Santa Cruz County

Make a weekend trip to Southern Arizona's wine country by spending a night (or two) in a bed and breakfast.


Arizona's Wine Country

Southern Arizona may not be the place that instantly comes to mind when you hear "wine country", but this area has the perfect climate and soil composition to grow fantastic grapes, and more importantly...delicious wine. Between the small towns of Sonoita and Elgin, there are about a dozen wineries that specialize in a range of varietals. Sit out on one of the tasting decks and sip the day away as you gaze out into the scenic Santa Rita Mountains. This area is known not only for the vineyards but also for its beauty.

Many travelers choose to make the trip to these wineries as part of a multi-day trip exploring some of the other wonders that lie to the south of Tucson, including beautiful Patagonia Lake State Park. Southern Arizona has the largest concentration of bed & breakfasts in Arizona, so quaint accommodations are easy to find at a great value.

Bird Watching Hot Spot

The Santa Rita Mountains in Santa Cruz County of Southern Arizona is a big mountain range by Sky Island standards, but there is relatively little convenient access. The main exception is Madera Canyon. Located in the Coronado National Forest on the north slope of the Santa Ritas, this deep, densely wooded canyon is one of the most famous birding localities in Arizona. 

The centerpiece of Santa Cruz County’s birding hot spots is Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. This sanctuary, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, is one of the best birding spots in the Southwest. Not far down the highway are Patagonia Lake State Park and Sonoita Creek Natural Area, a good location for many species of desert scrub and lower canyon habitats plus waterfowl and riparian species.

Video: Get a glimpse of what makes Arizona wine so special

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