Southwestern Arizona is home to many hidden gems, and the city of Sierra Vista is one of our favorites. Located within eyesight of Mexico, this destination surprises at every turn. Here you’ll find lush nature preserves, miles of hiking and biking trails, historic ghost towns, delicious international cuisine, and so much more. Here are our top six reasons to visit Sierra Vista, Arizona. We think you’ll find even more during your stay!
1. Stretch Your Legs in the Coronado National Forest
For the outdoor adventurer, there’s more than one way to break a sweat in Sierra Vista. This region is anything but flat—here arid grasslands are hemmed in by the Huachuca and Chiricahua mountain ranges. In between, the San Pedro River is the last undammed river in the American Southwest. These habitats provide an incredible home to wildlife and a huge range of plant life and offer an outdoor playground for the intrepid traveler. Birders will enjoy hiking the 5.6-mile Hamburg Trail in Ramsey Canyon Preserve. This area is home to a plethora of tropical birds, countless dragonflies and hummingbirds, and even the extraordinary and rare jaguar. Prefer to view the world on two wheels? Rent a bike from Sun & Spokes and try the 10-mile Cooper Loop that climbs 1,500 feet through the Huachucas for a tour of Sierra Vista’s extensive wilderness areas.
2. Explore Iconic Sierra Vista Landmarks
There are countless ways to explore in and around Sierra Vista. History buffs will enjoy checking out Brown Canyon Ranch House, where a cattle operation thrived in the early 1900s and time has stood still since. Our Lady of the Sierras is an incredible place to take in the sunset and enjoy expansive views of the “sky island” mountains, neighboring Mexico, and the free-flowing San Pedro River. Coronado National Monument offers a fascinating look at our relationship with Mexico, as well as more great views and trails. And don’t forget to take a tour at Kartchner Caverns State Park during your stay! This limestone cavern was discovered in 1974 but kept secret for its protection for a decade. After intensive efforts to ensure the cave’s conservation, it opened to the public in 2003. Today it is one of the most stunning caverns in America, if not the world!
3. Taste Rare Wine Varietals at Family-Owned Vineyards
Another excellent way to spend the afternoon in Sierra Vista is to go wine tasting. The nearby town of Elgin is home to a number of tasting rooms, including Callaghan and Keif-Joshua. Meet the vintners and families behind the wines, enjoy views of the surrounding countryside and mountains, and find a new favorite varietal. We think the Rhumb Line Grenache from Callaghan washes down a day of adventure particularly well!
4. Get to Know the Rich History of Sierra Vista
Like much of the Southwest, Sierra Vista has a robust western history. Nearby towns such as Tombstone and Bisbee are well-known haunts, but even closer are Fairbank, Millville, Pearce, and Gleeson. Enjoy stepping back in time for an afternoon at one of these locations and find yourself in awe of the romance of the West—and in appreciation of the modern amenities we enjoy today.
5. Enjoy World Class Dining Near the Border
Perhaps the most surprising part of traveling to Sierra Vista is discovering their burgeoning foodie scene. You can enjoy a homemade breakfast at your B&B followed by award-winning Vietnamese curry for lunch at Indochine, and a fresh seafood smorgasbord for dinner (we recommend any of the entrees at newly opened Tandem). Italian, Korean, Japanese, and of course Mexican cuisine are all within reach in Sierra Vista!
6. Stay at the Lazy Dog Ranch B&B
There’s no better way to get to know a place than to stay with the locals. We love the Lazy Dog Ranch, located right on the banks of the San Pedro River and a short drive from town. Here you’ll find two spacious casitas (complete with WiFi), a swimming pool, and a wonderful breakfast nook prepared by your hosts. Did we mention the welcoming committee of several dogs plus a donkey, mule, and horse? You’ll feel right at home at the Lazy Dog Ranch and the rest of Sierra Vista, Arizona!