If a map of Arizona were a clock, this region would land between numbers four and six. Here’s where you’ll find stately saguaros, which grow very slowly – a 10-year-old saguaro might be shorter than your ring finger. In 50 to 70 years – sometimes up to 100! – saguaros grow arms to retain more water. They waited a long time for those limbs, so give ’em a wave back.
But cacti aren’t the only things that grow in this lush desert region. In Sonoita and Elgin (southeast of Tucson), you’ll find wine country with soil so rich that it rivals that of Burgundy, France.
But enough about that which grows from dirt, let’s talk about urban pursuits. Tucson is the area’s thriving metropolis (try the bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dogs), Bisbee’s where you’ll discover one-of-a-kind art and copper mines, and watch out for Old West outlaws in Tombstone. You’ll want to stay here ’round the clock. Learn more about Southern Arizona’s top destinations below:
As far south as you can get before hitting Mexico – but the region’s offerings make it hard to leave, passport or not. Explore thriving Tucson, Arizona’s wine country, Old West fun in Tombstone, and more here.
The Southern Arizona town of Oracle offers guest ranch experiences, a zipline and other outdoor activities, futuristic Biosphere 2, and Oracle State Park. After a glorious desert sunset, watch the stars light up the sky. Oracle is an official Dark Sky Community and excellent place for stargazing.Learn More
Surrounded by near-forgotten ghost towns, Sierra Vista, Arizona, is anything but dead. Home to busy Fort Huachuca, this small city of around 50,000 people offers visitors scenic vistas, byways, and trails – as well as a bird-watcher’s paradise of nature preserves, perfect for spying some of the country’s most exotic hummingbirds.Learn More
Located just outside of the Coronado National Forest, centuries-old Tubac was once the site of a Spanish Colonial presidio. Today, Tubac is a charming artists’ community – working artists’ studios abound. Don’t miss the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, located in the old town, and the Santa Cruz River, a top spot for Arizona birding.Learn More
Luxurious golf courses and resorts, a flourishing art and history scene, and vivid multicultural heritage make Tucson an attractive destination for any Southern Arizona vacation. Home of the University of Arizona, this mid-sized city also plays host to countless fairs, festivals, and events.Learn More