If you are looking for an ideal weekend, get-away, then you should consider Tubac. It can provide a total package of experiences, far beyond pure relaxation. You can easily fill three days with lots of fun.
For places to stay, my favorite is the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa. Here, you will find old charm, as the resort dates back to the 1950’s when celebrities like Bing Crosby (an owner and avid golfer) and John Wayne hung out there. In truth, it reminds me of being in Kentucky with lots of grass, white wooden fences, large shady green trees and wandering cows. That is the vista you can have each morning and evening, if you eat out on their patio. By the way, the owners of this property also own Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, another one of my favorite hotels in the Phoenix area. If you are a golfer, you will really enjoy playing on any of their three nine-hole courses, all beautiful and quite challenging.
Maybe you are familiar with the movie called Tin Cup with Kevin Costner, who played a mediocre golf pro trying to get a place in the U.S. Open. Well, the Tin Cup hole (used in the movie) is right near a group of hacienda style hotel rooms. If you don’t golf, you can enjoy a leisurely morning walk around that hole. One of my most enjoyable activities at the resort is their newly remodeled pool facilities. You have two different beautiful pools surrounded by lush foliage and a number of cabanas, perfect for relaxation. And their spa is one of the best I have ever visited!! Their restaurant, Stables, serves delicious food both inside and outside on different patios. Their bar serves happy hour and is renowned for its real saddle seats!
Shopping is one of the mainstays for Tubac. The town is filled with over 100 different stores and galleries. There is something for everyone. On my recent visit, I focused on finding new and different stores that over the years I had never been to. One of my new finds was Trocadero, a large store filled with ethnic clothing, jewelry and accessories for women. I also went to Jane’s Attic (a friend always raves about this consignment store) and now I do agree. But I also like Lily’s of Tubac. Without fail, I find something interesting in there… costume jewelry with a flair and moderately priced, mirrors, a ceramic rooster, and this time was no exception. I have always loved Panchos, which started out in the silo at the golf resort, but recently moved to a new location next door to the market. Yes, it is a much smaller space, but the owner, Dennis, says he is busier than ever!
And, for my favorite gallery, I pick Hal Empie. I love the way they have re-created his original pharmacy in the gallery (at the age of 21, he was the youngest licensed pharmacist in Arizona). But he was also a self-taught artist and growing up in Arizona wilderness, he devoted himself to Western art. His pieces are well-known by collectors and museums.
For history lovers, Tubac and the surrounding area has a lot to offer, starting with the old Tubac Presidio State Historical Park. Here you can learn about the original Presidio from 1700’s before the Spanish military moved it up to Tucson in 1775. This park showcases over 2,000 years of Southwestern history. Not far away in Tumacacori, you can visit another state park which maintains the first mission Father Kino founded when he arrived here from Italy in 1691. You can indulge yourself in 200 years of history involving the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the indigenous peoples, the Spanish and the Mexicans. On your way back, stop in at the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company and take home some of their delicious spices to make your own recipes.
Eating is always fun and there are a variety of little places. One of the main restaurants is Elvira’s, which once was happily located in Nogales, Mexico, but due to the economic downturn in 2008, it closed and moved up to Tubac. Its décor is dramatic, and its food and margaritas are delicious!! There is seating inside and outside on patios.
Enjoy getting away!
Linda Stack is owner of Travelinda, LLC and can be reached at LLStack9597@gmail.com. Visit www.travelinda.club.