Attractions & Activities
Ideally situated in Southern Arizona, Tubac provides numerous activities for young and old alike.
Golf in Tubac
For many, golf is a way of life and Santa Cruz County offers phenomenal year-round golfing opportunities. The Tubac Golf Resort’s, 27-hole golf course, is impeccably well kept and challenging for all levels. Established in 1959, the course was initially designed by legendary architect Robert “Red” Lawrence. Bing Crosby served as Chairman of the Board of the newly built golf course. Aside from its beautiful setting along the perimeter of the Santa Cruz River, the course is also the site of the filming of the movie, Tin Cup, and that infamous swing. There is no wonder why it is often referred to as the “Jewel of Southern Arizona Golf.”
Nearby, Kino Springs, an 18-hole golf course was also designed by Red Lawrence. Among the challenges of this course are the uphill shots of the increasing elevations of the grounds, probably designed to test your swing. The greens are well manicured and tree-lined fairways are very narrow. Panoramic vistas adorn the golf course.
Tubac and Santa Cruz County is a pedestrian, hiking and bicycling friendly community. Country roads facilitate biking treks.
The Anza Trail begins at either the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park or the Tumacácori National Historic Park. Either way, the 4-mile trek between parks takes the hiker through a rare and vibrant desert riparian region. The trail is mostly level with a few traverses across the Santa Cruz River that occasionally result in a wet foot. There is no shuttle service between the two parks, so if you want to make it a one-way hike, leave a car at your end destination. Always be prepared and bring plenty of water, sunscreen and hats.
Hiking and biking trails can be found at:
The Tubac Trailer Tether, (520) 398-2111, and the Flying W RV Ranch/Sunflower Camp, (520) 398-9148 offer spaces for your overnight stay or longer. Sunflower Camp also has space for camping.
Tubac is a dark sky destination which means you have a brilliant view of the night sky and stars without the interference of commercial lighting. Visit https://darksky.net/ to get up to the minute Tubac weather information. Dark Sky’s surprisingly accurate to-the-minute forecasts for Tubac will alert you of all you need to know to enjoy all seasons in Tubac. Most especially the fascinating monsoon season. Every season in Tubac is incredible and will open your spirit to the beauty of existence in this special beautiful village and its pristine environment.
Picnic grounds are available inside the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park (1 Burruel Street) and is an excellent spot to enjoy a break. There are also picnic tables at the Anza Trail trailhead, the Tubac Plaza, the Ron Morris County Park (east end of Calle Iglesia), and on the park grounds behind the Tubac Community Center (50 Bridge Road).
Las Lagunas de Anza
An amazing fresh water wetland site, a natural marsh, a mix of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is just 15 minutes south of Tubac. The site hosts trails and signage pointing to historical events and birding. There are also picnic grounds and a discovery garden. More than 200 species of birds as well as amphibians, reptiles & mammals have been observed at Las Lagunas.
Scenic high desert vistas surround Tubac and the highest of these is nearby Mount Wrightson, accessible through Madera Canyon. Part of the Coronado National Forest, Madera Canyon offers great hiking, birding, mountain biking and picnicking. Accommodations include a campground and a lodge with cabins. Learn more at the website of Friends of Madera Canyon.
Patagonia Lake State Park is just a short southeast 45 minute drive from Tubac. The 265-acre man-made lake nestled in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains offers boating, fishing, bird watching, picnicking, campsites and full RV hookups. The nearby Sonoita Creek State Natural Area preserves a portion of the Sonoita Creek watershed and is Arizona’s first significant Natural Area. Low impact recreation includes hiking, horseback riding and bird-watching.
Peña Blanca Lake
About twenty miles south of Tubac, Peña Blanca lake is a pleasant spot for hiking, fishing and bird watching. Picnic and lakeside camping sites available. For more information visit the Coronado National Forest website.
Attractions in Tubac
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Located in Tubac’s Old Town, the park’s museum offers a fascinating look at the history of the Santa Cruz Valley and Arizona’s first printing press. The park is Arizona’s first state park and marks the location of Arizona’s first European settlement. An underground archaeological site displays the adobe presidio ruins. The furnished 1885 Schoolhouse, Otero Hall and Rojas House are all on the National Register of Historic Places. Living history and printing press demonstrations take place frequently from October thru March.
Tubac Center of the Arts
This intensive gallery fuses the history and the artist community Tubac has become. The Tubac Center of the Arts, is the focus of Tubac’s artistic events featuring opportunities for artists to exhibit their work, conducts artist workshops, lectures and a performing art season.
Soulistic Health Center
Located on one of the town’s oldest historic sites in the heart of “old Tubac,” this desert haven features copper-ionized chemical-free therapeutic hot and cold jacuzzi tubs, heated lap pool, and infrared sauna. Curiously, previous owners kept adding pools to this historic property, which now boasts five pools, each offering unique and soothing water experiences.
Bird Watching in Tubac
Tumacácori National Historical Park
Located just 4 miles south of Tubac on the East Frontage Road, the Tumacácori National Historical Park is not to be missed. The national park preserves the remains of the Spanish mission church San Jose de Tumacácori and associated cemetery, mortuary chapel and portions of the convento. The visitor center and museum display exhibits of its history. The orchard features an incredible combination of fruit trees dating back to Father Kino’s planation in the late 1600’s.
Just a short hour away in beautiful country are southern Arizona’s award winning wineries. A day trip is most enjoyable and opens a new world of incredible wine tasting in the countryside. Wine tours are available from Tubac. Distilleries offer unique dry spirits crafted at the wineries. .
Mount Hopkins Observatory
Our crystal clear night skies draw astronomers from all over the world. The Hopkins Observatory is seen from Tubac and offers tours and popular evening programs. The Visitors Center, located at the base of Mount Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains, features displays and exhibits on astronomy and astrophysics, natural science, and cultural history. Public access to the three telescopes atop Mount Hopkins is limited to guided tours via a shuttle bus from the Visitor Center. Mount Hopkins is 30 minutes northeast of Tubac. The tours are popular and by advance reservation only.