Finding Gems in Superior, Arizona

In the heart of the Sonoran Desert, this historic mining town has taken on an artistic and adventurous personality. Come take a tour of the historical landmarks, beautiful hikes and vibrant murals in Superior.
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Surrounded by stunning mesas and ancient Saguaro cacti, lies the town of Superior. This historic booming mining town now boasts a variety of activities and attractions to support the passionate community. Come see why this hidden gem deserves to be put on display!  

Created in partnership with Superior, Arizona

Preparation 

Being in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, Superior has all of the sunny, warm weather that Arizona has to offer, but thanks to the surrounding mountains it can still be a great escape from the scorching Phoenix area. Nevertheless, plan to have handy sun protection and water for the heat of the day, and layers for the classically cool desert evenings. 

Day 1: Superior Royalty

Woman looking at park signage
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

Start your day by stopping into Mountainside Coffee for a breakfast sandwich and coffee before heading out to the Queen Creek Canyon trail. This 2.25 mile hike is a part of the Legends Of Superior Trails (also known as LOST) network, and it takes you along the intermittently flowing Queen Creek. As you walk beneath the towering canyon walls, keep an eye out for javelina or the illusive coatimundi, a close relative to the raccoon. At the end of the trail is a tunnel, the former passage to get to the town of Globe on the other side of the mountain. If you look up, you’ll see the bridge where the new Highway 60 route travels. This is a good turn around point for the out and back trail, but take the time to appreciate the shade and serenity. 

The next adventure of the day is a guided Jeep tour with the Superior Tour Company. On this 2-3 hour tour, your knowledgeable and friendly guides will take you up to the Silver King Mine, which gave Superior its start back in the 1800’s. Both the Jeep and Gamma Goat, a six wheeled military grade off road vehicle, will wind you back through washes and manzanitas, while you learn about the history and find artifacts. The route even brings you to seemingly fossilized wagon ruts and mule tracks, frozen in time in the dried desert clay, from a bygone era. 

Jeep Tour images from Superior, Arizona
Photos by Kirk Rasmussen

As you make your way back to town, dine like royalty at the Silver King Smokehouse & Saloon. You almost have to try everything on the menu because it’s so hard to choose, but if you have to pick one, don’t miss out on the wings! 

If you plan this trip as a weekend getaway, aim for the second Friday of the month, when Superior hosts a free concert series and Second Friday event. With classic cars and roller skating down main street, the whole town comes to life!

vintage car driving at sunset

Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

Try to stay the weekend at the luxurious Historic Hotel Magma. This newly renovated landmark will leave you feeling well rested and ready for the next adventure.

Day 2: Wine, Dine and Art, Oh My!

Start your morning visiting the Farm-to-Fantastic Farmers Market that happens every Saturday. Once you’ve had your fill of fresh produce and homemade pastries, take the rest of the morning to explore the plethora of murals and galleries that decorate the town. Stop into shops along your stroll to find even more locally made crafts and artwork. Not only will you find a unique souvenir, but you’ll also be supporting local artists.

woman looking at mural

Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

For lunch, we recommend popping into Miners on Main. This quirky diner is a relic of the 1950’s, with the rockabilly tunes, classic movie posters and even waitresses in 50’s style aprons, you’ll really feel like you stepped back in time. After lunch and possibly a midday siesta, head to the Bruzzi Wine Tasting Room. Here you will get to try wines from the Bruzzi Vineyard, north of Superior, including their award winning Vidal Blanc, a white ice wine (from Arizona, who would’ve thought!) The Bruzzi Tasting Room also hosts locally made lotions, honey, coffee and more, just another way this community shows its support for each other.

Collage of images from Bruzzi Winery in Superior, Arizona
Photos by Kirk Rasmussen

For dinner, right around the corner is the Superior Barmacy, an old pharmacy turned bar and restaurant, not something you see everyday! 

Day 3: Emerald Oasis 

The cherry on top of your Superior experience is exploring the unique and stunning Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Founded in 1924 by former Silver King Mine investor Boyce Thompson, this natural wonder is home to trees and plants from all around the world. Take your time walking the trails that weave through the 400 acre property. Throughout your hike you can experience desert foliage from places like, South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean and the Gobi Desert, to name a few. Bring binoculars too, because this diverse forest is bound to bring in a lot of wildlife too. 

woman walking through desert foliage

Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

Fuel up on your way back through town by stopping at Porter’s Saloon and Grill for a burger and a chance to map out where your adventure will take you next! 

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Photo by @delajetsette via Instagram.

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