Updated: May 14
Business and pleasure!? Yes please! Nothing says (almost) "free trip" when you can add a few days to your business trip with vacation days! This trip was in the desert of Tucson, Arizona in the ripe month of February. Please note, the desert is freezing in February. I don't care how many snowbirds are down there but, LORD, it was chilly. Bring a fleece, scarf, thin gloves when traveling down that way. There were two nice days where the weather was 80 degrees, the rest of the time, low 50's... and yes, I say that even being from Michigan. So pack accordingly and you won't freeze like me.
Without further adieu, I present to you some things I believe are note worthy.
1. Seven Falls Trailhead. Like WHHHHAAATTTTT. I could basically live by the Seven Falls. It was so beautiful and totally worth the hike up. When driving there, your google maps will take you through a golf course, that is the wrong way. It leads you to the end of the trail-- per the golf course security guard. And let's save this man a little time, he turns about 20 cars away a day. So instead of typing in Seven Falls Trailhead, type in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. It should bring up the address of 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ. The trailhead is moderate hiking. It has a steady incline and the trail has loose rocks and of course you have to rock hop to get across the several river crossings. I'd be very vigilant as to where the trail leads because the boyfriend and I were climbing like goats on a VERY steep area because we missed where to cross. An adventure of course, but not one for the elderly or unfit. This is important to understand due to flash floods and high water chances.
2. Mission San Xavier Del Bac Church. This is an amazing structure that is a must see, especially if you are into history, architecture or religion. I would highly recommend taking the free tour guide. The tour takes approx. 1 hour and worth it. It was built in 1797 and is still standing today (obviously). Can you believe that they made the exterior with a cacti mixture? This is not your original stucco. It changed religious hands throughout the years and also traded countries and states. It is an impressive Art Deco South Western church and the interior of it is crazy colorful. If my memory serves me correct, it costs about $40k a month to sustain it. They brought it several conservator-restorer professionals to restore the interior of the chapel. It is a must see because you cannot capture all what is going on in a single photo. You can visit this place at 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746.
3. Tubac Craft Fair. This is a very large craft fair and it's homage to the south western feel. I loved this art fair because there are several different vendors who offer wonderful things. We picked up a few clay based frames with painting of different scenery on it. The mountains with the backdrop offer a nice touch when taking a break with coffee. There are all sorts of price points but would recommend having some cash on you even though most vendors accept credit cards. The issue with credit card machines is the WIFI-- seeing as you are in the mountains. Beware of the potters out there. There are several that sell similar items and they may start blowing smoke by speaking Spanish. One guy said the pot was high fired, another said low fired and they were the same pot. So just really be mindful. They couldn't even tell me the specific clay... A true potter will be able to give you the details without spewing something then looking away. However, there are beautiful pieces there!
4. Taking the car ride up Mount Lemmon. During the winter months, Mount Lemmon gets snow caps and some even snowboard. So you may not make it all the way to the top to sign your name in the radio tower but what is beautiful about the drive up is the scenic route and stop off's to admire the landscape in the distance. There are several photo opportunities and knowledge boards when you travel up. You can google "Mount Lemmon scenic byway" and it will take you up. The time for this is about 2 hours. Moo Nothing is better than a drive on a chilly day... Or a cold coffee, windows down, and fresh air on a warm day! Win/ Win!
5. Tombstone. So I am going to say this in a biased way... Tourist Trap. In all fairness, the drive to Old Tucson from Tucson is, well, boring. It truly is wide open and almost dilapidated. I am not much for westerns. Shoot me. One thing I can say is that the shops were set up like they would be in old western settings and they do have a haunted theatre which was on Ghost Adventures, love that show but am not going to have anything attach to me, or in that case, touch my behind or flick my hair... You'll have to watch the show. To continue on, it is a row of stores and you have to go inside a bar to see an old western gun fight. I would have been more interested to see a gun fight on the street but of course you can charge tourists that way. Had I been more interested in westerns, maybe I would have paid for the gun fight. If you are interested, the first gunfight is at 11:00am. I didn't even get a photo of the main strip (crazy!).
6. Gem & Mineral Show. This was actually interesting and there are a lot of items out there for you crafters or for huge minerals to display in your home. You can get anything from a geo to a really cool horse sculpture. Wide ranges of prices and if you are into that kind of thing, see if you can get items shipped. ESPECIALLY if you are traveler. "Rocks" can get heavy! I don't have any photos. Envision tents upon tents of a vast array of items. If you always wanted something of that nature though, save your money and go to Tucson for it. I promise you, you'll get a better deal than you would anywhere else. And if you are selling it for your business, they hold the taxes.
7.Bisbee. Save your time and your money... Not worth it. Cool town to view from the highway and that's the extent of that. I promise you. That town needs some money dumped into it. It would be a super cute town... but it's not. Keep driving.
8. The University of Arizona area. Cute downtown area, good places to eat and drink. If you go slightly outside 4th Ave, you will find more shops and restaurants. There is a really cool bar called "The Sky Bar". On clear nights, they have a person that is interested in astronomy showing the stars in the sky and even named off what we were looking at. If you pay for drinks there, parking is free. I HIGHLY recommend this place because it's such a niche. You can order food from the pizza place next door and they will bring it over. Another good restaurant is the BOCA Tacos y Tequila place across the street. It's fair price and al la carte. Just a heads up, didn't go, but Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. and Borderlands Brewing Co. were packed with people.
I hope you enjoy your trip in Tucson, AZ. All in all, I hope to do more hiking when I am out there. If you're into biking, the state is very bike friendly with tons of lanes. If you want to hike, download the Alltrails app. It will be a life saver! If you have been to any cool places or recommend it for our next trip out, be sure to post below so we can add it to our itinerary! Thanks for reading!