Southern Arizona Guide Presents
The Santa Cruz River Valley Tour
Join us 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, and publisher of Southern Arizona Guide.
Your tour will start at 10 AM in Tucson where you will board our luxury motor coach that will transport you first to Mission Tumacácori National Historical Park. Founded along the Santa Cruz River by Father Kino in 1691, Tumacácori is one of the oldest Spanish missions in the United States. A Park Ranger will give us a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour of these magnificent ruins. The Santa Cruz River runs about a city block east of the Mission. Bring your camera.
Lunch At Wisdom’s
Then we head north a few miles for lunch at Wisdom’s Café, where you will experience some of the finest Mexican food in Arizona. Over the past 70 years, this authentic Mexican restaurant has been owned and operated by four generations of the Wisdom family. If Wisdom's is not available to our group, an excellent alternative is Elvira's close by in Tubac.
Following lunch we have two fine alternative points of interest depending on time and preferences.
1.Tubac: Where Art Meets History
Our first stop here is a tour of Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. In the 18th century, Apaches attacked Tubac relentlessly until the Spanish colonists and the soldiers who protected them moved 50 miles north to establish a presidio at Tucson in 1775.
The Village of Tubac surrounds the ruins of the old fort with over 100 unique shops, fine art galleries, and restaurants. So there is an opportunity to explore the village and do a little shopping before heading to our next destination.
2. Titan Missile Museum
Following lunch, we head north to experience a very different era in American history; the Cold War. The Titan Missile Museum showcases America’s nuclear deterrence with weapons so powerful, so terrifying, that they kept the peace between the United States and the former Soviet Union for a quarter century.
Here we will be given a one-hour tour that takes us deep underground to the silo and command center of one of the world’s most powerful weapon systems. Nowhere else in the world can visitors get this close to an intercontinental ballistic missile in its operational environment. Click HERE to see our original video.
Mission San Xavier
Then we again travel back to the Spanish Mission era for a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Mission San Xavier del Bac. Mission San Xavier is on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation and still serves these Native Americans with education facilities and religious services. Founded by Father Kino in 1692, San Xavier is considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.
Leaving San Xavier, we will be back in Tucson by 4:30 PM.
For our tour guests, this is an easy, yet engaging day-trip. We have two meeting locations in Tucson for quick and easy boarding. The cost is $130.00 per person. 4 person minimum. The price includes transportation, refreshments, lunch, admission to all attractions, guided tours, plus Jim’s extensive local knowledge. Join us on our first Southern Arizona Guide Tour!!! Seating is limited to 55 passengers. Our coach is handicap accessible.