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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:

    Jun 24

    El Dia de San Juan Fiesta June 24, 2019

    Celebrate the return of the monsoon rainy season at El Dia De San... Read More

    Jul 27

    HarvestFest at Sonoita Vineyards July 27, 2019

    Sonoita Vineyards Winery, in Elgin, hosts wine tastings with wine and... Read More

    Jul 31

    Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival July 31, 2019 - August 3, 2019

    Self-guided and guided tours, field trips, guided trips, exhibits,... Read More

    Aug 07

    Southeast Arizona Birding Festival August 7, 2019 - August 11, 2019

    The spectacular biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert and the Sky Island... Read More

    Oct 11

    Tucson Meet Yourself October 11, 2019 - October 13, 2019

    Come for the food and stay for the culture! Local residents gather to... Read More

    Nov 02

    Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival November 2, 2019

    It's a Western experience for the whole family! Enjoy music,... Read More

    Nov 22

    Native American Month Social & Indian Craft Market November 22, 2019 - November 24, 2019

    Discover the heritage of various American Indian tribal nations at... Read More

    Dec 07

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

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

    Jan 26

    American Indian Arts Exposition January 26, 2020 - February 9, 2020

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

    Hotel Congress

    Congress St. District

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    Circle Z Ranch

    Santa Cruz County

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    Rancho de La Osa

    Pima County

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    White Stallion Ranch

    Northside District

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    Tanque Verde Ranch

    Eastside District

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    Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

    Santa Cruz County

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    Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

    Catalina Foothills District

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    Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa

    Catalina Foothills District

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    Armory Park Inn

    Tucson Convention Center District

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    Amado Territory Inn

    Southside District

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    El Presidio Bed & Breakfast Inn

    Presidio District

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    Barrio Bread

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    Callaghan Vineyards

    Southside District

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    Cup Café inside Hotel Congress

    Congress St. District

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    Dos Cabezas WineWorks

    Southside District

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    The Green Valley Pecan Company

    Pima County

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    Hamilton Distillers - Makers of Whiskey Del Bac

    Westside District

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    Maynards Market & Kitchen

    Congress St. District

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    Sonoita Vineyards

    Santa Cruz County

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    Village of Elgin Winery

    Southside District

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    Amerind Museum

    Cochise County

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    Medicine Man Gallery

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    Old Town Artisans

    Presidio District

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    Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum

    Arizona's West Coast Region

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    Western National Parks Association

    Oro Valley District

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    Tucson Historic Train Depot

    Congress St. District

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    Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum and The Turquoise Trail

    Presidio District

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    Old Tucson

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    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

    Westside District

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    Mission Garden

    Sentinel Peak District

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    Tumacacori National Historical Park

    Santa Cruz County

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    St. Augustine Cathedral

    Tucson Convention Center District

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    Tumamoc Hill – Tucson Mountains

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    Tucson Historic Train Depot

    Congress St. District

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    Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate Historic Site Interpretive Trail

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    DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

    Catalina Foothills District

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    Old Town Artisans

    Presidio District

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    San Xavier Roman Catholic Parish / Patronato San Xavier

    Southside District

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    Historic Hacienda de la Canoa

    Pima County

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    La Posta Quemada Ranch, Colossal Cave Mountain Park

    Eastside District

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    Mt. Lemmon Science Tour App

    Northside District

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    Mountain Empire (Patagonia-Sonoita-Elgin)

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    Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

    Pima County

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