There is so much to see and do in and around Sierra Vista it might be hard to choose exactly what to do when so here are a few itineraries to choose from—or mix and match! If you need additional help setting up an itinerary for your visit, email the Sierra Vista Visitor Center, call (800) 288-3861, or stop by at 3020 East Tacoma Street to speak with our expert staff.
Looking for a gastronomic experience? Check out this three-day tour. Just like cooking, timing is important so plan ahead so that you can take advantage of cooking classes and farm-fresh produce.
Day 1: Start your tour with a drive through the Sonoita/Elgin wine country. Be sure to stop along the way for tasting. Click here for wineries. Head back to Sierra Vista for authentic German cuisine at the German Café.
Day 2: Fill your day with one of these adventures: Cochise College, ranked the third best community college in the nation, offers one-day cooking classes through its Lifelong Learning program. Affordable and fun, classes have included ethic specialties, vegan meals, and knife skills. Plan ahead and sign up early; these classes fill up quickly! Click here for a schedule (search “cooking”).
Also check out classes offered by Executive Chef Tony, a Le Cordon Bleu culinary school graduate who emphasizes fresh, local ingredients. Chef Tony’s classes have included both French and Vietnamese cooking classes, and are certain to be an enjoyable experience in an intimate setting. Click here to see events on Chef Tony’s page.
Another class option—this time all about fermentation—is offered through the Confident Brewer, a Sierra Vista supply shop for all things fermented.
If you’d rather shop (and eat) than cook, time your visit for Sierra Vista’s Farmers Market, held every Thursday—rain or shine—in Veterans Memorial Park. You’ll find fresh meat, produce, local honey, fresh baked goods, arts and crafts, and food trucks ready to serve. After that, pop over to the Sierra Vista Food Coop (no membership needed to shop) for fresh produce, healthy eating options, and ready-to-eat specialties from local restaurants.
Day 3: Hit the road again, this time heading east to Willcox. Here you can stop seasonally at u-pick farms, or pull into Apple Annie’s for farm-fresh produce and an autumn corn maze. Find u-pick farms here.
If your stop in Willcox takes you to the area out of season, you can still visit the Apple Annie’s Country Store located across the parking area from the Willcox Visitor Center.
Willcox is one of Arizona’s fastest-growing wine regions, so stopping at tasting rooms in downtown Willcox, or visiting the vineyards, is a must. Click here for wineries.
Walk where mammoth roamed, cowboys worked, cavalry rode, and miners dug in this four-day tour in Sierra Vista and Bisbee.
Day 1: A trip along the San Pedro River will take you to where bone fragments, butchering tools, and even fire hearth features were discovered. Upon excavation, the sites were dated to about 13,000 years ago. Your first stop is the Lehner Mammoth Kill Site, then a quick tour of the Murray Springs Clovis Site, created by nomadic hunters during the Pleistocene era, about 12,000 to 13,000 years ago. Be sure to bring water and sturdy good shoes for these two walks.
After your prehistoric tour, enjoy another trip back in time at the Landmark Café, which started serving soldiers from Fort Huachuca during World War II. The building has been renovated, but you can still enjoy hearty, homestyle diner meals, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast all day long.
Day 2: Visit Fort Huachuca, established in 1877 to defend American settlers and protect Mexico from Apache attacks. Those who mustered there in the early years quelled Apache raids, tracked and captured Geronimo, and tangled with the likes of Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa. Be sure to stop at the Fort’s Museum, Military Intelligence Soldier Learning Center, the Old Post Cemetery, and Signal Hill. Ask for a map at the Visitor Center at the gate
After your tour, stay on Post and head over to Jeannie’s Diner, decked out in 1950s style, for the Doo Wah Diddy Diddy burger or the Great Balls of Fire, a Philly with a twist. Stay for bowling.
Important Note: Fort Huachuca is an active military installation and specific entrance requirements are enforced. U.S. Citizens without a valid Department of Defense credential will be subject to a background check before receiving a photo ID pass, valid for up to 30-days. Allow 30 minutes to complete the entrance requirements. International visitors must arrange for an approved military escort at least three weeks prior to visiting (email PIO@SierraVistaAZ.gov to arrange for an escort). The Fort may be closed without notice.
Personal use photography of wildlife and historic buildings is permitted. Commercial photography and videography is not permitted. Please direct questions concerning permissible photography to DPTMS Antiterrorism Office (520-533-6995) or the Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office (520-533-1850).
Day 3: Visit Fairbank, a ghost town along the San Pedro River (via Hwy 82). This is one of Arizona’s best preserved ghost towns and boasts several still-standing buildings. From there, continue on to Tombstone. Stop there and enjoy this historic town, “too tough to die.” Hungry? Stop into Big Nose Kate’s for a family-friendly saloon experience.
After lunch, visit three more ghost towns, Gleeson, Courtland, and Pearce, all located along North Ghost Town Trail. Click here for a map. (Note: Ghost Town Trail is unpaved but maintained. To avoid it, stay on West Gleeson Road, then turn north onto Hwy 191. You’ll miss Courtland, but Hwy 191 passes Pearce.) Head back to Sierra Vista via I-10 for dinner at La Casita Restaurant & Cantina, located in Sierra Vista’s oldest adobe structure. Check out the historic plaque in front of the building.
Day 4: Learn about frontier ranching at Brown Canyon Ranch, first settled around 1800. You’ll see the original ranch house, corral, storeroom, and a pond.
After your ranch tour, continue on Hwy 92 to the Bisbee Breakfast Club in historic Lowell—a snapshot of American 1950s car culture. Don’t let the name fool you: lunch means a hand-pressed burger, mile-high Sammie, salad, or veggie burger.
After fueling up, continue on toward Old Bisbee, the town’s historic center. Take a tour of the Queen Mine, an underground legacy of the copper industry. Add in the Mining Museum if you’re hungry for more, then spend the rest of the afternoon perusing Bisbee’s galleries and independently owned shops. When the dinner bell rings, walk up Brewery Gulch to reach the Stock Exchange Saloon and Grill. The building was indeed a former stock exchange office—the exchange board still runs along the wall. Order a pizza from the wood-fired oven along with a microbrew.
Wellness isn’t just healthy eating and exercise! It also includes relaxing activities, enjoying nature, and spending the day reconnecting with your loved ones (yourself included!). Turn off your phone and try this itinerary to rejuvenate from everyday stress.
Day 1: Start your day with a guided tour at Ramsey Canyon Preserve, or walk the trails unguided (maps available at the Visitor Center). Go slow and listen to the birds, stream, and wind brushing through the trees. If you feel like a bit more of a climb, continue up the Hamburg Trail to the overlook. Breathe.
Day 2: Relax and get in touch with your spiritual side at the Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine, a mountainside respite for individuals of all faiths. When you’re ready, pick up Hwy 92 east toward Palominas, turning off the road just before the bridge to access walking trails along the San Pedro River. Head north or south; either way you’ll enjoy the route; bring a picnic lunch to enjoy under the cottonwood canopy. (Please note, the San Pedro River may flood during summer monsoon rains; we advise that you do not take these trails when the river is flooded or heavy rains are in the forecast.) After your riparian walk, turn back toward Sierra Vista, but stop at Pizzeria Mimosa in Hereford for an authentic Italian dinner. This restaurant recognizes the slow food movement and sources many products from local farmers; they even make their own cheese!