Benson and the San Pedro Valley
Home to Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson is the region's gateway to those coming from Tucson and Phoenix. Kartchner Caverns is tucked in the Whetstone Mountains and is regarded as one of the world's most visually stunning caverns. While in Benson, you can also visit Gammons Gulch, a movie set that gives tours. The Holy Trinity Monastery is a favorite among bird watchers because of its 1.3 mile-long bird sanctuary. A great way to experience the town is by taking the Benson Historic Walking Tour.
Bisbee is a former mining town located a mile high in the Mule Mountains. It's the southernmost mile high city in the United States! Now it is home to a thriving arts and antiquing community. Bisbee's unique shops and galleries along Main Street are complemented by an array of fine restaurants. For a glimpse of what life was like in Bisbee's 1800's heyday, visit the famed Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum (a Smithsonian Institute affiliate) or take the fascinating 75-minute Queen Mine Tour conducted by knowledgeable former miners.
For more information about Bisbee contact the Bisbee Visitor's Center at 1-866-2BISBEE or (520) 432-3554.
Douglas and Sonora Mexico
Douglas and its environs boast a wealth of attractions for birders and hikers. Douglas' avenues are lined with historic buildings including the Gadsden Hotel, one of the last of the turn-of-the-century's grand hotels. You can relive the 1880s at the historic John Slaughter Ranch Museum just 18 miles east of town. The international border crossing takes you to Douglas' neighboring city, Agua Prieta, Sonora. It's a portal to the wonders of northern Mexico. Bustling streets are lined with beautifully decorated shops and a downtown square fronts the Iglesia de Guadalupe.
Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca
Sierra Vista is Cochise County's largest city and home to an array of historical, commercial and natural experiences. The Fort Huachuca Museum and the Military Intelligence Museum convey the rich history of the post during the Apache Wars and the facility's important modern role in safeguarding the nation. The Mall at Sierra Vista features top national retailers and family- oriented activities while the nearby San Pedro National Conservation Area stands as one of the country's premier bird watching locations.
Long known as "The Town Too Tough To Die," all of Tombstone is a Registered Historic National Landmark. Tombstone thrives today as a lively center for recounting and reliving the infamous days of Old West history. Visitors walk the same streets that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday walked. And they experience firsthand what it was like when guns were drawn and fired at the O.K. Corral. Other not-to-be-missed sites in Tombstone are Big Nosed Kate's, the Crystal Palace, Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone Courthouse State Park, the Bird Cage Theater and the world's largest living rose tree at the Rose Tree Museum. Tombstone offers entertainment and history in ways that few other towns can match.
At one time Willcox was the largest beef-producing town in America and was known as the "Cattle Capital of the West." Today, the town continues to thrive as an agricultural community, especially noted for its apple orchards, u-pick farms, and now wine tasting rooms from award winning vineyards. Willcox is home to the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center and the Rex Allen Museum. Rex Allen was a singing cowboy who recorded "Streets of Laredo" and "Crying in the Chapel." Nearby are some of the most awe-inspiring natural landscapes in the southwestern United States: Cochise Stronghold, the Chiricahua National Monument, and the Willcox Playa bird habitat. These and other locations make the town and environs a truly unique blend of culture, nature and western history.