Thursday, 7 February 2008

A Visit to Tubac

Have you discovered the jewel in the Arizona desert that is Tubac? No? Well, why not? Tubac, Arizona, is one of my favorite places to wander through when I'm in Arizona visiting my mother. Located alongside I-19, the Interstate highway which leads Tucsonians and hundreds of thousands of touristas to the Mexican border town of Nogales, Tubac is easy to find, but difficult to leave. Nestled in the sagebrush of the Santa Cruz River Valle, Tubac is the oldest European settlement in Arizona. History buffs will love it for that reason alone, but if weren't enough, there are enough shops and restaurants to satisfy any desire.

(Photos above shamelessly borrowed from site. Please visit this site for an indepth history of Tubac).

If you love to shop for western clothes, furnishings, pottery or jewelry, this is the place. There is a shop just for southwestern spices, and others which specialize in ironworks like these in the video below. On my last trip to Tubac, I found beautiful ceramic house numbers with a wrought iron holder to mount on my house. I could have chosen from a dozen or so styles, and several sizes, which didn't make the decision very easy!

My brother was on a quest for a certain type of bowl, sort of like a mortar bowl, which is used to make guacamole in. One particular shop knew what he wanted, but didn't have it. She was, however, visiting her own mother in Nogales that evening, and promised to bring one back with her if we could come back the next day. We did and she did. Mission accomplished! (As an aside, I got my house numbers from her too.)

You don't want to shop? How about eating? With several restaurants and cafes to choose from, taste authentic foods from the area. There are also museums in Tubac and the nearby area, including the "Chili" museum just south of Tubac (past the giant chicken restaurant shown in a previous blog).

The Tumacacori Mission is across the street from the Chili museum, and was founded in 1691, though the standing Mission was built in the early 1800's. Be sure to take your National Park's passport for a stamp commemorating your visit!!

Nogales?? What? You never made it? Oh well, it will be there the next time... if you can drive by Tubac without stopping.

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