Next Santa Cruz River Valley Tour

Mission Tumacacori

Southern Arizona Guide Presents The Santa Cruz River Valley Tour Join us Tuesday, September 8, 2015 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, … Continue reading

Historic Downtown Tucson: A Collection of Picture Postcards

Tucson, Arizona: 2013.

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. 

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Tucson Attractions: The Ones Few People Know About!

83_Cave-Creek-Canyon_640

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

The New Desert Museum Aquarium

Boy Watching Seahorses

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 […]

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Carnival of Illusion – Amazing!

Carnival of Illusion Roland Sarlot & Susan Eyed

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

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Tohono Chul Map

Tohono Chul Park: Spring Wildflowers.

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.

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Pima Air and Space Museum Map

Pima Air and Space Museum

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.

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Mt. Lemmon Map

mt lemmon snow

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.

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San Xavier del Bac Map

Mission San Xavier del Bac

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.

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Sonoita Wine Tasting Tour: July 2015

Group at Callaghan Vineyards

First stop: Callaghan Vineyards. Lisa Callaghan (right) poured the wine and described the characteristics of each. Here the group received their wine glasses that they would take with them to the other wineries. On a pleasant Sunday in July, our group of 5 intrepid adventurers set out from Tucson about … Continue reading

Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest; A Review

Broad-billed Hummingbird: Ramsey Canyon

Hummingbird Lovers: Book Lovers: A brand new book by Marcy Scott is out. It is an exhaustive compilation of hummingbird plants in the Southwest. Everyone loves hummingbirds. Their beauty, size, energy and performance antics inspire us. Marcy Scott has written a book about these endearing critters; their description, environment, migratory … Continue reading

Mercedes a Traditional Healer

Mercedes Traditional Healer

Mike Foster shows us another culture and talks about Mercedes, a traditional healer from a small town not far from the Sea of Cortez. There is no modern medical doctor or clinic here. Mike Foster, San Pedro River Videos, is an ardent supporter of the Friends of the San Pedro … Continue reading

The Apache Wars: A Timeline Part 1

Apache Pass Arizona

This is the first of a six part series about the longest war in American History. The saga of the Apache Wars is both complex and compelling. For over a quarter century,  roughly 1861-1886, hundreds of ambushes, raids, massacres, and full-fledged military battles occurred over a huge, rugged, and diverse … Continue reading

How did Mt. Lemmon Get Its Name?

Mt. Lemmon

Did you ever wonder how Mr. Lemmon got its name? No, Mt. Lemmon is not named after a tree. It is spelled with two “M”s , not one. Mt. Lemmon is named after botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, wife of another botanist, John Lemmon. In the 1880’s, few white people had … Continue reading

A Summer Picnic At Carr Canyon

Reef Townsite Campground high above Carr Canyon.

(July 2015) As we often do in the heat of summer, last Sunday we headed for higher elevation. Carr Canyon is just south of Ramsey Canyon and a lot less crowded than Mt. Lemmon. For a second year in a row, we picnicked at Reef Townsite Campground near the top … Continue reading

Is Sullivan’s The Best Steakhouse In Tucson?

Diner Steak Sullivans

As many of you already know, we are on a mission to discover the Top 10 Steakhouses in Tucson. The first year of the Guide, we published the Top 3 Mexican Restaurants. The following year it was the Top 10 Burgers in Tucson. Last year we ranked the Top 10 … Continue reading

Cholla Bud Harvesting

Purple Cholla Blossoms resized copy

With the resurgence in interest in native Arizona foods, we are rediscovering what foods are readily available in our desert environment. From mesquite flour, to prickly pear, palo verde beans and here, Cholla buds, which are actually a delicacy in some circles. Watch this video produced by Mike Foster, from … Continue reading