Whether you’re traveling alone, with friends or with family, a road trip is the perfect antidote to a hectic life. A stretch of road can give you time to reflect and reconnect. Take a leisurely road trip to discover unique roadside attractions and flavorful food along the way and arrive at a destination filled with history and natural wonders.

Cochise County combines the joy of the journey with the satisfaction of a great destination. It’s a big county – more than 6,200 square miles – so plan to stay a few days to cover this vast landscape.

Cochise County’s basin and range topography sets sky islands like the Chiricahua, Dragoon and Huachuca Mountains against miles of plains and grasslands. The Chiricahua Apaches had a nickname for this area. They called it the “land of the standing up rocks” because of its incredible rock formations and magnificent spires. When you see it you can just imagine the reverence they had for the area.

And that’s just one corner of Cochise County!

Cruise through and you’ll get to glimpse crucial parts of Arizona’s history. Follow the migratory routes of sandhill cranes and hummingbirds in Willcox and Sierra Vista. Tour underground wonders like Benson’s Kartchner Caverns State Park and Bisbee’s Queen Mine Tour. You can also experience the Hispanic flavor of Douglas’ history, and in Tombstone, you can walk the same boardwalks that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday once tread in the Wild, Wild West.

Numerous opportunities for you to experience Arizona’s history and culture await. Stay in a bed & breakfast inn or a historic hotel. You can even be a “dude” at a guest ranch.

Cochise County’s climate offers welcome relief all year round. It has high elevations that offer cooler days and evenings during the height of Arizona’s summer heat. Visitors can actually head south to be cool. Both human snowbirds from Minnesota and other bone-chilling climates and actual birds escaping from the snow enjoy Cochise County’s weather.

You and your family can stop at one of the area’s orchards. They grow apples, peaches, pecans and other fruits and vegetables, and they love to welcome visitors with apple festivals, sweet corn extravaganzas and peach mania!

rtri3.pngThat high desert climate has also attracted more wine growers. Now, alongside the orchards, wine growing operations have been sprouting up in northern Cochise County. Vineyards are producing Rhone varietals that are gaining in popularity. Two wine-tasting rooms have recently opened in downtown historic Willcox.

Kartchner Caverns State Park is one of Cochise County’s greatest natural wonders. Discovered more than a decade ago and kept secret until they could be protected, these spectacular underground caverns opened to the public in 1999.

rtri2.pngReady to explore Cochise County’s history? Visit some of its museums. The Amerind Foundation Museum focuses on the Native American experience in the Americas – from Alaska to South America. The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum takes you back to Bisbee’s bustling mining heyday, and the Fort Huachuca Military Intelligence Museum explores how spies gathered information.

Take a picnic to the John Slaughter Ranch, just 30 minutes from Douglas, and revel in the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge. Rare birds have been spotted recently on the grounds. Discover this hidden gem of Cochise County.

In the end, if you want to recharge, relax, reflect and refresh yourself, you’ll find the wide, open spaces of Cochise County especially inviting.

Visit the Cochise County website today to plan your southeast Arizona vacation or request a free vacation guide. You can browse our map to orient yourself. Check out the Legendary Communities page and click on the interactive map to find out more about Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Tombstone or Willcox.

(Brought to you by the Cochise County Tourism Council)