[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Best Bet For Perennial Water
Best Day Hike
Best Deal On A Summer Cooler
Best Dog Run
Best Equipment Rentals
Best Leisurely Stroll
Best Mountain-Bike Trail
Best Place To Watch A Sunset
Best Public Landscaping
Best Quick Wilderness Escape
Best Ransomed Landscape
Best Road-Bike Route
Best Urban Garden
Best Urban Hike
Best Vanishing Riparian Area
Best Way To "Waste-Water"
Best Weekend Adventure

Best Weekend Adventure


READERS' PICK: Don't you sometimes want to go away for a weekend and come back feeling like you covered hundreds of miles without the jetlag, maybe traveled back in time, or at least found another walk of life that transforms you? We are blessed here in the Southwest; there are many such weekends available, in a fabulous assortment of flavors. The best is a trip via time machine to the town of Bisbee. For about 100 years Bisbee was a booming mining town, with all the "wild west" rowdiness you'd ever desire. Speaking of desire, at one time the town was famous for its whorehouses and saloons, most of which were found in Brewery Gulch. Phelps Dodge closed the mines and the bordellos no longer exist, but the lively spirit lives on in this quaint town tucked away in a deep cleft of the Mule Mountains less than 100 miles southeast of Tucson. The miners have departed, but the great hole they dug is still there as testimony; the Lavender Pit is almost an obligatory part of any visit to Bisbee. Nowadays in Brewery Gulch you'll find art galleries, collectibles and antique stores, rock and mineral shops and, perhaps, one of the most interesting collections of old and new hippies, entrepreneurs and business people, artists and musicians, and general oddballs in the entire state. No weekend would be complete without a visit to one of the local bed & breakfast operations. No matter which of the many you choose, it's pure pleasure to sleep in the coolness of 5,300-foot elevation. Plan to walk in Bisbee. The hills are quite steep and sometimes the best route to discovering your own private and favorite place, whether it's the bar at the Copper Queen Hotel, the underground tour of the Copper Queen mine, a special gallery you can't leave for hours, a sweet little café, or the Iron Man statue lovingly painted in, appropriately, copper every year.


STAFF PICK: Finding Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona is like finding a saguaro in Seattle. With its perennial river and luxuriant shade cast by towering sycamore and cottonwood trees, this canyon and its adjoining slot canyons are perfect for people looking to transport into an oasis. The canyon is pristine and challenging; more than once, you'll find yourself hoisting your pack over your head as you wade through the creek below rock walls. Because places like this are so rare in the desert, and it would only take a few idiots to screw it up, is under strict protection by the Bureau of Land Management. Permits are required to enter; they can be obtained by calling the BLM. Reservations can be made up to 13 weeks in advance, and each person in your party will pay $1.50 a day. If you want to go on a weekend you'll probably need to call exactly 13 weeks in advance.

CAT'S MEOW: Florence, Arizona, is one of those old western towns with some terrific historic buildings, one of them being the first Pinal County Courthouse. The Arizona State Parks Board has owned the building since 1974, when former Arizona Gov. Ernest W. McFarland donated it to them. The building is now quite a good museum and just the right size for people of all ages to get a taste of the old West, with its courtroom weaponry and jail-break tales and tokens. With the Boyce Thompson Arboretum just over the next hill practically, you can make a nice weekend adventure. Stay overnight at the Inn at Rancho Sonora, where you'll get a charmingly decorated room in the desert with all the amenities of home, plus a friendly pig out back. It's just past the water tower four miles south of Florence on the west side of Highway 79.

Case History

1998 Winner: Mount Lemmon
1997 Winner: Mount Lemmon
1996 Winner: Mount Lemmon

Page Back

Home | Arts & Culture | Cafés | Chow | City Life | Kids | Outdoors
Saloons | Shopping | Most Wanted | Credits | Search

Copyright © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly

Page Forward