If you’re looking to get off the grid as we face a new era of more socially-distanced travel, then Sierra Vista, Arizona, is the perfect destination for you. It’s not all green chilis down here on the border, either! Sierra Vista offers an abundance of adventure and culture just waiting to be explored. From miles of hiking and biking trails to wine tasting at award-winning vineyards, there’s something here for everyone. Discover our key reasons below to bump this corner of Arizona to the top of your bucket list this season.
This story was created in partnership with Visit Sierra Vista.
The Official Hummingbird Capital of the United States
Did you know Sierra Vista is famous for its bird watching? Thanks to the unique geography in the area (between the Sierra Madres of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonora and Chihuahuan deserts), Sierra Vista is an “eco-crossroad” featuring five life zones within five miles. Experienced birders can spot rare species such as: the Plan-capped Star Throat, the Flame-colored Tanager, and the Slatethroated Red Start. Novices and experts alike will enjoy spotting up to 15 species of hummingbirds that pass through Sierra Vista annually. It’s no wonder, then, the city was named the Hummingbird Capital of the United States! Start in Ramsey Canyon Preserve, or consider exploring another one of the many canyons in the area.
Sierra Vista Boasts Cuisine to Rival Big Cities of the West
Think you need to visit a big city to enjoy a variety of cuisine? Think again! Sierra Vista is known for its diverse flavors and award-winning fare. Within the course of a weekend you can enjoy Vietnamese fare from family-owned Indochine (where there’s a garden right in the back) and dig your teeth into a local steak from Tandem Upscale Dining and Lounge. Hungry for some authentic Mexican food? Try 143 Street Tacos, the go-to lunch spot for locals. A few fun facts about Sierra Vista: this is the home of the first MacDonald’s drive-through, and all the seeds for New Mexico’s famous green chilis grow nearby. Now that’s some diverse food fun!
Unexpected, Award-Winning Local Wine Tasting
Wine regions are much more rare in the mountain west in comparison to commonly celebrated places on the west coast, such as the Willamette Valley. That’s why Sierra Vista impresses once again with their backyard viticulture. The rich soil of the area, combined with cool desert nights and warm days, make Sierra Vista a vinter’s dream! It’s no wonder Arizona wines have been served in the White House. Take an afternoon (or two) to explore the local wineries where rare varietals and plenty of fresh air abound.
Miles of Uncrowded Hiking and Biking Trails
Sierra Vista means Mountain View, and mountains mean outdoor adventure! When you’ve had your fill of tacos and wine, spend some time exploring the local trails. Mountain bikers will be impressed with highly-rated singletrack (find trails on MTBProject.com), while hikers will find even more options. Nearby Coronado National Memorial offers eight miles of trails with tremendous views of bordering Mexico. In addition, the aforementioned birding destinations also make great hiking areas. Enjoy spotting endemic flora like apache pine, agave, and blooming barrel cactus. It’s easy to see why this area is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate adventure—with plenty of elbow room.
Unparalleled Stargazing in Southern Arizona
The magic of Sierra Vista doesn’t diminish when the sun sets! Be sure to take some time for stargazing during your visit to this remote corner of Arizona. Thanks to its distance from Tucson (about an hour drive), Sierra Vista is a tremendous place to enjoy the night sky. Visit the Patterson Observatory where free public nights take place most of the year. Their sophisticated telescope is able to pick up objects one million times fainter than the human eye can detect—providing serious wow factor for the whole family! Of course, you don’t need a telescope to be blown away by outer space. Simply step outside of your B&B to soak it all in alongside the San Pedro River. A shooting star would surely be the best finale to a trip to Sierra Vista, after all.