Arizona April 24, 2018
The Historic Small Town That Every Arizonan Should Visit At Least Once
Are you looking for a charming little town to escape to for a weekend full of history, food, art, and more? You’ll want to check out this historic small town located in southern Arizona and it just happens to be one of the oldest towns in the state!
Welcome to Tubac, a tiny town in the picturesque Santa Cruz Valley.
Tubac was originally home to the Hohokam and O’odham peoples before the Spanish began colonizing the desert in the 17th and 18th centuries. The town was founded as a fort for the Spanish empire in the mid-18th century and is the oldest European settlement in Arizona.
The town is located almost halfway between Tucson and Nogales on Interstate 19. It's one of the few little towns you’ll encounter before crossing the border into Mexico.
While Indigenous peoples lived here for centuries and small churches were established in the years since Father Kino first entered this part of Arizona, Tubac wasn’t recognized as a formal settlement until the Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac was founded in 1752.
These days you can still find the remnants that of that old fort, which is preserved at the Tubac Presidio State Historical Park, as well as other historic buildings and artifacts.
The Tubac Presidio State Historical Park is located at 1 Burruel Street and you can find details about the area on the
state parks website
This includes a schoolhouse that dates to 1885 and you can even walk inside to see how children experienced school in that period.
Also nearby is the old Saint Ann’s Church, which may be older than 250 years and still functions as a local church for locals.
You'll find the church located at 18 Calle Iglesia, Tubac.
Don’t forget to stop by the Tumacácori National Historical Park, located just south of Tubac.
This old Spanish mission has roots that date back to 1691 when it was established by Father Eusebio Kino. The building in its current site was built in 1751.
The Tumacácori National Historical Park is located at 1895 East Frontage Road in Tumacacori.
If you’re looking for other things to do, you can also attend some of the festivals held in town.
This includes the annual Anza Days celebration held in October at the Tubac Presidio, which celebrates Juan Bautista de Anza’s expedition from Tubac to the Pacific Ocean. Another great festival to attend is the annual Tubac Festival of the Arts, which is held in February.
When you’re feeling some hunger pains, there are quite a few restaurants to choose from!
One of our favorites is Elvira’s, a family-owned Mexican restaurant that specializes in mole and contemporary interpretations of your favorite dishes.
Other fantastic restaurants include Shelby’s Bistro and Wisdom’s Cafe.
Are you ready to escape to this little town?
Tubac is located about 45 miles south of Tucson via Interstate 19.
Have you visited this historic town? What was your favorite attraction in the area? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Do you want to check out another wonderful small town a little further north? Read about Pinetop-Lakeside in our previous article:
The Small Town In Arizona That’s One Of The Coolest In The U.S.