Find a Hotel
Hero Alt Text

National Heritage Area

The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area is a natural and cultural landscape shaped by generations of people from diverse cultural origins. Tumacácori National Historical Park and other visitor experiences here embody this spirit.

Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area

This 3,300-square-mile landscape is nationally recognized for its natural, historical and multicultural heritage

The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area of Southern Arizona encompasses the watershed of the Santa Cruz River – from Nogales and Patagonia, through Tucson, to Marana and Oro Valley – an ancient and still vital trade route, home to Arizona’s earliest civilizations and a bounty of natural and historical assets. The boundary marks an area shaped by generations of people from diverse cultures and communities with special stories to tell. The distinctive stories of these communities form the fabric of the experiences available here.

There are 10 heritage experiences, which are unique among existing National Heritage Areas, that highlight this area's varied natural beauty and cultural history:

    Distinctive stories of Southern Arizona's Santa Cruz Valley:

    • Sky Islands and Desert Seas
    • Streams in the Desert
    • Bird Habitat and Migration Routes
    • Native American Lifeways 
    • Desert Farming
    • Ranching Traditions 
    • Spanish and Mexican Frontier 
    • Mining Booms
    • U.S. Military Posts on the Mexico Border 
    • U.S.-Mexico Border Culture

     

     

    Telling America’s story

    Visitors to the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area enjoy outdoor recreation, bird-watching, astronomy, heritage site tours, and local wineries and heritage foods. Attractions like the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, which parallels the Santa Cruz River,  appeal to travelers of all ages seeking a respite from bustling city life. Other attractions include: Catalina State Park, Saguaro National Park, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tubac artist colony, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, Tumacacori National Historical Park, Historic Canoa Ranch, Wild Chile Botanical Area, Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, Patagonia Lake State Park, Madera Canyon and the Santa Rita Mountains, and San Rafael State Park and Natural Area

    Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance

    National Heritage Areas (NHA) are designated by Congress as a place where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form nationally distinctive landscapes. There are 55 NHAs in 34 states (as of March 2019). The Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance is the non-profit organization mandated by the enabling legislation to serve as the local coordinating entity for the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Area. This alliance of local governments, non-profit organizations, and businesses uniquely poised to coordinate and implement heritage-based economic and community development is an advocate for this region's valuable heritage.

    Local heritage conservation, promotion, and education projects supported by the National Heritage Area:

    • Increase heritage and nature tourism and grow tourism-related economic impact
    • Develop heritage education programs
    • Promote local foods, crafts, and other traditional products
    • Riparian restoration
    • Rehabilitation of historic buildings
    • Improve the quality of life for residents by instilling a sense of place
    • And more! 

    We invite you to visit and experience this region's heritage lodging, destinations, food traditions, and annual events:

    Dec 08

    Arizona Highways and Ted DeGrazia December 6, 2019 - January 29, 2020

    A new exhibit, "Arizona Highways and Ted DeGrazia" commemorates Ted... Read More

    Christmas at Canoa Ranch December 7, 2019

    Join us at Historic Canoa Ranch in Green Valley to celebrate the... Read More

    Dec 08

    49th Annual La Fiesta de Tumacácori December 7, 2019 - December 8, 2019

    In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were... Read More

    Tamal & Heritage Festival December 7, 2019

    Eat fresh tamales and celebrate local borderland heritage. Savor the... Read More

    Dec 09

    Patronato Christmas at San Xavier Concert December 9, 2019 - December 12, 2019

    Patronato San Xavier presents Southern Arizona’s most enduring winter... Read More

    Dec 11

    Holidays at the Markets December 11, 2019 - December 15, 2019

    Get your local holiday shopping done at Heirloom Farmers Markets 5th... Read More

    Jan 26

    American Indian Arts Exposition January 26, 2020 - February 16, 2020

    This official event of the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase... Read More

    Feb 05

    Tubac Festival of the Arts February 5, 2020 - February 9, 2020

    The Village of Tubac hosts Southern Arizona's longest running outdoor... Read More

    Feb 15

    95th La Fiesta de los Vaqueros - Tucson Rodeo February 15, 2020 - February 23, 2020

    Tucson's annual celebration of the cowboys has been heralded as... Read More

    Mar 21

    Wa:k Pow Wow March 21, 2020 - March 22, 2020

    Team dances, hoop dance, drum contest, owl dance, inter-tribal dances... Read More

    Mar 28

    Fiesta Sahuarita 2020 March 28, 2020

    Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun in beautiful Sahuarita at Anamax... Read More

    Apr 23

    Agave Heritage Festival April 23, 2020 - May 5, 2020

    Tucson’s Agave Heritage Festival explores and celebrates the cultural... Read More

    Hotel Congress

    Congress St. District

    Read More

    Circle Z Ranch

    Santa Cruz County

    Read More

    White Stallion Ranch

    Northside District

    Read More

    Tanque Verde Ranch

    Eastside District

    Read More

    Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

    Santa Cruz County

    Read More

    Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

    Catalina Foothills District

    Read More

    Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa

    Catalina Foothills District

    Read More

    Armory Park Inn

    Tucson Convention Center District

    Read More

    Amado Territory Inn

    Southside District

    Read More

    El Presidio Bed & Breakfast Inn

    Presidio District

    Read More

    Barrio Bread

    Read More

    Callaghan Vineyards

    Southside District

    Read More

    Cup Café inside Hotel Congress

    Congress St. District

    Read More

    Dos Cabezas WineWorks

    Southside District

    Read More

    Hamilton Distillers - Makers of Whiskey Del Bac

    Westside District

    Read More

    Maynards Market & Kitchen

    Congress St. District

    Read More

    Sonoita Vineyards

    Santa Cruz County

    Read More

    Village of Elgin Winery

    Southside District

    Read More

    Amerind Museum

    Cochise County

    Read More

    Medicine Man Gallery

    Read More

    Old Town Artisans

    Presidio District

    Read More

    Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum

    Arizona's West Coast Region

    Read More

    Western National Parks Association

    Oro Valley District

    Read More

    Tucson Historic Train Depot

    Congress St. District

    Read More

    Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum and The Turquoise Trail

    Presidio District

    Read More

    Old Tucson

    Read More

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

    Westside District

    Read More

    Friends of Tucson's Birthplace: Mission Garden

    Sentinel Peak District

    Read More

    Tumacacori National Historical Park

    Santa Cruz County

    Read More

    St. Augustine Cathedral

    Tucson Convention Center District

    Read More

    Tumamoc Hill – Tucson Mountains

    Read More

    Tucson Historic Train Depot

    Congress St. District

    Read More

    Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate Historic Site Interpretive Trail

    Read More

    DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum

    Catalina Foothills District

    Read More

    Old Town Artisans

    Presidio District

    Read More

    Historic Hacienda de la Canoa

    Pima County

    Read More

    La Posta Quemada Ranch, Colossal Cave Mountain Park

    Eastside District

    Read More

    Mt. Lemmon Science Tour App

    Northside District

    Read More

    Mountain Empire (Patagonia-Sonoita-Elgin)

    Read More

    Top