PLACES TO GO AND THINGS TO DO

ARIVACA SELF-GUIDED TOURS

Discover some of the prettiest country in the U.S. and the oldest schoolhouse in Arizona. Located in high desert the Arivaca area boasts rich grazing land and Arivaca Lake offers great fishing. Brochures available at Arivaca town merchants. (25 miles SW of Green Valley) 398-2702.

ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM

Features stories and displays of Spanish and territorial pioneers. Learn how Geronimo became a symbol of fearless defiance, why camels crossed the desert and how miners coaxed precious metals from the earth. (520)770-1473. www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org. At the AHS downtown museum at Wells Fargo see the featured exhibit: “History is the Heart of Tucson”. (520)770-1473.  

ARIZONA STATE MUSEUM

The oldest and largest anthropology museum in the SW provides content-rich exhibits and dynamic docent tours of the enduring cultures of the region. (520)621-6302. www.statemuseum.arizona.edu

ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM

Living animal and plants of the Sonora Desert region. Many unique exhibits indoor and outdoor. Kinney Rd. north of Old Tucson Studios. Open every day of the year. 8:30-5:00. Admission Fee. (36 miles from Green Valley). (520)883-1380 www.desertmuseum.com.

ASARCO MINERAL DISCOVERY CENTER

Open pit mine tour and the exhibit center illustrate mining’s important role in everyday life. Exit 80 off I-19. Exhibit Center free, but a fee for guided mine tours. Open Tues-Sat. 9am-5pm. Last tour leaves at 3:30. Information line: (520)625-7513.  Reservations: (520)625-8233. www.mineraldiscovery.com.

BIOSPHERE 2

This amazing mini-world is an innovative project designed to inspire people about the relationship between humans, the earth and the environment. Entry fee. (520)838-6200.  www.b2science.org.

BISBEE

Rustic, charming, turn-of-the-century western town. Home of Lavender Pit Mine. One of the world’s largest open-pit copper mines. (135 miles from Green Valley) 24 miles south of Tombstone on Route 80. Chamber of Commerce: (520)432-5421. Bisbee Visitor Center (520)432-3554. (866)224-7233. www.discoverbisbee.com.

CASA GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Ruins of a massive four-story structure built of coarse caliche earth (high lime desert soil) by Indians who farmed in Gila Valley more than 600 years ago. Admission Fee. (100 miles from Green Valley).  www.Nps.gov/cagr .

CATALINA STATE PARK

Encompasses over 8,000 acres at the base of the northwestern slopes of the Catalina Mts. near Tucson. Picnicking. camping, hiking. and riding trails. Numerous archeological and ecological sites. Located 12 miles north of Tucson on US 89.  www.Azstateparks.com/parks/cata/ 

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM TUCSON

The young and young-at-heart can play together in the place where imagination and learning connect with hands on exhibits, daily activities and special events.  (520)792-9985. www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org.

CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT

Alive with plants and animals, the monument contains tall, slender pinnacles and other geological oddities carved by nature from volcanic rock. (145 miles SE from Green Valley) www.nps.gov/chir/

COLOSSAL CAVE

Possibly the world’s largest dry limestone cavern. Open daily, tours begin every few minutes. I-19 north to I-10, east to Vail exit, north to cave. Admission Fee. (520)647-7275. www.colossalcave.com

DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE

Contains the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center, filled with hundreds of old planes. Call for tour times. Take any major east-west Tucson street to Craycroft. South on Craycroft to the base. 520-228-4570.

FLANDRAU PLANETARIUM

A fun and educational science center on the University of Arizona campus. Star Theater programs, laser light shows and science demonstrations. Free walk-through exhibits, science store, meeting rooms and a 16″ telescope. Call 520-621-7827. www.flandrau.org/ or the mineral museum (520)621-4227. www.uamineralmuseum.org/.

FT. HUACHUCA HISTORICAL MONUMENT AND MUSEUM

Located in Sierra Vista it depicts the story and daily life of the frontier military post established in 1877 to protect settlers during the Indian wars. (95 miles SE of Green Valley). Recording: (520)533-5736. www.Huachuamuseum.com  or www.Huachuca.army.mil/pages/history  

INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE MUSEUM

The museum features mounted species from around the world. (520)629-0100. www.thewildlifemuseum.org.

JEWISH HISTORY MUSEUM

The museum celebrated it’s Centennial  year in 2010 and is located in the historically restored stone Avenue Temple, Arizona’s first synagogue building.  (520)670-9073. www.jewishhistorymuseum.org.

KARTCHNER CAVERNS STATE PARK

(520)586-4100 Reservations: (520)586-2283

 KITT PEAK NATIONAL OBSERVATORY

Established in 1958 as the country’s first national observatory. Site of the Mayall 158″ telescope and McMath Solar telescope, the world’s largest solar observation instrument. On the Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) Indian Reservation. Tours on weekends, holidays. Open to the public every day except December 25. No admission fee. No food available, take a picnic lunch. I-19 north to Ajo exit, Hwy. 86 west to Hwy. 386 south. (75 miles from Green Valley) 520-318-8200. Reservations (520)318-8726. www.noao.edu.

MADERA CANYON

Located in the Santa Rita Mts. east of Green Valley, home to many plants and animals rare in the U.S. Also one of the bird-watching hot spots. Picnic areas and campground. Continental Road east, turn right on White House Canyon Road and follow paved road. (15 miles from Green Valley). Green Valley Chamber of Commerce (520)625-7575. www.greenvalleychamber.com.

MT. HOPKINS/SMITHSONIAN OBSERVATORY (FRED LAWRENCE WHIPPLE OBSERVATORY)

Tours to 8,550 ft. summit Monday, Wednesday, Friday, March-November. Reservations. 520-670-5707. I-19 south to Canoa exit 56, east Frontage Road to Elephant Head Road, east to Mt. Hopkins Road to Visitor Center. www.Harvard.edu/mthopkins/viscent/html 

MT. LEMMON

Highest peak in the Santa Catalinas, skiing in the winter, picnic area, viewpoints at various elevations. Take I-19 north, I-10 east to exit 270, Kolb Rd., north to Tanque Verde and follow the signs to Mt. Lemmon. (Two + hour drive from Green Valley). Santa Catalina Ranger District: (520)749-8700. www.Skithelemmon.com  or www.mtlemmon.com 

OLD TUCSON STUDIOS

Built in 1939 for the movie Arizona, Old Tucson has been the setting for more than 350 movies and television productions. Learn about the perils of a cross-country trip by stagecoach or the demands of life as the sheriff of a wild west town, or the ways of native peoples. Enjoy stunt shows, gunfights, and high-kickin’ saloon girls, horseback rides, a vintage carousel, old west train ride and antique cars that put kids in the driver’s seat. (520)883-0100. www.oldtucson.com.  

ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT

516 sq. miles of Sonoran Desert featuring the rare organ pipe cactus. Exhibits, guided walks, scenic drive. I-19 north to Ajo exit, west on Hwy. 86 to town of Why, left on Hwy. 85 to entrance. (150 miles from Green Valley) www.nps.gov/orpi

PATAGONIA LAKE

Fishing and boating facilities. Stop in the town of Patagonia and visit the Horse of a Different Color Emporium (located in the old Museum of the Horse). I-19 south to Nogales, Hwy. 82 northwest to Patagonia and follow signs. (60 miles from Green Valley) www.azstateparks.com/parks/pala

PENA BLANCA LAKE

52 acre lake near Mexican border; fishing, boat rental, picnic area and campground. I-19 south and west on Ruby Road 289. (48 miles from Green Valley).  www.desertusa.com  or www.visitarizona.com

PIMA AIR MUSEUM

Indoor, outdoor displays of over 200 types of aircraft; extensive WWII collection. Open every day of the year 9-5 except December 25. No admission after 4:00 p.m. I-19 north to 1-10, east to Wilmont Road exit, north two miles. Admission Fee. www.pimaair.org/

RAMSEY CANYON

The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve is home to a world-renowned diversity of plant and animal life, including several species found at fewer than 20 locations around the world. (520)378-2785. www.nature.org.

RANSEY CANYON’S ARIZONA FOLKLORE PRESERVE

The preserve features celebrated folk artists, presentations, and a bookstore founded by resident artist, Dolan Ellis, an original member of the New Christy Minstrels and Arizona’s official state balladeer. (520)378-6165. www.arizonafolklore.com.

REID PARK

Includes Hi Corbett Field, home of the Tucson Toros Triple A baseball and the Colorado Rockies spring training. Reid Park Zoo, 36-hole golf course, tennis. I-19 north, I-10 west to 22nd Street exit, East on 22nd Street, between Alvernon and Country Club. Information (520)791-4022. www.tucsonzoo.org

SABINO CANYON

Picnicking, bicycling, hiking. Cars not allowed in canyon. Shuttle service into canyon operates every day of year; leave and reboard as you wish. Visitor center and nature trail at entrance. See directions to Mt. Lemmon. Tanque Verde Rd. to Sabino Canyon Rd., and follow signs. Open 365 days a year. (1½ hour drive from Green Valley). Recording: (520)749-2861. Reservations: (520)749-2327. www.sabinocanyon.com.

SAGUARO NATIONAL MONUMENT

63,000 acres of magnificent saguaro cacti. Rincon Mountain Section. Monument headquarters, exhibits, 9 mile circular drive, picnicking. On Old Spanish Train east of Tucson. Tucson Mountain Section. Information center, picnicking. North on Kinney Rd., past Old Tucson and Desert Museum. Admission Fee. Headquarters: (520)733-5100. Rincon Mountain District: (520)733-5153. Tucson Mountain District: (520)733-5158. www.nps.gov/sagu. .

SAN XAVIER MISSION

“White Dove of the Desert”. Considered by many to be the finest example of Spanish Mission architecture. Open daily, 9-6. 520-294-2624. Take I-19 north to exit 92 San Xavier Road. www.sanxaviermission.org.

SLAUGHTER RANCH MUSEUM

A National Historic Landmark Museum preserves an original 1890 Arizona ranch home, six other historic buildings and a pond.  It provides displays of authenic turn-of-the-20th century life in a lush, pastoral setting. Open Wed.-Sun 10am-3pm. (520)558-2474. www.slaughterranch.com.

SONOITA VINEYARDS and SANTA CRUZ WINERY

Arizona wines are becoming a drink of preference. A number of excellent wineries are located near Sonoita and Patagonia. Sonoita, Call 520-455-5893. Santa Cruz, Call 520-394-2888. www.sonoitavineyards.com.

SOUTH MOUNTAIN PARK

More than 50 miles of trails in this 17,000 acre park include prehistoric petroglyphs and a beautiful view of Phoenix from 1000 feet above the valley floor. Open daily 5am-7pm. Parking fee. (602)262-7393. http://phoenix.gov.parks.

SOUTHERN ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM

Located at the downtown historic railroad depot, the museum features Locomotive #1673, railway artifacts, art and interprets the history of rail transportation in Southern Arizona. (520)623-2223. www.TucsonHistoricDepot.org.

TOHONO CHUL PARK

One of the ten great botanical gardens in the world. Enjoy all the Sonoran desert has to offer in easy to traverse nature trails. (520)742-9686 Ext #10. www.tohonochulpark.org.

TOMBSTONE

“The Town Too Tough to Die”. Historic silver boomtown. Boothill Cemetery, OK Corral, Bird Cage Theatre, Crystal Palace. I-19 north to I-10, east to Rte 80 or I-19 south to Nogales, Rte 82 to Rte. 80 south. (90 miles from Green Valley or 110 miles via Nogales). www.tombtoneweb.com

TUBAC

Oldest European settlement in Arizona. Today it is a village thriving on arts and crafts. Shops, galleries, restaurants. I-19 south. (23 miles from Green Valley). (520)398-2704. www.tubacaz.com.

TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART

Houses a fine collection of pre-Columbian art and artifacts and hosts a continuous series of traveling exhibitions and a focus on Western art, Latin American, Modern and Contempiorary as well as Asian art. (520)624-2333 or 520-323-7888. www.TucsonMuseumofArt.org.

TUMACACORI MISSION

Just south of Tubac on I-19. Church standing today built in the 1800′s. Adjoining museum contains models of the original mission and village. (28 miles south of Green Valley). (520)398-2341. www.nps.gov/tuma.

TITAN II MISSILE MUSEUM

Only remaining Titan II complex just as it was during the Cold War. Guided tours of missile complex including silo. Located on the north side of Green Valley off Duval Mine Road. Admission Fee. Call 625-7736 for reservations. www.titanmissilemuseum.org.