Things to Do in Tubac, AZ: Explore Arizona’s Artistic Gem
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Things to Do in Tubac, AZ: Explore Arizona’s Artistic Gem

Top 10 Things to Do in Tubac, AZ

Tubac, Arizona, is a charming and historic village that gives visitors a unique blend of history, art, and natural beauty. It is a haven for artists and history enthusiasts in the Santa Cruz River Valley. Whether you’re visiting for a day or planning a more extended stay, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy.

Here are the top 10 things to do in Tubac, AZ.

1. Explore Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

One of the best things to do in Tubac, AZ, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is a must-see for history buffs.

    Established in 1752, the Presidio is Arizona’s first state park and offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. The park highlights a museum with exhibits on Native American history, Spanish colonial life, and the American frontier.

    • The Museum: The museum houses various artifacts, including tools, weapons, and clothing from different periods.
    • The Presidio Ruins: Walk through the ruins of the original Spanish fort and imagine life in the 18th century.
    • St. Anne’s Church: Visit the historic church and its beautifully restored interior.
    • The Schoolhouse: Explore the restored 1885 schoolhouse, where you can learn about education in early Arizona.

    Guided tours are available to give deeper insights into the area’s history. Guests can also participate in living history demonstrations and special events throughout the year.

    2. Visit the Tubac Center of the Arts

    Tubac is known for its vibrant arts scene, and the Tubac Center of the Arts is at the heart of it. This non-profit organization showcases local and regional artists and offers a diversity of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

      • Exhibitions: The center hosts rotating exhibitions featuring various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and more.
      • Classes and Workshops: Participate in art classes and workshops to unleash creativity.
      • Performances: Enjoy live performances, including music, theater, and dance.
      • Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition: An event showcasing the best works of the center’s members.
      • Tubac Festival of the Arts: Held every February, this festival charms artists and visitors from all over the country.

      3. Stroll Through the Tubac Village

      The village of Tubac is a shopper’s paradise, with an array of galleries, shops, and boutiques. You’ll find it here whether you’re looking for unique art pieces, handcrafted jewelry, or Southwestern décor.

        • La Paloma de Tubac: A gallery featuring fine art and high-quality crafts from local and international artists.
        • Karin Newby Gallery: Known for its contemporary and traditional Southwestern art.
        • Jane Hamilton Fine Art: Specializing in contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media.
        • Tubac Jack’s Restaurant & Saloon: Enjoy a meal at this popular spot offering Southwestern cuisine and live music.
        • Shelby’s Bistro: An excellent place for lunch or dinner, known for its delicious food and charming ambiance.

        4. Explore Anza Trail

        The Anza Trail is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, commemorating the 1775-76 expedition that established a land route from Mexico to California. The trail offers scenic views and hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities.

          • Scenic Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Santa Cruz River and the surrounding landscape.
          • Wildlife: Watch for local wildlife, including birds, deer, and javelina.
          • Historical Markers: Learn about the history of the Anza expedition through interpretive signs along the trail.
          • Hiking: The trail is well-maintained and suitable for hikers of all levels.
          • Bird-Watching: Bring your binoculars and enjoy the diverse birdlife in the area.
          • Biking: The trail is also open to cyclists looking for a scenic ride.

          5. Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

          The Tubac Golf Resort & Spa offers an exceptional experience for golf enthusiasts. The resort highlights a 27-hole championship golf course planned by renowned architect Red Lawrence.

            • Challenging Layout: The course offers a mix of challenging holes and stunning scenery.
            • Historic Grounds: The resort is set on the grounds of a 1789 Spanish land grant.
            • Amenities: Enjoy top-notch facilities, including a pro shop, practice range, and putting greens.
            • Spa Treatments: Relax and rejuvenate with various spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps.
            • Fitness Center: Stay fit during your trip with the resort’s fully equipped fitness center.
            • Dining: Enjoy gourmet dining at the resort’s restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines.

            6. Take a Workshop or Class

            Tubac is home to many artists who offer workshops and classes in various mediums. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, you’ll find something to inspire you.

              • Painting: Learn different techniques and styles from local painters.
              • Ceramics: Try your hand at pottery and ceramic art.
              • Jewelry Making: Create your unique jewelry pieces with guidance from expert jewelers.
              • Tubac School of Fine Art: Offers diverse art classes and workshops for all talent levels.
              • Local Studios: Many artists in the village offer private lessons and workshops.

              Visit Tumacácori National Historical Park

              Just a short drive from Tubac, Tumacácori National Historical Park maintains the ruins of three Spanish mission communities. The park offers a fascinating look at the region’s mission history and the blending of cultures.

                • Mission San José de Tumacácori: Explore the well-preserved ruins of this 17th-century mission.
                • Visitor Center: Learn about the history and culture of the area through exhibits and a short film.
                • Historic Orchard: Walk through the orchard and see fruit trees that the mission inhabitants cultivated.
                • Guided Tours: Join a ranger-led tour for in-depth information about the missions.
                • Living History Programs: Experience demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills.
                • Special Events: Attend events like La Fiesta de Tumacácori, celebrating the area’s cultural heritage.

                8. Enjoy Bird Watching

                Tubac and its surroundings are known for excellent bird-watching opportunities. The diverse habitats attract various bird species, making it a popular destination for enthusiasts.

                  • Santa Cruz River: The river corridor is prime for spotting various birds.
                  • Tubac Presidio State Historic Park: The park’s natural areas are home to many bird species.
                  • Anza Trail: The trail offers excellent bird-watching along the river.

                  9. Attend the Tubac Festival of the Arts

                  The Tubac Festival of the Arts is the longest-running art festival in Arizona, held every February. It attracts artists and visitors from all over the country and celebrates art, culture, and community.

                    • Art Booths: Browse hundreds of booths featuring artwork in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, and more.
                    • Live Music and Performances: Enjoy live music, dance performances, and other entertainment throughout the festival.
                    • Food and Drink: Sample delicious food from local vendors and enjoy a variety of beverages.

                    10. Discover Local Cuisine

                    Tubac’s culinary scene is as vibrant as its arts community. The village gives various dining options, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments.

                      • Elvira’s Restaurant: Known for its sophisticated Mexican cuisine and stunning décor.
                      • Tubac Deli & Coffee Co.: An excellent spot for a casual breakfast or lunch, offering sandwiches, salads, and coffee.
                      • Dos Silos: Enjoy Southwestern cuisine in a beautiful setting, complete with a cactus garden and outdoor seating.
                      • Southwestern Cuisine: Savor dishes featuring local ingredients and traditional Southwestern flavors.
                      • Mexican Food: Tubac’s proximity to the Mexican border means you’ll find authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine.
                      • Wine and Craft Beer: Many village restaurants and bars serve local wines and craft beers.

                      Tips for Visitors

                      • Plan Ahead: The festival is a famous event, so plan your visit early and book accommodations in advance.
                      • Wear Comfortable Shoes: The festival covers a large area, so be prepared to walk.
                      • Bring Cash: While many sellers accept credit cards, having cash is a good idea.

                      Tubac, AZ, is a destination that offers things for everybody. Whether you’re interested in history, art, outdoor activities, or simply relaxing and enjoying good food, Tubac has it all. From exploring historic sites and art galleries to hiking scenic trails and attending vibrant festivals, this charming village has no shortage of things to do.

                      Plan your visit to Tubac and discover the unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty that makes it an extraordinary place!

                      To uncover more about the community, visit our website at

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